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).


A joyous and blessed Easter to all



This Life on Earth

Easter means that this life on earth
is not all there is.
Jesus went “to prepare a place for us”
in His Father’s heavenly mansions
for all eternity.
Jesus died for our sins,
paying our penalty,
so that we could be forgiven.
He was resurrected, to prove
that death has no hold
on those who repent
and accept Him as Savior.
This life on earth is a prelude
to eternal joy with our Lord.
Easter is a celebration
of our eternal destiny.
- By Joanna Fuchs


The killing of Jesus

by Gerard Hall SM

imagesIt is safe to say that Jesus was not crucified because he taught love and forgiveness or because he set about debating legal points with the scribes of his day. Jesus was crucified because he was seen as a threat to the powers-that-be. His brand of non-violent resistance, his manner of stirring the people and empowering the poor, were correctly judged to be challenging the political power structures of his day.

None of this is to suggest that Jesus was a political rebel (a zealot), but it is to state that his mission of proclaiming the reign of God had profound political implications. Such implications became more evident in view of Jesus’ actions in ‘the cleansing of the temple’. Now the temple was not just a place. The temple was the symbol of the entire Jewish faith and its religious authority structure. Significantly, in two passion narratives the charge is brought against Jesus that he ‘threatened’ the temple. In effect, what is being stated is that his teachings and actions were threatening the very basis of Jewish life. Although the gospel-writers refute this claim, there is evidence to suggest that in both subtle and profound ways, Jesus certainly did challenge some of the central practices and institutions of Jewish life.

Read the rest of this entry


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 213 other followers

%d bloggers like this: