Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Radical Deacon Peter Espeut, celebrated

Published:Sunday | February 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Archbishop Kenneth Richards (right) congratulates Deacon Peter Espeut (left) on his 25th anniversary of being a Gleaner Columinst during Mass at the St.Anne's Church in Denham Town on Sunday.

Deacon Peter Espeut is viewed as radical by his wife and others who know his mind and literary work well, but even though some, at times, disagree with his articles, the support for the veteran Gleaner columnist, who was celebrated at a special church service yesterday, stretches a far way.

Known for profound articles, like 'We all come from pagan origins', which was published December 15, 2017, in The Gleaner, Espeut was saluted yesterday at St Anne's Roman Catholic Church in downtown Kingston, for 25 years of insightful commentary on mostly religious topics in The Gleaner from February 17, 1993 to February 17, 2018.

He is a noted author, sociologist, and environmentalist.

Principal of Campion College, Grace Baston, who studied at university with Espeut, sought to highlight that his radicalism is not one to be feared by anyone.

"Radical (as it relates to Peter) doesn't mean extremist, but going back to your authentic roots. He sees himself as very rooted in his faith and tradition, and much of his writing comes from that place."

His wife of 27 years, Velia Espeut, said she gives God thanks for his success, especially his feat of having more than 1,000 articles published since 1993.

"I didn't realise that he has done 1,220 articles thus far. That is quite a feat. I thank God for him and his work and the fact that we work together for the glory of God and that our mission is not in vain. Radical, he is very much so," she said.




Espeut's long-time friend from high-school days, Swithin Wilmot, said that the pieces written by the deacon don't always receive a nod of approval but they certainly are "openings for ideas".

Former police commissioner, retired Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, who declared he has been a practising Roman Catholic for 57 years, recounted some of the congratulatory as well as disapproving calls he has made to Espeut, while also commending him for the passion he displays in his work.

"I met Peter many years ago through dealing with environmental issues. His passion transcends environmental issues; to anything he puts his mind to, and in equal amounts.

"He is very passionate about Christianity. I read Peter's writings when I see them in the paper. Some I study and many times I am tempted to respond. Some I have responded to, calling him to say he chatted a bit of nonsense or to commend him. The commendations are many but the condemnations are very few," Lewin told The Gleaner.