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‘Bois’ in Lent

By JULIEN NEAVES Thursday, March 6 2014

click on pic to zoom in
DEEP IN PRAYER: A member of the congregation caught in deep prayer during yesterday's Ash Wednesday Mass at the Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church on Ha...
DEEP IN PRAYER: A member of the congregation caught in deep prayer during yesterday's Ash Wednesday Mass at the Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church on Ha...

CARNIVAL is over and the Catholic season of Lent has begun, but Fr Kenneth Assing brought in the spirit of the stickfighter yesterday as he encouraged the congregation to hold up the “bois” of the cross.

“Is bois when I praying, is bois when I fasting, I will beat them with charity bois, real bois,” Assing sang, and had the parishioners repeat.

“Hold a cross anywhere you going. This is real bois,” he told them.

He made the comments while delivering the homily for the Ash Wednesday service at Sacred Heart RC Church, Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain.

The church was packed yesterday with all seats taken and a number of people having to stand at the sides, to the back, or even outside.

It was especially humid yesterday and during the service one woman collapsed, but was quickly attended to. Another young woman complained of feeling nauseous and stepped outside.

Assing told the congregation that their presence suggested that they have duly entered the Lenten period, and there was now “no turning back”. He said Lent is to usher people into the memory of their Christian life, and a boundary to look ahead to see what spiritual maintenance was required to become the “goodness of God”. He noted the ultimate responsibility is to God, and he requires that all of us return to him “with our whole heart”.

He said Jesus had warned about the subtlety of the demon of pride, and we can be plagued by it when we pray, fast, and do charitable works.

“Pride is the mother of all sins and will obstruct you from becoming the goodness of God and returning to God with our whole heart,” he added.

He said people complained that the church and priests were “not doing anything” but neither can make anyone do anything. The church and priests he explained, can only advise and encourage. At the service, those in attendance placed ashes upon each other’s foreheads in groups of two repeating the phrase “remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return”.

One attendee Evangeline Ramsamooj told Newsday why she was there and what receiving ashes meant to her.

“Well is the beginning of Lent, and this is my religion, and I follow it very seriously,” she said.

She added, “It’s something to strengthen my faith, and be able to learn more about my faith and it brings me closer to my religion,” she declared.

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