Lovingkindness: The Ordination of Fr Clyde Martin Harvey

Bishop Clyde Harvey

 

The ordination of Fr Clyde Martin Harvey as the 5th Bishop of the Diocese of St George’s-in- Grenada will take place on Saturday, 29 July 2017 at The Spice Basket in Beaulieu, Saint George.

The Ordination Venue

The people of God, gathered together to be nourished by the word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ are the Church. The building set aside for that specific purpose is a house for the Church. Although we commonly refer to those buildings as ‘churches,’ we must always remember that their holiness comes from the gathering of God’s Family and not vice versa.

The role of a bishop is to teach, to sanctify and to govern. In the principal church building, where the bishop himself normally presides, the special chair, called the ‘cathedra,’ symbolises the teaching role of the bishop. It is the teaching of the bishop that makes the chair such a symbol.

The ordination of a bishop is a very special celebration in the life of the Church. It is very important that it be as inclusive of as many of the faithful as possible in an environment in which the congregation can see, not as an audience but as active participants in a liturgy that is both reverent and vibrant.

It is with these thoughts in mind that the Ordinations Preparation Committee decided that the auditorium of the Spice Basket would be the most appropriate venue for the Episcopal Ordination Ceremony. The Pentecost Rally, the Men’s Eucharistic Passover and many other sacred events have been held there in an environment, skillfully and beautifully prepared and decorated in advance.

The law of the Church, (Canon 1011. 1) does state that the Sacrament of Ordination is normally to be celebrated in the cathedral church but for pastoral reasons may be held elsewhere. The same Canon (2) does emphasise that ‘the greatest possible number may be present at the celebration.’ It is for this reason that the ordination of Bishop Gerard County of St. Vincent and the Grenadines did not take place in the Cathedral in Kingstown and the ordination of Bishop Jason Gordon took place in the car park of the cathedral in Bridgetown.

The Spice Basket will be carefully and lovingly prepared in advance. The day before the ceremony it will be prayerfully dedicated for the sacred purpose to which it is to be put. Seating must be provided for the hundreds of visitors expected to attend and for as many of the faithful of our own diocese as possible in a space where inappropriate movement and behaviour can be avoided. Sub-committees for Liturgy, Logistics and Hospitality are already making the necessary preparations.

As our Bishop-Elect reminded us in his message, this ordination must be a deep spiritual experience for all of us. Every situation we face, the discussions, the resolution of conflicting opinions, the hard work, can draw us closer to God and to each other. “We, together, beginning with that quiet openness which allows the Spirit to flow, can be God’s instruments for the renewal of Church and Nation.”

Biography

Bishop-elect Fr Clyde Martin Harvey was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad on 9 November 1948, the son of Lyndon Inniss and Beryl Harvey. He attended Moulton Hall Methodist School and Belmont Boys’ Intermediate RC School, winning a college exhibition to St Mary’s College in 1960, where he was an all round student, representing the college in basketball and public speaking.

When the first group of college prefects was chosen, Clyde Harvey was one of them. Later, along with Michael Mansoor and Neil Rolingson he was one of the ‘last of the Greeks’ — the last 3 students to study Greek at Advanced Level. On finishing college in 1966, he joined the staff of St Mary’s for a short period.

He entered the Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs in 1967; did his undergraduate studies at The UWI in politics and sociology, before going onto the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. At this, the oldest Catholic University in the world, he earned a Master’s Degree in Theology, (magna cum laude), in 1975. He did postgraduate studies at Lancaster University, England, (MA in Comparative Religion). At the Graduate Theological Union, University of California, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, USA, he focused on Ethics and Comparative Religion.

Clyde was ordained priest by Archbishop Anthony Pantin on 27 June 1976, a Diocesan priest for the service of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain. Two other young men were ordained with him – Christian Pereira and Carlos Roberts. The 3 new priests chose as their motto, “To Make Known to Caribbean People the loving-kindness of the Heart of our God.”

His first appointment was as lecturer and Vice-Rector of the Regional Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs, and as chaplain of The University of the West Indies, St Augustine. In 1979, he asked for a parish assignment, and with Fr Christian Pereira, became co-pastor of the Laventille/Morvant Pastoral Area, where he learned what Church was really about. Consecrating the Body and Blood of Christ was not only about bread and wine, but fully and truly about people, human beings in joys and anxieties, hopes and fears, all being brought to the altar of the Lord.

Subsequent parish assignments were Maloney Gardens, San Fernando and Rosary/St Martin’s Pastoral Cluster in East Port of Spain. He was a senior lecturer in Ethics and Comparative Religion at the Regional Seminary which is an affiliate college of The University of the West Indies.

He is well-known as a caring and outspoken priest and shepherd, who gets deeply involved in the communities he serves. His comments and responses to social issues, are often invited by the media.

In 1979, he worked with Lucy Gabriel in founding LIFELINE which has become a hotline helping persons who are suicidal and despairing. He co-founded 2 HIV support organisations for persons infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS — Community Action Resource (CARe) in north Trinidad, and South AIDS Support based in San Fernando.

Since 1993, Fr Harvey has been chair of the Morris Marshall Development Foundation, a community-based NGO which provides educational and personal development opportunities for the people of Laventille.

With his appointment as parish priest of Holy Rosary and St Martin’s (in Gonzales) in 2007, came the chairmanship of Community Intervention for Transformation and Empowerment (CIT+E), one of the partner organisations for the Pride in Gonzales Initiative. With this responsibility and as parish priest in East Port of Spain, he confronted the decaying social situation of crime and violence. He also took over from Fr (now Bishop) Jason Gordon, the restoration of what is now the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary — one of the most beautiful churches in the Caribbean. The restored Church, in the midst of what is still a depressed community, stands as a symbol of hope for the whole nation. His assignment as parish priest of Rosary/St Martin’s ended in October 2016, with him going on a local sabbatical at the Abbey, Mt St Benedict.

In the run-up to the general election of 2010, Fr Harvey was named as a Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Debates Commission for the sponsorship of nonpartisan political debates. Two of his most recent projects were the East POS Mentoring Project, which works with boys most at risk in that area, and the Rosary Association of Street Persons, which seeks to help street dwellers find and maintain their dignity. The former is a partnership between the Morris Marshall Development Foundation and the Scottish Free Masons of Trinidad and Tobago.

Treasured as a preacher of the Gospel and a friend to the poor and powerless, he is for Catholics and non-Catholics today, a comforting presence and sign of hope and promise forour church and society in the Caribbean. In August 2011, he was the recipient of a national award — the Humming Bird Medal (HBM) Gold for Religion and Community Service. Fr Harvey asked that the meaning of the HBM after his name be seen as HUMAN BEINGS MATTER.

Fr Clyde Martin Harvey’s appointment as Bishop of St George’s in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, was published in L’Osservatore Romano of 23 June, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This was of great personal significance to Fr Clyde, since his episcopal motto will continue the motto he shared at ordination with Carlos and Christian — to make known to Grenada and the world the lovingkindness of the heart of Our God — abbreviated on his Episcopal crest to read simply: LOVINGKINDNESS.

 

Bishop Clyde Harvey – Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms

A bishop’s Coat of Arms (COA) dates back to feudal times and reminds us of the status which bishops were acknowledged as having in European society. This has continued in the post-colonial church so that bishops in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean continue to have COA. In the past, such were designed by experts from the heraldic schools. They are supposed to reflect the heritage and ideals of the new bishop, as well as his connection with his diocese and country

More recently, the work of design has been done by local artists. Bishop Harvey is most pleased to have collaborated with the renowned Gillian Bishop in creating his Coat of Arms.

The hat and tassels are part of every COA. Green is the colour for bishops. The centre of the shield is the bishop’s personal emblem. He has always had a personal devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, having been born in the parish of the Sacred Heart, Port-of-Spain. He considers the fact that his appointment was announced on the Feast of the Sacred Heart 2017 to be of great significance. The Sacred Heart is usually covered with a crown of thorns. It is a heart aflame with love for God and all creation. The bougainvillea is added to the crown of thorns because it has its own thorns but produces flowers in the midst of the thorns, even in the driest of times. The flowers become a conduit for the blood and water flowing from the heart which nourishes the copper-rumped humming bird. The hummingbird has become for Bishop Harvey a powerful personal symbol of how God works in our lives. Like the hummingbird, whether we are going forward, backward or hovering in stillness, we are energised by the Spirit, always alive in God.

The left panel honours Mary, Patroness of the Diocese as the Immaculate Conception. The twelve stars are a traditional symbol of Our Blessed Lady and links the new bishop to his predecessor, Bishop Darius. The Madonna Lily is in the National Emblem of Grenada, originally called Concepcion when it was first discovered. The 2 flowers on 1 stem remind us that Mary is Mother of God and Mother of the Church.

The right panel represents Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique in the colours of our flag and our nutmeg fruitfulness. The green rolling hills and the waters below all speak to our island culture.

The Cross, now known as the Maloney Cross, is made from 2 pieces of driftwood tied by rope. The wood was originally discovered on a beach and given to Fr Harvey for their new church by 2 young people. It adorned Maloney Church as a reminder that, even though adrift, our young people can still find value and purpose.

The bishop’s personal motto, adapted from his priestly motto will be “To make known to Grenada and the world the LOVING KINDNESS of the heart of our God.” The COA carries the one word, Lovingkindness.

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One thought on “Lovingkindness: The Ordination of Fr Clyde Martin Harvey

  1. Lynette M. Lewis

    I’m saddened that I am unable to be with Fr. Harvey on such a wonderful day. God’s grace has been shed again on a truly worthy person. I will continue to pray for your wisdom, health and well-being. I look forward to seeing you in your new office and loation in the near future.

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