Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau, His Lordship Gabriel Malzaire has made a strong call to the nation to unite following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika which devastated the country last week.
He made that call while addressing a press briefing, post Tropical Storm Erika, at the Financial Centre on Friday evening.
He said the country cannot overcome the challenges that it is faced with, if its citizens’ “modus operandi” is divisive and if we do not see the need for “brotherly and sisterly love” relationships.
“We cannot overcome this situation if our modus operandi become divisions, or splitting hairs as to rightness and wrongness, splitting hairs as to who is better and who is worse when there are more important things to deal with, when people are dying, when people are suffering, people are in need,” The Bishop stated.
Crisis situations, he said, can either make a nation or break a nation. They can help us to challenge ourselves and to get in touch with our “best selves.”
“And it is my hope that this situation will be seen as one of nation building, rather than nation breaking,” Malzaire noted. “But how do we express that?” he asked and pointed out that we have seen “a tremendous flow of love, of compassion, of generosity, of kindness, one to another.”
He said this spirit needs to continue.
“It’s not only in the crisis situation that it ought to be, but that it will translate into other times. These are challenging situations for us, but we need to allow ourselves to develop the disposition that will help us to survive through this particular situation.”
Bishop Malzaire cautioned, “We don’t want Dominica to be seen as a place that is in decadence that people don’t care about each other anymore. I think situations like this one help to rise among us those dispositions which unfortunately were being lost.”
He sees the Erika disaster as an opportunity to regenerate the goodness that has existed in Dominica before.
The Bishop commended the efforts of the Prime Minister, his Cabinet, the religious community and other agencies as well as individuals who are responding to needs of affected Dominicans.