Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rev. Fr. Paul Decroix, MEP's Sacerdotal Diamond Jubilee

The gentleman you see above is the Rev. Fr. Paul Decroix, MEP. He is a French missionary from the Missions étrangères de Paris or the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris. The ever helpful Wikipedia has a brief article here.

The MEP Fathers were the at the forefront of the 2nd wave of missions to the Malay Peninsula and have established many of the parishes here. The first wave of evangelization of course, was carried out by the Portuguese missionaries led by St. Francis Xavier in Malacca during the 1500's. After Catholic worship became illegal during the Protestant Dutch occupation, the Church largely went underground. When the English came, Catholic missionaries such as the MEP followed them.

The former Cathedral of the Assumption was in fact established by the MEP Fathers.

Today Fr. Decroix celebrated the 60th Anniversary of his sacerdotal ordination. Imagine that. 60 years in the service of God and His Church.

Another MEP priest, Fr. Maurice Surmon was supposed to celebrate his 60th anniversary as well but he is currently hospitalized and could not make it. Please pray for him.

Fr. Decroix seen below, in suitably golden vestments.

The Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and was attended by 4 bishops and many priests from the Penang Diocese as well as the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur and the Diocese of Malacca-Johore.

The neo-modernist sanctuary of the in-the-round Cathedral can be seen below. The tabernacle is on the right. An open Bible is in the other alcove. The baptismal font obstructs the Bishop's Cathedra which can be partially seen on the left.

His Lordship, the Rt. Rev Antony Selvanayagam, the Bishop of Penang can be seen below. When I came, I visited the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the back of the Cathedral. As I finished praying, I noticed that the Bishop was praying Vespers in front of me.

He's seen here before Mass.

The seminarians turned out in full force as well. Some of the can be seen here.

His Lordship is now vested for Mass. Beside Bishop Antony is His Lordship the Rt. Rev. James Chan, the Bishop Emeritus of Malacca-Johore.
Somehow, the custom of wearing the pectoral cross over the chasuble can become vogue. Must be the bad influence of Piero Marini.

Ok, lets see. In front, we have another MEP father, Fr. Henriot if I'm not mistaken. Beside him is the Redemptorist Fr. Joe Stephens, CSsR. Behind him is the newly ordained Fr. Dominic Santhiagu, Assistant Priest in OLOL, Silibin. Fr. Dominic is one of this year's 3 new priests.

The other new priest, Fr. Francis Andrew is on the left. I attended his ordination in OLOL, Silibin. Between the 2 priests in the front is Fr. Michael Thoo, the Diocesan Financial Controller and my former parish priest, the earliest I remember.

Msgr. Stephen Liew, the Vicar General is in the front. He is pastor of the Shrine of St. Anne, the largest Catholic Church is West Malaysia. The priest behind him in the white stole is Fr. Michael Cheah from St. Michael's Ipoh.

2 of Fr. Decroix's fellow MEP's are in attendance as well.

The priest at the back looking into the camera is the Assistant Priest in my parish, Fr. Mark Michael.
Behind the bearer of the Book of the Gospels is His Grace, the Most Rev. Nicholas Murphy Xavier Pakiam, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur. Bishop James Chan is beside him. In front is Fr. Peter Bretaudeau, MEP. He celebrated his Golden Jubilee this year and is the concelebrant for this Mass.

Fr. Henry Rajoo, the Assistant Priest at the Cathedral served as the MC.

Here, His Lordship the Rt. Rev Antony Selvanayagam, the Bishop of Penang gives the photographer a menacing look. =)

The mitre was a takeaway gift of the recently concluded Asian Missions Congress themed 'Telling the story of Jesus in Asia'.

The logo can be seen in the front.

The procession makes its way down the very short isle of the Cathedral.

In front of Fr. Decroix is His Grace, the Most Rev. Anthony Soter Fernandez, the Archbishop Emeritus of Kuala Lumpur.
His Grace was the homilist.

The Bishop in his Cathedra. Did not use a flash so the pic had to be touched up.
All the following pics during the Mass were touched up as well.

His Grace, Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez reading the Gospel. His homily touched on the eternal priesthood of Christ and the priest as an alter Christus. Priesthood. For more priests to be visible, they must remove the hood. Hilarious. =)

Part of the priests and people. Those without the stoles are the seminarians. The postulants are behind them but not vested. Most of the priests were on my side. BTW, the Cathedral is air-conditioned. =)

The offertory.
Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis Mei.
Fr. Decroix was using his ordination Chalice.

If you have complaints about the quality of the pictures, kindly direct them to this gentleman here, Matthew. =)
Kid's can take many pics at angles and distances that most of us can't.
And get away with it. =)

Earlier, the Bishop was making a face at him. Here, he gives his response.

Here's Matthew simulating a Mass and trying to consecrate his handkerchief.

A subscription dinner followed. But since I did not have a ticket, it was off home for me.
Wonder what the food was like.


M@rK said...

1. I refer to the picture after the pectoral crosses...the priest behind Fr. Dominic Santhiyagu is Fr. Jude Miranda,PP of St. Michael's Alor Setar, and yes, the one next to Fr. Joe is Fr. Henriot who resides at the Assumption church in KL.
Also, another point to note is that there were FIVE ordinations this year. In order of ordination: Fr. Michael Teng,OFM Cap; Fr. Dominic Santhiyagu, Fr. Francis Andrew, Frs Simon Ee and John Eow.
2. The following picture has Fr. Phillip Lai, CSsR behind Fr. Francis Andrews, next to him is Fr. Jacob Nelson.
3. Next, Nehind Msgr. Liew is Fr. Simon Ee (if I'm not mistaken), one of FIVE newly ordained priests' this year.
4. On the picture below that, the priest on the right is Fr. Michael Arro (if I'm not mistaken again), and the priest behind and to the right of the priest on the foreleft of the picture is Fr. Peter Shyu, behind right is Fr. Fabian Dicom, Chancellor of the Diocese and behind him, left, Fr. Edmund Woon, PP of Nativity Church, Butterworth, and right Fr. Gerard Theraviam, lecturer of Sacred Scritpture in the Major Seminary.
5. In front of Fr. Mark Michael is Fr. David Lourdes. Behind right is Fr. VIncent Paul.
6. Why is Fr. Henry Rajoo not in his proper MC robes? And what happened to the usual MC, Fr. Francis Xavier?
7. Whayhay...my brother, Matthew....muahaha, what kind of look did the bishop give him this time?
8. I note the empty seats in one ofthe pictures, was the attendance good?

Andrew said...

Just named the fellas who can be seen clearly w/o opening the large pics.

I was referring to the priests out of College General only.

Six were actually newly ordained in West Malaysia this year. Fr. Jacob Wong Haw Ran of the Camillans was also ordained this year in OLS. I was there and Fr. David Lourdes collapsed after the Mass, remember?

Both Frs Simon and John are CDDs and studied in Taiwan so I din wanna count them.

Fr. Fran din turn up la. Not sure why. He mentioned in his bulletin that he would be there. Besides, the priests' AGM begins today.

Don't think Fr. Henry has a cassock and a cotta. =)

Anyway, the funny look was the one in the photo la. Matthew took the pic and the Bishop gave him a look that could kill. Imagine what would have happened if I took it.
He took the funny one of the Bishop as well as the others.

Andrew said...

Oh ya. Attendance was pretty bad. =( Some were from IC. My friend and his parents and brother from Taiping. The locals were all there cos they had tickets. Pretty sad actually, after all those years of serving God and his Church. Din wanna highlight those pics.

Fr. Decroix was the previous parish priest somemore.

It must be very tough to be a retired priest. After years as the centre of the community, suddenly being relegated to the sidelines and being so alone. It must be even worse for a Bishop.

Pray that God gives the comfort of His presence to all His priests, especially those who are retired and alone. In a special way, pray for Fr. Decroix and Fr. Maurice Surmon who is in hospital and all missionaries in foreign lands and also for His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Anthony Soter Fernandez.

BTW, download your brother's pic and look at the title. =)

Anonymous said...

heys andrew!! just dropping by to say hi.. a truly enlightening blog n great info on the recent jubilee post ... take care!

M@rK said...

muahaha...i stand corrected...but after having been out of touch for like2 months, it's nice to have a bit of clergy trivia... btw, i'm meeting Fr. Frank Doyle this saturday...I have pics with me of the church i went to on sunday and also one of the old tridentine mass at another church which i passed by after mass, of which i am planning to attend this sunday... but i havent loaded it on my comp yet...no time, but theres a holiday this thursday, so i'll probably do it then.... i didn't see marshall also in the pics...hehehe....

Andrew said...

Fr. Marshall din come.

If you plan to attend the Tridentine Mass, better bring along a Missal so you can join in the responses and make all the appropriate gestures at the correct time. Should be the 1962 ed.

Loads of bowings and signs of the cross =)Oh yeah!

Good to know whether its a Low Mass or a High Mass and whether its a dialogue Mass. In a dialogue Mass, the response are not made by the servers only but by the whole congregation.

Look up the video I loaded into your iPod. The Tridentine Mass in St. Nicolas du Chardonnet, Paris for cues and clues.

Fr. Frank? Good la. You can ask him about his column.

Send more pics. I plan on doin some posting too. About the riots in Silibin and cemetary desecrations in Johore.

More on that later.

Andrew said...

Oh ya...hey Andrew in OZ. How's life?