Ever since I started my ministry in this parish of St Joseph, Sentul my objective was not to make major changes but more to reorganise, restructure and revive the various ministries in the Church and to give a new uplift to the Church of St Joseph. In the midst of planning for the refurbishment and renovation of the community hall and meeting rooms, I was ‘inspired’ to restructure the Shrine of St Joseph situated next to the parochial house.
Early this year, I was looking around to purchase a 5-foot statue of St Joseph from one of our neighbouring countries but it didn’t materialise at all. So the idea was temporarily dropped. Then in March, something triggered me again to purchase a new statue in order to replace the old fading and deteriorating one. Finally, a manufacturer in Jakarta was contacted and the work of constructing the new 6-foot high custom-made statue of St Joseph commenced. It was expected to be completed by end of April and to be delivered to our doorstep just before 1st May, 2015 for the feast of St Joseph, the Worker.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the work was delayed and because of this all the plans for the launching and blessing of the statue were postponed to the end of May to commemorate the closing of the Rosary Month and novena to St Joseph. Together we prayed as one community for the safe arrival of the statue to our Church and it finally found its new home on 4th of June, 2015.
While waiting for the arrival of statue from Jakarta by ship I was once again inspired to do up the shrine of St Joseph which was erected 7 years ago. And so a “Gazebo” (new wooden house for St Joseph’s statue) was ordered and it took almost 3 weeks to complete.
In the meantime, a contractor was assigned to remove the existing tiles and to replace them with some ‘very very’ old tiles with three different beautiful patterns on the sanctuary of St Joseph. If I’m not mistaken, these tiles were laid in 1928 during the time of the late Fr Victor Antoine Herman who took the initiative to extend and rebuild the Church. These 87 year old tiles were taken out from the floor when the existing Church was under renovation in 2013 and they were sadly relegated to an unseen corner of the church compound. I noticed them ever since I came to this parish and was wondering what to do with them.
While waiting for the arrival of the new “Gazebo” and the new statue of St Joseph from Jakarta, we started work of renovation and refurbishment of the Shrine of St Joseph. We erected a new shrine by placing the 87 year old tiles according to the patterns designed. The renovation on the old shrine commenced on 27th of May and was completed on 6th of June.
The new gazebo-shaped hut arrived on 4th June. Before installing it we blessed the 4 legs and the centre – where lies the new statue of St. Joseph – with Chrism oil and placed 5 prayer cards in the holes, to signify the 5 wounds of Christ!
The inauguration of this statue finally took place in conjunction with the first time ever open-air Mass on the feast of Corpus Christi (7th June) at 6.00 pm at the car park area in front of the parish house. We commenced our celebration with the the unveiling and blessing of the new St Joseph statue, followed by a solemn novena to St Joseph, the Worker. We ended the whole celebration with a procession with the Blessed Sacrament.
Blessing of St. Joseph’s Statue, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Now that we have given a new facelift to the Shrine of St Joseph, let us give a ‘facelift’ to our own faith life. Saint Joseph is the Patron Saint of the Universal Church. He watches over the Church as carefully as he watched over Jesus and Mary. Together let us journey towards strengthening our faith community by praying to St Joseph, the Worker, our Patronage.
Fr. George Packia