‘Be men of distinction’
By JULIEN NEAVES Saturday, December 7 2013
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TIME CAPSULE: The Time Capsule of St Mary's College and Holy Ghost Fathers being laid yesterday at the front door of the college. Here, the Foundation...
AS St Mary’s College closed its 150th anniversary celebrations yesterday with the burying of a time capsule, and a mass, the students were urged to be men of distinction, and the hope for this nation.
The call was made by Principal Superior of the Holy Ghost Fathers, Fr Gregory Augustine, chief celebrant at the mass to close the year-long celebrations of the sesquicentennial anniversary of St Mary’s College, and the arrival of the Holy Ghost Fathers at the College chapel, in Port-of- Spain.
The Holy Ghost Fathers is a Roman Catholic congregation of priests, lay brothers and lay associates. They run three schools in this country: St Mary’s, Fatima College and St Anthony’s College. Students past and present were in attendance at yesterday’s mass.
Fr Augustine said in the past year of activities, they focused not only on the last 150 years, but their mission and purpose to throw them into the future. He noted this anniversary year they recognised how highly favoured they are of God.
He said because of the favour and blessedness upon the students, they will be able to tackle the barrenness of our world. In so doing, they were being prepared to be men of distinction.
“Men who are set apart. Men who know they are men with a mission in this world,” he emphasised.
He assured the young boys: “You, the students of St Mary’s College are the hope of our country. The hope of tomorrow.”
He said in the last couple days he was “stunned” by the murders of young children and babies, in one case, the parent being charged.
“Isn’t that barrenness? Isn’t that death?” he asked rhetorically.
He expressed hope that the students will be found worthy through their commitment to excellence, to virtue, and to be men.
“The nation must be able to say, that man came from St Mary’s College,” he said.
During the prayers of intercession they prayed for an end to crime in the land, and to protect the vulnerable and the young.
Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, in his remarks said that history was very important, as knowing our past, we value more our present, and “who we are today”.
“So of course this ceremony this morning is a celebration of what this college has been in the past,” he said.
He noted they were thankful to all those who keep the college at the highest level. He told the students to always be proud of being students of this college “and try really with your commitment to keep St Mary’s College at the highest level and standard, that it has reached during the 150 years, and especially what we are celebrating today”.
“With the blessing of our Pope Francis we look forward to the next 150 years,” he said.
Secretary of the Sesquicentennial Anniversary Celebrations, Nestor Lambert, said over the year they have paid tribute to their heroes, and reflected on their history.
He noted the celebration served to re-awaken among the alumni of the college “memories of great things wrought by the Holy Ghost Fathers, and the sons of St Mary’s College”. He said it also taught the present students about the history of the college, and those who went before them and “the challenging standards for them to emulate”.
St Mary’s head prefect, Marcus Moses, told Newsday he has heard the call to be men of distinction before, but on an occasion like today, it makes your “pores raise” as they realise they have to take this title forward into society, and truly make a difference.
On carrying the great legacy Moses noted it was stressful at times, but “the feeling you get from it really is one of pride and joy” and he is honoured to be head of the student body, and carry this vision.
St Mary’s “old boy” Roger Galt, a finance director, said the discipline he learned from the college has helped shaped the man he is, and he will always treasure the friendships that he made.
The event closed with the burying of a time-capsule that included coins from the Vatican and a copy of Newsday, among other items.. Archbishop Joseph Harris was absent as he is still recovering from recent prostate surgery.
Over the years, St Mary’s has produced men of prominence in many fields, including politics, business, law, medicine, sports and the arts. They include two heads of State, the first Governor-General, Sir Solomon Hochoy, and Sir Ellis Clarke, the country’s first President.