Monday, April 28, 2008

Duc in altum

Put out into the deep. Luke 5:4. That was my first impression upon seeing this photo.

And it also brought back a memory. Our ex-parish priest had Duc in Altum as as his presbyteral motto. So, to publicise the 25th anniversary of his ordination, a huge banner was put in front of the Church highlighting the words Duc in Altum and giving the time and place of the celebration dinner after the Mass. Many came. But throughout the course of the dinner, the attendees asked the same question, when would the publicised main course be served?

Perplexed, Fr. asked them what they were talking about? Why, they answered, Duck in Autumn. Wasn't that a kind of Chinese duck dish that was supposed to be the main course? LOL!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Would you believe....

He's 81?

“One of the tenets of my foreign policy is that there is an Almighty, and a gift of that Almighty to every man, woman, and child, is freedom

Raymond Arroyo closed the interview by referring to President Bush’s words about looking into the eyes of Russian President Vladimir Putin and “seeing his soul.”

Arroyo asked President Bush what he saw when he looked into the eyes of Pope Benedict XVI.

“God,” the president answered.

President Bush and is family accorded the Pope the great honour of personally greeting the Pope at Andrews Air Force Base, the first time he has greeted a foreign leader at the airport during his presidency.

A great outpouring of love and affection greeted the Holy Father in his trip to the US. I just caught the official welcoming ceremony at the South Lawn of the White House. Very warm and very cordial indeed.

You should read the President's welcoming speech. Wow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Would you believe

That this is a cutout?
Fooled me.

Sister Susan Mary Born, left, and Stephanie Eklund, right, both of Upper Darby, Pa., pose with a cutout replica of Pope Benedict XVI, part of the merchandise commemorating the Pope's upcoming visit to Washington, on sale at the gift shop at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on Monday April 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Wonder if they ship? Would love to have one of these in my house.

Anyway, Pope Benedict is making his Apostolic Visit to the US today. May God bless his voyage.

Newman's Funeral

At 3PM last Saturday, Newman made his final journey from his house to the Church. His casket was borne by several of his classmates, friends and relatives for the mile plus walk to Church accompanied by hundreds of mourners.



I was at the Church as I was requested to be the commentator for the Mass and was supposed to coordinate the Choir.


The turnout was overwhelming at the Church was packed. The casket made it's way into the Church to the mournful, deep tones of the Church bell. Many non-Christians friends of Newman attended the Mass which was mainly in Tamil (except the presider's prayers and the Eucharistic prayers and the General Intercessions). The outpouring of grief, love and affection was very touching.

Fr. Marshall, our Parish Priest presided over the Mass.


During the Sign of Peace, Christians and non-Christians alike exchanged the sign of peace with each other.


During Communion, the people took the opportunity to get one last glance at Newman.


His final exit was accompanied by the solemn tolling of the Church bells which rang out amidst the drums from the his school's Lion Dance troop. When the casket, once again borne by his family and friends exited the Church gate, firecrackers were let off. Interesting.

Anyway, what a great outpouring of love and affection for Newman, an indication of the many lives he had touched during his brief sojourn. Wish I had known him better.

Eternal rest grant unto Newman, O Lord.
And perpetual Light shine upon him.
May his soul rest in peace.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The secrets of the Universe

There are, I'm sure, some things that we've all been dying to know but never did manage to find out. For example, how many 5 year old kids could YOU take in a fight? I've always wondered about that. The scientist in me wanted to do an experiment, but the lawyer in me kinda won out in the end. So I had consigned this to the "Things I won't find out this side of Heaven" bin.

But, wonder of wonders, just as Jesus promised, I sought and indeed found, via Fr. Daren (as this is something every Catholic needs to know), the answer to this conundrum.

And you could find out too!! Click here.

My favourite question was:
During the fight, would you feel morally comfortable picking up a child and using him/her as a weapon to throw at other children?
Oh joy!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Eternal rest

Folks, I'd like to ask you to pray for a young man, Newman, who passed away in a motorcycle accident today. Newman was one of my students and was supposed to get confirmed this year. He did not always attend class and I guess that being from a Tamil speaking family, sometimes, the language we used did not make much sense to him. I confess that I did not know him very well as he did not attend class that often and did not attend my camps and outings. But I've seen him at Mass in the village chapel and where he served. Good kid. It's too late to get to know him better now. What I can do is to pray for him and I ask that in your charity, you would do the same.

Coffee and friends

I am very proud to have been honoured by Rita over at Tigerish Waters with the Coffee Cup Award. Now I'm a great fan of coffee. I recall the joys of drinking coffee as a child when my grandma would brew a pot each day. Keeping a mug in the fridge would result in the most pleasant chilled coffee, sweet and strong! Good memories.

I drink upwards of 2 cups of coffee a day and enjoy it thoroughly. But what makes coffee even more enjoyable is the company. And so, I would like to share this award by inviting the following people to have a cuppa.

Nick Larkin
Fr. Daren
Fr. Tim

As an aside, talking about awards, have you voted for Unam Sanctam in Kat's Cannonball Awards? If you haven't, do scoot over and scroll down the sidebar until you come across Unam Sanctam in the Best Potpourri of Popery category. It's ok if you had voted for someone else earlier. We all make mistakes. I won't hold it against you. But no point letting it linger. You can correct it now and change your vote!!

And don't forget the Blogger's Choice Awards!

I got nominated Best Religion Blog!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I was tagged by Nick Larkin of Mysterium Fidei. The rules are:
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago:

I was in my final year of high school, the Penang Free School. Good times…. Good times…. Sigh… =)

Five things on my To Do List today:
1. Prepare music for choir practice this evening
2. Finish up some engineering experiments

3. Prepare for the upcoming confirmation camp this Saturday (!!) I’m supposed to facilitate
4. Buy food for Grandma
5. Talk to my brother

Things I would do if I were a billionaire**:

1. Give money to the Catholic Church in the form of direct sponsorship to parishes, religious orders, Christians in the Holy Land and various noble causes (such as undoing the renovation of Churches and getting real noble vestments and vessels for the worship of God), anonymously, of course. (I don’t believe in just giving money to the diocese but directly to specific causes and needs)
2. Do Church work full time. Teaching, missionary work, be a sacristan etc.
3. Give money to the poor. Again, directly, through handouts and setting up scholarship funds, anonymous donations to those in need, etc.
4. Give money to grandma, parents and ensure that all their needs are taken care of.
5. Go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to Rome (and Italy), Compostela (and Spain… way to go Reconquista!), Constantinople, Damascus, Alexandria and the Sinai.

**I plan to give it all away before I die and to make a difference, so if anyone has a spare billion lying around...

Three of my bad habits:
1. Laziness
2. Frankness
3. Over extend myself (this is particularly bad)

Five places I have lived:

1. Penang, Malaysia

2. Penang, Malaysia

3. Penang, Malaysia

4. Penang, Malaysia

5. Penang, Malaysia

Gandalf: The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass......And then you see it.
Pippin: What, Gandalf? See what?
Gandalf: White shores . . . and beyond. A far green country, under a swift sunrise.

That always reminds me of Penang.

Lived in the same house my whole life and thank God for it. I feel really blessed to be here in this beautiful place. As you can see from the photos above, Penang is really beautiful and, as a small island, it has everything you could possibly want, all within a short drive. Besides the beautiful beaches, Penang is a metropolis with skyscrapers and highrises but manages to retain her green lungs and rustic, heritage charms. Penang also has highlands where one can still escape the heat. Though it's a a huge high-tech manufacturing base (Intel, Dell, Motorola, Bosch, Agilent, Avago, AMD, Sony etc all have their bases and design centres here), a shopping paradise with malls galore, having her own international airport, port, bridges and ferry system, Penang still retans its the 'small town feel'. And the delicious food!!! Don't get me started on that.

Before I took this job, which required some travel recently, the amount of time I spent away from home and the nights I slept out of my bed could be tallied on my hands and toes. And I liked it that way. Add a couple of hands and you’d cover all my days away from home.

Five jobs I’ve had:
1. College tutor
2. Intern at an engineering company
3. Engineer.

Sorry, that’s about it.

If you include my unpaid jobs:

1. Parish Website designer and Webmaster
2. Youth Leader
3. Schola Director (current)
4. Camp and Retreat Facilitator
5. Confirmation year Catechism class teacher (current)

Would like to add Superhero, but that would blow my cover. Shhh… don’t tell anyone.

People I tag.