Guest editorial

Easter is about new life, but the smell of death is all around­: murdered women, slaughtered young men, the loneliness of the death from Covid-19, increased homelessness and toxic relationships.

But Golgotha was a smelly place too, with the stench of rotting corpses. Golgotha was also brutal since the Romans were experts at brutality, Jesus being a victim of that brutality.

Our eyes turn away from that brutality to a softer scene on Easter Sunday morning—a scene, as Mark’s gospel tells us, made tender by the visit of women who refuse to give up loving: Mary of Magdala, Mary mother of James, and Salome,­ symbols of Caribbean women who constantly fight the darkness.

We too must fight the darkness that inhibits love. We need to learn from the women how to anoint the brutality of life with spices. Pope Francis has given us a hint. On March 19, we celebrated St Joseph’s Day, with a special Mass at the Cathedral organised by the National Catholic Men’s Ministry.

It was a jubilant celebration with over 300 in attendance, but in the euphoria of the moment we just might have missed a significant detail—it was also the beginning of 15 months dedicated to family life, climaxing with the World Meeting of Families in Rome in June 2022.

The Pope recognises that happy family life shields us from the brutality of the world and beckons us to work harder at it in “Galilee”—the ordinariness of day-to-day living.

This Easter then should find us asking how can we make family life more lifegiving? Of course, Caribbean family life has always been more extended than nuclear, with an increasing number of single-parent families and now same-sex couples.

We can take away the brutalities of family life, detoxify it, by following a simple recipe of St Paul: “Love is patient and kind” (I Cor 13:4).

Family members must increasingly commit to “time-out”. It’s the only way of preventing the “big stone” of anger from riding roughshod over promising relationships.

We must let our tongue cleave to the roof of our mouth if we remember not the “Zion” of good communication,­ patience and kindness. Kindness says: “I will be deliberately kind. This stops here!”

Another way of reducing the brutality is “accompaniment”, as Francis indicates in Amoris laetitia. Too often the Church marries off couples and leaves them alone to fend for themselves in the early years of marriage. Pre-marriage preparation programmes are not followed by post-marriage accompaniment.

Going it alone often lends to brutality; accompaniment softens it. Accompaniment is an aspect of the “communion of saints”—we shoulder one another’s burdens.

There will always be stones to roll away—not enough money to make ends meet, thousands of poor children outside the online education net, parents anxiously trying to shield their children from gender fluidity, gangs in every major town.

But if that is all we see, our “good news” will turn to “bad news”. Easter happens when we see the light and bring the light to bear on the brutality of the world through love, patience, kindness, accompaniment and faithful endurance.

Our families don’t have to be perfect for this to happen. It’s okay if we’re a bit cracked: that way the light gets in.


Given its current financial condition, one would have expected Caribbean Airlines to grab the first chance to get out of its contract for 12 new Boeing 737 Max planes without penalty. 

As undesirable as it may be, governments of Caribbean countries that are not in International Monetary Fund (IMF) programmes are being pushed in that direction.

Through no bad policy decisions that they have made, governments are confronted with considerably reduced revenues and extraordinary expenses because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These past few weeks have been quite an eventful, confusing, fearful and adventurous period for T&T. While I safely enjoyed the Easter vacation with my family, I also closely monitored what was happening nationally.

One indelible contribution of the old oil refineries of Pt Fortin, Forest, and Pointe-a-Pierre—companies such as Texaco, Shell, and UBOT—was that they established well-run programmes of apprenticeship.

The Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA), Trinidad and Tobago joins in solidarity with the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, who are experiencing untold suffering caused by the eruption of La Soufrière volcano.

We need the private sector to be allowed to step in and assist with the drive to vaccinate the population. Let them be allowed to bring in the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and with assistance from the Government offer it to the general public who is willing to pay for it at a reduced or subsidised cost. This will considerably assist in the rollout and attaining the desired herd immunity in Trinidad and Tobago.