Father Albert was commited to service
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Committee for the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast regrets the passing of Monsignor Richard Albert on November 30, 2015. Father Albert, as a Roman Catholic priest and an American citizen, came to Jamaica in 1976 in the midst of the nation's turbulent war over the politics of post-Independence Jamaica. He was placed to serve in the parish of St Catherine at the Church of Reconciliation in Bridgeport.
Father Albert very quickly undertook the mission of the Church in fostering reconciliation and peace among a people in conflict and war with one another. Over a period of nearly four decades, he established several parish missions in St Catherine and St Andrew, all aimed at reconciliation and the fulfilment of the teachings of Christ to serve "the least of these".
His service to the St Monica's Home for the Aged in St Catherine, the St Patrick's and Riverton communities in lower St Andrew, and the Stella Maris and Grants Pen neighbourhoods in upper St Andrew are well known. He cared for the lepers, the infirm, the victims of HIV/AIDS, the bereaved, the unemployed, the imprisoned, the youth and the aged.
RESPONSIBILITY TO THE POOR
When the Jamaica Council of Churches initiated the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast in 1981, as a member of the organising committee, Father Albert played an instrumental role in galvanising support for the initiative, particularly among the private sector. As treasurer, he secured funding for the annual event and guided its mission towards reaching those in positions of leadership, reminding them of corporate Jamaica's responsibility to take care of the needs of the poor, the destitute and the most vulnerable in the population.
He initiated the idea that at each annual gathering of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast, a voluntary offering should be collected for the poor and destitute as an expression of solidarity and concern for their welfare. That initiative has continued for 35 years.
We are grateful for his boldness in leadership, his courageous actions, and his ecumenical spirit. He had a passion to see the mission and ministry of the Church fulfilling its service to God and addressing the needs and welfare of the poor and the most vulnerable in the society.
As he rests from his labours, may he rest in the peaceful and loving arms of the Saviour and founder of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ.
National Leadership Prayer Breakfast
11 Ardenne Road, Kingston 10