Last Sunday, 20 May 2018, we celebrated the Solemnity of Pentecost and with that, the conclusion of the Easter season.
It has been a week since we returned to Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar, and the weekday readings will continue from the 8th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II (Monday, 28 May) and the Sunday readings will be from Year B, featuring the Gospel of Mark. Before continuing with the Sunday in Ordinary Time, we will celebrate two important feasts, spanning two weekends – Feast of the Holy Trinity and the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). After which, Sundays in Ordinary Time will stretch for a period of time, till the end of November 2018.
Just before concluding the Easter season we lost a beloved priest, Fr. Joseph Anthony Pereira. His funeral Mass was held on Saturday, 19 May 2018 at St. Joseph’s Church, Sentul. Father Joe (as he was fondly known) spent his early childhood and youth days in Sentul and later his family moved to Petaling Jaya. He was ordained as a priest at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Kuala Lumpur.
Last year, Fr. Joe was invited as a Celebrant during a novena day to St. Joseph, the Worker. He shared with me about his joy of celebrating Mass in our Church, after a very long period away from the country. He didn’t expect that our community would invite him for the novena, and was pleased that we did. There have been other occasions when Fr. Joe celebrated daily Mass in our parish, when I was away. I usually tell visiting priests to keep morning mass short, as parishioners need to rush off to work or school, but Fr. Joe always seemed to extend the duration of mass a little, asking the congregation, “What is your priority – Jesus or work?”
He was a man of prayer. His homilies and sharing were always rooted in the Word of God. He highly looked up to the Eucharist. He was a gentle, polite and a well respected man. Fr. Joe always kept the Word of God and Sacrament dear to his heart. In any conversation, he liked to quote the Word of God – even in our Clergy whatsapp chat group, he would send scriptural texts and video clips pertaining to our Catholic Church.
Fr. Joe loved meeting people and having meals with them. I still remember the joy of serving at his last parish – Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Banting, Selangor. He captured the hearts of the community there, and they looked after him well.
I was glad that his wake and funeral Mass were held at our Parish. His last rites were given according to the wishes of the family, and I would like to personally thank all those who have worked tirelessly to organise Fr. Joe’s funeral. We will continue to remember him in our prayers till we meet him again. May his soul rest in peace!
On 31 May 2018, during the Feast of the Visitation of Our Lady to Elizabeth, we will conclude the Month of the Rosary by gathering in Church for Rosary and Mass, at 7.30pm. We remember the words of the Holy Father Pope Francis, in his latest Apostolic Exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate” (Rejoice and Be Glad), where he invites everyone to “say the Hail Mary whether we are in distress or anxiety – our Heavenly Mother doesn’t require a flood of words but all we need to do is whisper, time and again – the Hail Mary” (GE #176). So my dear parishioners, don’t stop praying the Rosary and take Mary to your heart.
Fr. George Packiasamy
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