At 82 years old and one of T&T’s most avid and prolific historians, Fr Michael Anthony de Verteuil CSSp, former principal (1978-1992) of his alma mater of St Mary’s College in Port-of-Spain, st
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Leaders need more humility
As T&T continues to suffer from social and labour unrests, Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Harris says unless leaders adopt roles as servants there will only be arrogance and selfishness. As he washed the feet of confirmation students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral, San Fernando, on Holy Thursday night, he reminded the congregation that Jesus Christ had also adopted an attitude of servant-hood in washing the feet of 12 apostles.
“Unless leaders pattern themselves on Jesus Christ, what we find in them is arrogance and self-serving attitudes which cannot bring about the peace and harmony which we all desire,” Harris said. Preaching the story of the Last Supper, where Jesus taught his apostles the importance of observing the Eucharist, Harris explained that although Jesus was their master and teacher, the symbolic washing of the feet showed his humility. It was this humility, he said, that leaders needed to adopt.
He said, “The memory of Jesus demands of us an attitude of servant-hood, without which the Eucharist cannot be properly celebrated. This is more incumbent on those who consider themselves, or who have been elected or put in places of authority within the Christian community.
“All who consider themselves disciples of Jesus, however, must develop the habit and attitude of servant-hood, without which we make a mockery of the Eucharist. It is relatively easy to wash someone to whom we have an emotional attachment, or if we are being paid to do it, but the attitude of servant-hood has to go beyond helping those to whom we are emotionally attached.”
The Cathedral was filled for the traditional Holy Thursday mass, leaving some worshippers without seats. However, this did not hinder or deter their reverence of Jesus’ death, as even after the service many knelt in their pews offering extra prayers before entering the holy weekend.