World Respect Life Day 2012

Last Updated: Sunday, 30 September 2012 Published: Monday, 23 January 2012 Written by Gail Parillon

God’s love does not distinguish between the infant in the mother’s womb or the child or the youth or the adult or the older person. In each one God sees His image and likeness. Human life is a manifestation of God and His glory.

~Pope Benedict XVI


The 19th of January, 2012 marked the 13th Anniversary of World Respect Life Day under the theme 'Educating Young People in Justice and Peace’. And, as always, the Convent High School ensured that this day was one for, not only the students, but the country to commemorate. Surely, the students and teachers alike combined their talents to create an, undoubtedly, memorable occasion.



Upon entering the school, all were greeted by the vividly colored, ostentatious decorations that gave the building a new ambiance for this momentous day.


The events of the day commenced at 8:50 am with current Convent High School teacher, Ms. Dhanelle Cuffy and Mrs. Daria Sorhaindo, serving as Masters of Ceremony for this unforgettable event. After she delivered a warm, brief welcome, current prefect, Leah Dodds, presented her opening greeting addressing the issues of respecting life and humanity and how, in the words of United States founding father, Thomas Jefferson, 'We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.'. Following such a heart-warming welcome, past head girl and current teacher of the Convent High School, Ms. Daina Matthew gave a brief, insightful overview of the theme of World Respect Life Day presented by our noble Pope Benedict XVI.


After this intriguing address, the true entertainment began with, past Convent High School student and current teacher, Ms. Leander Lander reciting the prayer, 'The Lord is my Shepherd' in excellent sign language which she learned at the University of the West Indies at the Mona Campus. Her exceptional display showed the special attention we should hold towards the disabled in our society.


The crowd was certainly left in awe as the Dominica Sisserou singers gave a beautiful rendition of the song 'Cantate Domino' (Sing to the Lord). After this, current head girl, Kaidie Williams read an inspirational bible reading extracted from the book of Isaiah 32: 17-20 that entailed a powerful message on justice which was then followed by a reflection by current Convent High School teacher, Sr. Alma Sabado, who gave her views on justice in her own life concluding that this can only be found by letting go of your greed, selfishness and jealousy.


A lovely, remarkable performance of the song 'We are the World' by Michael Jackson was then done by the Convent High School fifth form choir composed of fifth form students Rhea Lloyd, Joanna Carrette, Jacelyn Popo, Quanisha Laurent, Leigh Abraham, Kayla Victor and Keisha Marie.


Following this were five reflective bidding prayers for humanity, our faith, our leaders, vocation and our entire nation and those who reside in it. Soon after this, three unbelievably extraordinary presentations were performed by students. The first one was a lovely instrumental played by the flautists of the Henkel - Muriel Studio lead by former student, Ms Pearle Christian. Then CHS’ exceptional choral speech group presented a poem 'Maggie' written by another former Convent High School student, Aminah Hauserman. This told of a story of a young girl named Maggie leading a destructive life that inevitably ended in her death, most fitting for the day, since it t allowed us to reflect on how precious life is. Following this presentation, the school's Anti-Bullying Movement creatively spelled out the word P.E.A.C.E using members to form the word, which was truly enjoyable.


After, Ms. Lander read to the school an extract of the Bishop’s message, reminding us once again of the true meaning of World Respect Life Day and we must truly embrace it. Then, Father Cuffy, head of the Dominica Social Justice and Peace Committee, was invited to the microphone to give his personal remarks in which he commended the school for commemorating the day so justly, even sharing with us the story of a baby who survived against all odds and then he presented a donation to the family. One of the doctors on board with this organization, Dr. Binta Lambert, former student of the Convent High School, gave her own Vote of Thanks to Father Cuffy for his generosity which was greeted by an uproar of approval from the students.



Ending this memorable event, a personal Vote of Thanks was given by current vice head girl, Zarisia Alcendor, and students of the classes of 2 – 1 and 5B lead the school in the song 'Peace is Flowing Like a River'.


Truly, the message of World Respect Life Day is one that the students of Convent High School and those who tuned in to hear or watch the event should never dispose of the fact that life is something that shouldn't be disrespected or squandered but life, everything around us, should be held precious.


From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.

~Arthur Ashe


To view more photos of the day, click here.

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