Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lumen ad revelationem gentium

Lumen ad revelationem gentium, from the reading of the day from the Canticle of Simeon, the Nunc Dimittis. It translates as 'a light to enlighten the nations'. For many years, the Church in Malaysia, which formally began with the coming of the Portuguese missionaries and St. Francis Xavier in the 1500's, was ministered to, taught and governed by religious. From the early Jesuit missions to the MEP (French Foreign Mission) Fathers and the La Salle brothers and IJ sisters, the religious formed the backbone of the Church in Malaysia and it was from them that the local Church received the faith, besides a good solid education.


Thus it was with much gratitude that my parish of the Immaculate Conception held a special Mass on the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the old Candlemass, now known as the Presentation of the Lord, which coincided with the World Day of Consecrated Life. Many of the religious living on Penang island attended the Mass, presided by Frs. Joe Matthews and Paul Cheong OFM Cap and our parish priest, Fr. Marshall Fernandez.

During the course of the Mass, candles for the use of Church and home, were also blessed.


Among the many religious orders represented were the Little Sisters of the Poor, in veils, the Infant Jesus(IJ) sisters, Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM), La Salle brother (FSC), Capuchin brother and others.


It was nice seeing so many religious. I estimated that they had together gave the Church more than 600 years of service. It's humbling.


But I was also sad to note that their median age was rather advanced and there was no replacement for these religious once they go to their reward. I was also saddened that so many have abandoned the habits they were clothed in when the professed their vows as an outer sign of their inward commitment.

Seeing the long line of religious approached the priests for Communion was rather nice too.


I was glad that so many servers turned up despite it being a weekday. Thanks to Keshure, Mark, Daniel Roy and John and Joseph.


After Mass, the parish prepared a meal so that all could enjoy some fellowship. His Lordship te Bishop of Penang also turned up, having just returned from outstation.

Bro Paul Ho, FSC, centre, who rejected my application to enrol in St. Xavier's Institution (one bus away from my home) of which he was and is principal. This providentially and fortunately sent me to the Penang Free School (2 buses away from my home), the premier school in Penang where I learned so much, academic brilliance being no substitute for poverty of character not the least among them.


Overall, it was a good celebration. Perhaps next year we could print out Holy cards as a token to be distributed as a sign of thanks to the religious for the sacrifice and for answering God's call. May God accept and reward them.


Anonymous said...

sad to see the modern nuns without the habits...why is their order dying ...they more or less for their call and now dabble in new age...

i know a nun in kl diocese who plays wround with reiki and go around in shorts ...

you go figure..


Byzantine, TX said...

As Bishop Fulton Sheen said in a speech one evening something like, "Good evening distinguished guests and distinguishable sisters..."

Nicholas.B said...

Oh man....i missed it. Bro.Paul ex-school principal...wat a waste nt to see him. It sure was a splendid and great mass that day.....

M.J. said...

That food looks delicious. We need more parish luncheons here in the Eastern U.S.

Anonymous said...

Great profile. I am just starting mine.

Nick Chui said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Chui said...

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Apostolate for Catholic Truth

Anonymous said...

Why did Daniel Roy, John and Joseph recently loose your respect? If you're going to mention it then you should at least offer an explanation so they can offer a defence if they want.
I'm guessing it was over something petty like them recieving communion in the hand. It's sad of you that you use this blog to disrespect others like this and axe your greviances in public.

Nicholas.B said...

Who r u martha? Never heard of u b4.....I would guess u r related somehow to one of them....that is why u r feeling offended or pissed off.

Hw would you know that they receive communion by hand is the reason??????

It may be a thousand and one other reasons..........

It is either u r lucky to be able to guess or maybe u r having a grudge wit andrew.....

Btw, u too r disrespecting Andrew by saying him "using this blog to disrespect others and axe his greviances in public."

However, i would nt 1 find fault wit u and become enemies coz i believe in this saying:

"Love one another as i've love you."