Coordinators of both English and Mandarin-speaking church ministries and Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) processed into church 10 minutes before 8 pm on Thursday 30 July 2015 to mark the start of this year's Triduum. The Novena to Saint Ignatius of Loyola was recited followed by Mass with Fr Joe Pereira (Chancellor, Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur) as the main celebrant and SIC Parish Priest Fr Lucas Ng as concelebrant. This year's Triduum is anchored by the parish pastoral theme for 2015-2016 – To be a Worshipping, Welcoming & Caring Community – with the first day focusing on SIC as a Worshipping Community.
In his homily, Fr Joe preached that God is Father of all humanity regardless of religion and is ever-present in our churches. This is signified by the ever-burning tabernacle lamp just as He manifested His presence as a pillar of cloud by day and fire at night as recorded in the book of Exodus. God's presence has made the land on which SIC now stands 'golden' and precious, a far cry from the land which was almost worthless before the church was first built.
After the homily, parishioners Ken Cham and Kamala Mary each gave a short sharing on the present state of the worshipping community at SIC and their hopes for the community in future. Church leaders present were blessed by Fr Joe with the Blessing of St Benedict's Medal and each received a Mission Rosary with a daily prayer for the spread of the Gospel. Towards the end of Mass, SIC Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) chairman Erwin Ho brought in a cake to celebrate Fr Lucas' 56th birthday. Priests then joined some 400 parishioners for light refreshments after Mass.
A Welcoming Community was the focus of the second day of the Triduum Mass held on Friday 31 July 2015 at 8 pm with Fr Joe as the main celebrant and SIC Assistant Parish Priest Fr Andrew Wong as the concelebrant. Parishioners John Gan and Stephen Ho shared personal experiences which make SIC a welcoming community. A parishioner of 25 years who was baptised in SIC a decade ago, John related that he felt welcomed all along despite being a non-Catholic for the first 15 years. He is particularly grateful to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and his BEC of which he later became coordinator and now BECCOT chairman. As for the future, he hopes SIC parishioners will go beyond singing a welcome song during Mass for first-time visitors by reaching out in friendship and invite them to join our activities.
As for Stephen, he mentioned that SIC which has a dress code has not denied entry or communion to anyone who were improperly attired – just as Jesus has never turned away anyone. He cited in particular the efforts of the Parish Integral Human Development Ministry (PIHD) in giving assistance to migrants and the needy. Another example of inclusiveness mentioned was a joint initiative by Parish Coordinating Council chairman Alphonso Lourdesamy and SIC Scripture Study (SSS) to conduct Bible study modules in English & Bahasa for our brothers and sisters in Christ from East Malaysia. Fr Joe then accorded a special blessing on the sick and elderly and highlighted Romans 15:7 Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God – on the significance of being a welcoming community. About 350 parishioners joined the priests for fellowship and light refreshments after Mass.
On the final day of the Triduum, Fr Joe was the main celebrant and Fr Alberto Irenus (Church of St Francis Xavier), Fr Lucas, Fr Andrew, Fr Francis Chong CDD and Fr Pedro Chia (Society of Jesus) were the concelebrants at the bilingual High Mass which started at 6 pm. Fr Alberto, who was the celebrant at the Triduum Mass for the Mandarin-speaking community at Costantini Community Centre on the first two days, gave the homily in Mandarin followed by Fr Joe in English. Elaborating on the theme of A Caring Community, Erwin shared that ministries such as PIHD as well as parishioners have reached out to the poor both within and around the parish. To a certain extent, SIC has reached out to the Last, Lost, Least and Little mentioned by Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Julian Leow but the parish can be more worshipping, more welcoming and more caring.
In closing, Fr Joe asked all to commit Ephesians 22 that you should put away the old self; Ephesians 23 be renewed in the spirit; Ephesians 24 and put on the new self – to our hearts and to use it for God's plan and dream for SIC. Fr Joe then invoked a blessing on all families present to become a more worshipping, more welcoming and caring community. Fr Lucas presented Frs Joe and Alberto with love offerings in appreciation for making the Triduum a success and priests joined parishioners for a fellowship dinner after Mass.
Click here to view more photos of our Triduum.
Photography: John Ari Ragai, Matthew Soo & Peter Law