Pastoral Letter Nr 7 dd 24th June 2020

My dear people

I presume you are getting used to this “recovery” phase of our MCO. One aspect of Malaysian life is that there will always be “projects” for some people out to make money. (Remember the uniforms needed for the failed programme of national service?) With our recovery effort in place, we now have to spend rather unnecessarily to “show” that we are complying with the SOP. Stickers, thermometers, barricade, barrier, caution or warning tapes and also sanitiser dispensers. Some people are benefitting from all these “necessities”. If and when we have the vaccine, we would have accumulated unwanted stock that will need proper disposal—a set back to our ecological efforts if you consider the improper disposal of face masks, wet wipes, gloves and etc. That being said, we are complying and taking steps to prepare the Cathedral for its eventual return to public worship, albeit, a dialled-down service. So far, the pews have been marked with appropriate social distancing. Thank you to the many volunteers who stepped forward to lend a hand in this preliminary phase of preparing the Cathedral for reopening.

I am pleased to announce that our application for JOMPay has been approved.
jom payThe Cathedral’s Biller Code is 90449. When making a contribution, these are the information you need to supply for our accounting.
Ref-1: Your phone number.
Ref-2: Payment purpose.

The donations so far that we have received have been apportioned (unless otherwise stated) in this ratio—75%+25%. 75% goes for the upkeep of the Church and 25% for supporting the poor. With JOMPay it is now simpler. All you need is to fill in Ref-2 with your donation’s intention. For example, “Church” or “POHD”. That way, you can decide how we should use your contribution.

Our POHD has been doing a wonderful job. We have a total of 24 families under our regular care and we call them our beloved FINs or Friends in Need. They are supported in both cash and kind up to a total of RM7K each month. However, in the last few months (March to June), apart from these 24 families, we also extended help to about 90 people. This extra expense (both cash and kind) adds up to another RM22K.

We have not realised the full cost of the lockdown yet. In time to come, we can be sure that more will be asking for help. For example, just across the road from the Cathedral’s side entrance is the familiar car wash. Even they had approached us for help in terms of grocery. This is the reality of those who are poor. In terms of our financial standing, as we have no Masses on Sunday, our collection, which is needed for both Church upkeep and helping the poor, has been impacted. I am still not taking my monthly allowance. While it is a paltry amount, it symbolises my contribution to the Church because we are all in this together. In this respect, I am also asking for those who can to support the Church.

Even though we may have returned to some semblances of normalcy, that is, if you observe the malls crowded with people, one aspect of our lockdown we should not let go of, is our praying. I am urging you, my beloved people, to continue praying. St Ignatius, in his experiences in the cave of Manresa (Catalonia), spoke of that period of his life as God teaching him like a school teacher guiding a pupil. I feel that this prolonged pandemic could be God teaching us to return to Him, to rely on Him and to trust Him. As our country is also beset by its political drama, there is no better time to pray. What we cannot do for ourselves, we know God can.

I am looking forward to the day when we will be able to shake hands freely and without suspicion and fear.

Thank you and God bless

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