On Monday, 25th January, I attended the 50th sacerdotal ordination to the priesthood of Rev. Fr. Edward Soosay at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mentakab. Even though the actual date of his ordination is 8th January, he had chosen to celebrate it on this particular date. The celebration was attended by approximately 1,500 parishioners including 10 busloads of people from various parishes in the Archdiocese where Fr. Soosay had served in the past.
There were two buses from our parish (84 parishioners) which left at 2.00 pm and arrived at the Church around 5.00 pm. Fr. William Michael and I left on our own by car and we arrived a little earlier than the buses. I waited at the church ground to welcome our parishioners. A bus from the Church of Visitation, Seremban arrived at the same time and the moment our parishioners arrived, I ushered all of them to the main entrance of the Church. We assembled at the entrance of the Church and I briefed them about the Holy Door of Mercy.
This Church is chosen as a Door of Mercy because it is dedicated to Our Lady (also known as Mother of Mercy). At the entrance we said the prayer for the Year of Mercy and concluded it with one Our Father, Three Hail Marys and Glory Be! Then, we touched and kissed the Holy Door as we entered prayerfully.
Before leaving for Mentakab I had explained to our two busloads of parishioners that this trip would also be part of our pilgrimage to one of the Holy Doors of Mercy as well. The Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur has chosen 5 Parishes as Holy Doors of Mercy:
- Cathedral of St. John, Kuala Lumpur;
- Church of Divine Mercy, Shah Alam;
- Church of Ss. Peter and Paul, Banting;
- Church of St. John Vianney, Tampin;
- Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mentakab.
A very solemn Eucharistic celebration was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Soosay and this was followed by fellowship and entertainment organised by parishioners of Mentakab and Sentul. During the Eucharistic celebration I recalled how Fr. Soosay inspired my vocation to the priesthood. In 1997, Fr. William and I were seminarians, then and we were assigned to do a one-year pastoral experience at the Church of St Joseph, Sentul under the supervision of Fr. Soosay. One day, Fr. Soosay took us to Mentakab. On our way back to Sentul, I asked him only two questions throughout the journey;
- “Why did you become a priest?”
- “Father, if I were you I wouldn’t even think about the priesthood and I would enjoy and live happily with all the money and property that I have!”
He answered us truthfully about his faithfulness to the priesthood and sincerely he said there weren’t any division in his serving the Lord and people.
Fr. George Packiasamy.