Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen is calling on Jamaicans to be beacons of a new and different society, in order to reverse the social malaise affecting the country. He was speaking at the 45th Anniversary Mass of Priestly Ordination for the Most Rev. the Hon. Charles Dufour, Archbishop of Kingston, held at the St. Theresa Catholic Church on Wednesday, August 12.
The Governor-General said the call to “push back” the forces which threaten social harmony rang out during the recent Independence celebrations and is a reminder that we are called to be God’s beacon in the restoration of the nation’s social fabric. “Jamaicans must serve as that beacon of a new and different society and bear up each other with loving kindness, forgiveness and mercy, and set the stage to reverse the unnerving trend of disrespect, murders and the abuse of even our women and children,” he declared.
Sir Patrick Allen spoke admirably of Archbishop Dufour and commended him for his ecumenical spirit as well as his grace. He emphasized that Archbishop Dufour was patient, meek and of a lowly spirit, notwithstanding his exalted position. Sir Patrick Allen heaped further praise on the Archbishop for his duty of care to others; the kind of care which influenced the establishment of the Good Shepherd Foundation. “Through his work lives have been transformed, the sick have someone to care for them especially in their darkest moment and the dying can do so with dignity and the reassurance that God cares,” the Governor-General said.
In responding to comments by Sir Patrick Allen and other well-wishers, Archbishop Dufour said that he gave his life to Christ at the age of 15 and throughout his Christian walk he has always acknowledged that God is in charge. He said people should never look down on others, especially those who come from the roots, as the majority of Jamaicans are from the root of society. He thanked his ecumenical brothers and sisters and fellow priests in the Roman Catholic Church for their support of him over the years.
The Mass was attended by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, former Prime Ministers, Ministers of Government, Members of Parliament and a host of other dignitaries, as well as relatives and friends of the Archbishop.