The socio-economic systems under which we Belizeans live are called Christianity and capitalism. There is this stunning contradiction between the two visions, however, because capitalism is based on individuals’ and families’ (and nations’) grabbing as much as they can by any means necessary, whereas Christianity emphasizes how much we should care for our fellow human beings.
The column is not about any personal preaching of mine, although I do suggest you read perhaps my favorite parable of Christ’s – The Parable of the Rich Young Man.
The last few weeks have been devastating for me, because the bottom has dropped out of my world, and suddenly I’m not in a position to help people who have assumed such a help as routine for decades. A story for another time, I guess. Bottom line, I’m trying to help myself and mine.
Remember, I came from nothing in the early and middle 1970s. I’m haunted by the prospect of returning to those times: I guess I’ll have to learn to pray more frequently.
Anyway, Roman Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright lost his battle with diabetes early Wednesday morning. It is unfortunate that the coronavirus situation will prevent appropriate ceremonies and honors for this blessed man.
I met him in Standard VI at Holy Redeemer Boys School (maybe 1957, 58) when Carlson Gough and I were skipped from Standard IV together. I didn’t realize at the time that Dorick was two years older than I. He and I were favorites somewhat of the late Sister Mary Francine (Vasquez).
Dorick’s father had a tailor shop on North Front Street between Douglas Jones and Victoria. Dorick’s father had an assistant named Eddie working with him. The vibes in the tailor shop were calm and cool.
Our editorialist for this issue has written of the frightening Hurricane Hattie tragedy which struck Dorick and his family, so I will leave you to read there of that October 1961 episode.
I lost contact with Dorick early at St. John’s College. I had been an acolyte at Holy Redeemer Church and continued in the sodality at S.J.C., but the late Fr. Thomas Donovan was perhaps too enthusiastic when I was 15 about getting me into the priesthood, in which I was not interested.
And so, Dorick and I went our separate ways for many decades. Belize being as small as it is, it turned out that my sister-in-law, who has lived in Los Angeles since the late 1960s, is married to Dorick’s uncle, the very talented Joe Purcell.
On one of the Purcells’ visits home to Belize a few years ago, Dorick asked to see me. We had a fun time together talking. Dorick told me that he had always wanted to be a priest. He was very comfortable in his skin, as they say.
Dorick became blind, lost both his feet at their ankles, suffered with diabetes for many, many years, and was on painful dialysis three times a week for as long as I remember our relationship’s being renewed.
Surely, this saint of a man will be blessed in the hereafter.