Catholic Band leader saddened
Tuesday, February 12 2013
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Masqueraders in The Catholic Band enjoying themselves in Port-of-Spain, yesterday. ...
AMID all of the Carnival festivity, a mood of sombreness and sadness yesterday overcame the Word and Associates – also known as ‘The Catholic Band’ – after news of the planned resignation of Pope Benedict XVI broke early yesterday morning as the band was mobilising to cross the Queen’s Park Savannah stage.
“My immediate reaction was one of sadness,” bandleader Deacon Derek Walcott told Newsday after news broke. “Because Pope Benedict is a tremendous theologian and an excellent teacher of the doctrine of the church.
“Before we do anything, the band normally prays and what we did today was pray for our Holy Father now that he is in the winter of his life, wishing him good health and also praying for the church as it seeks, now, to select a new pope.”
The Vatican announced Pope Benedict XVI would resign due to ill-health at the end of this month, in the process becoming the first pope to do so in almost 600 years.
Veteran mas man and pierrot grenade Felix Edinborough, who is also a key figure behind the Catholic Band, said of the resignation, “I respect his decision.”
“He knows how his body feels,” Edinborough told Newsday. “That position needs someone in good health.”
This is the third year the Catholic Band – based at Taylor Street, Woodbrook – has hit the road. The band was the brainchild of Archbishop Joseph Harris. Its presentation this year is entitled Leviticus.
In 2012, it presented Exodus, which captured the medium band of the year title. It normally attracts a following of 250 to 300 mas players. Walcott said while saddened by the resignation, he was heartened by Pope Benedict’s decision to step down.
“It demonstrates what a beautiful human being he is, that he understood that he was no longer able to do the job the way God wanted him to do and that it was therefore time to pass the mantle on to another,” Walcott said. “This is an example that should be followed by world leaders. He recognised that it was time to pass the baton and this showed his humility, the fact that he was not willing to hold on to the trappings of power. In one sense I am saddened, yet in another sense I am encouraged by this.”
Perhaps fittingly, the band mobilised just outside of the Rosary Church, on the corner of Park Street and Henry Street, yesterday morning before heading to the Queen’s Park Savannah stage.