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Spiritual revival at St Patricks church
St Patrick’s Roman Catholic parishioner Joycelyn Germain says restoration works on the church cost about $4.5 million and are expected to be completed by May. She made this comment during St Patrick’s Day celebrations at the compound at Newtown, Maraval Road, Port-of-Spain, on Thursday. Germain said: “We changed the tresses and changed the roof. We have gone back to slate. It was sending water too quickly down the walls. We had to put in new lights. We hope to put in new windows. We have done over the stained glasses.” She said St Patrick’s also boasts an 100-year-old organ “which was one of the first to come into the country.”
While celebrations took on a grander scale in Dublin, in New York and places where there are large Irish communities, it was toned down at the church in Newtown. In some places, the rivers and streams are even dyed green. Celebrant Maria Nielson explained they were preparing to mark Parish priest Monsignor Esau Joseph’s 20th anniversary on The Feast of St Joseph Day. It was celebrated in grand style yesterday at his base. Quizzed on his calling, Joseph said: “It’s humbling to know God had called me to serve mankind. I am grateful to the parish of St Patrick’s for the confidence they have reposed in me.”
He sported a Happy St Patrick’s Day cap. Earlier on, deacon Patrick Lawrence delivered the homily in which he called upon the congregation to follow the example of Lazarus and “reawaken” their spirituality. The message was even more timely during the Lenten period when believers are expected to undergo a period of serious introspection and fasting.
About 200 people including scores of children attended mass and enjoyed dinner plates. Greeting Enrico Camejo was celebrant Martin De Silva. His round face lit up as he waxed warm about St Patrick’s celebrations. De Silva said: “It’s a family. It’s about a revival of spirituality. St Patrick has his own history about being a slave and then moving up to be the bishop of Ireland. Ireland has sent so many missionaries; especially priests to T&T. St Patrick’s church has been a blessing to T&T.”
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