New Catholic Bishop overwhelmed by enthusiastic welcome on arrival Thursday

Welcome of new Catholic Bishop

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 9TH 2012 (CUOPM) – The new Bishop of St. John’s-Basseterre, the Most Rev. Kenneth Richards says he is overwhelmed by the welcome he has received on his arrival in the Federation on Thursday.

In a brief interview with the media following a warm welcome at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport, as he passed Slacks Pre-School on Wellington Road and his arrival at the Presbytery on East Independence Square Street, Bishop Richards expressed appreciation of the welcome he received, especially from the young people and children of the Immaculate Conception Catholic School, and pointed out that he hopes to dedicate his ministry to the children.

“It is good that they came out and this confirms what has been in my heart. I truly believe that attending to children in their early formation is fundamental which will help us to overcome many of the challenges that we meet. When a child is malformed or not properly formed in the early stage of their life, we see the expressions of the sympathy from their families in general.”

“The Church, our schools and the society in general need to be a part of the upbringing of the children,” said Bishop Richards.

He said he also intends to focus on evangelization and the spread of the Gospel and the nurturing of vocations as a Bishop and a Catholic priest one of the central mysteries of the life of the Church is the celebration of the Eucharist.

“In order for that to be accomplished, we need priests and so I will be targeting that by the Grace of God to raise up young men and women from this region, from this Nation, who will offer themselves in service of the Church and in serving the Church you are serving society that will be to the wholesome development of the person. So I hope to inspire young men and women with respect to the generosity of spirit and to offer themselves not just concentrating on a career that is self-serving,” said Bishop Richards.

“A career is good, if you become a doctor, a lawyer, whatever profession, that is good to give service. Service is good, but sometimes persons need to contemplate. Is God calling me to serve in another way, in a sacrificial way, to give of myself for others and for their total development,” said Bishop Richards, adding: “I am hoping to plant that seed and pray that from the Catholic school that we have here, the Catholic faithful and even persons who are not Catholics- I was not a catholic and here I am a (Catholic) priest many years later.”

Bishop Richards was greeted on arrival at the VIP lounge at the Robert L. Bradshaw Airport by a welcome party. As he alighted from the Arrivals Hall, he was greeted by Parish Priest, Fr. Bernard Latus, church members and students of the Immaculate Conception Catholic School.

Escorted by a police car, the Bishop’s motorcade was greeted by students of Slacks Pre-School waving national flags.

Scores of Immaculate Conception Catholic School students and their teachers ringed Independence Square, waving Catholic and National flags as Bishop Richards’ motorcade.

Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian; Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Sam Condor; Deputy Governor General of Nevis, His Honour Mr. Eustace John; Minister of Health and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Hon. Marcella Liburd, members of the Diplomatic Corps and Consular Corps and religious leaders and Catholics from the several churches on St. Kitts and Nevis attended a Welcome and Thanksgiving Mass at the Immaculate Conception Co-Cathedral on Thursday afternoon.

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