ON Thursday evening, the Catholic church in Vieux Fort held a march for peace in the community, calling on residents to seek divine intervention in order to rid society of violence.
Participants marched along some of the main streets in Vieux Fort town, including Bruceville — one of the most troubled areas in the community — singing and praying. The small crowd, which increased slightly as it passed through Bruceville, was very passionate as they appealed to residents to walk away from violence and put God in their lives.
”Allow the lord to guide you”, “Say no to violence” and “Live a life for Christ” were just a few of the messages conveyed to residents.
Fr. Kevin Murray, parish priest of Vieux Fort, said the march for peace by the church has worked in the past, adding that he expects it to continue to have a positive impact on the lives of residents in the community.
“Last year, there were some shootings in Vieux-Fort. We came out on the streets and it had some positive effects,” he said.
He added that the church is also taking the opportunity to instill the importance of prayers to residents.
“We are here to preach peace, not violence,” Fr. Murray said.
Over the years, violence has been a major concern for residents of Vieux Fort. A number of young men in the community have been gunned down in what police have described as ongoing conflict among gangs.
Crime, crime, we have been marching and praying for years to try to curb it. Nothing wrong with this approach but we need more proactive sustainable ways to stop crime. this has to start wit hthe powers-that-be, the constituency reps., then ourselves, at all levels.
I recall a few years ago a certain politician in Central Castries attempted to bring rival gangs together and urged them to put away their grudges. That was a good start.
Unless we get to the roots of the problem marching and praying will not make a major dent. The criminality can be curbed if those who make promises to put money in everyone’s pocket materializes. T
It may take another generation to curb the crime even if we tackle the roots.