Our Lady of Mount Carmel held its annual Thanksgiving Luncheon on Nov. 24, 2016, to feed the homeless, the less fortunate or anyone who needed a meal. More than 100 people were served. Volunteers included the youth of the parish.
The students (from left to right) were Steffi Emilien,Ronald Lee Jr., I’Lon Monsanto, Linique Dagou, Patrick Hendrickson Jr., Wendell Laurencin, Cassandra Ferguson & Tyric Reggie.
Fr. Anthony Abraham con-celebrated the Mass. In attendance were Deacons Peter C. Laurencin & Cassius Mathurin.
Bishop Herbert Bevard, Fr. Anthony Abraham and teacher Rita Peltier with Delsa Ashly, Adelta Mathurin, Zoriah Noel, Ashley Doway and Zaria Longueville who received the Sacrament of Confirmation on April 12, 2014.
Fr. Anthony Abraham and teacher Maggie Metor with Zach Longueville, Nadia Leoni and Shane Paris-Creque who made their First Communion on June 22, 2014.
Graduates Machoy & Mekai Valmond, Kohun Eugene, Jovanna Laurencin, Adelta Mathurin, Francine Francis & Cyrillia Casimir received gifts from the parish for their service to the church. Missing was Shiquela Monsanto.
Father Anthony and Cassius,
I visited the beautiful US Virgin Island of St. John with my family for spring break from March 22nd – 29th. As customary on our vacations we go and celebrate Mass with the local church and its parishioners. While I do view myself as a good Catholic, I will be honest that church has never been my favorite part of vacation, but rather a tradition. As I walked into the doors of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Church, tired from a day of travel, I expected nothing more than the usual; a Mass celebrated in an exotic and beautiful corner of the Earth overshadowed by the fun to come later in the day. Boy was I wrong!
Never in my life have I felt so at home and so relieved than during that Sunday Mass sitting in the front row at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. I can still hear the echoes of Maggie’s voice as she belted out:
“O sinner, why don’t you answer? Somebody’s knocking at your door.”
The involvement of the parishioners was awe-inspiring, shouting “amen” and “that’s right” after strong statements by Father during the homily. Everyone was so involved and so attuned to the Mass; I did not yawn nor daydream once I was enjoying the Mass so much. The Mass went for 90 minutes, 30 more than here in the States, and the homily for 35 minutes, probably double what we receive in the States. It sounds like I am complaining, but honestly, I wish the Mass would have gone all day. I did not need a beach, a cold drink, a good tan, or a sea turtle spotting; what I needed was a better understanding of God’s Word, and I received more than I bargained for that day.
I enjoyed that Sunday Mass so much, that I asked my parents if we could go to Mass again on Friday before we left St. John the next Saturday morning. Together, we convinced the rest of our group to return Friday night for Mass. As the Mass began, again I felt the overwhelming sense of being at home. I had no worries; no fears, no fatigue, and a sense of happiness filled the air. I did not know why. I was not at my country homestead were I was raised in Missouri, I was not in my dorm room in college, I was not on the golf course, so why did I feel so at home? As Father Anthony began to give his homily, I realized I felt at home because I was closer to God than ever before, sharing in a prayer and gathering with him and 40 other followers. You may be asking yourself at this point why I did not feel this way during my Masses here in Missouri. Well, part of that I attribute to Father Anthony. Your homilies are a gift from God. If I had the money to do it, I would fly down to St. John every Sunday just to hear one. They are so impactful because you take the Scripture reading and then apply it to the parishioners in a real-world scenario. This is difficult to do, the Bible was written many years ago, and much has changed since then, but the way you relate it to my life and every parishioners’ life makes it feel as if we are being spoken to directly by God. The other part of this sense of “home” I attribute to Cassius, Maggie, and all the parishioners. So willing to rejoice in God and proclaim their love for him aloud, it inspires everyone to speak up and speak out.
I want to personally thank you both for changing my life. I hope that our paths will cross again, but if they do not I will always remember you Father Anthony and Cassius. If I had one-tenth of the passion and love you both radiate for Jesus and your faith, I would die a happy man. One day, I dream to speak with as much conviction and power as you do during your homilies Father Anthony. It is still a mystery to me how you give such powerful homilies, they are truly an inspiration.
I have enclosed some pictures that we took with you as well; they are labeled on the back with our names. Please keep our family in your prayers that we may glorify God in our daily lives. Also, as I am still single, please pray that the woman I marry will be one who I can grow my Catholic faith with and grow closer together as we grow closer to God.
Finally I have sent a check, I know it is not much (I am a college student). Use it for the founding of the Catholic Church at Coral Bay. If there is one thing I realized during the Masses at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel it is that we need to get Father Anthony and Cassius in front of as many Catholics as possible. You two truly could change the Catholic Church together; you have already changed my life.
Thank you for your time and God Bless.