On the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which fell on 8th September, 2014, almost 300 of our parishioners gathered together at the grotto of St Joseph’s Church to celebrate Our Lady’s birthday. This year marks the 60th year since the Grotto was first erected. The grotto is built in 1954 is the result of the untiring efforts of a former sacristan called Ponniah together with the help of the Legion of Mary. It was built during the time of Rev Frs Ernest Belet, Pierre Decroocq and Anthony Michael, who were the parish priests during that time.
Our celebration this year started at 7.30 pm with the recital of the rosary in both Tamil and English, which was followed by the Eucharistic Celebration at 8.00 pm. The grotto was blessed with incense and holy water just before the Eucharistic celebration took place. Also taking place that evening was the blessing of the newly erected statue of our Lady of Lourdes (OLL) which replaced the old statue. The paint on the old statue of OLL had already faded and the pupils on the eyes of the statue had totally disappeared. The old statue of OLL is currently placed at the Church’s parish house.
The Eucharistic Celebration ended with a special blessing for the children, and the cutting of the “Birthday Cake”, whilst everyone sang, “Happy Birthday” to Our Lady. Immediately thereafter, a simple fellowship was held in the church courtyard
I wish to thank each one of you for joining us in this celebration and for making Mother Mary’s birthday a special one.
For those who have yet to visit the grotto, I would like to inform you that the area surrounding the grotto has been cleaned up and railway sleepers (pieces of wood) placed along the walk path to the grotto. Since Sentul is historically known as a railway town complete with railway tracks and numerous railway workers working and living here in the early 1900s, I thought it would be appropriate to have some of the town’s history linked to our Church and that is why the railway sleepers have been placed along the path to the grotto. We will continue to beautify Our Lady’s grotto with further landscape works and also enhance the sanctuary thereat.