Archbishop Patrick C. Pinder
Time passes quickly it is hard to believe we are already celebrating Christmas once again, but we are. The message of this feast and this season is a very comforting one. It does not vary. It is a message of hope. It is a message of joy. It is a message which defies the gloom of the moment and lifts our thoughts and our spirits as we hear again the words of the prophet and the words of the angel: "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwell in the land of gloom a light has shone." Isaiah 9:1
Darkness can visit us in many forms as we know so well. It is always an uninvited guest yet it can make itself present, unannounced and in an instant. We had our share of it this year when Hurricane Matthew left its devastating effects on a number of islands of The Bahamas. The light which guides us through the darkness comes in the form of Good News. The Gospel of Luke has an angel deliver it in these words: "Do not be afraid for behold I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For today in the city of David a saviour has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord." Luke 2:10ff
We, the Roman Catholic Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference in the Caribbean welcome the proclamation by Pope Francis of a Holy Year of Mercy which commenced with the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on the 8th day of December 2015, and which will end on the Feast of Christ the King on the 20th day of November 2016.
During this period we are re-doubling our efforts to fulfill the Holy Father’s desire that “all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!”
We are facing a special challenge in the life of our nation. The nature of this challenge is not unfamiliar to us. Between October 5 and October 7, Hurricane Matthew passed through The Bahamas leaving severe devastation in its wake.
Archdiocesan Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund
Donations can be made locally to:
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nassau, Bahamas (R.C.A.N.B.)
In the U.S. to:
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nassau Foundation Inc.