An idea which germinated a dozen years ago has come to fruition. In a short ceremony on 16 November 2014 at 8.30 pm, SIC Parish Priest Fr Lucas Ng unveiled and blessed the Welcoming Christ statue situated on the third floor of Costantini Community Centre. A ledge for holding a statue was in the original architect's design for the Centre way back in 2002. Due to budget constraints, the installation of a statue was delayed till now. Fr Lucas mentioned in the souvenir magazine to commemorate the unveiling that Our Lord Jesus Christ welcomes all from near or far. He added that when the celebrant extends his hands and greets the congregation with the words "the Lord be with you" during Mass, it is a simple yet powerful invitation for all to come and dwell in his presence.
The 4.52 metres tall sculpture made of white marble from Beijing is illuminated by LED lights which changes according to the liturgical season. Weighing 11.8 tons, the statue with hands outstretched is made up of five separate parts: pedestal, mid, top and two palms. Its design was inspired by the bronze statue of Christ in Mt Teide, Tenerife, Spain. Those who see the Welcoming Christ statue will be reminded of the world-famous 30-metre-high Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro. It is believed that the statue at SIC is presently the tallest solid marble statue in Malaysia.
The programme for the evening included songs and musical accompaniment by various choirs and talents from both within and outside SIC. A march by St John's Alumni Pipe Band performing bagpipe music ushered in the musical part of the event followed by an opening prayer and welcome speech by Fr Lucas. Among the highlights were Fr Philip Tan's (Provincial of CDD in Malaysia) rendition of Lord, I Love You (in Mandarin) & You Raise Me Up and two instrumental pieces by award-winning pianist Celestine Yoong. More than 800 parishioners attended the event.
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Photography: John Ari Ragai, Peter Law & Matthew Soo