Our recently concluded Parish Feast of St. Joseph, The Worker, was a great success with celebrations of nine days Novena together with Mass which commenced on Sunday 22 April 2018 and ended with a candle lit procession followed by Benediction on the evening of 1 May 2018.
The first day of was celebrated by Nuncio Archbishop Marino Joseph and concelebrated by both Fr. William Michael and I. His Excellency blessed our 110th anniversary (1908-2018) Parish flag and officiated the celebration on 22 April 2018. For the next three days, Fr. Robert Daniel from the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Silibin, Ipoh. celebrated the Eucharist. Subsequent days were celebrated by Fr. Clarence Dass, Fr. Edwin Peter, Fr. Putti Martin, Fr. John Gnanapragasam, Fr. Sebastian OFM and Fr. Alan Pereira respectively
Despite the rain on most of the days, there seemed to be an increase in the number of devotees each day. On the first day of Novena we were supposed to have a flag raising ceremony at the Church car park, but due to a heavy downpour, we only had the flag raising ceremony after Mass. His Excellency Marino Joseph apologised for not being present at the flag raising ceremony, as he had to leave immediately after the Mass, to attend to a prior commitment. However, it was indeed a blessing to have him with us during the opening celebration of the feast of our Patron Saint.
On Tuesday, 1 May 2018, Fr. John Gnanapragasam celebrated Mass and the Anointing of the Sick for the elderly and the infirm, at 11.00am. Fr. Putti Martin and I concelebrated with him. Our closing feast day celebration was celebrated by His Grace, Archbishop Julian Leow in the evening of 1 May 2018. After the Eucharistic celebration, His Grace led us into a procession with the Blessed Sacrament and concluded our Feast Day celebrations with the Benediction.
Approximately 1500 parishioners and pilgrims participated in our feast day celebrations. It was raining continuously that evening and I was worried and anxious that we would not be able to hold the procession with the Blessed Sacrament. However, the Lord blessed us with fine weather later that night. Every one of us was able to walk prayerfully, in a beautiful candlelight procession.
On Monday, 30 April, there was a heavy downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning. This then affected the electricity supply and the PA System in the Church. Thankfully, Tenaga National Berhad (TNB) technicians were able to successfully rectify the problem the very next day. Shaun Paiva and his team also managed to rectify the Church sound system problems just before we began the feast day celebration.
A series of hiccups surfaced throughout our celebrations. Frankly speaking, I was so anxious and agitated at times. However, the Lord challenged me to encounter them without being afraid, and to stand firm, move forward and put my trust in Him. He will guide us continually (Isaiah 58:11), and do not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6) because He is our strength and power (2 Samuel 22:33) for He has promised to “repay two blessings for each of your troubles.” (Zechariah 9:12).
As your parish priest, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Feast Day Committee 2018, under the leadership of Leonard Paiva. They worked tirelessly around the clock, to make the 110th Anniversary celebrations a successful and memorable one. Everything turned out well, and I could not have been more pleased.
Thumbs up to all of you my dear parishioners for your support and participation.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
Fr. George Packiasany