Grenada is now the beneficiary of a GBP £1 million financial package from the Vatican.
This was announced by His Eminence Renato Raffaele Cardinal Martino, Grand Prior of the Constantinian Order, and Protodeacon of the Holy Roman Church Cardinal ,and Anthony Bailey, during a courtesy visit to Prime Minister, Dr The Right Hon. Keith Mitchell, at his office on Wednesday morning.
The charitable projects totaling over GBP £1 million, will include:
- Complete Restoration and Rehabilitation of the Grenada Public Library in St George’s
- New Life Organisation (NEWLO) Vocational Training Project
- St Joseph’s Convent Education and Training Project
- St Patrick Roman Catholic Church
- The Dorothy Hopkin Home for the Disabled
- Top Hill Home in Carriacou
- Grand Anse Home for the Aged
- Grand Anse Girl’s Centre
- Other worthy projects.
In receiving the support, the Prime Minister said that he “was moved by their generosity, especially since the projects will affect many of the most vulnerable among us.”
The Cardinal and team thanked Prime Minister Mitchell for his visit to the Vatican last year, and expressed how beneficial the visit has been to both sides in forging a relationship and helping to strengthen the Vatican’s charitable presence in the region.
They also urged the Prime Minister to move speedily and join most of his regional neighbors in appointing a non-resident ambassador to the Holy See, which will help in further strengthening the relationship between the region and the Holy See, given their new thrust to help in the development of the Caribbean.
According to Sir Anthony Bailey, the non-resident Ambassador will help to also move projects along, and secure funding for other projects that they are already thinking about, with respect to Grenada and the rest of the region.
Upon learning that the Vatican has already established diplomatic relations with a number of other countries in the region, Grenada’s Prime Minister welcomed the request, and offered additional reasons why this will be vital in moving forward. Among those, the Prime Minister said, is the Vatican’s increasingly diplomatic role in helping to heal formerly adverse relationships such as that between Cuba and the United States. Further, the appointment of non-resident ambassadors will be “positive for the church in showing that they are helping people across the board — not just Catholics — in line with the initiatives of the Pope.” According to the Prime Minister, “the Vatican and their charitable engagements are sending the right message, which will ultimately help in the retention and growth of the membership of the Catholic Church.”
The delegation from the Holy See also announced that Rome has already taken the decision to create a delegation, headed by one of the visiting Archbishops, specifically for Caribbean affairs. That delegation will see to it that the Vatican engages more catholic agencies and fund more charitable projects in the region. As such, Grenada’s appointment of a non-resident ambassador will help to move this process along more smoothly and efficiently to the benefit of Grenada.
The official delegation also introduced two vice-delegates with responsibility for Grenada who will be here to monitor the implementation of the projects that they are funding.
The high level delegation from the Holy See was led by His Eminence Renato Raffaele Cardinal Martino, Cardinal Protodeacon of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants of the Holy See, and Grand Prior of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George.
HE Sir Anthony Bailey, OBE, renowned inter-faith and charity campaigner, Magistral Delegate of the Constantinian Order and Secretary-General, were prominent among the delegation.
The Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican Ambassador) to Grenada, His Excellency Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Castries and Prior of the Order’s Caribbean Delegation, His Grace The Most Rev Robert Rivas, and The Most Rev Vincent Darius Bishop of St George’s were also in attendance at the meeting.
The delegation to Grenada is visiting following an invitation issued by the Government of Grenada through a visit to the Vatican last October by Prime Minister Dr the Rt Hon. Keith Mitchell, when the Grenadian leader took his mother to meet the Pope as a birthday gift to her.
The delegation from the Holy See arrived in Grenada on 16 June and leaves on 18 June.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Implementation, Honourable Alexandra Otway–Noel, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Ministry, Ruth Rouse, and Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Kisha Alexander–Grant.