May 10, 2021

Letter to the Editor

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letter-to-editorBy Quincy Brown

Two Caymanians to be ordained

I have been invited to attend two ordination ceremonies during the month of May. The first is for a young man named Joseph Kirkconnell. His official ordination to the Priesthood will take place on Saturday, May, 24th at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church on Walkers Road on Grand Cayman. Deacon Joseph has spent the last several years at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, USA. He comes from a strong Catholic family in Cayman, the Wight family. I am familiar with both the Wight and Kirkconnell families. It’s a joyous and momentous moment in our Church.

The second ordination takes place in Texas, USA on May 31st 2014. Deacon Tristan Abbott will be ordained a Priest with in the religious order of S.O.L.T which stands for Society of Our Lady of the Trinity. Deacon Tristan has a sister who’s a sister. Sister Stella Marie is a nun, having taking her vows. Both Deacon Tristan and Sister Stella Marie come from a strong Irish Caymanian Catholic home. Their Mother, Mrs. Moira Abbott is a woman of strong faith. She is one of fervent prayer. I am not surprised that two of her adult offspring would answer the call to serve as religious. I don’t know their father, Mr. Collin Abbott that well. My guess is he’s a man of science and reason.

As a member of the St. Ignatius Catholic Parish in the Cayman Islands, I write this piece as a religious commentary solely of my choosing. I am not writing as a parish employee and my views do no necessarily reflect the parish of St. Ignatius, which includes St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church and Stella Maris Catholic Church. This missive is also not expressing the views of the Archdiocese of Detroit, of which St. Ignatius is administered. I write as a journalist, who is also a practicing Catholic.

It is historic, in that for the first time in Cayman’s Christian history, two of its very own are becoming Roman Catholic Priests. The Catholic Church has had a presence in the Cayman Islands for over sixty years. Priests and other religious served on Grand Cayman hailing from Jamaica, Trinidad, The USA, Ireland, England, India and Africa.

Residents of the Cayman Islands will remember Msgr. John Meaney, Father Devon Nash, Father Mike Molnar, Father Boniface Orgi, Father Paul Bellien, Father Alex Crasta, Father Paul Coutina and [former priest] Graeme Thompson, just to name a few that I remember; there were others who came in as visiting missionary priests such as Father Richard Ho Lung and Father Michael Tapina. It would be remiss of me not to mention the nuns {sisters} from Jamaica, that is to say, ‘the blue nuns’ [sic] and the sisters of mercy who served within St. Ignatius Catholic School. I am hopeful that the day will return where we have nuns and practicing Catholic teachers teaching at St. Ignatius Catholic Schools, both primary and secondary.

So what exactly is an ordination? The ritual by means of which a candidate[s] receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. After sufficient training and approval by the proper ecclesiastical authorities, the candidate may be ordained. The minister of Holy Orders is the bishop. The ordination takes place within the Eucharist, and the principal sacramental sign is the imposition of hands with the accompanying prayer to the holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is called upon to help the one being ordained in his new ministry within the Church. The imposition of hands is an ancient symbolic gesture which implies the giving of authority and delegation to perform certain functions. A Priest’s duties include the proclamation of the Good News of God’s salvation for all people, hearing confessions, presiding at the Eucharist and administering the other sacraments.

All are welcome to attend the ordination ceremony. And as for those unable to attend the ordination ceremony at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Westar/Cayman 27 will carry the ceremony live on local tv.

And as for the future of Catholic evangelization in the Cayman Islands, I am hopeful that EWTN will soon be available on local cable on Cayman Brac as it is currently available on Grand Cayman. I should also like to hear a catholic programme on Radio Cayman or on a local Christian radio station.

Cayman’s Catholic parish used to be administered via the Archdiocese of Kingston, Jamaica. Today the parish is ‘a church on a mission’ administered by the Archdiocese of Detroit, USA. Perhaps one day when the local Catholic Church receives its own resident bishop in Cayman, Cayman will have its own diocese. St. Ignatius is located on Walker’s Road in George Town, Christ the Redeemer is located on Rev. Blackman Dr in West Bay and Stella Maris in Cotton Tree Bay, Cayman Brac.

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