by Leonard Pasqual
“Come closer,” Fr Peter Anthoney was heard to say to several people, as they went up to receive holy communion in two species, at the Church of St John Vianney (CSJV) on Saturday 18 June 2016. The parish priest of the Tampin church wanted them to come closer to him so that they could receive holy communion on the tongue properly. But for some SIC parishioners who had travelled to Tampin to visit the holy door, those words took on a different meaning. It felt like a call to get closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. That Saturday a group of about 30 from SIC comprising members from the BECs of SS25 St Philip Minh and SS3 St Catherine left Petaling Jaya at 6.30 am for Tampin to make a pilgrimage to the holy door in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.
On arrival they were greeted with a simple breakfast of fried beehoon and coffee and tea prepared by a dedicated group of CSJV parishioners. Fr Peter then invited us into the church where he gave an hour-long talk on the history of CSJV, and an enlightening catechesis about the significance of the holy door and the conditions one has to fulfil to gain a plenary indulgence by entering such a door. After the briefing, Fr Peter then led us to the holy door where we were invited to kneel at the doorway and silently pray for our intentions. Mass then followed, and two in our group had the privilege to serve as communion minister and reader that day.
We then had a simple lunch, also prepared by the same dedicated group of CSJV parishioners. Fr Peter blessed special candles sold in conjunction with the Year of Mercy that we had purchased. Group photos followed and it was time to leave. Fr Peter was such a gracious host as he saw us off right at the gates of the church where our bus was waiting to take us home. It was a Saturday well spent for our group who returned to Petaling Jaya all charged up to serve the Lord with renewed zeal fired by the holy door and the Holy Spirit.
Three young parishioners did St Ignatius Church proud by being conferred the Tan Sri Dominic Vendargon Award 2016 for outstanding secondary school students in the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese. Besides being awarded a certificate each, Adeline Thomas (Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 Category), Abigail Lim (SPM) and Erin Low [SPM (Bible Knowledge)] received RM200, RM300 & RM400 cash respectively. The purpose of the Tan Sri Dominic Vendargon Award is to recognise Catholic youths who are able to do well academically while participating actively in the life of the parish as called for in the New Way of Being Church. Besides outstanding academic achievements, the three winners are active in various ministries of the church. School prefect Adeline (9 As) serves as a projectionist for the Parish Communication Team and is active in Tropicana St Joseph BEC activities including Christmas carolling and charity projects. Erin (10As & 1B+) participates in Damansara Utama Holy Family BEC activities and designed their T-shirt. SIC Assistant Parish Priest Fr Andrew Wong handed out the awards at the 8.45 am Mass on 19 June 2016.
SIC also won the first prize of the Vendargon Award in achieving the best Bible Knowledge results among parishes in the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese for year 2015. Jerome Looi, Isaiah Lew, Erin, Daphne Shegar, Stephanie Jong and Jolene Gan garnered 3 A+, 2 As and 1 B+ for Bible Knowledge. The group prize of RM1,000 was shared accordingly – those with A+ received RM200 each, A (RM150) and B+ (RM100). Fr Andrew handed out the prizes at the 8.45 am Mass on 22 May 2016. Their results demonstrated that it is possible for students to combine educational studies with church activities/study without detriment to their grades if parents trust their children and have faith in Almighty God who makes all things possible. Getting good Bible Knowledge grades also testifies to the dedication and efforts of their teachers – Alphie D'cruz and Patricia Tan – in teaching them the Gospel of Luke & the Acts of the Apostles.
Photography: Daniel Khong
by Leonard Pasqual
About 20 members, both young and old, came together to spend their Sunday morning on 22 May 2016 to help out in the coffee morning, which our BEC organised in the church cafeteria. Our members started trickling in from 6.30 am to set up the tables and chairs, clean the place and organise the food. By 7.30 am we were all set up to receive parishioners who would come in after the first Mass. We did not have many patrons but all the same we were kept busy. But the main wave of patrons came after the 8.45 am Mass as children and their parents flocked to the food on offer that morning – nasi lemak, mee siam, egg and tuna sandwiches, French fries, fried nuggets, Nyonya kuih, butter cake, and hot and cold drinks. Our members had their hands full serving the crowd, especially at the stalls selling nasi lemak, French fries and fried nuggets. These three items went down well with everyone.
Once catechism classes started at 10.30 am, the tempo at the cafeteria dropped several notches and sales slowed down. However we managed to sell everything by noon, and it was time to clean up the premises. We ended the morning with a group photograph and a prayer of thanksgiving to our Lord for being with us, and for all the willing and happy hands at the coffee morning. We raised close to RM1,500 from the sale and also received RM200 in donations towards this event. The money will be used for our BEC outreach projects and activities. Thank you everyone!
by Evelyn Toh
On Saturday 6 May, the Single Adult Ministry (SAM) of St Ignatius Church (SIC) organised a mini pilgrimage to the Holy Door at the Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) – one of five designated pilgrimage churches in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Catholic Student Society from Vision College was also invited, whereby the majority attending were Sabahans. All 21 pilgrims convoyed to CDM by 1.30 pm. Fr Gregory Chan began his session by explaining about the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy declared by Pope Francis and the purpose of pilgrimage. He stated that in the Middle Ages, a pilgrimage was prescribed as penance for a penitent. This was to enable the penitent to undergo the unexpected in their journey, as well as experience inconvenience and hardship so that they may reflect on life’s imponderables. In doing so, one could also understand that life was like a pilgrimage journey to encounter God in prayer, penance and difficulty.
Fr Gregory also highlighted the importance of interreligious dialogue amongst Catholic and non-Catholic counterparts, as well as addictions faced by students and working adults. He challenged the ministry to think up various ways of being merciful and to forgive all previous debts. Lastly, he spoke of having joy, love and peace when carrying out God’s works. After confession, Fr Gregory led the 21 pilgrims in prayer and the walk through the Holy Door. The symbolism of the door was explained as being the pathway to a house, where everyone is called to belong. This is also seen in John 10:9 where Jesus says: I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. The pilgrims were then asked to reflect on Matthew 25:31-45 about The Judgment of the Nations.
This was followed by an explanation on the receiving of plenary indulgences, where the conditions were to (a) walk through the Holy Door, (b) receive Eucharistic communion, (c) confess sins, (d) pray for the Pope’s intentions, and (e) refrain from committing the sins again. The event ended with a fellowship and the pilgrims departed by 4.30 pm. Despite being held on a weekend which is generally considered as a recuperation period from work fatigue and stress, several participants described the mini pilgrimage as a calming experience of self-reflection. In the current secular world, it is easy to succumb to temptation and materialistic pleasures. Through this journey to the Holy Door, the pilgrims were challenged to reflect on their life and be involved in more acts of charity. For doing so is a stepping stone towards the journey of following in Jesus’ footsteps and spreading his message of love.
Why are you a Catholic? Why are you still a Catholic? These were the first two questions posed in the homily by His Grace Archbishop Julian Leow to 108 confirmands as well as parishioners attending Sunset Mass on Saturday 23 April 2016 at St Ignatius Church (SIC). Archbishop Julian was the main celebrant with SIC Parish Priest Fr Lucas Ng, SIC Assistant Parish Priest Fr Andrew Wong, Fr Johnson from India and Fr Francis Ng CDD as concelebrants. Eighty one Form Five youths from the English Sunday school and 27 counterparts from the Mandarin Sunday school were anointed with the Oil of Chrism to signify receiving the seal of the Holy Spirit – marking their total belonging to Christ and their enrolment in his service for ever.
Further on in his homily, Archbishop Julian explained that we are Catholics because we believe the faith founded by Jesus Christ is the true faith and that we cannot find a greater truth outside the Catholic Church. We are convinced that this faith is founded by Jesus, hence we want to remain as Catholics. Towards the end of Mass, Archbishop Julian reminded Catholics to hand on the faith to their children and their children's children – to future generations so that the faith will not die. In addition to bread and wine, confirmands offered up their talents and gifts for which they have been blessed with, and faith experiences encountered through Sunday School lessons, Renewal in the Spirit Seminar, service projects, Confirmation Camp and other activities. Those in the congregation witnessing the confirmation ceremony include parents, godparents, family members and friends.
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Photography: John Ragai & Matthew Soo
A group of St Ignatius Church (SIC) parishioners has been attending a series of talks by Sr Mary Kristin FMM in preparation for the setting up of a bereavement ministry in the parish. The aim of this ministry is to provide assistance to the aged and homebound who are lonely and in need of care as well as those who do not know how to handle funeral arrangements for their own family members. Starting off a few weeks ago with a talk on care of the aged, homebound and terminally ill, Sr Mary's latest talk was on Psycho Spiritual Journey of those with Life Threatening Illnesses & Accompaniment held on 12 Apr at SIC.