Celebrating Our Lady in Tortuga


On 26th May, 2018 all roads led to the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat, Tortuga for the Shrine Committee’s annual fund raiser:“Afternoon Tea with Our Lady,”the theme of which was“Celebrating Our Lady’s Intercession.”

Afternoon Tea with Our Lady” is one of two major flagship fund raisers usually hosted annually by the Shrine Committee to raise funds for the maintenance of the 140-year old church located in the rural community of Tortuga, Central Trinidad. Presently a New Restoration phase of the church is engaging the attention of the Shrine Committee.

Afternoon Tea with Our Lady” is a Tea Party with a difference as a spiritual theme is deeply embedded in all aspects of the day’s proceedings: Marian devotions, the celebration of Holy Mass and at the serving of Tea which followed the Mass.

The parish of Tortuga warmly welcomed the Chief Celebrant,the new Papal Nuncio to Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Fortunatus Nwachakwu and his Deputy, Msgr. Julien Kaboré. Our Parish Priest, Fr. Jose Marie Thekkekutte, and Deacon Simon Rostant also concelebrated.

His Excellency, Fortunatus Nwachakwu.

(L-R) Fr. Jose Marie Thekkekutte, Msgr. Julien Kaboré, His Excellency, Fortunatus Nwachakwu and Deacon Simon Rostant.

Pilgrims and visitors alike shared how spiritually moved they were at the powerful Homily delivered on the theme by His Excellency. To quote one pilgrim:“Our Lady’s presence is always there…After Mass, I could have gone home then, as I was filled to overflowing.”

“Celebrating Our Lady’s Intercession.”

It was a joy to see our youth also participating in the Music Ministry at Holy Mass.

Following the Mass, the day’s events shifted to the grounds of the nearby presbytery where Tea was served. This space was beautifully decorated in gold and blue.

The members of the Shrine Committee, beautifully dressed in clothing representing different manifestations of Our Blessed Mother, happily served their guests who all enthusiastically participated in a Marian “Sing Along” led by Mrs. Natasha Babwah-Tim Kee. Several attractive door prizes, donated by corporate entities and private individuals, were also distributed.

Natasha Babwah-Tim Kee

The overwhelming success of Afternoon Tea with Our Lady 2018 is due to the faith and trust that the Shrine Committee Team has in Jesus Christ and in the intercessions of Our Lady of Montserrat. Jesus sent his host of angels who contributed in cash and through various acts of service. To these angels who are members of our parish and elsewhere in the archdiocese of Port-of-Spain, we extend our deepest gratitude.

Extensive Restoration work was done on the church between 2000 and 2004 and while some general maintenance was done over the years, much Restoration work is now required, estimated at TT$ 1Million. All proceeds from Afternoon Tea with Our Lady 2018 will go towards this New Restoration effort.

(Photos Courtesy Elmo Griffith)

Persons who wish to make cash donations can make cheques payable to: FRIENDS OF TORTUGA RC CHURCH. Many thanks and God’s richest blessings.

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