Church of the Holy Spirit
Feast day: Pentecost
Address: #3a Subero Street,
Tuesday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 12 noon & 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Phone: 241 - 2715
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday: 5 p.m.
Sunday: 8.30 a.m.
Tuesday – Friday: 6 p.m.
In 1950, the late Canon Maher, then Parish Priest of Santa Rosa, began construction of the Malabar RC School. The school was destined to play an integral part in the spiritual growth and development of the Malabar community. Before the advent of the school, Catholics in Malabar worshipped at Santa Rosa Roman Catholic Church, as one parish. After the school was completed, Ms. Modestine Augustine thought that Holy Mass could now be celebrated at the school. She approached Canon Maher with her idea and it was accepted. The residents organized themselves and erected an altar in the school where Holy Mass was celebrated for the first time in the community. Canon Maher, Fr. Sydney Charles and Fr Urban Peschier were the first priests to preside at the celebration every first Saturday.
As the community grew, Holy Mass was celebrated every second and third Sundays. Archbishop Finbar Ryan, gave the community an exemption from the obligation to attend Mass on the other Sundays. However, many people made their way to Santa Rosa on the other Sundays, such was their dedication. During this period and up to 1969, several priests assisted with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, including Fathers Fred Patience, Rudy Mohammed and Michael Makhan.
On January 01st, 1970, Malabar became the 61st Parish in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain. Fr David Oliviere was appointed parish priest by Archbishop Anthony Pantin. The Archbishop celebrated Holy Mass at the school on January 04th, 1970. The period leading up to Parish status was an exciting one for the community. Preparation and training for liturgical ministers was ongoing. Some names that stood out from the list of trainees were; Gary Pierre, Altar server, Sylvia John, Lector and Bridget Peschier, choir leader. The “new kids on the block”, so to speak, quickly moved into their first Lenten retreat in February, 1970, which was facilitated by Fr Peter Nicholson CSSp. Fr Cyril Ross did the honours in the following year while in 1973, Archbishop Pantin conducted the retreat.
In 1974, from the parish of Santa Rosa, Fr. Oliviere launched the operation to build a church in Malabar. Combining foresight and artistry, he designed a multi-purpose building used for sports and other activities. The top of the keys and the centre of the basketball court can be clearly seen on the terrazzo floor. There is an enclosed garden on the right, with a view of the scenic northern range and a stage to the left. The Blessed Sacrament was kept in a little chapel at the back of the Altar, beyond the crucifix. That little chapel is now used as the Chapel for Eucharistic Adoration.
The church at Malabar is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. The official name is: The Church of the Holy Spirit, Malabar. The inspiration for this name, the third person of the Holy Trinity, lies in the openness to the Holy Spirit at the time and the beginning of the renewal after the Second Vatican Council. The first Holy Mass was celebrated in a semi completed building on Christmas Eve, 1974. The next year, there were two confirmation ceremonies, where the sacrament was conferred on one hundred and forty-one (131) persons. Could you imagine a party being held here? Well, remember it was a multipurpose hall. In November 1975, a barbeque party was held in the building. It was one of the first fundraisers of the young parish. An Apostolate to the sick and shut-in was formed in the latter part of the 1970s. Parishioners associated with this initiative included Sylvia John and June Callender. Holy Mass for the sick was celebrated every third Saturday at 11:00 a.m. The celebration was followed by lunch and fellowship. This ministry is still very active today.