St Gerard’s Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholics and Government officials in Anguilla welcomed the newly-appointed Bishop of St. John’s/Basseterre, the Most Reverend Kenneth Richards, to the island this week. He succeeds his fellow Jamaican countryman, Bishop Donald Reece, who retired from the position but serves as President of the Jamaica Council of Churches.
Bishop Richards, 53, was the main celebrant at the Mass at St. Gerard’s on Sunday, May 13, alongside Parish Priest, Fr. Pawl Czoch. There he met and exchanged greetings with parishioners both at the Church and at a reception later at the nearby Conference Centre. On Monday he paid courtesy calls on Governor Alistair Harrison and Chief Minister Hubert Hughes. He also visited Heritage Collection Museum East End, where he met its Curator, Colville Petty, OBE, and toured various other parts and facilities of the island.
The Bishop, who was appointed in November 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI, has responsibility for Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat and Anguilla.
He spoke about his vision for the Roman Catholic Church which, he said, was concerned with growth in faith and growth in numbers: “I hope that during my time as Bishop of this Diocese, that I can nurture, among our young people, an awareness of any call to serve the Church,” he stated. “Of course in the Catholic Church it requires great sacrifice but, if you truly love God, and if you receive a calling, sacrifice is relative. It then becomes a delight and a joy as it has been for me.”
He continued: “The Church also has to meet the challenge that society is facing, and I have to lead the Church with respect to that. First of all, there is an awareness of the complexity of social conditions affecting the way of life of our people. In recent times the challenge that economies are facing is posing difficulty for family existence, sustenance and livelihood, and the Church has to facilitate a means with respect to how it ministers during this wave of economic difficulty and challenge.