Wednesday, October 01, 2008

College General's Bicentenary in Penang

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The steep walkway leading to the old MEP retreat house (now a museum) and the Sacred Heart Chapel, right.

The inter-diocesan major seminary for West Malaysia, the College General, will celebrate the 200th anniversary of it's relocation to Penang tomorrow. Although it was founded in 1665 in Ayuthia in Siam, persecutions have caused the seminary to be relocated until it finally found a home in safety of British ruled Penang. It was run by the MEP or Paris Foreign Mission for many years before being turned over to the local clergy in the years after Vatican II.

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Anyway, I was there helping out out assistant parish priest Fr. Mark, who's in charge of the liturgy for the celebrations tomorrow. After settling some stuff and making arrangements for the temporary altar setup for the Mass in the College Hall. Blogger Mark (who hasn't updated his blog for weeks now) and me helped to fold the stoles which will be distributed to the priests.

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It's a reversible red and white stole. Although it's the College of Martyrs, white has been chosen as the liturgical colour tomorrow, the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.

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We also saw to the arrangement of the chalices, arranged the mitres and chasubles for the 25 concelebrating bishops (and the delegate), broke the large hosts for the priests and arranged the tables for the ciboriums and chalices.

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The chalices, some of which were taken from the College Museum, are rather nice. You can see the inlay and enamel work on the examples here.

We came back in the evening for the rehearsal. The seminarians were singing with the choir from the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit led by Andre.

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After the rehearsal we were kindly invited to have lunch in the residential blocks of the seminary with many of the bishops and priests who were already there or staying at the seminary.

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The water feature in front of the seminarian's residential block

Among the bishops I spotted were Their Graces Archbishops John Ha of Kuching, John Lee of Kota Kinabalu, Nicholas Chia of Singapore, Salvatore Pennacchio the Apostolic Delegate and Murphy Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur who kindly spoke to us at our table. He happened to recall meeting me during my trip to KL when we called on him at his residence some years ago.

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Archbishop Pakiam talking to the people at my table

Other bishops spotted were Their Lordships Bishops Antony Selva of Penang, Dominic Su of Sibu and Bishop Emeritus James Chan of Malacca-Johore. As I wasn't really paying much attention, these were spotted as I took my food or when they passed our table on the way out. BTW, the food was excellent. =)

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A final peek at the hall, all laid out. The last time Mass was held here on a large scale was for the combined Island Level Corpus Christi celebration. Then, we were the ones doing all the chair arranging and hall cleaning. It was a relief not to have to do it this time.

Be there tomorrow for the Bicentenary Mass at ten!

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The road leading to the hall decorated and lighted up

3 comments:

DonAaron said...

Hey... who was the main celebrant?

M@rK said...

Would love to see pictures of the mass... am looking forward to it...

Andrew said...

The main celebrant was His Lordship Bishop Antony Selvanayagam of Penang.