Although to some, the concept was a novel one, those more familiar with Bishop Clyde were not surprised by this very hands-on, down-to-earth approach to meeting members of the Catholic community. In fact, such an event should not have been a surprise since, as Caribbean people, we love to have a good reason for us to gather on the beach with loved ones.
The day itself turned out quite nicely. I must admit the passing grey clouds had me a bit concerned; but they delivered their sprinkles of blessings and were soon on their way. Many people planted themselves in the shade of the overhanging trees, while some of the youth passed the time in a friendly match of football. Even if you did bring your own food, the delicious scent of barbecue chicken dancing through the air was too tempting to ignore.
The watch words that Bishop Clyde chose of ‘look, listen, learn, love and laugh’ seemed to be evident all round. It was wonderful to see him going around to meet people, listening to their stories in an effort to learn more about his new flock. The laughter and accents of the blended Caribbean crowd served as a reminder that we are one people. In the background, David Rudder’s melodic voice chanted a reminder through the D. J. speakers to ‘give praise’. Indeed, there was much to give praise for: the natural beauty of God’s creation all around, the chance to fellowship as a Catholic community, and the blessing of finally having a new bishop.
It would have been nice to have a greater turnout from all the parishes. If you missed it, you missed a treat. It is said ‘in our togetherness, castles are built’. It is through our shared faith and fellowship that we will build a strong church community. It is my prayer that we will find ways to participate inside and outside of Mass that will bind us together with love.