Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Immaculate Conception Parish in the news

My parish made into the national newspapers as reporters from The Star, the major English daily and the New Straits Times, the other major English newspaper covered the Paschal Triduum celebrations here.

From the New Straits Times
Three communities mark holy day
E-mail : news@nst.com.my
By : Phuah Ken Lin and Fay Angela D’cruz

A devotee releasing a bird in conjunction with the birthday of the Goddess of Mercy in Penang yesterday (left); and Theresa Agerback, 80, kissing the crucifix at the Immaculate Conception Church in Jalan Burmah, Penang, on Good Friday yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: The nation’s Taoists, Buddhists and Christians all celebrated an important holy day yesterday.

Churches and temples were filled as Christians marked Good Friday — the crucifixion of Jesus Christ — and Taoists and Buddhists celebrated the Goddess of Mercy’s (Kuan Yin) birthday.


In Petaling Jaya, a congregation of more than 1,500 gathered at the St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Jalan Gasing for this age-old ritual.

Serena Hew said she had been going to SFX for over 30 years and makes it a point to be here for Good Friday.

"I travel quite a bit but this is the week I make sure to stay in town.

"I have never missed a year and I will always come back here to observe this special day," said the 42-year-old.


At the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Jalan Burmah, about 1,200 people attended Good Friday mass.

Among them was 80-year-old Theresa Agerback, who said: "I’m happy to have been able to attend church and offer my prayers along with others." [That's my grandma. She said nothing of the sort. They totally made it up. The blighters.]

This is the first time Good Friday and the Goddess of Mercy celebrations have fallen on the same day since 1906. The next time will be in 2027.

From The Star

Tradition very much in reverence and respect

MALACCA: The statue of the Dead Lord is one of three life-sized statues of Jesus Christ that was employed during Holy Week celebrations at the Church of St Peter's here.

According to the books Survival Through Human Values and Stroll Through Historic Malacca written by the late Fr M.J. Pintado, a former priest of St Peter’s, two of the statues are sited at the left side of the main church known as Chapel of Senhor Morto (Dead Lord) while the third, used once annually during the Good Friday procession, is kept in a store.

Celebrating mass: Rev Fernandez leading the congregation in prayer during Easter Sunday mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Pulau Tikus, Penang, on Sunday.
The statue of Christ over the altar at the side chapel is taken out during Palm Sunday procession while the one beneath depicted as the Statue of the Dead Christ is permanently fixed and utilised for veneration by devotees and pilgrims on Good Friday.

The third statue denoting the Dead Lord in a lying state within an artistically carved wooden bier is only used during the late evening candlelight Good Friday procession.

Michael Lazaroo, the leader of the Irmaos de Igreja (Brothers of the Church in Cristao, a Portuguese dialect still used at the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir), the church group in charge of Holy Week traditional procedures, rituals and practices, said: “It is very much in reverence and respect to say that it is the statue of the Dead Lord on a wooden bier that is carried in procession on Good Friday.”

Easter a time of joyous victory

PENANG: Easter Sunday is a day of victory for Christians as it marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the conquering of sin, Church of the Immaculate Conception parish priest Rev Fr Marshall Fernandez said.

Speaking during his homily before 1,500 Catholics who turned up at the Pulau Tikus church to celebrate Easter Sunday, he said Easter was also a time for Christians to remind themselves to reach out to those in need.

“Never shun the less fortunate,” he urged the congregation.

Although the mass was supposed to start at 9am, the pews were already filled up by 8am. To accommodate the large crowd, plastic chairs were placed outside the church compound.

Religious ritual: Rev Fernandez blessing the congregation during the Easter Sunday mass.
Godfrey Westwood, 46, said that after mass he and his family would have a feast of roast lamb – a family tradition – before hunting for Easter eggs hidden around the house.

Another parishioner Christine Saw, who came with her American husband Samuel, and their son Noah, said she never missed attending Easter mass even when she was out of the country.

Over at the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Macalister Road and Church of Assumption in Farquhar Street, similar services were also held.

Easter Sunday caps the events of the Holy Week that began with Palm Sunday followed by Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, which took place over a period of about a month.

Blogger Mark from Exurge Domine (formerly of Deus Caritas Est fame who had seen the darkness...ooopss...errr...light) also reports on this.

Here are some scans from his blog.

1 comment:

John said...

That looks fantastic Andrew. Our local Anglican parish made headlines recently as the parish priest has been sent to Papua New Guinea to be a bishop!

Almost makes you wish he'd been a Catholic!