The essential role that the church plays within any society, particularly in response to social challenges and natural disasters, was emphasized by Vance Amory, Senior Minister and Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs, during his meeting with Robert A. Llanos, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Johns – Basseterre on Monday.
“I believe we have to stay firm and strong in being grounded in the church because when we have our challenges – whether it is man-made, or it is natural – the first thing we do leading up to the hurricane season is ask the church to do intercessory prayers for protection against hurricanes,” Amory said.
He added that generally when anything happens the church is that pillar that people turn to. “It says to me therefore, that we cannot see the church as being secondary; it has to take a leading role in the lives of our people. Generally, we need to set that standard that the church must have an important role to play in our lives,” Amory said.
Llanos shared similar sentiments and noted that the church is there to assist where and when necessary. “I hope that nothing happens with regards to hurricanes in St. Kitts and Nevis, but I just hope that if, and when something happens… that they will have an understanding that the church is here to help. We are not here to create confusion,” Llanos said.
He noted that visiting St. Kitts and Nevis afforded him the opportunity to “make a connection with the government” to assure them that the “church is always in support of the government of the day, the service to the people and the churches” and will offer its assistance when needed.
As the recently installed Bishop of the Diocese of St. John’s – Basseterre, which includes Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis, Llanos will be in the Federation from April 01-11, 2019, where he is preaching at the Lenten Retreat at the Co-Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Basseterre from April 1-5.
On Monday, Llanos presented his credentials to Senior Minister Amory and discussed the role the church can play in the continued spiritual and temporal development of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Llanos’ installation as the Ordinary of the Diocese of St John’s-Basseterre took place on February 3, 2019, at the Holy Family Cathedral, St John’s, Antigua.
Llanos was born in Trinidad on February 2, 1958 and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Port of Spain on June 23, 1991. He was Vicar General (2011- 2013) and Auxiliary Bishop of Port of Spain (2013-2016) until Pope Francis appointed him Apostolic Administrator of the St John’s-Basseterre Diocese on June 20, 2016.