Her Excellency Kamala Shirin Lakhdir paid a courtesy call to the Church of St. Joseph on Thursday 8 Nov 2018 in conjunction with Harmony Walk, a visit to several places of worship in Sentul. This is a yearly programme on her agenda and close to her heart. She was accompanied by YB Senator Waythamoorty, the Minister of Welfare and Social Wellbeing, representatives of various religions in Sentul and staff of the Embassy.
On hand to welcome her was Mr. Gabriel Moses, the Parish Pastoral Council Chairman (PPC), Ms. Eleanor Tennakoon, Coordinator of the Parish Ministry of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs (PMEIA) as well as several senior members of the parish. She was scheduled to spend 15 minutes but ended up being here for a good half hour.
She had earlier been to the Hindu and Buddhist temples in Sentul, enroute to the Taoist temple and Masjid Al Hidayah in Sentul Pasar.
She took interest in the history of the church and wanted to know the origins of the parish. Gabriel as PPC Chairman spoke on behalf of the parish community.
He elaborated on the composition of the faithful, programmes for the poor and inter-religious programmes as well as the Myanmar migrants. She inquired on what problems the migrants were encountering being here in Malaysia.
The church celebrates 110 years this year and has its origins with the Railway Depot which is why the church was built. Our guests were impressed on the role played by the church in the community and with the migrants. Gabriel also spoke about the Cathechism classes for the Tamil, English and Myanmar communities held every Sunday. Ambassador Lakhdir asked, “What is the current biggest challenge?” To this, Gabriel said the involvement of youths in the ministries due to the current priorities of the world. However, on-going programmes were organised for the youths in church. Ambassador Lakhdir was keen to enter the church and was ushered in.
The group left at about 9.30 am after a fulfilling visit to enhance inter-religious dialogue.
by Neubert Ambrose