Police Day celebration at Church of Our Lady of Sorrows
Church-goers who attended the Easter Sunday Mass at Church of Our Lady of Sorrows (City Parish, Penang), were greeted with 30 policemen and policewomen. The policemen and policewomen were at the Church to celebrate their 204th Police Day.
ASP Koo Kwai Lee, who is from the Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontijen Negeri Pulau Pinang, said that Police Day falls on 25 Mach but they can celebrate it within one month of 25 March. She is also the secretary of the Penang Police Force Christian Community.
The Police who turned up at the Church were from different denominations but they have the same aim – to give thanks to God and to interact with the public.
The Mass was celebrated by parish priest, Fr Dominic Santhiyagu, with Fr Joe Matthews, OFM Cap, as co-celebrant.
Sarjan Noel Gracy Balavendaram from Nibong Tebal, read the first reading.
In Fr Joe’s homily, he started on a joyous note, informing that this day, is a glorious day, where the Church proclaim joyfully and triumphantly, from rooftop and mountain top of the Resurrection of the Lord
He said that while in Genesis, we read about the creation of the world, not many people are aware that on the Day of the Resurrection of the Lord, a new world has been created.
“In Matthew’s gospel (28:1-10), he proclaimed that there was an earthquake when Jesus rose from the dead. When Jesus rose from the dead, the foundation of the world was shaken – a new era had begun. The ‘earthquake’, signifying Jesus rising from the dead, shake our souls to the very foundation..”
He explained that, we have to experience the ‘shaking foundation’ in our lives before we can truly experience the Easter message. Giving the example of the Japan earthquake/tsunami disaster, he said that the Japanese foundation had been shaken and thus they are now more well prepared to welcome the resurrection of the Lord.
Fr Joe singled out Mary Magdalene as the first ‘disciple’ to witness the inauguration of a new world, when Jesus appeared to her. Together with the other disciples, they were the privileged ones to witness the glory of the Lord, and later on to become the first evangelists to spread the Good News.
He then explained about the appearance of the angel.
“The angel’s appearance shine like lightning. Spiritually, ‘light’ symbolize something intense and beautiful. In the resurrection of Jesus, we see this kind of world. When the angels appeared, the guards shook with fear and appeared like dead men. The guards symbolize evil deeds and oppressive laws like ISA. With Jesus’ resurrection, power had been over-throw.”
He ended his homily by stressing that we can change the world if we live the Easter message. He said that everyone must be like the women and the disciples at the grave, whom on seeing the glory of Jesus, went out to spread the Good News.
Superintendent Morgan Ramasamy, 55, Deputy Commander of the Northern Region Police Marine Operation Force and also chairperson of the Police Force Christian Community, gave a short speech after thanksgiving.
He thanked Fr Dominic for welcoming them and let them participate in the Mass. He was happy that on the occasion of the 204th Police Day, they can celebrate it with blessing from God. He urged the people to pray for them because he said they compromise their safety to enforce the law.
“Prayer is important,” he said, “Prayers can transform the Royal Malaysian Police Force from corrupt practice to one with integrity.”
After his speech, he presented a gift to Fr. Dominic and it was then Fr Dominc’s turn to give a speech. Fr Dominic thanked the police for their attendance and said that they should be proud of their vocation as policemen and policewomen and hope they would be faithful to their call.
“We fully support you as law enforcers.” he said, “Let’s work together. We need this relationship – police and the public working together, and I hope once in a while we can get together again.”
Fr Dominic presented a Family Blessing certificate to all the policemen and policewomen present, and during the final blessing, they were called up in front to receive special blessing as he prayed over them and blessed them with holy water.
Parishioners received a pleasant surprise after Mass, when goody bags from the police were handed to them. The goody bag consist of crime-prevention pamphlets, a notebook and a key-chain.
Food, courtesy of the Police, were served, as parishioners and police fellowship with one another.
Sarjan Tani Clace seemed to echo what Fr Dominic said when, during the fellowship, he said he was glad, that on occasion of the Police Day, they had a chance to meet the parishioners. He said that the Police need the cooperation of the public very much, so this get-together is important.
“We want the public to come to us. We have only one aim – to stop crime, hence we very much need the support of the public.”