Columns

There's nothing destroyed by man that cannot be raised up by God

Donald
Chambers

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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On the morning of Sunday, September 17, 2017, the Saints Peter and Paul Church family in Liguanea, Kingston, Jamaica, encountered tragedy. At 1:30 am the security guard on duty raised an alarm of fire originating from inside of the church. As a consequence of quick action, the fire brigade and the police were called, and they arrived on the scene within 15 minutes.

At the end of the cooling-down process, it was noticeable that the sacristy (cupboards storing the sacred vestments, the fans, and the lighting fixtures) was about 80 per cent damaged by the fire, vestments and a cross were partially burnt on the altar, and a curtain that formed the backdrop for the Sacred Heart Shrine was completely burnt (see pictures on our social media platform (www.facebook.com/keysandsword). Preliminary investigation indicates that it was a case of arson. Investigation continues uninterrupted.

I also write to give recognition and commendations both to the Jamaica Fire Brigade Service, the detectives assigned to the case, and the policemen and women of Matilda's Corner Police Station, led by Inspector Michael Trail. The fire service led by the officer-in-charge Patrick Levy, detectives Albert, Dorr, and Newman were prompt, professional and personable in their response.

This barbarous incident adds another paragraph to the ongoing social commentary of our nation. It represents a growing disrespect of anything sacred, whether it is human life or places of worship. This incident provides for our church family an opportunity to be in solidarity with hundreds of Jamaicans whose properties are accidentally or deliberately destroyed by fire and whpo are made homeless. We must renew our resolve to continue participating in the ongoing social and spiritual renewal of our country based on the teachings and values of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

As a church family, we believe and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Consequently, we believe that there is nothing that can be destroyed by man that cannot be raised up by God. Consequently, we live by faith and not by sight. Like so many saints and witnesses who have gone before us, we forge ahead to build God's kingdom in Jamaica.

Rev Fr Donald Chambers is pastor of Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church in St Andrew. Send comments to the Observer or thekeysandsword@gmail.com.

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