January 27, 2009 Nassau, Bahamas The celebration mass held last Sunday, January 25th, launched the 75th Anniversary celebrations for the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church. Over 800 parishioners and prominent country leaders were in attendance at the service which was presided over by Father Gomes. Among other special guests in attendance were the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Mr. Hubert Ingraham, His Excellency, Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Mr. Arthur D. Hanna and Deputy Prime Minister, The Honorable Brent Symonette, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Also in attendance were Mr. Michael Barnett, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Minister of Social Services, the Hon Loretta Turner Butler M.P. This marks the first in a series of year long events that will be apart of these 75th Anniversary Celebrations.
The Theme of the Church of St Joseph’s year of celebrations is, “St Joseph’s, Looking Back, Moving Forward, as a Family of Faith.” The Church is a part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, which is led by the Archbishop, Patrick Pinder.
These 75 years have been good to St Joseph’s Family, a ministry founded in the heart of the historic Bain Town and Chippingham communities. St Joseph’s continues to be a spiritual and moral compass in these communities, and for people born and raised in them. The church’s cornerstone was laid in 1933 and several generations of Bahamian families continue to embrace St Joseph’s as their spiritual home.
The Parish outreach Ministries are dynamic and vibrant and support the building up of the members and community. The Adult Day Care Centre, Youth Ministries, Saturday Soup Kitchen and Home Visitation Ministries are but some of the areas in which the Parish gives support and fellowship to the parishioners and the communities.
The Parish Centre is under construction and progressing steadily. Soon, the communities will have a place to meet for social and other gatherings.
The School, now amalgamated with St Francis School as St Francis and St Joseph’s Catholic School, continues to provide the same excellent quality primary education it has over the years. Through the pioneering work of Fr Marcian Peters, the St Bernard’s Sporting Club gave many Bahamian sports personalities their start. Persons including Dr B.J. Nottage and Tom (The Bird) Grant were members of the St Bernard’s Sporting Club.
As dynamic and enthusiastic Church people, the members plan to celebrate the 75th Anniversary for one year, 2009-2010.
During the year, they will also pay tribute to those who have provided spiritual guidance to the Church, including the religious and lay leaders, and to the communities and individuals that have supported the ministry over the years.
In addition to this Special Mass held on Sunday, January 25th at 10 a.m., the calendar of Events will include activities by the Senior Choir, a special Seventy-fifth Anniversary Bazaar, a Boat Cruise, a Walkathon, and a Grand Banquet to end the year in January 2010. All Bahamians are invited to come and join with St.Joseph’s in their year of celebrations, as they look back, and move forward, in faith.