The picture shows an array of beautiful Easter Egg Candles courtesy of Agnes Gan (Mrs Joseph Soo). The egg on the left has the 3 Theological Virtues of Xin (Faith) Wang (Hope) and Ai (Love). The middle egg symbolises the Sacred Heart (so our Cathedral) and the egg on the right carries the MJD50 logo. Both the empty shells and the butterfly are apt symbols of the Resurrection.
I pray that each one of you is able to cope with this imposed isolation. Our communication channels are such that even though we are apart, we can easily reach out to each other. You would have, by now, read of the unfortunate arrest of our seminarians. We live in a country where sometimes the rules are unevenly enforced. Getting angry is not a solution but praying that the rules may be equally and compassionately applied might be a good start. We pray for our seminarians that this regrettable episode will only strengthen their resolve in pursuing the vocation to the priesthood. Even before Holy Week has begun, seeing them in handcuffs and chains, they are already identifying with their Lord in His passion.
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. From the pictures below, you see quite a lot of palms have been sent to the Church for blessing. Just a thought for next year, we might be able to source our palms locally. Mind you, these palms were cleaned before they were sent to the parish.
I learnt something from an old priest who told me that seminarians were given a formula to live by and it is this: "Keep the rule and the rule will keep you".What this means is that early in one's formative years, learn to keep the rule, that is, be disciplined in establishing a routine in life so that in later life, one would have developed a habit, a good one, that carries one amidst the hustle and bustle of life. You would have noticed in these pandemic days, how easy it is that one is distracted by the "latest" news. We scour the internet hoping to catch the latest or the most up-to-date news about Covid-19. Have you found yourselves wasting too much time trying to keep abreast with news? It can be a form of addiction. Establishing a habitual routine helps us to avoid this trap of aimless clicking from one website to another. So, I hope many of you are still praying the rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy thus allowing them to flow in a rhythm that marks our days of waiting for God to grant our prayers.
As promised these are the times for the ENGLISH live-streamed Masses for Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday at 8 am Holy Thursday at 6 pm Good Friday Service at 3 pm Easter Vigil at 8 pm.
For the Mandarin live-streamed Masses, we ran into some technical difficulties. They will not be live-streamed from St Theresa's Church, Malacca. Instead, we have found an alternative source, that is, St Mary's Church, Air Salak.
Palm Sunday at 8:30 am Holy Thursday at 8:30 pm Good Friday Service at 3:00 pm Easter Vigil at 8:30 pm
Finally, thank you for responding to the appeal for donation to upkeep the Church as well to help the poor. Also a big thanks for feeding the priests in the parish. We have been receiving food and fruits. Thank you. Have a blessed Holy Week and to those who have sent your palms to be blessed, you will hear from me soon.
God Bless Padre
The array of palms that will be blessed on Sunday.
The cutest bunch of palms. The Jacob's Biscuit tin shows you how small the bunch is.
Let me start by thanking you for your kind words and support. Just in case you may be wondering, I have been in Johor Bahru all this while. I had some enquiries asking if I am stuck in Kuala Lumpur. I want to be here to celebrate private Masses for the intentions which had been received before the MCO kicked in and also, to be available in cases of emergency.
We are creatures of habit, bad habits mostly. Many of us are! We are used to the kind of connexion which is superficial at best. Now left on our own and with few avenues to escape, we have the possibility of using social communication in a sustained and meaningful way. For example, instead of a hi and goodbye, we can take time to call those whom we have been meaning to connect with. Try to look out for relatives or friends who might appreciate a little bit of attention which in an otherwise busy world, we may not have time for. As for recreation, there are only so many movies that one can binge-watch. Hence, we can also be creatures of good habits. With extra time on our hand, God has given it to us to help us reconnect with Him. I hope our Parish daily Rosary initiative from 6 am to 8 pm (ending with the Chaplet of Mercy) is still on-going. For me, at 10 am, after the morning Mass, I stroll around the Cathedral praying the rosary with Bernard our Sacristan. We pray the four mysteries—the Joyful, the Luminous, the Sorrowful and the Glorious at one go. The prayer takes about an hour. At 1 pm, it becomes my turn to trail Bernard as he takes his slot to pray the Rosary. I am hopeful that many of you are doing exactly this—joining in prayer. These daily spiritual routines sustain us and will dispose us to recognise how God moves in our lives. God can make good come out of evil and here in the midst of this tragedy, He is inviting us in our solitude and solidarity, to turn back to Him in prayer.
I am glad to share that after the last pastoral letter, donations have started to flow in. We are still in the process of setting up “Jompay” or “Duitnow” to make it easier for those who would like to contribute for the parish upkeep as well as to help the poor. The formula is simple. For every RM1 we receive, RM0.75 goes for Church upkeep and RM0.25 will be used for the support of the poor.
Our Holy Week is almost at our doorstep and I would like to furnish you with some useful information. NOTE that whilst Masses have been suspended and the obligation to attend Masses has been abrogated during the period of the MCO, as your parish priest, I am obliged to celebrate Masses for the people (sadly, without the people being present). Hence, the times are posted so as to allow you to join me spiritually in offering the Sacrifice of the Mass. During such times, you can and should receive the Lord, albeit, spiritually. The great Redemptorist founder, St Alphonsus Ligouri composed this prayer which may help you receive spiritual Communion.
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
As the veiling of the Crucifix in Church reminds us, Christ has hid Himself from us. But, let us not hide from Him. Let us ask that He manifest Himself in our lives as we desire to live according to His will.
I am deeply conscious that Masses will be celebrated in an empty Church but I believe that the absence of public Masses has created a spiritual unity amongst us. Even though we are apart, spiritually, we are united in the Sacrifice of the Eucharist. I cannot wait for public Masses to resume and our Cathedral to be filled with the communion of joy and laughter of the brothers and sisters in Christ.
For now, this is the Mass schedule for Holy Week.
Palm Sunday at 9 am. Monday to Wednesday of Holy Week at 9am Holy Thursday at 7 pm. Good Friday at 3 pm (Service of the Cross) Easter Vigil at 11 pm. Easter Sunday at 10 am.
In spiritual union, let us pray that the Lord will bring an end to this pestilence, cleanse us of our sins and restore us to life.
God bless each and everyone of you. Padre
Post-script: Subsequent to the first pastoral letter, POHD has updated the list of names for contact should help or assistance be needed. They are available for interview and assessment. 1. Nancy - 01131663008 (E) 2. Bernard - 0167386202 (E) 3. Pauline - 0127117139 (E and M) 4. Stephen Wong - 0168851348 (M)