Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder once again offered a Mass intention for the safety, protection and well-being of The Bahamas as the country continues to be gripped in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his Mass, celebrated on Wednesday, during October’s Month of the Rosary, Pinder said he planned to pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, focusing on the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost and the two Marian Mysteries – the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He encouraged Catholics to consider doing the same as well, and make their intention the safety, protection and well-being of the Commonwealth as people continue to live during the pandemic.
The Bahamas had 5,191 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, October 13.
New Providence had 3,964 confirmed cases; Grand Bahama, 658; Abaco, 160; Bimini, 56; Exuma, 33; Eleuthera, 30; Inagua, 19; the Berry Islands, 17; Long Island, 12; Cat Island, nine; Andros, 10; Acklins, seven; Crooked Island five; and Mayaguana, three. There were 208 cases with locations pending.
The country had recorded 109 deaths; 3,078 recovered cases; 1,967 active cases; 106 hospitalized cases; 22 non-COVID-related deaths; had 15 deaths under investigation; and had completed 24,758 tests.
During his virtual Mass, Pinder referred to Luke’s gospel in which Jesus criticizes his friends, the Pharisees, for whom the term “hypocrite” was also used to describe.
He said Jesus did not abide hypocrites, and reminded his virtual audience that a hypocrite is a person who says one thing and does something else.
“Hypocrisy is a game of pretense. It’s a lack of honesty. Clearly, Jesus did not abide hypocrites. He expects honesty. He expects straightforwardness, and he expects us to be humble about it all.”
During the Mass, he celebrated an Optional Memorial – that of a third century pope and martyr St. Callistus I.
Pinder said the saint’s biography shows that Callistus’ career followed an unlikely path from slave to pope to martyr.
“Callistus served in a prominent family’s household and was blamed for financial mismanagement and he was sentenced to do manual labor in Rome and was later exiled to work in the mines of Sardinia. Pope Victor’s effort to secure pardon for Christians in the mines, freed Callistus. He returned to Rome where he was given charge of the cemetery that still bears his name. Callistus became a deacon under Pope Zephyrinus, whom he succeeded as bishop of Rome around the year 217. Before his martyrdom, about five years later, Callistus was vehemently opposed because of his teaching that the church could forgive even the worst of sinners. So, Callistus was ordained a deacon in the year 199. He was given the responsibility for the Christian cemetery on the Appian Way. And today, it’s called the Catacombs of St. Callistus, still bearing his name.”
Pinder said the Catacombs of St. Callistus became the burial ground for the earliest popes, and the first piece of real estate owned by the church.
“The emperor, Julian The Apostate, in the fourth century, writes this – he says Christians have gained most popularity because of their charity to strangers, and because of their care for the burial of their dead. Hopefully, these characteristics, charity for strangers and care for the burial of our dead, are still very much alive among us today, and St. Callistus, pope and martyr who died in the third century, is to be thanked for that.”
Pinder encouraged people to pray for the safety of the country and to be honest in their life and dealings, especially during October’s Month of the Rosary.