By SANDRA LAZAROUS
MEDIA & PUBLICATION TEAM

 

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Our Church celebrated the launching of Year of Faith and Migrants’ Sunday on October 14, 2012. The theme for Migrant Sunday was “Migration and The New Evangelization.” The celebration had two main highlights where the launching of the year of faith was done in the trilingual (Tamil, English and Bahasa) mass and the Migrant Sunday was celebrated after the mass with performances and fellowship.

The Eucharistic Celebration gathered people from many different countries, with different languages and customs. The migrants came from various countries such as India, Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar. The morning liturgy was indeed a meaningful and beautiful celebration. Many came with their country’s traditional costume and the communion offering was presented with a dance. The Year of Faith was launched by unveiling the banner bearing the words ‘Year of Faith” by parish priest and the PPC chairman, Mr. Christopher. Two other banners bearing the core themes of Year of Faith were also presented which was accompanied by graceful Filipino dancers. The parish pastoral council committee and ministries members also organized breakfast and lunch for everyone which was sponsored by parish.

A special program was organized after the mass at the APC Hall which commenced the Migrant Sunday celebration. The officiating of the Migrant Sunday was done by Rev. Fr. Terence Thomas accompanied by Migrant community leaders. It was a unique approach to promote awareness, understanding and appreciation on the ambivalent realities of migration. A video presentation of the message from Archbishop Murphy Pakiam was shared. Mr. Moses, the in charge person for the Myanmar refugees’ school “Zotun Catholic Community Centre –Loke Yew and a representative of parish PIHDM ministry shared information regarding the school activities and also thanked everyone for giving a helping hand to them. He also addressed on who are the refugees and migrants as well as what are some of the problems faced by this minorities There were more than 18 stage performances presented during this Migrant Sunday celebration by various parish ministries such as the Myanmar community, KUBM, EL-Shaddai, KKI group, church choir and youth ministry. About 500 parishioners and migrants gathered to celebrate this memorable day.

“The ‘door of faith’ (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church,” – Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei for the Indiction of the Year of Faith.

This memorable Sunday welcomes many who have come to our country looking for a home, job, and for safety. This can happen only if they are welcomed in a new land. We hope that St. Anthony’s Church, Kuala Lumpur will continue to be a welcoming church to migrants who need a better life and want to earn a living. We hope that our communities will be open to their needs and to the richness of culture and faith that they bring. Only if we are people with the spirit of gospel can they find a home, safety and employment here. We pray for all Migrants, and remember also our own people who have left our shores.

The migrants among us remind us that we have no lasting home or city here at the world; that all of us are people on the move, pilgrims through life like Jesus, dependent on God aiming for eternal life in union with God, the father.

For those who have left their homes, in search of a better life, Lord we pray; we pray that they may find peace and justice as well as be welcomed in their new land.