Our Parish has always taken a special interest in caring for the poor. In the second half of 2019, two important Parish annual projects to reach out in solidarity to the poor and migrant families, are in the pipeline.
The first event is the School Uniforms Project. Since last weekend (17-18 August), we started collecting funds for this project after each Mass. The aim is to provide uniforms to school kids from underprivileged families, including migrant students who live around our parish vicinity. For the past six years we have successfully carried out this free school uniform project for both primary and secondary school students.
This year, our target is to provide school uniforms for approximately 400 underprivileged students. This will comprise of 2 sets of uniforms (shirts and pants/skirts), 2 sets of shoes and socks, and a bag inclusive of stationery for each child, worth between RM120-RM150 each. Our aim is to reach out to these poor children, so that they will be able to go to school properly attired, with confidence and self-respect, and be able to concentrate on their studies.
All the ministries under the Parish Integral Human Development Ministry (PIHDM) will coordinate with the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) to set up booths before and after all weekend Masses. At least 4-6 committee members are needed to help out at these booths for every weekend Mass. We also encourage more parishioners to volunteer their time and also to donate generously, as this fund raising project will go on till the end of November 2019. The amount we need to collect is estimated at around RM40,000 to RM50,000.
The second event is the World Day of the Poor. In 2017, we celebrated the 1st World Day of the Poor in a grand manner. We were happy and privileged to have been able to celebrate with all those living around our Parish vicinity. We held various activities such as a funfair with lots of games and entertainment, and a fellowship as well with the poor and migrant families. Last year, the celebrations continued albeit on a smaller scale, and this year, the members of the Fundraising Team are in the midst of preparing and planning to organise the 3rd World Day of the Poor which will include a few activities, exhibitions and a luncheon.
This year, the 3rd World Day of the Poor falls on Sunday, 17 November 2019 (33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time) and the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has chosen the theme “The hope of the poor will not perish for ever,” (Psalms 9:19). In his message, the Holy Father encourages Christian communities “to offer hope and consolation to the poor,” and “to help ensure that this World Day of the Poor will encourage more and more people to cooperate effectively so that no one feels deprived of closeness and solidarity.”
We invite parishioners to come forward in assisting the PIHDM and the Fundraising Team by supporting and promoting the two planned events. Let’s work hand in hand together as a parish, to make these events more significant, as we reach out to the unprivileged and less fortunate. We, as parishioners of St. Joseph’s Church in Sentul will not “stop sowing tangible seeds of hope” and be “instruments and opportunities for peace, solidarity and the promotion of dignity for every human being.”
Rev. Fr. George P.