The Garifuna Settlement Day Cultural Mass Association is pleased to announce its Annual Garifuna Settlement Day Cultural Mass in memory of Garifuna Civil Rights Leader Thomas Vincent Ramos. The Mass will be officiated by Bishop Lawrence Sydney Nicasio, Bishop of Belize City-Belmopan. The Mass will be held on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 2 PM, at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 680 Mother Gaston Blvd between Livonia and Powell Avenues, Brooklyn, NY 11212.

Thomas Vincent “TV” Ramos, (17 September 1887 – 13 November 1955) was a Garifuna civil rights activist in Belize, who set out his life work to bring the Garifunas into the mainstream of Belizean development, while maintaining and expanding their understanding and pride in their heritage.

In 1940, as leader and spokesman of the Garifuna people along with Pantaleon Hernandez and Domingo Ventura lobbied the governor of the colony British Honduras (Belize) and for establishment of a public and bank holiday to observe the Garifunas’ arrival in Belize. The request was granted and the Carib Disembarkation Day, later named Garifuna Settlement Day, was first celebrated in Stann Creek District on 19 November 1941. The holiday was recognized in Toledo District in 1943 and throughout the country in 1977. His greatest legacy, is the increasingly prominent part Garifunas now play in Belizean society.

Bishop Lawrence Sydney Nicasio (September, 5 1956 –) was born in Dangriga and was appointed Bishop of Belize City-Belmopan by Pope Francis on January 26, 2017

He was ordained a priest on June 16, 1989. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, United States of America, and a Master of Divinity in the Kenrich College Seminary, in the same archdiocese.

He has served in the following roles: parish vicar of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Belmopan (1989-1995); pastor of the Inmaculada parish in Orange Walk, secretary and treasurer of the presbytery council and master of liturgical celebrations (1995-2006); pastor of the San Ignazio parish and administrator of the St. John Vianney parish in Belize City (2007-2013); and president of the Diocesan Priest Association and member of the college of consulters (2007-2009). He is currently pastor of the Cathedral of the Holy Redeemer in Belize City. He succeeds Bishop Dorick McGowan Wright, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father.

Bishop Lawrence Sydney Nicasio is the Second Garifuna Catholic Bishop Ordained in Belize.

The Garifuna Settlement Day Cultural Mass Association invites all New Yorkers to its Annual Garifuna Settlement Day Cultural Mass, officiated by Bishop Lawrence Sydney Nicasio of Belize, Bishop of Belize City-Belmopan. Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 2 PM, at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 680 Mother Gaston Blvd between Livonia and Powell Avenues, Brooklyn, NY 11212.

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