St Anne’s shrine to be made national shrine


The Herald
17 August 2014

by Lucia Lai

During the Sacrament of Confirmation Mass of City Parish, Penang, on 27 July 2014, Bishop Sebastian disclosed to the parishioners that he planned to turn the Shrine of St Anne at Bukit Mertajam, Penang into a national shrine. This will be brought up to the Bishops’ Conference for deliberation and decision.

Bishop Sebastian felt that St Anne’s shrine deserved to be a national shrine since it is so popular and thousands of people from all over the country and out of the country visit it every year during the feast-day. These people also came from different backgrounds, including many non Catholics. The theme of Mary and her mother had brought the people together.

The 15 young people who received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows (City Parish), were asked by Bishop in his homily, what is the highest form of worship.

To him, he said, many will respond, it is Praise & Worship or Thanksgiving or Adoration or even silence. However, he said the highest form of worship is eating and drinking (the Body of Christ).

“Eating and drinking is not about words but about action.” he said.  “Everything else – example, praise and worship, Mass – are in preparation to this eating and drinking. It is communion, it is when Jesus and you become one.”

“On your part, and also all of us, including the clergy and religious, the highest form of worship is to surrender yourself. Surrender first to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the Father. Secondly, surrender to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a consultant. The Holy Spirit is the Lord and giver of life. If there’s no Holy Spirit, there will be no Mass, no prayers, no sanctification. That is the role of the Holy Spirit – to give life.”

“The Holy Spirit also prepares the world for the second coming of Christ. The Holy Spirit prepares you for mission in the world. Surrender yourself to the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life for mission.”

He stated that on 19 October, which is World Mission Sunday, everyone in the Diocese will be sent out on mission. How to go about this mission will be notified to all parishes later.

He ended his homily by reminding the candidates that when they leave school and started working, they will, very much need the Holy Spirit in their lives. The Holy Spirit will be their guiding force in their faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. He thanked all those who had journeyed with them, especially their parents.

Note: photos can be viewed at our Facebook page.

The Holy Spirit empowers us in our lives

The Herald
10 August 2014

By Aaron Lim

campConfirmation Day, the City Parish Catechetical Committee organized a camp for 11 confirmands of the English speaking group. It was held from July 18 to July 20 at the Assumption Formation Centre.

There were many who came to facilitate this camp, including Nancy Victor, Francis Xavier and Rosalind Victor from the Catechetical Committee, together with Reikce Kathrin, Benedict Anand and Arokiadass. The topics focused on the basics of our Catholic faith, gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The sessions were a mind opener as the facilitators encouraged the confirmands to know themselves better as children of God, and to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They reminded them that as they receive Confirmation, they should take responsibility for the faith and heed God’s call. They also learnt that the Church has an important role to play in society, and were urged to live a better Christian life.

Fr Nelson Chitty, the parish priest, also spoke on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He explained to the confirmands the importance of going for confession, and reminded them that as God is ever merciful and forgiving, they must let go of their past faults and continue life without regrets. After the session, confession was heard by Fr Nelson.

The confirmands were all in high spirits after the camp, as they strengthened their commitment to defend the faith and to continue the mission that Christ has entrusted to them. They were all energized as they eagerly wait to receive confirmation. Special thanks go to all the catechists and youth members of the parish who helped out throughout the entire camp.

Old Lady sings again

The Star
1 July 2014

Old Lady sings again

ORGANSWEET melodies filled the church as the young pianist worked his magic on the century-old pipe organ.

Parishioners listened in silent wonder as 17-year-old Daniel de Costa cajoled heavenly music from the restored antique nicknamed the ‘Old Lady’ of the Church of the Assumption in Farquhar Street, Penang.

His repertoire of ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘The Hymn of Joy’, ‘Whispering Hope’ and ‘How Great Thou Art’ was most apt for the thanksgiving concert to celebrate the restoration of the grand dame.

For Daniel, his first experience of playing the grand organ was in 2012 during a concert to raise funds for its restoration.

“It was a totally different feeling playing on this pipe organ as it gave me the satisfaction I never had before and I got hooked on to it immediately.

“Not many have the passion to play the pipe organ and I’m glad I found it,” said the Form Five student of St Xavier’s Institution after his performance on Sunday.

The restoration of the pipe organ reminded him of how valuable things are and how people should treasure historical items.

Leonard Selva Gurunathan, the church’s organist since 1998, said the restoration of the Old Lady marked the beginning of a new journey for the instrument that had undergone many ups and downs over the years.

“The pipe organ has survived through all these years as a result of the dedication and commitment of the congregation of the church and support received from various individuals and corporate bodies.

“To keep the organ running for many years to come, not only constant care and maintenance by an organ builder are required.

“There must also be continued commitment and dedication from those responsible for it,” Leonard said.

He had earlier performed opening numbers for the concert with his rendition of ‘Invention No. 1’ and ‘Air on the G String’ on the pipe organ.

The Church of the Assumption Choir group also performed at the event.

Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen who had assisted in boosting the restoration funds was present to witness the Old Lady in action.

AirAsiaExpedia donated RM200,000 while Star Publications (M) Bhd contributed RM50,000 for the restoration.

Khazanah Nasional’s Think City Sdn Bhd also donated RM262,000.

The pipe organ was built in 1914 by Morton & Moody of Oakham, England, and set up in the church by The Robinson Piano Co Ltd in June 1916.

Made of oak, pine and mahogany, it has 640 pipes made of lead and zinc.

By the time the Old Lady was dismantled and shipped to Harrogate in the UK for a major overhaul in January 2013, it was in a poor condition.

Its wooden parts were falling to pieces due to infestation of termites and rats while its mechanical parts suffered wear and tear.

It was fully restored at the church in November last year.

The pipes have been cleaned and tuners atop each pipe were replaced. Most of the original pipes were retained.

Some of the ivory keys have been replaced with synthetic material.

Peter Wood and Son, a British company specialising in pipe organ building, repairs, restorations, rebuilds and tuning was entrusted with the restoration work.

Jesus was on the streets of Georgetown

ccFor the fourth year consecutively, the public get to see ‘Jesus’ in the Blessed Sacrament being carried on a brightly decorated lorry in a procession on the streets of Georgetown, Penang.

This was made possible through the effort of City Parish, Penang, who organized an Eucharistic Celebration and Procession on 22 June 2014 to celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

The Eucharistic Celebration was held at the Assumption Church, where parish priest, Fr Nelson Chitty was the celebrant with Emeritus Bishop Antony Selvanayagam, Msgr Bernard Paul, Fr Michael Thoo, Fr Julien Leow and Fr Edmund Woon con-celebrating.

The homily was given by Msgr Bernard Paul. He reminded us that the Body and Blood of Christ reminds us of three Truths:
1. That our God wants to be with us – a Presence for us always.
2. That our God is total in his giving – a Sacrifice par excellence.
3. That our God is a God who calls us ‘to eat Passover’ – a daily Dying and Rising.

The Mass ended with the Blessed Sacrament being transferred to a brightly decorated lorry for the candle-light procession. The procession wound through Farquhar Street (where Assumption church is situated), the busy Penang Road, Burmah Road, Macalister Lane and ended at the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Macalister Road. The distance was about 2 km.

The faithful carried lit candles and sing songs during the procession.

Two stops were made along the route for veneration. The people knelt down on the road in respect and reverence, as the Blessed Sacrament was lifted high up.

When the Blessed Sacrament reached the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Fr Nelson carried it solemnly into the church and Benediction followed.

There was fellowship with Chinese and Indian food served after Benediction.

- by Lucia Lai

See more pictures at our Facebook photo album.

Article at Citizen Journalist website.


Corpus Christi Procession


Welcome, Fr Nelson Chitty!


Name:  Rev Nelson Chitty
Born:  6 Feb. 1963
Ordained:  31 August 1992

Previous postings:
Parish priests of Risen Christ Church, Penang and Church of  the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Butterworth

Last posting as Administrator of Church of Our Lady of Fatima of the Holy Rosary, Kangar, Perlis.

Handing-over Ceremony

L to R: Angeline, Msgr Bernard, Fr Dominic, Bishop, Fr Nelson, Msgr Cheah Fr Thoo

L to R: Angeline, Msgr Bernard, Fr Dominic, Bishop, Fr Nelson, Msgr Cheah Fr Thoo

The handing-over ceremony was held on Monday, 9 June at 11.00 am.  The Bishop was present, together with the two Vicar General, Msgr Bernard Paul and Msgr Michael Cheah. Also present was Ms Angeline Tan, the Diocese Finance Administrator.

Fr Dominic officially stepped down as our parish priest today. He will be leaving for Philippine soon to study Canon Law. We wish him farewell and all the best in his studies.

Fr Nelson Chitty officially take over as our new parish priest today. We welcome him warmly and look forward to his guidance and care for the parish and parishioners. Likewise, we will support him and hope to work well with him..

For more photos of the handing-over ceremony, please visit our Facebook photo album.

Message from parish priest

Here is a message from parish priest, Fr Dominic (picture below), which appears in this week’s bulletin.


frdomPraise Lord! Alleluia, Amen!

Dear friends, I came to this Parish in the year 2008 to assist Rev. Fr. Michael Thoo. From 2010 , I assumed the responsibility of being your Parish Priest, your Pastor up to now. The time has come for me to move on to another “call within a call’.

As your pastor and leader, I did to the best of my abilities to move the Parish spiritually and also tried my best to upgrade the Parish to serve you better. In my endeavor to build this Parish, I also fell short in many areas. I take this opportunity, ask your forgiveness for times I have let you down because of my unintended insensitive to you and your spiritual needs.

Dear Parishioners and friends, I thank you for your support and kindness to me during these years in this Parish. Dear “Our Father”, Michael Thoo, thank you for being a father to the Parish and also myself in your own gentle way. I will hand over my responsibility to the incoming parish priest on Monday, 9th of June 2014 @ 11.00am.

Dear friends, remember me in your prayers, as I remember you at every Mass. God bless!

Fr Dominic Santhiyagu
18 May 2014

OLS 125th anniversary magazine


Many of you would have seen and got hold of the magazine by now. We are now uploading the magazine online (in pdf format) for you to read or share with your friends.  The magazine in pdf format here only shows the contents and not the covers. For pictures of the covers, please click on ‘read the rest of this entry’ to view them.

Click on the following link to download the magazine.

OLS 125th anniversary magazine

Read the rest of this entry

First time in history – popes canonised as saints

These are the two popes canonised by Pope Francis on 27 April 2014, Feast of Divine Mercy.
Read about it at the dailymail, with lots of good pictures. Watch the video here (not in English).



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