Good afternoon and a very warm welcome once again to our Parish Pastoral Assembly (PPA).
It has been more than a year since I started my journey with you here at St Joseph’s parish. Day by day I am gaining new experiences as I participate in the celebrations and events of this parish community. Each one of you has been instrumental to my growth and to the progress of our parish particularly in the areas of spirituality and human development. Thank you all for your sacrifice of love and support.
Two important events took place recently in the universal Church: First, from 22nd to 27th, September, 2015, the Church had celebrated the 8th World Day of Families in Philadelphia based on the theme, “Love is our Mission: the Family Fully Alive”. Second, from October 4 to 25th, 2015, the General Assembly of Catholic bishops took place in Rome on topics related to family and evangelization with the theme, “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Modern World”.
It is interesting to note how we have been inspired to choose, as the theme for the year 2015, the same sentiment on Family. From Advent 2014 till now, we focused on the Year of the Family with Jesus as the Heart of our families! Many formation sessions and activities were organized – either at the parish or at BEC level, geared towards realizing our mission as Family. Throughout this year too, I have noticed that there has been a gradual increase in the number of participants at weekend Masses and other liturgical celebrations, parish activities and formations.
I would like to take this opportunity to compliment and congratulate all of you for working hand in hand with me and with our parish core teams. One of the significant events still fresh in our memories is the threefold fund raising initiative namely the Jogathon, the Easter Gala Dinner and the Banana Leaf Meal. As your parish priest I am truly proud of your determination and hard work, which has contributed towards the huge success of aforementioned fund raising initiatives. We shall move forward and keep ahead of our 3-year parish Vision: “Strengthening Our Faith Community.”
From 28 November, 2015 onwards we shall be moving into our 2nd mission on BECs together with the thrust of the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Convention (PMPC 2016) and the Year of Mercy, a theme chosen by the Universal Church. I hope to see more effort on your part to fulfill this mission. Let us continue to pray for unity as we work together to carry out all our formation, events and activities and to Strengthen the Faith of our SJC Community.
In the process of strengthening our faith community let us be mindful of these words of St Paul, “Do not let any part of your body turn into an unholy weapon fighting on the side of sin… you should make every part of your body into a weapon fighting on the side of God, (Rom 6:13). St Paul invites us to use every part of our body as an instrument for what is right for the glory of God and to live an authentic Christian life and as authentic disciples. We need to be ready to say no to the things of our former self, and say yes to the things of God.
Attitude is very important. People with great attitude succeed and those with a negative attitude fail. As we enter into the Year of Mercy and our parish mission on BEC, let us show one another the face of God – the God of the Bible is a God of love, a God of mercy and a God of kindness. That is the kind of loving God we need to show in our faith community and to those of other faiths around us.
I am very glad to see all of you at this assembly. On behalf of our Parish Pastoral Assembly team I would like to thank you for being present here. With all the strength and knowledge that the Lord has given us, let us together make a commitment to keep on growing in our faith.
May God bless you all and may Mother Mary grace you with her maternal care.