13 May 2021
"Robes Of My Fathers”
The consecration robe (1919) of Archbishop George Alexander McGuire was passed on to me in 2012 and now hangs graciously in the Nave of Good Shepherd; thus, as refurbishing continues at GS I revisit this piece from 2018.
Someone recently told me that I have more robes than the Pope, that’s not true but I have many, most inherited.
Within my-sacristy there are over 300 robes, shoes miters, capes chasubles etc.. yet I will NEVER sell one item, but rather give them to deserving clergy, because they are “The Robes- of-my-Fathers.”
In 2011 when I returned from New-York after laying to rest my beloved mentor Archbishop Portier, I came home with over 40 items of vestments; so to from Boston and Bishop Greenidge estate who instructed that his robes be placed in my care. If you look at our website all clergy robes comes from this inheritance, they are Robes- of-my-Fathers.”
Over the years I have passed on vestments to many clergy in Africa, Australia, Caribbean, Europe and USA . I do so not as part of inheritance but to serve the Kingdom-of-God but some will never leave our doors such as the robes of Archbishops McGuire, Forde, Waterman & Portier they are Robes- of-my-Fathers.”
Some I have given have been mis-used, as they are used to take photos but I am most proud when I see clergy wearing them in God's service. I stand behind with a quiet smile as I look at the Robes- of-my-Fathers”.
Sometimes I wonder after I’m gone where they will go. I have willed they be passed on to my successors demanding to be used in God's-service for I revere them as "Robes-of-my-Fathers.”
Robes do not make you good-clergy, they must be used to carry the authority-of the office called. I have given vestments to ministers of other denominations, even lending some to perform spiritual duties.
Robes must be used to the glory of God, they must be worn with dignity of the office called, not the tidy sum of showing off. We must use them to build-not-destroy, to proclaim God's word.
Always in visitation I wear Red shoes as inherited from Bishop Greenidge who willed them to me calling them the “Shoes of the Fisherman.” I stand proud in them and all my vestment for I am fully aware that I am wearing the “Robes of my Fathers."