Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has described said His Eminence Kelvin Cardinal Felix as a national treasure and a living testimony for Dominica’s youth.
On Sunday, a special mass, attended by hundreds of Catholics from across the island, was held to celebrate Cardinal Felix’s 60th anniversary of priestly ordination at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium.
“Cardinal Felix reminds me of our late Church leader Pope John Paul II, for his commitment and dedication to the Church and to his faith and I think he is a living testimony for all us especially the young,” the Prime Minister said in giving tribute.
He noted that Cardinal Felix is a national treasure and a regional treasure.
He said the Cardinal came from humble beginnings and sixty years “did not come easy.”
“So it is not our circumstance which would determine our destiny, it should be our commitment, our dedication, our perseverance and remaining true to what we believe in,” Skerrit stated.
He noted that the youth must emulate the qualities of Cardinal Felix which includes the love for God and the Church.
“We need to emulate the commitment, the dedication and the love for God and for our Church which Cardinal exemplifies on a daily basis,” he said. “But above all, I believe one of my greatest admiration of the Cardinal, His Eminence, is his humility, a very rare commodity in our society these days.”
Skerrit stated further that his personal hope and prayer is that in his (Cardinal Felix) celebration of 60 years as a Priest, “it can raise the consciousness of many of us to come forward and be Priests, Deacons and lay ministers.”
“I believe now more than ever the Church needs us,” he noted. “It needs us to remain committed to the faith and it needs us committed to serving, and serving with humility.”
He called on all parishioners to remain committed to the Catholic faith
Meanwhile, President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Savarin said Cardinal Felix left his mark in the lives of the Dominican people.
“Within the church and wherever he served the Cardinal left his mark in the many little things that he did to change lives and to improve both the spiritual and social conditions of God’s people,” he said. “His ability to calm troubled waters and to restore order where this order threatens were preeminent in the turbulent period of 1970’s when a wave of black consciousness and the revolutionary fervor of Marxism, Leninism swept through the Caribbean.”
The President said that he agrees with His Eminence that even at the age of 83, “God has more work for him to do.”
“As a Bishop and Archbishop, we know that he has carried his crosses not least among which was an assault on his person in his cathedral in St Lucia during Holy Mass, but through it all he has never stopped smiling and has always been welcoming and forgiving to everyone,” Savarin remarked.
He went on to say that as Cardinal Felix continues to discover the ever unfolding will of God for him, “All of Dominica asks him to continue to be the humble, engaging, welcoming man of peace we know him to be.”
“We greatly value his presence among us and pray that the good Lord whom we all serve will continue to bless and keep him, and give him the strength to continue God’s work,” the President said.
Cardinal Felix was born on February 15, 1933 in Roseau. He served in many capacities including Associate General Secretary of the Caribbean Conference of Churches, President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference, Archbishop of the province of Castries, among others. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia and elevated to the rank of Cardinal in the Catholic Church in February 2014.
He is retired and is presently assisting in the Soufriere.
See some photo below from the ceremony.
All Photos by Cecil N.A. Clarke – Eve’s Photo