PRESIDENT-ELECT Anthony Carmona said yesterday that Trinidad and Tobago was spiritually adrift and with the precipice looming ahead there is a need to pull back.
Carmona spoke to the Express yesterday afternoon following an almost hour-long service at the Church of the Assumption in Maraval, which he usually attends on a Sunday.
However, instead of it being the regular mass, his parish priest Fr Garfield Rochard officiated at what was a special mass in his honour.
Carmona said he did not expect yesterday's special mass and added that he was humbled by the gesture.
Carmona spoke to the congregation about his early years which he spent in south Trinidad. He was influenced, he said by some of his relatives and family friends including sister Petronella and one of his aunts Antoinette Fahey.
He said it was because of them he got involved in a lot of charity work, "which helped me to appreciate those less fortunate". He said during his work he met a lot of simple and beautiful people who inspired him to grow into an even better person.
"They were angels without the wings," he said.
President-elect Carmona did not refer to the ongoing crime situation in Trinidad and Tobago but said, "although there may be secular solutions to the problems we have as a nation, we are spiritually adrift and we need to regenerate spirituality." This, he said would lead to Trinidadians and Tobagonians treating each other much better than they do now.
Carmona also spoke about his future presidency stating that, "Trinidadians like to place emphasis on pomp and protocol." He said however that they did not place enough on "substance" which he added was sorely lacking in the way Trinidadians and Tobagonians did things.
He also, however spoke of the things which are done right in Trinidad and Tobago.
He spoke of the coming together of Catholics and Hindus at the festival of La Divina Pastora in Siparia where both faiths worshipped together. He said having experienced this when he growing up, it embedded in him an undying hope and faith that anyone can make a positive difference.
Fr Rochard, who also spoke to the Express, described Carmona's family as a spiritual one and said he insisted that a mass be held for the President-elect which was unanimously agreed to by the congregation.
He also spoke of Carmona's spirituality which he said is sorely needed at this time as, "the country needed a spiritual base and while we may be of different faiths we all have a spiritual value to contribute".