Pastoral Letter Nr 5 dated 23rd April 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Peace of the Risen Lord!

I write this as the extension of the MCO was announced earlier. This recurring 2-week period subject to review only adds to the unnerving uncertainty so many feel as to when life can return to some semblance of normalcy. If anything, this protracted lockdown has highlighted something which we may have forgotten in our hubris: man proposes but God disposes. We had hoped that once we come out of the MCO, we can proceed with planning for the Family Day. It would be a good time to celebrate as the human spirit is in need of uplifting. But, sadly, I am keenly aware that post-MCO, we will also have to deal with the economic cost of shutting down the country. Many will be out of jobs and we must also recognise the difficulties that many of our brothers and sisters will find themselves in.

No doubt some of you would have seen the Family Day poster online—website or Facebook—scheduled for 6th June. Considering the situation, it is now put on hold indefinitely.

In the meantime, the economic effects of the lockdown are already apparent. POHD, apart from providing groceries, is also assisting an organisation that seeks to provide cooked food. Daily, three of our members are delivering hot meal packages to some 90 persons which consist of a mixture of migrants (Vietnamese, Filipinos, Myanmar, Bangladeshi) and Malaysians.

Hence, 1st May which marks the Memorial of St Joseph the Worker is even more relevant to us. Most unfortunately, the date falls within the MCO. In honour of those who labour, the usual private Mass will be offered as thanksgiving to God especially for the scores of dedicated medical personnel who put their lives on the line to secure our health and to ensure that the country stays on top of the Covid-19 pandemic. To all our health-care personnel, we thank you for your sacrifice and pray that God will bless you and your family. We also would like to remember those who belong to the essential services and are grateful to them for carrying out their duties.

At this point, do not let up on our prayers. Please continue with the chain rosary between 6 am and 8 pm, ending with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Our social distancing must be accompanied by our storming of heaven. As the Catechism teaches us, “pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you” (CCC2834).

I miss you all dearly.

I remain humbly at your disposal,

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