Let Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament be the center of your lives and your school for real change to take place.
It is Wednesday 23rd of March 2016. There is a sense of anxiety in the air. This is the day that has been set aside for Grace Music Ministry to retreat with the girls of St. Gabriel’s Catholic School in San Fernando. This has become an event that many of the members of Grace music Ministry look forward to each year. In fact it was this event that started several years ago, that has led to the outreach program in Catholic schools during Lent. So popular has this program become that GRACE Music Ministry is now asking Catholic primary and secondary schools not to restrict their retreat to Lent only since GRACE can also make themselves available outside of Lent.
Unlike other retreat days in the past, there were two challenges that Grace music Ministry had to overcome; what it was quite overcast and raining in San Fernando, and Artherly Nicholas what still nursing back injury that he sustained a few days ago, and he is one of the main praise and worship leaders with the GRACE.
As we entered the school compound, we could hear the children praying the Holy Rosary together with their teachers and staff of St. Gabriel’s Girls Catholic School. When they were through praying the Rosary and a few other Catholic prayers, they had the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament followed by Benedictions. This was done by one of the permanent Deacons that was ordained a few years ago in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain Trinidad. It was amazing to say the least, to see the reverence and the prayerfulness displayed by the students and staff of St. Gabriel’s Catholic School towards the Blessed Sacrament. Catholic prayer is nothing alien to this school. In fact it is what defines them and makes them who they are.
The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ is present – body, blood, soul and divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. The church teaches and believe that the same Jesus who walked the earth 2000 plus years ago, the same Jesus who healed the sick, the same Jesus who gave sight to the blind, this same Jesus who caused the lame to walk, the same Jesus who caused the dumb to talk, the same Jesus who caused the deaf to hear, the very same Jesus who raised Lazarus and others from the dead; this same Jesus who freely laid down his life and then picked it back up again; this Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist and in the Blessed Sacrament. So let us join some of the dots here. If this Jesus it’s present in the Eucharist and we know that he is, (reference John chapter 6); and this Jesus gives himself to us in the Holy Eucharist and this Jesus is adored in the Blessed Sacrament; then our lives should be transformed.
It is it is transforming Grace that we see every time we visit the St. Gabriel’s Girls Catholic School. Where in the Caribbean we are blessed with a tremendous amount of sunshine, more so these days. If you expose yourself to the sun, then you will get a suntan. Similarly, if you expose yourself to the Son (Son of God) you will get a Sontan. More and more of you who will be changed into the reflection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. This is exactly what we see at St. Gabriel’s Girls Catholic School every time we go there.
At this time in our country’s history, we are faced with a level of violence that we have never known before. There are things that are happening in our schools, and in some instances, our Catholic schools, that were once unthinkable. That being said, I would like to throw out a challenge to every Catholic School in Trinidad and Tobago as well as throughout the world, to incorporate within the normal school curriculum, the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. I would also like to challenge the respective Catholic School boards to do all that they can to help educate the principals and the staff of Catholic schools, about the Catholic faith, especially the Holy Eucharist. I am quite certain that if this is done in our Catholic schools, that would be a huge reduction in violence. I am also certain that we would also see a transformation in our society as a whole. For those Catholic schools in Trinidad and Tobago, Grace Music Ministry is committed to assist in whatever way possible to make this happen.
The day at St. Gabriel’s Girls Catholic School once again lived up to expectations. The day included a surprise rendition of “You Raise Me Up” by little Tisan Sui, who is eight years old. All were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the voice of this little child. The day also included the rededication of all teachers and staff of the school to the service of God, as well as the members of GRACE Music Ministry, TCN staff and sound engineer, Victor Donawa to continue the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the land, and indeed where ever God may send the Music Ministry.