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March 2017
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Bishop Emeritus Osmond Peter Martin Passes On

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan announces the death of our brother Bishop Emeritus Osmond Peter Martin early in the morning of Thursday, February 16, 2017. Bishop Martin died in his sleep while residing at his family home in Dangriga. He was 86 years old and had been struggling with the ailments of the aging process for some time. O. P. Martin was ordained a priest on April 3, 1959 in Dangriga after completing studies at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. He served at a number of parishes in the diocese. On October 7, 1982 he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop, making him the first Garifuna and Belizean bishop for the Church. After just a few years, in 1984, he was appointed the Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan. He served the Church in that leadership role until his retirement in 2007.
Funeral arrangements are pending awaiting further consultation with his immediate family and bishops in the region. As soon as those arrangements are complete they will be announced to the public. Please remember Bishop O. P. Martin in your prayers.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 February 2017 13:47 Written by Ruben Wong Thursday, 16 February 2017 13:06

Announcement of New Bishop of Belize

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bishop larry nicasio 

The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Lawrence Sydney Nicasio as bishop of Belize City-Belmopan (area 22,963, population 360,838, Catholics 164,019, priests 36, permanent deacons 3, religious 53), Belize. The bishop-elect was born in Belize in 1956, and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, United States of America, and a Master of Divinity in the Kenrich College Seminary, in the same archdiocese. He has served in the following roles: parish vicar of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Belmopan (1989-1995); pastor of the Inmaculada parish in Orange Walk, secretary and treasurer of the presbytery council and master of liturgical celebrations (1995-2006); pastor of the San Ignazio parish and administrator of the St. John Vianney parish in Belize City (2007-2013); and president of the Diocesan Priest Association and member of the college of consulters (2007-2009). He is currently pastor of the Cathedral of the Holy Redeemer in Belize City. He succeeds Bishop Dorick McGowan Wright, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 January 2017 22:27 Written by Javier Molina Thursday, 26 January 2017 09:11

Fr Stochl Passing

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Fr. Jack Stochl, S.J. Gone to Eternal Rest


Fr. John J. (Jack) Stochl, S.J. was called to eternal life on Sunday night, November 6, 2016, at the Fusz Pavilion in St. Louis, MO. He was 92 years old, a Jesuit for 75 years and a priest for 62 years. Up to press time, information about his funeral arrangements was not available. Please remember Jack and those who mourn him in your prayers.


The following is a short reflection by Fr. Dick Perl, S.J.


“May the angels take you into paradise 

And may the martyrs welcome you on your way

And lead you into the holy city… Jerusalem

May the choirs of angels welcome you

And with Lazarus who once was poor

May you have everlasting life” 


It was at 10:30 last night, November 6, that Fr. Jack Stochl, S.J. went to his eternal resting place. I had gone in with Fr. Tim Thompson, S.J. to visit him after supper. We were in his room for around an hour with Mike French, S.J., the Jesuit in charge of the Pavilion. As we were leaving I asked Fr. Mike if he wanted me to take his place to sleep in the room with Jack, but he said, “No, that’s my job, but if you want to sit here, you can,” indicating the 3 chairs in the room. One of them was a reclining soft chair, and I said, “I may be back later,” pointing to the soft recliner. I got on the elevator on the 4th floor where Jack’s room was next to the nurse’s station and came to the 8th floor where my room is and where I am now as I type this to you. I did some emails and finally, a few hours later, around 2:00 a.m. I went back down to the 4th floor and there was Mike French sitting at the nurse’s station, not in Jack’s room. He said to me, “He died around 10:30. The nurse came in the room to do a normal check in, and she woke me up to say, ‘I think he’s gone,’ and he was. He said that the mortuary people had taken his body about half an hour before. I went into Jack’s room and sat in the same chair I sat in two nights ago when I spoke to him. But Jack was not there to speak to now.

On a table next to his bed was a plastic holder containing two photos of Jack in Belize.  One was in the Toledo District with Jack dressed as a bishop with miter on his head and crozier in hand, surrounded by a number of Mayan children that he had just confirmed. This was something he had done a number of times for Bishop Martin in the more distant villages of Toledo which were difficult for Bishop Martin to get to during his later years.

The other was a photo of a photo taken when he shook hands with Pope John Paul II, later made into a stamp to commemorate the Pope’s historic visit.

Let us pray in thanksgiving to God for the gift that Fr. Jack Stochl, S.J. was to the people of Belize. Amen!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2016 14:09 Written by Javier Molina Tuesday, 08 November 2016 14:00

New Pastor for Corozal

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 St. Francis Xavier Church  installation Mass

and welcoming of our new pastor Fray Saul

Rodriguez Nava, O.F.M.





Friar Saul Rodriguez Nava, OFM (kneeling) professes his

Faith at a 6:00 p.m.Mass held at St. Francis Xavier Church

on August 13, 2016. Sitting from left to right are Bishop Christopher

Glancy, CSV, Friar Gabriel Romero, OFM - Pastor of

Cancun, Mexico and Friar Isaias, OFM - Pastor of Chetumal,



 On Saturday , August 16 parishioners

from across the district gathered at St.

Francis Xavier Church for the installation Mass

and welcoming of our new pastor Fray Saul

Rodriguez Nava, O.F.M. (of the Franciscan Order)

of Mexico. The main celebrant at the installation

Mass was Bishop Christopher Glancy,

C.S.V. who also welcomed the new pastor

and his associates, Fr. Columbano Arrellano,

O.F.M, Br. Jeremias Franco Rosado, O.F.M and

the new Sisters serving at the parish Sr. Maria

del Rosario Dias de la Cruz , Sr. Florecita Gonzalez

Gomez and Sr. Luz Margarita. Present at

the Mass were con-celebrants Fr. Isaias, O.F.M.

pastor of Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico and

Fr. Gabriel Romero, O.F.M., pastor of Cancun,

Mexico. After the installation Mass a reception

followed at the school pavilion.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 09:39 Written by Javier Molina Tuesday, 27 September 2016 09:25

AEC Statement on Capital Punishment

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Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC)

Statement on Capital punishment during the 

Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy 


AEC Bishops urge Governments and citizens in the region to work towards the abolition of the death penalty




We believe that human life is a gift from God and is sacred. We believe each human being has inherent dignity because we are all created in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26; Ephesians 2:10). Therefore we should protect and defend human life at all stages of development and in all circumstances. 

  1. While we are appalled by the rise of violent crime in our region and express solidarity with victims of crime and all those affected by crime, we urge politicians and citizens in our region to abolish capital punishment/the death penalty and embrace a restorative justice approach to crime and violence. 

A restorative justice approach focuses on holding the offender accountable in a more meaningful way and helping to achieve a sense of healing for both the victim(s) and the community; it embraces socialization, rehabilitation and reconciliation rather than retribution and vengeance. 

  1. All recent International studies and research show that capital punishment does not act as a deterrent, nor does it foster respect for life in our communities. We re-iterate the sentiments expressed in the AEC Pastoral Letter on Capital Punishment (2000) which stated: “The prophetic voice of the Church must be heard especially in times of moral and social crisis…regardless of the potential unpopularity of our Gospel message…Capital punishment symbolizes a form of despair for the effective reform of persons.”


  1. The AEC Pastoral Letter The Gift of Life (2008), expressed the “firm desire that the leaders and people of Caribbean society move toward the total abolition of the Death Penalty…we should place emphasis on the rehabilitation of the offender rather than on his/her elimination.
  1. We believe that God’s infinite mercy extends to everyone – including those who have committed heinous crimes, who should be given opportunities to repent and to find peace with God and others.


  1. We believe that the protection of society and the common good are assured by a proper functioning justice system that detects and convicts, and by a prison system which focuses on rehabilitation. As the Holy Father affirms: “a growing opposition to the death penalty even for the legitimate defence of society because modern means exist to efficiently repress crime without definitively denying the persons who committed it the possibility of rehabilitating themselves.”



We agree with Pope Francis who said during his visit to a prison in Mexico in February 2016: “Divine Mercy reminds us that prisons are an indication of the kind of society we are. In many cases they are a sign of the silence and omissions which have led to a throwaway culture, a symptom of a culture that has stopped supporting life, of a society that has abandoned its children.”


  1. In February 2016, the Holy Father speaking to thousands at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican, asked politicians around the world to make “a courageous and exemplary gesture” during the Church's current Holy Year of Mercy which extends from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016. He said: “I appeal to the consciences of those who govern to reach an international consensus to abolish the death penalty…The commandment 'You shall not kill,' has absolute value and applies to both the innocent and the guilty.”
  1. We are aware that the latest execution that took place in our region was in 2008 (Charles Elroy Laplace, St Kitts & Nevis), and that the rulings in a number of judgments by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council since the judgment handed down in the case of Pratt and Morgan v The Attorney-General of Jamaica (1993) have made it almost impossible for the death penalty to be carried out. We are also aware that even though the Caribbean states that have not abolished the death penalty have not carried out any execution for the last ten years, some have sentenced persons to death during this decade. 

As a first step, we encourage the Governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados to amend their legislation to remove the mandatory imposition of the death penalty.  We also make a plea for the Governments of the English-speaking Caribbean to support the 2016 UN resolution on a Moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to its abolition which will be presented at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, and to improve prison conditions. We acknowledge positive developments in relation to this issue, such as the abolition of the death penalty by the Parliament of Suriname on the 3rd day of March, 2015.

  1. We will continue to work with Governments and other stakeholders in our region to build safer, just and peaceful societies and to do so by encouraging the use of non-lethal means to achieve our goals. Let us all play our part to promote morals and values that will assist us in building peaceful communities that promote the common good – creating conditions that will allow each person to realize his/her potential. 




We urge our Governments to strengthen the capacity of public institutions, including criminal justice systems, to address crime and violence; to address the risk factors that contribute to crime, for example: poverty, urban decay, social inequality and exclusion, family disintegration, poor parenting, lack of quality education and employment, poor housing, the proliferation of guns, drugs and gangs in the region, and to employ related preventive measures. We stand ready and urge our faithful and all people of good will to work together to this end.  

  1. God’s plan is for us to live in peace and right relationship with Him, with each other and with all of His Creation. Our communities need healing. Let us pray and work for the renewal of hearts and minds and find more sustainable and effective solutions aimed at reducing crime and violence in our region and in the world. During this Holy Year of Mercy, let us recognize and embrace the power of divine mercy which makes all things new.
  1. Heavenly Father,

We thank you for the wondrous gift of life you have granted to us.

We thank you even more for having restored us, through your Son Jesus Christ,

who gave His life for us out of love, while we were still sinners.


We echo the words of PRAISE of our Blessed Mother Mary: (Lk. 1:50-51)

for your mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear You.

“You have done mighty deeds with Your arm”


Through her intercession, we ask you, Heavenly Father,

to make us protectors of all lives, including those of culprits and criminals,

for no one, in your eyes, is excluded from your mercy and conversion.

Grant to all of us a greater respect for life, 

so that we may overcome evil with love.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  Amen





1. Archbishop Patrick Pinder, Nassau (President of the Conference)

2.  Archbishop Joseph Harris, C.S.Sp., Port of Spain

3.  Archbishop Robert Rivas, O.P., Castires

4.  Archbishop Elect Kenneth Richards, Kingston

5. Archbishop David Macaire, O.P., St. Pierre & Fort-de-France

6. Archbishop Charles Dufour, Kingston

7.  Bishop Francis Alleyne, OSB, Georgetown (Vice President of the Conference)

8.  Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, Roseau

9.  Bishop Jason Gordon, Bridgetown

10.  Bishop Emmanuel Lafont, Cayenne

11.  Bishop Karel Choennie, Paramaribo 

12.  Bishop Gerard County, C.S.Sp., Kingstown

13.  Bishop Christopher Glancy, C.S.V., (Auxiliary) Belize City & Belmopan

14.  Fr. Clifton Harris, O.P. (Diocesan Administrator), St. George’s

15. Bishop Luis Secco, Willemstad

16. Bishop Jean-Yves Riocreux, Basseterre-Pointe-a-Pitre

17. Bishop Wieslaw Spiewak, C.R., Hamilton

18. Bishop Burchell McPherson, Montego Bay

19. Bishop Robert Llanos, (Auxiliary) Port of Spain

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 September 2016 14:32 Written by Javier Molina Thursday, 22 September 2016 10:38

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