|A moment that leaves you speechless – captured by Rach Mair Boxill|
The busloads of Jamaicans from every corner of the island that converged on Montego Bay recently were testimony of the love of many for the humble, spirit-filled new Roman Catholic Bishop of Montego Bay, Most Rev. Burchell McPherson.
They could not miss the episcopal ordination of their priest and colleague at the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. The column by colleague Michael Burke on Bishop Burchell, gives a fascinating history of his Catholic journey ( see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Bishop-elect-Burchell-McPherson_14078632).
We learn that this Jamaican non-Catholic teen attended a summer camp in his home district of Hall’s Delight in rural St. Andrew, and in spite of his cooperation at the camp declared that he was not interested in converting. He eventually did, and was asked to manage the St Pius X parish in Olympic Gardens in the late eighties. We enjoyed inspiring and light-hearted meetings with young Burchell McPherson as fellow members of the Pius X outreach committee led by the indomitable Sister Grace Yap.
Later Bishop Burchell served as the Chairman of Food for the Poor Jamaica, and despite his pastoral duties, worked closely with the management and staff for many years in his service to the poor. He is now a member of the International board of Food for the Poor in Florida.
Bishop Burchell demonstrates the importance of being an authentic Jamaican – no pretense, no airs – just a servant of God’s people, radiating God’s compassion. This is a modern priest who has cell phone numbers for everyone so when you call him, he answers you by name with no hint of impatience. This is a priest with a marvelous sense of humour and hearty laugh. Please visit the Sts Peter & Paul Facebook page to see highlights of the ordination courtesy of the tireless Rachael Mair Boxill.
We will miss him in Kingston, but know that our friends in Montego Bay will warm to their new Bishop in very short order. We offer him hearty congratulations and continued prayers for this high calling.