Listen – Build Bridges

From the rumbling belly bottom of the Grenadian Kick’em Jenny volcano,

Caribbean voices resound in melodious song,

Listen, Let us listen

Listen to our Lord’s call

Listen, Let us listen

The synodal journey has begun.”

Listening to the voice of the Spirit

Bishops from north, south, east, and west Caribbean

Traversed invisible bridges crossing the Caribbean Basin

Arriving on the Antiguan land of 365 beaches.

To do what?

Listen . . . Listen to our Lord’s call 

Crying out from the pages of synod syntheses.

To what can I liken the voice of the Holy Spirit reverberating from the synthesis pages?  

Listen to this story.

I watched in dismay, shock, and fear a television news report

. . . school children with heavy knapsacks, 

. . . farmers with donkey-loaded produce,

. . . teachers, dressed in professional attire, exchanging high heeled shoes for sneakers,

. . . the elderly crawling on all fours,

. . . carefully descending a muddy, stony, and precarious ravine,

dancing like ballerinas on slippery rocks caressed by the roaring river,

and . . . chiseled sculptured young men providing helping hands and saving many from drowning, broken bones, and bruised skin, helping each to ascend the other side of the valley.


A collapsed bridge,

Crossing a major river,

Connecting villages to schools, police stations, farms, and shops.

Anaemic leadership is like a collapsed bridge.

There’s disconnection, disorder, destroyed relationships.

If bridges collapse,

A Bailey Bridge is a temporary replacement.

Sadly, the people testified, “We are tired of Bailey Bridge leadership.”

From Jamaica’s Blue Mountain peak to the Guianas’ vast Amazon forests,

From the bottomless Belizean Blue Hole to the heart of the Bermuda Triangle,

Caribbean people, holding their belly bottom, bawl out in labour pain,

“Build strong bridges. Build resilient relationships.”

Resilient leadership connects, not to create uniformity, but to accommodate healthy tensions.

Connects people.

Connects differences.

Connects diversities.

Connects ideas.

Connects perspectives.

Connects communities.

Connects spiritualities.

Connects the marginalized to the centre.

Connects people to God’s mystery.

Connects, connects, connects.

After deep intimacy with the Holy Spirit,

Bishops returned home pregnant with hope,

To give birth to new relationships – new bridges.

To repair old bridges.

To replace useless bridges.

To connect.

To build relationships.

Listen, Let us listen

Listen to our Lord’s call

Listen, Let us listen

The synodal journey has begun.”

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