Archbishop calls on Catholic boards to make school spaces available for Dominicans

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 09:30

Roman Catholic Archnishop Joseph Harris, is encourging citizens to open their hearts to Dominicans coming to T&T for relief and has asked Catholic school boards to open their doors to students.

The Archbishop of Port-of-Spain said he was pleasantly surprised when Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced relaxed immigration restrictions and is encouraging families who can help, to host those who are in need.

The Archbishop issued the following statement:

"My dear sisters and brothers and all people of good will,

The two hurricanes which swept through the Caribbean a few short weeks ago have left a trail of destruction unparalleled for many years.

As those of us who luckily were not affected look on, we cannot help but be concerned for the plight of so many of our Caribbean brothers and sisters.

The many who have been rendered homeless, the destruction of so many schools, the total lack of resources medical and otherwise call us to ask ourselves, How can we help?

We can of course put money in the special collections and we can contribute in kind. Is that enough however?

The Golden rule found in the ethical systems of all major religions calls us to extend ourselves a bit more. It calls us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Matthew 7:12 tells us that this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Given the particular financial situation of Trinidad and Tobago at the moment, I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the Prime Minister, Dr. Rowley announce to the nation that the government was waiving certain immigration restrictions for  six (6) months to allow citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica to come to T&T, to families willing to receive them.  

There are many reasons why this should be facilitated. For example, persons undergoing specialized medical treatment which should not be stopped and which is now unavailable in Dominica; students preparing for important secondary school examinations; persons with disabilities in cases where the facilities no longer exist etc.

I call on all families therefore especially those who consider themselves disciples of Jesus Christ to examine their possibilities to see whether or not they can host a person or persons from Dominica who are in need. I call on the Boards of Catholic schools to make places available to students from Dominica.

If God is a Trini and we worship God, then we must allow the Trinitarian love of God to influence our thoughts and actions. Trinitarian love does not remain locked up between two or among three persons. It spills over and embraces those who are in need. At this moment the citizens of Dominica are in need.

Let the love of our families spill over and embrace them. Like us they pray our Father. They are brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us do for them what we would have them do for us if  the circumstances were reversed."