Most Reverend Tan Sri Datuk Archbishop Murphy Pakiam
Reverend Fathers Simon Yong & Albert Tan
Dearest Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We are indeed blessed that we are here today once again to commemorate and participate in this auspicious 30th Parish Pastoral Assembly. Yes I think some of you have been here for the past 10 years or more and I would like to congratulate and thank you for being part of the history of SFX. To all of you on behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council I welcome you to the 30th Parish Pastoral Assembly. Indeed we are proud that you have sacrificed yourselves to make SFX what it is today. As usual we had a fruitful year in SFX. We continued our 1000 hour journey praying before the Blessed Sacrament for our priests and we successfully completed the prayers and we thank you all for praying so hard for our Shepherds in the Year of the Priest which ended in June 2010. We thanked Brother Eugene who headed the project before his transfer to Singapore. The Blessed Sacrament is still being adored and we hope that you encourage more to pray for our priests and other spiritual needs before our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the sixth time I am addressing the assembly as PPC Chief and I thank you for all your continued support despite my shortcomings in not being able to serve you well and being such an incompetent leader. I must say your love, understanding and your keen response in carrying out the various programmes had more than compensated for my poor leadership. You continue to excel in all the projects undertaken especially projects that are planned according to the pastoral priorities agreed by us during PMPC 3.
"2010 has been eventful as we continue celebrating our Golden Jubilee." The GJ Committee headed by Francis Lai planned several projects to renew our spiritual direction and celebrate this joyous occasion having existed 50 years as an active and vibrant church community serving our Lord; as we journey towards a “New Way of Being Church”
In 2010 we were not able to visit the BECs because of other more pressing schedules. However BECs are very important to the life of SFX. We had met almost monthly with the leaders and were together for a training called Collaborative Ministry conducted by Father Michael Chua. We know of your problems or challenges and we do wish that we can do more for you.
I would like to remind you that BECs are Christ centred communities. So whenever you come into unpleasant situations, do remember Christ our King is in our midst and ask him to help resolve our problems. We are also please with the encouragement of our Most Reverend Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam who urged us not be too worried about the numbers but continue to journey together to give Glory to God.
We thank you SFX parishioners for being so generous in helping us in many ways to fund and complete the church renovations. We hope that you will continue to pray and help see to the conclusion of our final phase of the renovation.
Under Worship Commission and liturgy chiefs Janet Chin & Rachel Santa Maria, we continue to improve our liturgical practices. New Extra-ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Lectors and Commentators were given training and also other liturgical volunteers were briefed from time to time. We strive to achieve perfection and we continue to enrich ourselves so that we can serve the Lord better. I thank Janet who chaired this year’s family day event in July 2010 and we saw a lot of interaction between the BECs and Parish Groups.
We would like to draw your attention to our website sfx.com.my. Please visit this website regularly as you can now view our latest news, download our monthly reflection paper, and order our photos of the various SFX events through this website. Soon we can even book our rooms through the website. Don’t despair if you are not computer savvy, for it is in Iggy’s plan to visit the various BECs to provide on line tutorials.
Integral Human Development Commission saw a miracle worked for us to witness in the person of Vince Gomez, the IHD head. From January to March we saw him working tirelessly to implement the projects we had planned in the Parish Assembly of 2009. However Vince fell seriously ill in mid year and we really missed him as he was helping us in so many areas under IHD. Thankfully he came out of his illness and although we can see he is still weak, his enthusiasm in helping the deaf, wheelchair bound, migrants and other less fortunate persons really encourage us to plod on. Thanks Vince for showing us a fine example and thank you God, for giving us the gift of Vince.
The Filipino Community of Migrant Workers have been weaving palms l every Palm Sunday into crosses and selling it to the Parishioners. They donated the profit to the Church Renovation Fund.
FSC decorated the stage for Family Day and Senior Citizens Day. They also join a BEC in an outing.
REACH who comprises of the "Deaf" community celebrated the International Day for the Deaf in Sept. with the various BEC Social Concern Coordinators.
The highlight for WHEELS is their pilgrimage to Bukit Mertajam for St Anne's Feast. Five members were wheeling their way through the massive crowd in BM. It was indeed a great challenge.
IHD had ensured that at least once a year, SFX would have a Blood Donation Drive. They also help to organise Forums on the Constitution by the Bar Council." IHD had also encouraged the Parish Groups in the I H D Commission to work more closely with the BECs through the Social Concern Coordinators.
We continue to thank the parishioners for your continuous support for the projects of SVP including the SFX Rumah Pengajian Xavier. St Vincent De Paul also opened a service centre to help migrants in collaboration with the other PJ churches.
Molly and Matthew continued to work hard uniting the parish groups and the BECs under this Commission. They recently made 350 SFX Senior Citizens very happy when they brought them back to the 50s, 60s and 70s era with songs, dance performance, crowning of SFX Prom King and Queen and were waited on tirelessly by our youths who ensured that they were served their food and drinks promptly.
Family Life Ministry will present Together under One Roof (TUOR) on December 4th. This half day programme is catered for couples married 5 years and below.
BECs Chiefs are requested to persuade your family life coordinators to play a more active role in this commission. The Sectoral commission is an important group as the youth, family, sports and social communication falls under this commission.
Sports Ministry is now headed by Anthony Narayanan taking over from Gerard Pereira. The Ministry successfully conducted the Golf Tournament in August 2010 and is now planning for a Walkathon.
Our Youths including some confirmands further surprised me greatly as they came forward during the weekend masses of 16/17 October 2010 when they help us conduct the Parish Census. It was such an enriching experience to see the young take responsibility and take ownership of the Church. We thank Linda and Anne Yong for their tireless efforts in giving our young people the pastoral care.
In Evangelisation and Catechetical Commission, RCIA registered over 70 catechumens, confirmands and reception candidates... This year the Catechumen
were put in an exposure immersion experience early so that they learn what the Parish is doing and hopefully will ease them into the BECs and Parish Groups when they are baptised next Easter. We remember 3 silent heroes i.e. KC Wong, Joseph Moses Arul and Paul Lee who left us in January, August and October 2010 respectively. The 3 of them had been active in RCIA and had contributed their fair share of work to SFX. May their souls rest in peace.
Sunday School is a place for 556 of our young ones to learn more about Christ and the Catholic faith. Sunday School will switch completely to the Malaysian Catechetical Series in 2011. Registration for 2011 had proceeded smoothly and they are now in need of Catechists. Please volunteer yourselves or requests your members to volunteer as Catechists so that our young ones will continue to receive a solid faith education.
The Sunday School Parents organised the SS party on 31st October. A wonderful performance together with good music and food was provided to over 500 parishioners. We remember here another unsung hero who left us early this year i.e. Allan Ho who for many years was the St Peter of SFX Sunday School. He opened the doors of the classrooms and even stayed back to clean the toilets. May Allan’s soul rest in peace.
FIRM Foundation Ministry had another active year of providing wholesome adult education. They played a supportive role in the Novena of Grace in March 2010. Various new programmes were introduced such as Easter Triduum, a closer look into Christ’s Church, and the Footprints of God’s series. Hans and his team worked hard to set up this year’s Corpus Christi exhibition held on June 5th and 6th. More people attended this exhibition and the RCIA, Lifeline, Confirmation Group, MRM and the BECs worked together in this project. It was so successful that we exported this exhibition to Fatima Church in October 2010 and this attracted thousands of interested people. Congrats to Hans and Padre Simon who encouraged this contribution of ours to Our Lady of Fatima Church in Brickfields. On Nov 29, a talk by Father Michael Chua on the 4 shades of Advent will be held.
Confirmation Ministry involved over 200 students, of which 68 were confirmed in June 2010. The Level 2 candidates were involved in the Exposure Immersion programme where they served in Rumah Pengajian Xavier, REACH members, Soup kitchen of St John and helped in the Christmas eve supper.
Some candidates underwent training and formation as Lectors and started serving in the various liturgical services in Holy Week. They participated in the Walk with me Programme. About 35 of the newly confirmed helped out in the family day activities. 3 Catechists attended the Archdiocese Catechetical Conference on the CCC on 5th to 7th November.
Moving on to the strategies of 2011:
We had a mid term review of PMPC 3 in August 2010.and we had examine ourselves in fulfilling the objectives in PMPC 3. Although we had achieved some of the objectives there are areas that need improvement. In 2011 we urge you as BEC and PG members to study our pastoral priorities carefully and make plans to serve these areas. Your projects need not be big, do what you can within the organisation or resources that you have. The emphasis on BECs and the ongoing pastoral priorities are of utmost importance. So I urged you all when you plan for 2011 to take into account the areas of unity, formation, integral human development, inter-religious and ecumenical dialogue, youth, family and social communications.
Last year, I outlined PMPC 3 strategies and what we did in 2008 to implement this strategy. 2011 will be the sixth year of the PMPC3 implementation. A SWOT analysis was conducted at the APA in August 2010. We will be sharing the results with you in 2011.
In this PA workshop, we will again be slotted by months under the 4 Commission Chiefs and the 12 facilitators. Your groups are urged to come up with only one solid implementable idea. Do not be overambitious, but plan for the targeted objective and carefully choose your leader to implement this project. As usual the four Chiefs will oversee and guide you along. More details will be given by Iggy.
We congratulate and thank the Golden Jubilee Committee headed by Francis Lai who had successfully lead us in the many projects. We will end our celebration on 3rd December 2011 with a subscription dinner. Meanwhile do pay attention to the news in the bulletin, the Pilgrim newsletter and websites on the planned activities for 2011.
You have been steadfast in supporting the Church and all its needs and projects. Thank you to each one of you. We hope and pray that the close cooperation between BECs, Parish Group and the Parish Administration will continue as we celebrate our Golden Jubilee.
Please pray for the Lord to give strength to all our Priests particularly Father Simon Yong and Father Albert Tan and our dear shepherd Most Reverend Tan Sri Datuk Archbishop in continuing their pastoral care to the flock in SFX.
I end this address with the prayer that all of us will continue to be enthusiastic in serving the Lord our God. We pray that we shall all grow in our faith hope and love as we commemorate our 50th year in SFX. I wish you a Happy and Blessed year ahead. Thank you and God bless you all