Edward Gilbert, right, welcomes President George Maxwell
Richards and his wife, Jean, during a special Requiem Mass
for Pope John Paul II at the Cathedral of the Immaculate
Conception in Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
of the congregation accept Communion during the mass.
Minister Patrick Manning was notably absent from yesterdays
Requiem Mass for the late Pope John Paul II at the Cathedral
of Immaculate Conception in Port-of-Spain.
While several ministers could give no reason for the PMs
absence, Fr Christian Perreira said the church had received
a call at 3 pm from the PM, informing them that he would
not be attending.
Perreira said, however, they were given no official reason
However, White Hall, in a statement last night, said the
Mass was not on the PMs schedule yesterday.
This aside, the Mass was carried out to a packed church
and forecourt, where additional seating was put to accommodate
the expected crowd.
Afterwards, the congregation was addressed by Archbishop
Edward Gilbert, who paid tribute to the life of the late
In his address, Gilbert said the Pope had influenced many,
including diplomatic leaders of the world.
The Pope, he said, went to the people and insisted on meeting
He urged people to follow the Popes teaching about
giving tangible assistance to those in despair.
However, Gilbert noted that the Popes prayers had
not only been for the poor, since he had noticed that the
spirituality of the rich and powerful had become shallow.
The Apostolic Nuncio, the Rev Thomas E Gullickson, was at
yesterdays Mass, as were several ministers and dignitaries.
Among them were President George Maxwell Richards and wife
Jean, former presidents Sir Ellis Clarke and Arthur NR Robinson
and Ministers Keith Rowley, Ken Valley, Joan Yuille-Williams,
John Rahael, Howard Chin Lee.
Several members of the Opposition were also there, including
UNC leader Basdeo Panday and his wife Oma.