Monday, January 08, 2007

Visit of the Jesuit Novices from Singapore

Sorry for the intermittent posting over the weekend.


I had the pleasure of being with the Jesuit Novice Master, Fr. Phillip Heng, SJ, the Socius or Asssistant Novice Master, Fr. Colin Tan, SJ and 11 novices from Singapore’s Loyola Jesuit Novitiate at Kingsmead Hall as they visited Penang for their holidays. These prospective members of the Company of St. Ignatius were a lively bunch as you can see. =) They come from Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia although the majority were from East Timor.

I was expecting them in Penang this time of year and had emailed Fr. Phillip but apparently he had already left Singapore by then and had no access to his email. I finally called them up and was delighted to find out that they had already arrived and we in fact in my parish Church waiting for Mass to begin as the regular scheduled 6 PM Mass was shelved for the 8 PM Charismatic Healing Mass.


Here, you can see Fr. Phillip and Fr. Colin concelebrating with Fr. Mark, our Assistant Parish Priest.

The Mass also incorporated the Rite of Anointing of the Sick.


It was rather irregular in 2 respects, in that only the hands were anointed rather than the hands and the forehead and also almost everyone present, regardless, went up to receive the anointing.


Our Charismatics are an aging bunch, as you can see from the photos.

Anyway, I took the following day off to take the novices and Fr. Colin around town. Fr. Phillip decided to stay back at the College General, where they are staying, to complete several reports. We visited several Churches, including the former Cathedral of the Assumption, the Church of St. Francis Xavier, where a particularly vivaciously red example of the Malaysian national flower, the hibiscus was taken to be planted in the Singapore Novitiate.


We also visited several historical places such as the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion, the Kapitan Kling Mosque and took a ferry ride to the mainland and back. On the way, we also stopped by the Church Street Pier, the Victoria Diamond Jubilee Memorial Clock Tower, the Padang and the Old Town Hall and Municipal Buildings, Fort Cornvallis, the Legislative Council Buildings, the Anglican St. George’s Church and the Old Cemetery where Captain Francis Light, the Founder and First Governor of Penang is buried. We also had the chance to pray at the graves of 12 Chinese Christians who fled the Taiping Rebellion in China. Overall, it was a good, albeit tiring, day.

One of the strange sights we managed to catch was of 2 horses grazing on the walls of the Fort.

Interesting. High dining indeed.Align Center05

The following day was spent having a football match, which was in fact a re-match since we lost by 11 goals to one last year, which deserves its own post.


We later had dinner at the local food bazaar. A very sumptuous feast. The gentleman waving towards the camera is Fr. Colin Tan, SJ.


Although we did have to move indoors because of the rain.


On Sunday, I also had the pleasure of joining the Fathers and the novices for Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany at the Chapel of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood at the Mt. Miriam Cancer Hospital which they run.


The Chapel has these cool choir stalls.

The reverent Mass was celebrated by Fr. Colin, seen here.


The beautiful and simple chapel holds a commanding view of the island and the city as well as the seminary which it borders. You can see the rain enveloping the city here as we’re been forecasted to have several days of rain in the wake to a tropical depression formed over the South China Sea.


Before the rain, above and during the rain, below.


The Jesuits will leave Penang tomorrow and for KL and then Malacca before returning to Singapore.


May God bless them all as they live out the Jesuit charism of find God in all things.

I’m looking forward to another fruitful visit next year, Deo volente.

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