Diary of the Ghetto Priest | My 78th birthday
My birthday was September 17. It was a surprise what happened. I asked Fr Hayden Augustine and other brothers to please keep it quiet. I wanted to fast and abstain. I wanted to pray all day. I wanted to give thanks to God for all He has given me and what He has done. I am now 78 years old, and 47 years a priest.
I also wanted to have Him place His hand upon me and direct me for the rest of my life. There is nothing else.
Then Fr Hayden Augustine told me. At 3 North Street, The Rev Al Miller and the Fellowship Tabernacle Community, including Hazel his wife, and Rev Rattray would be hosting the entire Missionaries of the Poor community, which is 200 brothers, 30 sisters and other friends, at a dinner involving music, short speeches, and a wonderful meal.
I was deeply moved, really moved!
Rev Al has been a friend for many years. He is a brave man, a wonderful speaker, a true believer in Christ, and a very effective pastor and leader in our country. He can really pour out himself with the word of God in music or in the spoken word. He has a great sense of humour and is crazy in love with God. He has never said no in accommodating Missionaries of the Poor in our needs, and has a great love for the poor. His spirit spreads over the churches that he runs.
CHURCHES NEED TO UNITE
Ecumenism, brotherhood in Christ, oneness of heart and mind! That is the vision in the new evangelisation. All the Christian churches in Jamaica need to unite. We cannot separate!
The Seventh-day Adventists - which is the largest denomination in Jamaica today - the Baptists, the Anglicans, the Church of God, the Pentecostals, the Roman Catholics: We are all different yet one under Christ, the one true Son of God!
All of us are under the word of God. We are blessed with the word of God. We must not only hear the Word, but do the Word: speak it, live it, obey it.
Jamaica is being attacked today by the principalities and powers like the European Union, the World Bank, USAID. The activities against life such as abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriages, buggery, are being promoted by agencies that seem like friends, but it is a matter of gaining the world, not suffering the loss of our souls.
In promoting such evils, Jamaica is sliding into secular materialism, which is against ethics and morality that promote the laws of God.
We churchmen must defend the commandments of God. For the sake of popularity, we might be tempted to go the route of eliminating ethics, which is the route to atheism, agnosticism, and, a pagan civilisation, which is spiritual death.
HEART OF CHRIST
United in heart and mind under Christ, I have found Rev Al Miller and the Fellowship Tabernacle communities have been able to strengthen our Missionaries of the Poor's conviction that the love for the poorest and most destitute of people is at the heart of Christ.
Many other Christian churches, such as Rev David Henry and the Swallowfield Chapel, Rev Devon Dick of the Boulevard Baptists, Franz Fletcher from Church on the Rock, and so many other wonderful Christian brothers and sisters, have the same spirit and church interest - Jesus' love of the poor.
It is time right now! It is a necessity! We must be united against the enemy - the devil is seeking to denounce our Christian faith. We must appreciate our faith in Christ and our commonality rather than let our differences divide us. We need to be bound together with the same moral principles of love of the moral commandments of God.
What a beautiful evening we shared last Sunday. It's the best birthday I have had for a long time. It was for me, and all the brothers, the fulfilment of the Lord's desire.
"Let them be one as you and I are one."