Feast of the Assumption
The second oldest Catholic Church in Malaysia, and a UNESCO World Heritage Icon, celebrates its 225th anniversary this year, rightly so on its feast-day – the Feast of the Assumption on 14 August 2011, the eve of the feast.
The theme for the celebration was “225 years of faith and still growing.” The Church was packed with parishioners from all over the island of Penang. The celebration began at 6.00pm with Rosary Prayers. All five decades prayed, followed by hymns, were in five different languages – English, Mandarin, Tamil, Tagalog and Bahasa.
The Eucharistic Celebration (also in multi-language), which followed after the Rosary, was celebrated by Bishop Antony Selvanayagam. Joining him as co-celebrants were assistant parish priest, Fr Michael Thoo, Fr. Maiccal Sinnappan, Fr Martin Thien, Fr Andrew Stephen and Fr Edmund Woon.
The Bishop gave a homily in English and Tamil, while Fr Martin Thien gave the homily in Mandarin.
Bishop brought up that when Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary as a dogma of our faith, three things surfaced: (1) God loves Mary (2) We love Mary and (3) Mary loves the Father.
“Yes, God loves Mary. God looks upon the lowliness of Mary and pay attention to her.” Said Bishop. “We love Mary, because we believe that Mary is with the Father. We believe that Mary is not corrupted and she is assumed into heaven, both body and soul. Finally, Mary loves God the Father. In the Magnificat, she had stated ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.’.
“Today, we are not only celebrating Mary’s assumption but we are celebrating our faith.” Continued Bishop, “We know we will die one day but that is not the end of it. We believe, like Mary, we will also be with Jesus. Are you listening to God, like Mary? Will you be willing to drop off everything and say ‘yes’ to God, like Mary did when she responded “May it be done to me according to your will.”?
He ended his homily by telling everyone to imitate Mary as she listens to God and follow God, and together, make this a prayer in our daily life – “Mary, my Mother, pray for me that I will do as what you do, in my life.”
After the parish announcement in church, a huge cake with the picture of the Church and the slogan ‘225 years of faith and still growing’ was brought in for the cake-cutting ceremony. The Bishop, Fr Michael Thoo and a parishioner, Geraldine Cutter were given the honor to cut the cake.
The people get the chance to eat the cake, when there was a fellowship after Mass, with dinner served.
– by Lucia Lai
(please visit our Facebook photo album for photos)