Following relaxation of the Movement Control Order (“MCO”), the Health Ministry allowed many government and private sectors to gradually return to a new normal. Since the months of June and July 2020, our school and college students have returned to their institutes of learning after more than 4 months of being stuck at home. Despite a recent spike in COVID-19 cases from single to double digits, with new clusters, it is really wonderful to see all sectors happily reopen, albeit to a new normal.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Malaysia has been reporting double digit COVID-19 cases and the emergence of new clusters this past week. As we notice a spike in cases, MOH warns us once again of the need to pay extra attention to our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which we have been adhering to, since the implementation of the MCO in March 2020.
Individuals should make every effort to support each other as we face new challenges in our society. We need to be mindful of the need to wear our face masks, keep a one-meter distance from each other and wash our hands frequently, in order to stay safe and be in better physical health.
Life has to restart, although to a new normal. Wearing face masks, maintaining strict social distancing and frequent hand-washing, may be an inconvenience, or may appear odd and / or even perhaps create some form of paranoia, but these are necessary in this new normal. If we fail to adapt, then we may be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. We need an ongoing “responsible attitude” in respecting another human person by being mindful of the well-being of others. Thus, it is very important for us to be in solidarity with one another, as we strive towards a common good.
This weekend we will end Phase Two of the reopening of our Parish. On behalf of the Parish Response Team (PRT) I would like to thank all my dear Parishioners for your collaboration and efforts during these past five weeks. We will step into Phase Three in August 2020 and we need to continue to be mindful of and attentive to, our requirements and guidelines, whenever we are within the Church premises.
Since the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, our greatest challenge was to experience the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist frequently and regularly. Even-though Masses have resumed in many Parishes, many still choose to keep themselves “distanced” from being in-person to participate at the Eucharistic celebration. Our participation and involvement will lead us into a deeper unity with Christ. Our Parishioners should not to be hesitant to participate in Public Masses and other Church-related activities and events. We cannot simply rely on live-streaming of Mass, but instead we must be connected with the Church in-person and remain united in the life of the Church.
We have completed two cycles of Sunday Mass, covering all 34 Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) within our Parish jurisdiction. Our statistics show that only 600-700 out of 4500 parishioners have attended Sunday Masses during the last five weeks. There are many more who are simply reluctant to register for mass for reasons unknown to us. I hope you will be in communion with our Church in-person – either in our Public Masses or other activities. It is very important, as it is part of building our identity in Christ and to love Jesus and His Church for the rest of our lives.
We will move from online worship to in-person worship practices and activities as we “Commit Ourselves into New Evangelisation” to embrace, care for and heal the Lost, the Last, the Least, the Little, and the Lonely (5Ls). Let us make every effort in our personal on-going conversion, as we move forward in this new-normal way of life.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy