Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Archbishop Harris delivers first Christmas message


CHRISTMAS EVE MASS: Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Harris, left, addresses parishioners during mass on Christmas Eve at Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church, Harris Promenade, San Fernando, on Monday night. Looking on is Monsignor Christian Pereira. —Photo: LOUIS B HOMER

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Delivering his first Christmas message at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, San Fernando, Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Harris called on the nation to practise the virtues of simplicity in keeping with the spirit of Christ, who was born in a simple stable in Bethlehem.

"To be simple in your ways of life is neither easy nor stupid, it is a spiritual gift from God which was manifested to the world when Jesus Christ was born under humble circumstances in a stable," said the Archbishop during the 9 p.m. mass on Christmas Eve.

Harris made a call to the faithful "to create some space in the manger of your heart for the presence of God".

He said God had chosen the simple way of life to present himself to the world.

"He came in simplicity and will continue to reign with simplicity."

Harris said when one loses the message of simplicity and prayer, "we as our brothers' keepers should keep reminding those who have drifted from the true way of life to return to what is noble and of God's design".

He said there is the belief that acquiring wealth is happiness.

"My message in this regard is that having more is not being more," said Harris.

The Archbishop said the Catholic church in its programmes to assist the poor and needy has demonstrated its commitment through organisations like St Vincent de Paul, Servol, the work of the Carmelite Sisters and many other organisations that bring help and relief to those in need.

He exhorted those who attended the Christmas mass to leave the church convinced "that you are your brother's keeper and should serve the Lord in the ways he has set out for us".

The Christmas mass was said for the first time in San Fernando in English and Spanish.

Harris said he was happy with the introduction of Spanish into the liturgy.

"When the idea was presented to me I was very happy because of my experiences in Spanish-speaking countries where I had served as a priest." he said.

Assisting the Archbishop at the Christmas mass were Monsignor Christian Pereira, Fr Glyn Jemmott, students of Presentation College and St. Joseph's Convent, San Fernando, along with Annette Hunte-Lessey and Felicia Johnson.