St. Joseph’s Convent Retreat Centre Officially Opens

Port of Spain, Trinidad: Friday December 13, 2013:  On December 10, members of the religious, corporate and government communities, gathered in Scarborough, Tobago, to officially declare open the St. Joseph’s Convent Retreat and Holistic Development Centre. The Centre, which was formerly a private secondary school, will cater for the re-education of persons with Literacy and IT competence deficits as well as Life Coaching to assist persons in negotiating life transitions.

Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, the Honourable Orville London, shared his views on the need for such a Centre in Tobago and endorsed the Sisters’ hands-on approach to the project. “A true Christian is one who prays and then gets off his knees and does the work and I want to commend all these Sisters of St. Joseph, not just for their commitment but for the example.” he said, adding that the Nation needs that example at a time when people are content to sit back and let everything be done for them. He also commended them for reaching out to the government and corporate citizens for assistance.

The Sisters of St Joseph’s Convent have been major contributors in the field of education throughout the Eastern Caribbean for over one hundred and seventy five years. More recently they have moved into re-education and remedial instruction and human development work for persons who have been unsuccessful in the formal education system, or who have found themselves in a personal crisis due to social change.

Sr. Phyllis Wharfe, who hosted the proceedings, praised Republic Bank’s Power to Make a Difference programme, through which the Sisters received over $600,000 in sponsorship toward the construction of the Conference Hall.  She cited the Programme as a life-saving intervention, much needed at a time when bad news continues to make headlines and the good work being done in the nation rarely ever makes journalistic publication. “You may never know the impact you have had on the lives of the people whose faces you may never see, but know that they are recorded in the Book of Life.” she added.

Republic Bank’s Group Marketing and Communications General Manager, Anna-María García-Brooks congratulated the Sisters on the opening of the Centre and applauded their foresight. “The newspaper headlines’ daily diet of death, dishonesty, crime and violence sends us further and further into despair and create an aura of hopelessness.  Yet, amid the terrible, encroaching darkness, are glimmers of hope and optimism, brought about by projects such as this Retreat and Holistic Development Centre.” she said, adding that, “It is perhaps this long and distinguished history in education, coupled with your strong faith, which has enriched you with the foresight to go to the root causes of some of our problems, and to provide sustainable solutions in the form of literacy, re-education and remedial programmes for those who might not have been successful in the formal school system.”

December 13, 2013
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