Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Vigil

The Easter Vigil Mass started in darkness outside the church with the blessing of the holy fire from which the Easter candle was lit. Above, Fr. John Mark prayed the blessing at St. Joseph Church on St. Croix.

Left, Fr. Charles Crespo baptized Alice Barber during the Easter Vigil at St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas.

Right, four youth prepared to be baptized at St. Ann Church on St. Croix. Their sponsors stood behind them.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

The Hispanic Catholic communities on St. Thomas and St. Croix this afternoon did a Living Stations of the Cross.
The St. Thomas community (right) marched down Main Street, ending in front of Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral with His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, watching from the steps.
Left, the soldiers made Jesus carry his cross from Sacred Heart Chapel to Holy Cross Church on St. Croix.
At St. Joseph Church on St. Croix, the passion play featured the Blessed Virgin Mary weeping at the foot of the crucifixion of Christ

Deacon Bernard Gibs held the crucifix during the Veneration of the Cross at St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Thursday

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, visited the repositories of all the St. Thomas churches after his Holy Thursday Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral. He is pictured here (center) with others at St. Anne Chapel.

Fr. John Mark washed the feet of the apostles at St. Joseph Church on St. Croix.

Capital Improvements

St. Joseph High School on St. Croix received a $42,834 capital improvements drinking water grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, administered locally by the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, to install a new reverse osmosis treatment unit and an ultra violet water purification system and for needed repairs to down spouts for the cisterns.
Workmen roped off and surveyed the land next to Building 8, the future school chapel, a week ago. They used a backhoe to dig around the existing water pump yesterday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chrism Mass 2011

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, celebrated the annual Chrism Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas this afternoon. At this Holy Week celebration, he consecrated the three holy oils that were then bottled and distributed to all the parishes of the diocese for sacramental purposes. Also at that celebration, all priests serving in the diocese renewed their ministerial commitment to the diocese and renewed their promise of obedience to the bishop.

Students in Spain

Aixys Valentín-Morales, Spanish teacher at St. Joseph High School on St. Croix, has taken some of her students on a week-long study trip to Spain. She wrote on April 18 that they went to a monastery in Monserrat, Barcelona, where they visited the Virgin of Monserrat. “We attended Mass there in Catalan, the official first language in Barcelona.”

Pictured above, Enrique Arroyo (Grade 11) and Jonathan Morales (Grade 9) posed in front of St. Joseph statue at the monastery.
Pictured left, Jonathan Morales examined the image of the Virgin of Monserrat in the monastery.

Lenten Youth Retreat

Fr. John Mark (far right) led a Lenten retreat for altar servers and all youth at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on St. Thomas on April 16. He taught them about the Mass. About 60 youth from all parishes attended.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Governor's Luncheon

Students from St. Patrick School on St. Croix and their principal, Elizabeth John-Baptiste, posed with Gov. John de Jongh after a luncheon at the American Legion Hall on April 15.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, blessed palms at the back of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on St. John on Saturday evening. He was assisted by Fr. Anthony Abraham, administrator.

To see many more Palm Sunday photographs from this and other Virgin Islands churches, click here.

Children Choir

The Children Choir ministered in song at Mass this morning at St. Joseph Church on St. Croix.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Clean-Up Day

Members of St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas, including seven members of the newly-formed Girls Scouts troop, are moving stones and raking the land outside the chapel hall this morning. The land will be paved in the near future and will be the foundation for a road to the chapel. Many more photographs can be seen by clicking here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Students Go to Spain

Fr. John Mark, president and future principal of St. Joseph High School on St. Croix, led a prayer for the students embarking on a study trip to Spain at the Rohlson Airport this morning. Spanish teacher Aixys Valentin-Morales has taken 11 students on the week-long trip.

Lobbying for the Poor

Michael Akin, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, met with Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress Donna Christian-Christiansen at the 2011 Congressional Black Caucus’ Health Braintrust/National Minority Quality Forum in Washington, DC, on April 12. The delegate is chair of this forum. Mr. Akin was in the nation’s capital for the spring meeting of diocesan directors for Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA). The directors met with their elected representatives to discuss CCUSA’s anti-poverty initiatives, including the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act, which was proposed by CCUSA.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Leveling Land at St. Anne Chapel

A backhoe began leveling the land between St. Anne Chapel and the chapel office and social hall on St. Thomas this morning. This space initially will be used for additional parking, but later will allow for the construction of an access road to the chapel.

Diocesan Youth Choir

Members of the Diocesan Youth Choir ministered during Sunday Mass at St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas on April 10. They will be visiting other churches as well. Fr. Charles Crespo gave them a blessing at the end of Mass.

Fun Day Raises Funds for Homeless Shelter

Bethlehem House Shelter for the Homeless is benefitting from proceeds collected at a Fun Day at the Marin Center in Antilles School on St. Thomas on April 10. The day featured food, games prizes and a very popular pie throwing contest. This is the fourth consecutive year for the event, which was conceived by upper school students.

Solar Panels

St. Ann Church on St. Croix is among the 19 non-profit groups that recently received a grant from the Virgin Islands Energy Office’ Discretionary Grant program to be used for the purchase and installation of solar panels. According to Msgr. Michael Kosak, pastor, the $50,000 grant will be used to install two three-kilowatt systems. Each system has 18 solar modules (185w each) for a total of 36 solar modules. The system will be grid-tied to the Water and Power Authority (WAPA) so that when the church’s power needs are greater than the solar modules can produce, the church will be able to use WAPA. When the panel produces enough power for the church’s energy needs, the WAPA meter spins backwards. Msgr. Kosak will be able to monitor the energy consumption on the internet.
Pictured above, Msgr. Michael Kosak, Pastor of St. Ann Church, St. Croix, congratulated his project manager and parishioner, Arthur Burton, for his assistance in obtaining the grant from the Virgin Islands Energy Office and his selection of West Indies Solair for the installation of the solar modules.


Ss. Peter and Paul School on St. Thomas held its annual STEM Fair on April 7. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Celebrity Scientist

Dr. Cecil Jennings, a research fishery biologist from the U.S. Geological Survey and an adjunct professor of fisheries at the University of Georgia, participated in the Celebrity Scientist program at St. Joseph High School on St. Croix. He spoke to the students in the St. Joseph Church Hospitality Lounge and Learning Center on April 7 for an hour about Virgin Islands natural history, stewardship and responsibilities in preserving the environment and career opportunities in marine and environmental science.
The visiting Celebrity Scientist program is sponsored by the Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VI-EPSCoR) and is funded by the National Science Foundation. It is designed to increase research and education capacity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within the territory.

Honor Roll

The honor roll students at St. Joseph High School on St. Croix were announced after the school Mass at St. Joseph Church on April 6. The honor roll comprises all the students who received a B or higher average.

Virgin Islands History Month

The steel band from St. Patrick School on St. Croix participated in the fifth annual Virgin Islands History Month Music series, “The Sounds of Music,” at the Frederick Dorsch Cultural Center on St. Croix on April 1. Pictured above, the band performed “This Little Light of Mine.”

Farewell to Sr. Marina Picardal, ICM

The Chain of Soladarity Organization, a St. Croix-based coalition of religious and laity dedicated to sponsoring relief work in Haiti, held a thank you and farewell dinner for Sr. Marina Picardal, ICM, on March 30, as she prepares to retire to her homeland in the Philippines. She had been at the helm of the organization for the past few years, but as her time draw near for her to leave she made sure that the group has officers in place to carry on the work.

Stations of the Cross

Deacon Bernard Gibs and the youth of St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas lead the Stations of the Cross each Friday of Lent.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

St. Joseph High School Students of the Month

St. Joseph High School on St. Croix recognized its Students of the Month after the school Mass at St. Joseph Church on April 6. Pictured left to right: Adrian Gillem (Grade 12); Shanika Williams (Grade 11); and Shandelia Hendrickson (Grade 9). Christopher Rosario, Grade 10, was not present for the photograph.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Stained Glass Windows

Fr. Neil Scantlebury blessed the new stained glass windows at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on St. John this weekend.

Cathedral Restoration Project

Restoration efforts progress at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas. The marble seating area for priests, deacons and altar servers was removed last week in order to construct a water diversion trench underneath. For the weekend Masses, the area was covered with boards and the priests and servers sat on folding chairs.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Seminarian Receives Ordination Dates

Msgr. Jerome Feudjio, director of clergy and religious, has announced that seminarian Eduardo Ortiz will be ordained to the diaconate and to the priesthood this year. His Excellency, Bishop Francisco Gonzalez, will ordain him to the diaconate at St. Michael Church in Brandywine, Maryland, on April 30. His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, will ordain him to the priesthood at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas on July 30.
Pictured above, Fr. William Palardy (left), rector of Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, and Mr. Ortiz signed the Oath and Profession of Faith at the seminary in Weston, Massachusetts on March 22.