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Catholic Bishop-elect answers the call

Catholic Bishop-elect answers the call

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Bishop-elect Monsignor Jason Gordon says that he intends to spend the first few months engaging persons in dialogue and listening to the needs, once he is officially installed as the second Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kingstown.{{more}}

Monsignor Gordon made his first visit to the country last week, since his appointment as Bishop of the Dioceses of Bridgetown and Kingstown on July 8.

During his recent visit, the Bishop elect, among other activities, celebrated Holy Mass throughout the weekend, paid visits to H.E Sir Frederick Ballantyne, Governor General, and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

He contends that his style of leadership is dialogical.

“I will be walking, talking, meeting, being in people’s spaces, listening to people trying to get to understand this new culture and the country’s history,” he told members of the media last Friday, August 12.

“When that happens then, I will be in a position to start some conversations that would begin the planning process,” Monsignor Gordon continued.

This approach according to the Bishop-elect is the type he has adopted in his previous assignments, his last being Vicar for Administration in the Arch-diocese of Port-of-Spain.

“I try to find the right people to have the right conversations so that we can find the right outputs to move with,” he said.

The Monsignor also explained that he believes his job caters not just to the local Catholic community, but trying to find paths to further development of the people.

Development, he reasoned, is at the heart of what the church is about, and one of the great needs of the region.

“Because the Holy Father has re-echoed in his last encyclical that development is the vocation of the Church,” Monsignor Gordon said.

Being Bishop, he explained, is not just being a figurehead within the Catholic Church, but also someone within the nation who is going to enter into conversation with many other people.

The other aspect of being Bishop, Gordon said, was the ecumenical movement which includes a working relationship with the leaders of the other major faiths within St Vincent and the Grenadines to ensure that there is a witness of Christian unity among the Christian faiths in the country.

“So we can work together on different things,” he said.

Gordon said that he was aware of the differences and potential challenges that come with his new assignment.

“It took me about 15 minutes to get my mind around it and for me to say yes, and it was not because of the diocese and people but because it took a little time to get my heart into what the Holy Father was asking,” he responded, when asked about his initial reaction to his appointment.

“If the Holy Father is asking me to do this, then this is what the

Holy Spirit is asking, and, therefore, this is what I have to say yes to, and once I came to that, then all the complexities of leaving is one thing, and then getting my mind around these two places is the other,” Gordon continued.

Nevertheless, he said that he is ready, willing and able, and most importantly he says that he is here.

Bishop- elect Jason Gordon will be ordained Bishop at the St Patrick’s Cathedral in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Wednesday, September 21, at 4:30 pm, and will be installed here two days later on September 23. (DD)

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