Who We Are‎ > ‎

After the formation of the First National Spiritual Assembly of St. Lucia in 1983

In the following decades, after St. Lucia was its own 

National Bahá'í Community, there occurred many 

changes within the community.


As was mentioned at the end of the last page, the first

"Baby Naming Ceremony" and the first burial of a

St. Lucian Baha'i occurred"


The very first "Baha'i Baby Naming Ceremony" of a Baha'i

child would of been for Badi Bloodworth, born in St. Lucia

5th of April 1980, of Canadian Baha'i pioneer parents.


Cusheen Duboulay, the son of Cadosia Duboulay, was

born on 7 August 1986, would of been the first Baha'i 

baby born to a St. Lucian citizen to have a baby naming 

ceremony, which occurred on December 1986 at Negar and

Barwize Babahanni's home in San Souci.  Moses

Henery would of been the Civil Status Officer.


Baha'i Burials

The First person to be buried as a Bahá'í on the island, 10 

November 1978 was Wayne Hoover, a travel teacher from

America.  


The first Bahá'í burial of a St. Lucian took place

on 4  January 1988 for Cusheen Duboulay, the son of

Cadosia  Duboulay.  Cusheen had been born on 7 August 1986.

Cadosia’s  son was buried  in Choc Cemetery


First adult Bahá'í born in St. Lucian to have a Baha'i 

funneral  was Moses Henery, who passed away on 11 February 1994.  

In little over a month; the second burial to occur was John Loader, 

who died on 26 March 1994.  There is a difference in burial laws for 

an adult Bahá'í and Bahá'í burial of someone else..


For a further understanding of Baha'i burials, and the

writings about burials click on " Burial, Baha'i" by 

Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi, and Universal House of Justice, 

published in  Compilation of Compilations, Volume I, pages 9-

13, 1991"  http://bahai-

library.com/compilation_bahai_burial


The St. Lucian National Bahá'í Community, acquired a 

National Bahá'í  Property

new center
Because complications arose over the property 

on the Morne, which 

had been intended as  

the site of the first

National Bahá'í Center,a

the property was sold

and a house in Entrepot
 
was purchasedThis 

occurred six years later in 1990.



Every religion has places of worship. In the Bahá'í 

Faith these sites, up until 2012 have been Continental 

Baha'i Temples, and now would be either National Bahá'í 

Temples or  Cluster level Bahá'í Temples. There are no 

temples in St. Lucia. The building of a Baha'i Temple is a 

worldwide endeavor. See Bahá'í House of  Worship. The 

Bahá'í Faith is not a "church based" or "temple based" belief. 

The Baha'is practice their Faith, daily, in all aspects of their 

lives.When the  Baha'i Community gathers, they would do so 

at Baha'i Centers, in their homes, or in rented spaces.


Another way in which a national community becomes more 

firmly established in a country is through being

“enriched by pious endowments,”.

There have over the years been gifts of property made to The 

St Lucian Bahá'í Community however the non-Bahá'í families 

of these individuals have not been faithful to these wills and 

the St. Lucian Bahá'í Community has consistently chosen not 

to take legal action in contesting the will.


OFFICIAL RECOGNITION of Baha'i National St. Lucian 

Institutions and the Government relations to The Bahá'í 

Faith


proclamation of Baha'u'llah bk
There has been an increasing response from civil authorities in St. Lucia to the Bahá'í 

Faith as is exemplified by, the acceptance, in 

1968, by the head of state of the book "The 








In 1976: October 25-November 1,  Shamsi Sedaghat is  

interviewed by The Voice  [for a list of Bahá'í  articles in "The 

Voice" click here ] & Radio Caribbean, and Radio St. 

LuciaShe also spoke at Rotary and  Town Hall meetings, 

and had a 15  min. taped TV interview.  There was a  courtesy 

call on the Minister of  Education, who gave permission for her 

to speak in schools. 


In 1973:  March. Shamsi Sedaghat started a  free Bahá'í radio 

program  which ran for a number of years.


Over the years, John Kolstoe reports:


hidden words
"Relations with the government has been friendly. There have been many formal presentations to highly placed officials. Of special note was the gift of a beautifully illuminated copy of  "The Hidden Words", which was accepted by Queen Elizabeth during her visit in 1985.

queen Elizabeth
















promise of world peace
Following the publication of "The Promise of 

World Peace" in 1986, formal presentations 

were made to the Governor General, the 

Prime Minister, Members of Parliament, 

Senators and other prominent officials.








Incorporation (Of the National  Spiritual  Assembly)  was 

achieved through a  special act of parliament  in 1986. “ 

As well, in 1986, the St Lucian Government also helped  

sponsor; "The resolution  adopted by the United Nations 

General Assembly (for an end  to the persecution of the 

Baha'is in Iran) was  sponsored by Antigua, Australia, 

Barbuda, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Luxembourg, 

the Netherlands, Norway, Samoa, St. Lucia and the United 

Kingdom.


Beginning in July 1991 there was a frequent Bahá'í Column 

"Living The Life' The Bahá'í  View" which ran for a number of 

years.  This regular regular weekly column, "Bahá'í  Views", in 

“The Voice”, was again re-established in 2005 [for a list of 

Baha'i articles in "The Voice" click here] one of the  countries 

national newspapers..   There has been a regular column 

since.  “The   Voice on Line”  also contains these articles .The  

Voice has also run other Bahá'í related articles for  example, 

”13th February 2010 “St. Lucia Raises its Voice for 

Religious Freedom”  -Submitted by Stephanie Bloodworth” 

Which also  indicates that the Government of St. Lucia 

recognizes the human rights issue of the Bahá'ís in Iran and 

“St. Lucia distinguished itself as the only Caribbean nation that 

voted in favor of the resolution on human rights situation in the 

Islamic Republic of Iran at the 64th General Assembly of the United 

Nations. “ 



Recognition by Prominent People


L to R: Pat Paccassi, Mrs. Charles, Shirley  Yarbrough


Mrs. Amelia Charles, wife of first Premier of St. Lucia, enrolled in the Faith. L to R: Pat Paccassi, Mrs. Charles, Shirley Yarbrough
 


Opposition

“Opposition has been sporadic and not organized.” 

Like the rise and fall of the waves of activity and response, so 

there has been the rise and fall in opposition the Bahá'í  Faith 

in St. Lucia has experienced.  From a beginning  in 1968, with 

a priest telling the believers to take their children out of his 

school if they wished to be Bahá'ís.  As a result the regional 

National Spiritual Assembly of the Leeward  Windward, and 

Virgin Islands (first elected in 968), with jurisdiction, at that 

time over the Bahá'ís of St. Lucia, wrote to the Universal 

House of Justice about the possibility of starting a Bahá'í  

school in Jacmel.


“Bahá’ís have received harassment from clergymen, non-

Bahá’í family members, and peers. The general stance of the 

Catholic clergy has been to ignore the Faith. The Bishop was 

asked for the use of a Catholic facility for a summer school 

and all he said was that he would do nothing to help the 

Bahá’ís. There have been isolated cases of opposition as well 

as isolated cases of support. Some protestant clergymen have 

preached against the Faith in sermons on the radio and 

television. “


Esther in her presentations would say,

“ …there was a lot of pressure on people to remain in their 

churches. Often when someone was investigating the Faith 

they would be accompanied by a more senior church member 

to make sure the inquirer, remained an inquirer and did not 

convert.” 


Bahá'í Literature and St. Lucian Krewol


There have been some attempts to raise the amount of Bahá'í 

literature available in Saint Lucian Creole Moses  Henery 

translated The “Noonday Prayer” into St. Lucian  Krewol also 

known as Patois.


St. Lucian Bahá'ís visiting the Bahá'í World Centre in 

Haifa, Israel


Another way in which a national Bahá'í community becomes 

stronger is by members undertaking a pilgrimage.

“..And finally, we can even bear witness to the marked 

improvement in the conditions surrounding the pilgrimages 

performed by its devoted adherents …" “…pilgrimages 

originally arduous, perilous, tediously long, often made on 

foot, at times ending in disappointment,…”


are now for St. Lucia easier, except for the financial cost. The film "The Pilgrimage" was donated to The Windward Islands area, to be shared in each island.  It was first shown at a meeting open to all, held in Sunny Acres. 

The first Bahá’í living in St. Lucia to have gone to The World Center from St. Lucia was Henrietta Trutza as she went to the International Convention in 1968 as she was on the first National Spiritual Assembly of the Leeward Windward and Virgin Islands at the time.

nsa bds
The next would of been Patricia Paccassi who went to the Baha'i World Center, from St. Lucia, going to the International Convention in 1978, as a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of Barbados and the Windward Islands.  There is a ‘Voice” article dated 1 June 1978 page 6.  [for a list of Baha'i articles in "The Voice" click here ] 



international convention
In 1983: May 11, Front page article in "Voice"    [for a list of Baha'i articles in "The Voice" click here ] 

reported: Windward 

Island Bahá'ís (Anthony 

'Don' Providence, St. 


Vincent, Stephanie &  Keith Bloodworth, Patricia & Frank 

Paccassi, St. Lucia) who attended International Convention in  

Haifa, Israel 



                                     \/ Moses Henery



In 1988, all nine members of The National Assembly of St. Lucia went to 
the 6th International Baha'i Convention, making  Mrs Claudette AntoineMr. Martin Devaux, Mr. Mosess Henery, and Mrs. Sidonia Joseph Irwin to be the first born in St. Lucia Baha'is to have visited The Baha'i World Center.  The other National Assembly members attending would of been Mrs. Negar Bahbahani, Miss Nancy Cole,  Mrs. Barbara Hudson, Mrs. Beverly Kolstoe, and Mr. John E. Kolsto


julliana
Julliette Auguste Day 

would of been the first 

St. Lucian Bahá'í, for 

which there is a record, 

to have gone on 

pilgrimage and to have 

worked at  the Baha'i 

World Center. She and 

her husband, at the 

time,  Dr. Marcus Day, 

went on pilgrimage in the spring of 1987 and then stayed for 

the summer to work. A number of other St. Lucians have gone 

since.


In 1990's Guy Marcos, his wife Moni and Urmie Persaud all 

living in St. Lucia and Urmie being a citizen of St. Lucia (born 

in Guyana) did a travel teaching trip to Dominica. Thus a new 

stage of a St. Lucian travel teaching elsewhere arrived.


See:

Second Grandma Snyder Project


Demographics


Just as there have been stages of development of the Bahá’í Faith world wide, so in St. Lucia there have been stages for the community and for the institutions.

 Encyclopdia.com reports:

"The vast majority of the population (of St. Lucia) is Christian. 

About 67% of the residents are Roman Catholic, though only 

about 40% of all Catholics are active members. There is a 

substantial Protestant community comprised of Anglicans, 

Pentecostals, Seventh-Day Adventists, Baptists, Jehovah's 

Witnesses, and Methodists. There are small communities of 

Hindus, and Muslims, as well as small groups of Rastafarians 

and Bahá'ís. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion. 

The St. Lucia Christian Council, an interfaith group of Roman 

Catholics and mainline Protestants, has a close relationship 

with the government. Certain Christian holidays are recognized 

as national holidays.”


The 2001 St. Lucian census reported "0.1% of the population were Bahá’ís.   The difference between the government statistics and The Bahá’í Communities' own statistics are due to a number of reasons including the reality The Bahá’í Faith is a grassroots non-professional religion. There are no clergy or "religious leaders" (in a traditional sense).  The Bahá’í Faith is organized through a system of Local and National Spiritual Assemblies, as well as Counselors and Auxiliary Board Members, all of whom are non paid volunteers.  Until the community in an area grows to such a size that some of these positions necessitate some paid potions.  There is no one paid to do any Bahá’í work, all are volunteers.  St. Lucia  would have no paid Bahá’í  positions. 


Thus within The Bahá'í   Community, every individual is 

ultimately responsible for their  own spiritual journey and 

spiritual state.  This concept will take time to  settle into the 

hearts and minds of the new believers. Thus  there is a 

difference between the number of people who have  said they 

wish to be Bahá'ís and  the number of believers who “have a 

Bahá'í identify”.


Kolstoe reports that the

“STATUS OF THE BAHÁ’Í 

COMMUNITY was of 1990: 1.2% of the General Population, 

which was then 142,000.  With 1,836 enrolled Bahá’ís.  As of 

the begining of 2013 there have been 2,620 people who have 

registered  to be considered as Bahá'ís living in St. Lucia.  

Recently The  Bahá'í Community has begun to keep a list of 

and statistically work with  those who claim to have a “Bahá'í 

identify”

this at present would be 195 people.  These would 

be people who are either involved in one of the core activities 

in  some way, or who wish to receive The St. Lucia Baha'i 

News, or who take part in other Baha'i activities.


It is like  in the early days of Christianity when the disciples 

had to go  by the synagogues and call the Christian believers 

out.

Acts Chapter 9 Commentary

ncbible.org/resources/ActsComm09.htmlShare
Note that Christians were still attending the synagogue... 


Because the Bahá'í Faith accepts that all faiths have truth 

as  their base and thus are in truth; parts of one faith, there is 

not  the same pressure to quickly separate oneself from one's 

former faith. Although people look to numbers as the proof of 

the truth of something, intellectually knowing what is true and 

what is false is a whole study of epistemology, which does not 

even begin to touch upon the internal understanding we have 

of the truth of something.


The Modern community

There is an active Bahá’í Community in St. Lucia.  Bahá’ís get together regularly and often to worship, study sacred writings, celebrate Bahá’í Holy Days, and just to socialize.  The Bahá’í  writings address social issues as well as personal growth, and encourage its members to work to "carry forward an ever advancing civilization."  Consequently, the Bahá’ís of St. Lucia also tend to be very involved in other community organizations, particularly those which are in harmony with Bahá’í  principles   Since its inception the religion has had involvement in social--economic development.  The Faith entered a new phase of activity when a message of the Universal House of Justice dated 20 October 1983 was released. Bahá’ís were urged to seek out ways, compatible with the Bahá’í  teachings in which they could become involved in the social and economic developmental of the communities in which they lived.  Worldwide in 1979 there were 129 officially recognized Bahá’í  social-economic development projects  By 1987, the number of officially recognized development projects had increased to 1,482.



The Bahá’Í Faith in St. Lucia is

"emerging imperceptibly into the broad daylight of public recognition" as can be seen from its' evolving history. St. Lucian Bahá’í social and economic endeavors over the years have included membership on the St. Lucian National  Council of Women.  In the early 1980s, Patricia Paccassi, was the first Bahá’í representative.  After thee first year she became the secretary for several years for which she received an award from the Council as one of the "25 Outstanding Women on St. Lucia"  presented at the Prime Minister's Official Residence in 2001. When Patricia Paccassi left Juliana Auguste Day took over as the Bahá’í  representative, and then Cadosia DuBoulay.  Additionally the Bahá’ís have had representation on various national inter-faith groups".  The Bahá’ís have worked in support of The Virtues Project; locally having been facilitated by Lynda Brooks, Joy Court, in St. Lucian Schools. Stephaanie Bloodworth with the St. Lucian National Foundation, and Betty Antoine (Faucher) facilitated its' use in a school in Black Bay.  A Bahá’í  doctor has also come and worked, for a period of time, at St. Jude's hospital in the south of the island. Bahá’ís have initiated or been part of   ."Clean Up the Neighborhood  including a junior youth project in Augier, which obtained and painted trash cans in the south of the island.  For many Bahá’í  Holy Days, as a way to commemorate the day, the Bahá’ís have arranged for the visiting of the elderly or in helping fix up their house and yard as part of a Bahá’í  institute activity, such as one of the core activities, study circles, or junior youth groups.   In the north of the island visiting the hospitals  bring gifts es, or junior youth group.  This has also included visiting the hospital and saying prayers in the south and visiting the homes for the elderly; and in the north of the island visiting the hospitals, bringing gifts, saying prayers and singing.  These are directly sponsored Bahá’í  activities  or undertaken as Bahá’í  representatives.  In social and economic development there are also individuals, who are Bahá’ís, undertaking projects as individuals, and do not directly connect the project to their Bahá’í  beliefs or connections.


The present stage of The Bahá'í Faith in St. Lucia


“Summer/Winter Schools, Institutes, Conferences, the St. 

Lucia Bahá’í News (continues to this day) , correspondence 

courses and a popular radio program have (in the past)  been 

presented regularly. These have been important for teaching, 

consolidation and proclamation. The Core Activities and 

Institute Process have been more recent, and effective, 

developments.” “The work in St. Lucia is characterized by the 

ease of teaching. It is not unusual for people who are not 

registered as Bahá’ís to claim they are. There is a general love 

for the Bahá’í Prayers and songs even among the non-

Bahá’ís. Consolidating gains has proved more difficult. The 

launching of the InstituteProcess in the early years of the 21st 

century spurred on a new burst of activity, primarily by St. 

Lucian Bahá’ís.” 


In its' present stage The Bahá’í Community, word- wide has changed from striving to take the Message of Baha'u'llah to each of the countries of the world  to dividing the world into smaller units called clusters and striving to strengthen the presence of The Bahá’í  Faith in each cluster.  St. Lucia in this stage, at first though of its' self  as four different clusters; and now works as one cluster, having two sectors, a north sector and a south sector.


Clusters

… to divide the territories under their jurisdiction into areas 

consisting of adjacent localities, called clusters, using criteria 

that were purely geographic and social and did not relate to the 

strength of local Bahá'í communities…."[2 Message dated 17 

January 2003 written by the Universal House of Justice to the 

Bahá'ís of the world.] 


1.1 Categorizing Clusters

Acknowledging that in some cases cluster boundaries would be 

only a "reasonable approximation," which might be modified 

through experience,..:” [27 April 2003 - The Universal House of 

Justice, Building Momentum: A Coherent Approach to Growth 

To all National Spiritual Assemblies.]


Neighborhoods


Within a cluster, the world-wide Bahá’í Community has recognized, that it makes more sense to even further divide the cluster down into villages, towns, and neighborhoods.


There are many countries …now makes it possible to focus 

attention on smaller geographic areas. Most of these will 

consist of a cluster of villages and towns, but, sometimes, a 

large city and its suburbs may constitute an area of this kind. 

Among the factors that determine the boundaries of a cluster 

are culture, language, patterns of transport, infrastructure, and 

the social and economic life of the inhabitants. The areas into 

which a region divides will fall into various categories of 

development. Some will not yet be open to the Faith, while 

others will contain a few isolated localities and groups; in 

some, established communities will be gaining strength through 

a vigorous institute process; in a few, strong communities of 

deepened believers will be in a position to take on the 

challenges of systematic and accelerated expansion and 

consolidation.” (The Universal House of Justice, Ridván 158, 

2001 01 09, to the Conference of the Continental)


The individual, the institutions, and the community


In this present stage, of Bahá’í development, in St. Lucia the individual Bahá’í would be striving to strengthen their own knowledge, commitment, skills, and volition so as to be able to reach out to other "identified  Bahá’ís", as-well as the greater community.  The St. Lucian  Bahá’í Community and its' institutions would be striving to encourage the individuals to arise in this endeavor and for others to come and join them in aiding in the advancement of civilization.   The St. Lucian  Bahá’í Community has been seen for a long time as an independent, "not even Christian" faith.  To be seen as an 'independent faith, has been a goal of the community.  For it is as separate from its' -roots - Islam, just as Christianity is seen as independent from its' roots -Judaism. The  struggle with the phrase "not even Christian"  is that it is an attempt to put down the Faith as less than, even though The Faith  embraces all religions. This is of course, a different belief than Christianity, for Christianity embraces and accepts the Prophets of its' roots, however it rejects the vitality of every other belief.  

To only look at numbers  within the St. Lucian  Bahá’í Community, is like the Jewish priest (rabbis) during the early stages of Christianity, saying, "Why accept these few." "They are the lowest"


The interaction of the three constituents the individual, 

the institutions, and the community


Bahá'ís would see this stages of a Bahá'í Community lying in 

the interaction of three constituents; the individual, the 

community and the institutions.


“... the three constituent participants in the upbuilding of the 

Order of Bahá'u'lláh -- the individual, the institution, and the 

community -- can foster such growth first … (by working 

together) by working towards embracing masses of new 

believers, …whose involvement in the work of the Cause will 

ensure a constant influx of new adherents, an uninterrupted 

evolution of Bahá'í Assemblies, and a steady consolidation of 

the community.” Letter from the Universal House of Justice, 

dated Ridvan ,1996, to the Bahá'ís of the World (Compilations, 

NSA USA - Developing Distinctive Baha'i Communities)


As each becomes stronger the other two constituent parts also become stronger.  If one is weak the others are equally weak.  The Bahá’í Community in St. Lucia would still be in the stage of emerging from obscurity, which is an idea from a quote by Shoghi Effendi that outlines the Bahá’í understanding of the process of its development. The developmental stages are the stages of "... obscurity, proscription, emancipation, and recognition".   All of these stages are an on-going seamless process of moving from one stage to the next.


Shoghi Effendi wrote;

“We perceive a no less apparent evolution in the scope of its 

teachings, at first designedly rigid, complex and severe, 

subsequently recast, expanded, and liberalized under the 

succeeding Dispensation, later expounded, reaffirmed and 

amplified by an appointed Interpreter, and lastly systematized 

and universally applied to both individuals and institutions”


This is still an on-going process, all over the world and especially in St. Lucia.  The process of applying those teachings as individuals, as a community, and as institutions; the process of deepening on the teachings and fulfilling them more completely in their service and in their actions is an ongoing endeavor.  

The Bahá’í Community in the world and certainly The Bahá’í Community of  St. Lucia, would see itself as:


“ the forerunner of a divine, a slowly maturing civilization.”


For more information about the history of The Baha'i Faith in St. 

Lucia go to 

http://www.bahaihistorycaribbean.info/html/st__lucia.html


 The members of the St. Lucian Baha’i community work in many 

different fields: education, business, science, technology, and many 

more.  They come from  different racial and cultural groups.  Some of 

the Baha’is in St. Lucia were raised as Baha’is, but most have 

discovered and embraced the Faith as a result of their own spiritual 

search.  This latter group comes from a wide range of religious 

backgrounds including many Christian denominations and even 

former agnostics and atheists.
 

On a world wide basis, one will find Baha’is who have come out of every religious background: Traditional and primitive religious backgrounds, as well as Jewish, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, Shinto, and Islam.

Since the Baha’i Faith has no clergy, the community depends upon an elected body of 9 adults called the National Spiritual Assembly to run the affairs of The Faith in St. Lucia. At a community level, there is an elected  body of 9 adults called the Local Spiritual Assembly.  Both provide guidance and direction for the community.  To support its activities, the community also has a national and local monetary fund to which only Baha’is are allowed to give.

There are many on going activities  in St. Lucia and we invite you to join us.  You will find a diverse, spiritually-based, welcoming group of warm, friendly people.


                                                     

9 pointed star symbol all religions with earth


Email the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of  St. Lucia

 

click here for "A thank-you for visiting our web page"

Baha’is of St. Lucia official site. Sponsored by  The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of St. Lucia, Caribbean, West Indies


Comments