The following is a full text of a Independence message by The Most Rev. Charles Jason Gordon Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Bridgetown.
Brothers and Sisters,
Congratulations to the Government and people of Barbados on this 54th anniversary of Independence. This is another proud moment for us to celebrate our collective achievements as a nation, and thank God for his love and protection over the years.
While we celebrate this anniversary at a time when the coronavirus has taken hold of the world with lockdowns, physical distancing and restrictions on gathering, this ‘new normal’, is a good time for us to revisit our priorities as individuals, and as a nation.
In order to move forward, it is always useful to look back, and there is much to be proud of as Barbadians. Our founding fathers built a solid foundation which continues to serve us well today. With God still on the people’s side, we must have no doubts or fears about what the future will hold. “Scripture reminds us that ‘God is near to all who call on Him.’( Psalm 145:18).
Barbadians are known for a strong community spirit and this is a time when even more persons who have, must share with those who do not have. As Pope Francis said: “Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated….The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.” We are all members of one Barbadian family. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We are each other’s keeper.
As we envision and build a Barbados for our children and their children’s children in a COVID-19 and post COVID-19 world, all hands must be on deck. We need the input of all Barbadians and friends of Barbados, wherever we are. This is a time for deep and new thinking, but we know the indomitable spirit of the Barbadian people, and our love of country, will always come to the forefront as we chart a way forward for our nation.
I pray that God continues to be the people’s guide as we start our journey towards 55 years of Independence. I also pray that we continue to relate to one another as members of one Barbadian family, as brothers and sisters in Christ, and that God showers abundant blessings on Barbados, its leaders and its people.