Thursday, 7 July 2016

EXCLUSIVE: What’s next for outgoing Archbishop of Kingston, Charles DuFour?

WALKING THE WALK: Richards greeting well-wishers at his installation ceremony; (below) Rev. Charles DuFour and sister Joy.

On Wednesday of this week, former Bishop of St. John Basseterre, Most Reverend Kenneth Richards, was installed as the seventh Archbishop of Kingston, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral on North Street in Kingston. Coming to the lofty office, he succeeds Most Rev. Charles DuFour, who is embarking on a fresh chapter of his illustrious religious life. “I’m going to Mandeville,” he tells TALLAWAH, chatting with us in the courtyard of the cathedral, following Wednesday’s well-attended ceremony. “I’ll be serving as the new Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Mandeville. So the work continues.”

A member of the Order of Jamaica (OJ), Reverend DuFour says his plans now are basically centred on continuing his ministry while building on his legacy and that of the Catholic Church in Jamaica. And that’s precisely his wish for his successor, in whom he has the utmost confidence. “I hope he continues the work of building on what he started when he was bishop because there’s a lot happening and a lot of issues affecting the country that need urgent attention at this time,” DuFour says. “So I hope he continues to use up the good ideas.”

For his part, Archbishop Richards, 57, sees his appointment as a call to greater work. “What this moment means for me is strengthening my commitment to the work of the church and to the people of Jamaica,” he tells TALLAWAH. “It’s not about the sentimentality of the moment. It’s about fully taking on the responsibilities that come with the office and drawing on the support of my collaborators.”

On reflection, Archbishop Kenneth Richards (who has been a Catholic priest since 1985), could have been your local bus driver. “When I graduated from high school, my mother asked me, ‘So what are you going to do now?’ And I said I was planning to go work on a bus or a truck,” he confessed earlier to the amusement of the packed congregation. “But the grace of God has brought me here.”

>> Archbishop Richards: J’can Christians need more “zeal and fire”

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