Fr. Alando Williams
Fr. Alando Williams was born on February 16, 1982 to Lucinda Williams and Richard Reed at what was then the Kingstown General Hospital. He is the youngest of 4 siblings, having three older sisters. Fr. Alando’s mother, Lucinda, migrated to Trinidad and he grew up with his grandmother in Fancy until around the age of twelve years. He then went to live in Stubbs with his cousin Bethel Williams and her husband Julian Pitt in order to attend secondary school in Kingstown. Shortly thereafter his grandmother died. Throughout his childhood, Fr. Alando’s guardians made sure he went to church and learnt to care of himself, cooking, washing, ironing thereby forming the foundation for the man he was to become.
It was while living in Stubbs that he met Rosita Snagg, who was his neighbour and one of the early influences in his life to become a priest. Fr. Alando, though not Catholic, occasionally attended Mass in Stubbs. Rosita invited and encouraged him to attend youth group meetings and sometime after he began the Rite of Christian Initiation in Adults (RCIA) and was fully received into the church on August 11, 2005. He immersed himself in the life of the church through various ministries, altar server, choir, Diocesan Youth Council (DYC) and began to hear the call to something bigger. Though heavily involved in church activities, he was a member of the Rotaract Club of Kingstown, holding the position of Director of Community Services from 2004 to 2005. He was also a member of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross Society, holding the position of Secretary to the Executive and Central Committees from 2003 to 2005. Rosita saw Fr. Alando as “brilliant, gifted, full of potential, sent by God.”
Fr. Alando responded to God’s call to be His servant as priest. Undeterred by the challenges facing the Catholic Church at that time, he entered the Regional Seminary of St. John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs in Trinidad in 2006 to 2012. Upon his ordination, Fr. Michael Stewart had this to say “he witnesses as a young person… is a vocations promoter” especially at a time when young people seemed to be searching for meaning in their lives, he added that “he comes to the priesthood when the Church needs credible witnesses.” He was heralded as a “sign of hope” by the then Bishop Jason Gordon in an environment where young people were after glamour and popularity. Fr. Vivian Durrant found that he came as a “renewal for the congregations.” Others said he was “spiritually driven” and many found that he related well with the youth of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Fr. Alando’s early education began at Fancy Government School, followed by the St. Vincent Boys’ Grammar School from 1994 to 1999. Later he attended the Community College from 1999 to 2001 and Teachers’ College from 2001 to 2003 earning a Certificate in Teachers Education from the Cave Hill School of Education, University of the West Indies (UWI). From 2008 to 2012 he attended UWI St. Augustine Campus while at seminary in Trinidad earning himself a Bachelor of Arts in Theology. That same year he won the CLR James prize for Caribbean Studies paper on African Studies at that same university. He was Chaplain intern at Deaconess Health, in Evansville, Indiana, in the United States of America (USA) in 2013. He earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership with a concentrate in Catholic Education at the University of Dayton from 2015 to 2017 also in the USA. Fr. Alando holds a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Mercy Centre in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.
A credible Liturgist, as demonstrated by his organizing and overseeing of Diocesan Masses, Fr. Alando strives to ensure all aspects of the Liturgy are in sync during Mass, working through the ministry leaders and other. He holds the Chair of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission and is liaison to the DYC in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kingstown in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Today, Fr. Alando’s journey is not done. He continues to shepherd his people as parish priest of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Bequia and Mustique, at the same time developing himself and taking on new challenges in the world of study. He is currently pursuing studies in Canon Law at St. Paul University in Ottowa, Canada and in his spare time reads a variety of books to widen his horizon and thinking. He is involved in organizing youth events for the Church and he enjoys hiking particularly when the trail presents a challenge.
This is Fr. Alando. His ongoing journey. His Service. His stewardship.