Carmona: Live a spiritual life
By Darcel Choy Monday, March 4 2013
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Family prays: (Left to right) President-elect Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona joins hands with his wife Reema and their children Christian and Anura du...
President-elect Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona yesterday admitted that although he was not perfect, he was a product of spirituality.
Carmona, a former High Court judge, said there was one solution that citizens were not invoking in their lives.
“That solution is one of practicing spirituality and not simply one of just coming to church every Sunday morning,” the President-elect told the congregation at the Church of the Assumption, Maraval, in an impr-
During yesterday’s mass, parish priest, Father Garfield Rochard called up Carmona to the front of the church so he could be blessed. Rochard asked the parishioners to extend their right hands as he prayed and asked God to fill Carmona with his spirit and allow him to use the Gospel of Jesus to the well-being of the society during his Presidency.
After his blessing, Carmona spoke to the packed church where he encouraged citizens to persevere when it came to their children, their families and their relationships.
“Sometimes we give up too easily in terms of the battles that we encounter in our daily lives but we need to persevere,” he said.
Carmona noted that Trinidad and Tobago was a spiritually-driven nation, that had many faiths. He told his story about his family pointing out that he is a Catholic while his wife, Reema Harrysingh-Carmona, is a Hindu. He said when they got married, they celebrated at the La Divina Pastora Church in Siparia where both Hindus and Catholics worship together.
Carmona attended mass with his wife and their two children Christian, 12 and Anura, ten, as well as other family members. After the mass, he hugged and greeted several people who approached him.
Delivering his homily, Rochard reminded parishioners that Carmona was named after St Thomas Aquinas, who is regarded as one the pre-eminent saints of the Catholic Church. He expressed hope that Carmona uses his religious upbringing to influence the country.
During her address in Parliament on February 15 after the eighth meeting of the Electoral College, which confirmed Carmona for the Presidency, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had described the President-elect as “a man of the people”.
A man “on equal with the highest echelons of our Land” but who still “rubbed shoulders with the ordinary folk on his regular journeys on the water taxi to and from San Fernando or joining hands with fellow parishioners at services at the Church of the Assumption and at the La Divina Pastora Church on Sundays.”
Carmona who will celebrate his 60th birthday on Thursday is expected to be officially installed as the country’s fifth President on March 18.
The oath of office will be administered by Chief Justice Ivor Archie during an inauguration ceremony, at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain.
The inauguration takes place one day after President George Maxwell Richards’ term in office comes to an end on March 17. Because March 17 is a Sunday, the Constitution specifically calls for the event to be held one day later, on March 18, the next available working day.
The Constitution also makes clear that where the President is unable to perform his duties or the office is vacated that the Senate President
will act as President. As such from March 17 to 18, Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith will act as President.
There is to be a ceremonial salute for outgoing President Richards and the Regiment Band is to play a key role. Former President Arthur NR Robinson, who has been ailing, may attend if he is able to. Former Chief Justices, Senate Presidents, religious heads, and politicians are also expected to be invited.
Students of the Santa Flora Government School as well as Presentation College, San Fernando — both schools which Carmona attended — are expected to attend. Other schoolchildren will also be a part of the proceedings.