Monday, January 31, 2011

Right to Life March

Fr. Patrick Lynch, CSsR, pastor of St. Patrick Church on St. Croix, posed in the center of his group at the Right to Life March in Washington, DC, on January 24.

Catholic Schools Week Begins at Sunday Mass

Catholic Schools Week began with Mass this past weekend. Pictured above, Vidal Peña of Ss. Peter and Paul School on St. Thomas spoke about his school during the parish announcements at one of the Sunday Masses at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral.
Fr. John Mark, Deacon James Verhoff and student participants from St. Joseph High School on St. Croix prepared for the procession at the beginning of Mass at St. Joseph Church on Saturday evening. Fr. Mark is the president of St. Joseph High School and the pastor of St. Joseph Church.

Khalil Cyril, a seventh grader at St. Patrick School on St. Croix, took up the collection during Sunday Mass at St. Patrick Church.

Santo Niño Mass on St. Thomas

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, celebrated the second Mass honoring the Santo Niño at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas yesterday. The Filipino choir (pictured right) sang several hymns and prayer responses in the Filipino language.

Bishop Bevard and concelebrant Msgr. Antonio Verzosa posed with some members of the Filipino community after Mass.

Baptism Classes

Deacon Jose Vazquez prepares families in Spanish for the baptism of their children on Sunday mornings at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral's Hospitality Lounge on St. Thomas.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cathedral Restoration Project

The marble is being removed from the pillars at the back of Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas as renovations continue and the pillars are being strengthened. The marble is being replaced with plywood.
The pillars are now wrapped in heavy plastic, as shown above. In the meantime, metal braces were bolted next to the pillars from the floor to the balcony, pictured above. Today's midday Mass was moved to the St. Therese Chapel next door, but the church was cleaned up so that the evening Spanish Mass was back in the cathedral.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dr. Alfred Heath Receives the Keys and Sword Award

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, presented Dr. Alfred Heath with the second annual Keys and Sword Award at a white-tie dinner dance at the Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort on St. Thomas tonight. The fundraiser was for the Cathedral Restoration Project.

Most Rev. Herbert Bevard, bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, announces that Pope Benedict XVI has awarded Dr. Alfred Heath membership in the Society of St. Gregory the Great, the highest honor given by the Vatican to a lay person, and pins the surprised recipient with the medal.

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, presents Dr. Alfred Heath with the papal document enrolling him as a member of the Society of St. Gregory the Great.

Our Lady of Altagracia

About 70 Hispanics marched in procession behind an image of Our Lady of Altagracia from Market Square to Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas last night for a Spanish Mass honoring the patroness of the Dominican Republic.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cathedral Restoration Project

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, and Msgr. Jerome Feudjio, rector of Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral, took a hands-on look at the restoration work being done yesterday. The bulk of the work this week has been on preparing for the repairs to the roof.

The Keys and Sword Award Benefit tomorrow night at the Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort will raise funds for the restoration project. Ticket information can be found at the

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Legion of Mary

  • Presidium María, Arca de la Alianza, holds meetings in Spanish at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral’s Hospitality Lounge on Sundays at 2 p.m.
  • Presidium Mary, Mystical Rose, meets in Holy Family Church’s classroom on Sundays at 3 p.m.
  • Presidium Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, meets at the St. Anne Chapel Hall on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. (pictured above)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Keys & Sword Award Volunteers

Charlotte Banks, one of the coordinators of the Keys and Sword Award Benefit, explained logistics for the event to Bishop Herbert Bevard, Msgr. Jerome Feudjio and a roomful of volunteers at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral’s Hospitality Lounge on St. Thomas tonight, five nights before the event.

World Apostolate of Fatima

World Apostolate of Fatima
The World Apostolate of Fatima on St. Croix is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011. The cell meets at Our Lady's Chapel (seen in the background) of Holy Cross Church on Tuesdays at 5 p.m.
The statue of Our Lady of Fatima above the entrance of the chapel was brought from Portugal by former pastor Father Al Bradley, CSsR, while on a pilgrimage to Fatima. The cell acquired a smaller one shortly thereafter to have present at the meetings and to make visitations to a home each week.

Diocese Begins Audit

Dioceses in the United States must do an annual audit. Pictured above, outgoing finance officer Kathleen Laseter met with Christy Martineau at the Catholic Chancery, the business offices of the bishop and the diocese, on St. Thomas on January 18 to review the diocese’s financial records for the year ending June 2010.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Santo Niño meeting

Msgr. Antonio Verzosa and several Filipinas are meeting right now at the St. Anne Chapel hall to discuss the upcoming Santo Niño celebrations. Santo Niño (the Holy Child Jesus) is a traditional devotion in the Philippines. A novena begins this Friday at St. Anne Chapel with a holy hour at 6 p.m. and a Mass at 7 p.m. The Santo Niño image will be carried nightly from home to home, as the novena continues. The closing event is a Santo Niño Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on Sunday, January 30, at 10:30 a.m., which will showcase Filipino music and culture.

Holy Family Church Hosts Fun Day

Fr. Neil Scantlebury, pastor,
and Fr. Anthony Abraham,
parochial vicar, joined in a game of cricket.
Over 200 parishioners of Holy Family Church on St. Thomas enjoyed a sunny Family Fun Day at the University of the Virgin Islands’ golf course on January 16. The event was in honor of the parish’s patronal feast day on December 26.
Face painting

Games included Needle and Thread

Bishop Celebrates Masses on St. Croix

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, celebrated the Santo Nino Mass last night at Holy Cross Church. This morning he celebrated Mass at St. Joseph Church at 7 a.m., then Mass at Sacred Heart Chapel at 9 a.m. Tonight he will be a guest on Catholic Islander Radio on WSTA 1340 AM at 6 :30 p.m.

Above, he is pictured preparing for Mass at St. Joseph Church with Deacon Neville Charles and Fr. John Mark, pastor. Below, Bishop Bevard gave his homily.

Man of the Year

Michael Akin, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, was named by The St. Croix Avis one of its People of the Year. According to the article, featured on the front page and page 2 of the January 16-17 newspaper, Mr. Akin was among five individuals selected for their devotion to caring for the less fortunate in the community, specifically by feeding the homeless and less fortunate on a daily basis throughout the territory. The front page featured a photograph of Brenda Charles, kitchen manager of CCVI’s soup kitchen on St. Croix, serving food to a client. Pictured above, Mr. Akin posed outside CCVI’s Bethlehem House Shelter for the Homeless on St. Thomas.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

STX Filipinos Celebrate the Santo Niño

Bishop Herbert Bevard
His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard, celebrated a Mass honoring the Santo Niño de Cebú at Holy Cross Church on St. Croix on January 15. 
Msgr. George Tomachek

Msgr. George Tomichek of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who ministers to Filipinos worldwide, concelebrated and preached. The Mass and the reception after the Mass highlighted the faith, music and culture of the Philippines.
Filipino Culture
Filipino Choir

The devotion to the Santo Niño de Cebú dates back to the 16th century. The wooden image of the Holy Child Jesus is considered the oldest religious relic in the Philippines. The traditional feast day is the third Sunday in January.

The Filipinos on St. Thomas begin a novena of Masses this Friday and close with a Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on Sunday, January 30, at 10:30 a.m., celebrated by Bishop Herbert Bevard and concelebrated by Msgr. Antonio Verzosa.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Awards

Nicole Joseph, a senior at Ss. Peter and Paul School, was among the seven students who were honored by the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas at a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., memorial on January 14.
The annual ceremony, which takes place in the synagogue within the context of the Reform Jewish worship service, honors one student from each of the St. Thomas high schools. Principals or guidance counselors nominated these students for leading lives that exemplify Dr. King’s teachings. Ms. Joseph is presently her senior class president, is a member of the Diocesan Youth Ministry Choir and leads the youth liturgy committee at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral.
In addition to the recognition, the students received a $500 U.S. Savings Bond and a book, Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King and the Jewish Community.
Pictured above, Nicole Joseph posed with Rabbi Shimon Moch at the reception after the service.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cathedral Restoration Project

Scaffolds continue being built outside Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas for access to the roof. Workers also prepared for repairs in the space between the ceiling and the roof. In coming weeks, the roof will be replaced piece by piece and the ceiling will be repaired.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ongoing Maintenance

Ivan Hurtault and Alfred Julien of St. Joseph Church on St. Croix removed a rubber tree that was affecting the septic tank this past week.

Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral Restoration Project

Scaffolding is being erected along the two sides of Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas and workers are also in the space between the ceiling and the roof as they prepare to renovate the historic building. The roof needs to be replaced, the ceiling and the columns need to be repaired and an underground brook needs to be diverted. This phase will take six months.
View more photographs at

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Good Shepherd Visit

Sr. Ellen Kelly, RGS, the leader of the New York province of the Sisters of Good Shepherd, arrived on St. Croix on January 11 to visit Sr. Victoria Andreoli, Sr. Digna Rivas and Sr. Judy Mannix and see their ministries.
The sisters, parishioners of Holy Cross Church, offer after school and other community programs from their Good Shepherd Center adjacent to the church. They also teach literacy, sewing, mathematics and crochet in Golden Grove Correctional Facility. The congregation of Good Shepherd Sisters, a community of 4,000 religious serving in 71 countries, began its mission here in 1998 at the invitation of Bishop Elliott Thomas; Sr. Victoria was one of the founding members.
"While I have admired the work of the Sisters from afar, I am delighted to have this opportunity to see firsthand their work among the people of St. Croix, to witness their dedication and their love of those they serve,” Sr. Ellen commented. “My timing was great. I was able to exchange another New York snowstorm for a warm welcome from the people!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

St. Anne Chapel Renovations

Msgr. Jerome Feudjio and Fr. Charles Crespo met with parishioners on January 10 to discuss renovation plans for St. Anne Chapel. The immediate project is to grade and pave the land just outside the chapel hall.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sr. Louis Marie Bryan Returns to St. Thomas for Book Signing

Sister Louis Marie Bryan, SC, signed copies her memoirs, All Along the Way, at two locations on St. Thomas this past weekend. She was at Dockside Books on Saturday, January 8, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral’s Hospitality Lounge (pcitured above) on Sunday, January 9, between the morning Masses. She will sign books at St. Ann Church’s bookstore today, Wednesday, January 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. All Along the Way immediately sold out on St. Thomas upon its release on December 8; additional copies were ordered for the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral bookstore. The books are on sale also at the St. Ann Church bookstore on St. Croix.

Sunday Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral

His Excellency, Bishop Herbert Bevard
His Excellency, Bishop Daniel Thomas

Most Rev. Herbert Bevard, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas, and Most Rev. Daniel Thomas, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, greeted congregants after Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas on January 9.

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Msgr. Antonio Verzosa sprinkled the congregation with holy water during the penitential rite at Mass at St. Anne Chapel on St. Thomas on January 9. It was the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Carnival Parade

The steel pan band from St. Mary School participated in the annual Carnival Children’s Parade on St. Croix on January 7. The band’s theme this year was “Promoting Peace - Dis Mas 1st Class.”
Principal Basil Williams joined in the fun.