Justice Malcolm Holdip of the Court of Appeal has been ordained as a RC deacon.
Holdip and 14 others were ordained by Archbishop Jason Gordon at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain, on Saturday.
Holdip said he was elated to become a deacon after having studied for four and a half years.
"I feel like I can finally see light at the end of a tunnel. I wouldn't call it a challenge, it is an awareness of my spiritual journey," Holdip told Sunday Newsday after the service.
He said he had no fears about balancing his spiritual and professional lives, as his career and role within the Catholic church have always been inter-related as they are service-based. "Work is a form of worship, and worship has always been a form of work."
Holdip was among three to take a vow of celibacy. His wife Dianne Marshall-Holdip, died in November 2017.
He said he expects being a deacon in the Mt Lambert parish would take up a lot his time but this was something he was accustomed to as a judicial officer. He was elevated from the High Court to the Court of Appeal in March 2020. The judge is also an avid calypso fan and was the master of ceremonies at the Back to Basics kaiso tent, run by Winston Gypsy Peters, in 2019.
Holdip said he was born into an Anglican home but was baptised as a Catholic when he attended Newtown Boys' RC Primary school. He was motivated to become a deacon after a request from the late Bishop Vincent Darius of Grenada and encouragement from Fr Cornelius, and members of his parish. He said the recommendations were made based on his community work.
This vocation is what Archbishop Gordon spoke about during the ordination.
He told the congregation the role of a deacon is to do charitable work in their community and within the church.
"Deacons precede the presbytery. They are called to ensure that the people of the community and church get what they need," Gordon said.
"Their task is to guard by instruction, correction, love and devotion. It is a call to martyrdom."
As the deacon candidates lay in front of the altar, Gordon asked the congregation to say, "Anyone who wants to be first must be last, and a servant of all."
As the candidates stood up, he said to them, "We nurture and guard by listening and by the way we live our life."
The church was full for the ordination with four people to a bench. Single seats to the sides were separated by six feet. At the entrance, temperature checks were done, but there was no sanitisation station. Public health protocols allow 50 per cent capacity at places of worship.
New deacons of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain:
Hilary Bengochea – St Joseph parish, St Joseph
Ian Bourne – Our Lady of Monserrat, Tortuga
Terrence Caesar – St Charles Borromeo, Tunapuna
Curtis Cazeau – Church of the Assumption, South Oropouche
Keith Dass – Our Lady of Monserrat, Tortuga
Joseph "Jose" Gomes – St Peter, Carenage
Dennis Hamid – St Phillip and St James, Chaguanas
Joachim Hernandez – Church of the Holy Spirit, Malabar
Malcolm Holdip – Church of the Holy Family, Mt Lambert
Kelvin Noel – St Anthony, Pt Fortin
Charles Oliveire – St John the Baptist, San Juan
Donald Parris – St Joseph the Worker, Erin
Andy Singh – St Paul, Couva
Nigel Thomas – St John the Baptist, San Juan
Peter Timothy – St John the Evangelist, Diego Martin
Among the deacons, Cazeau, Holdip and Parris took a vow of celibacy.