Faith walkathon across the churches of Georgetown
NANG: A Faith Walkathon with the theme Walk…in the footsteps of our forefathers, was held in conjunction with Assumption Church’s 226th year of faith. The walkathon took place on 4 August, beginning at Church of St. John Britto before proceeding to Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Church of St. Francis Xavier and ended at Assumption Church, covering along a 4 km route.
70 participants, young and old were filled with high spirits as they gathered at the Church of St. John Britto (SJB). The walkathon started with an opening prayer. Then there was a short warm-up session by Sarjan Mejar Tani. In his opening speech, the parish priest of City Parish, Fr Dominic Santhiyagu welcomed all participants to this event, inviting them to learn more about the history of the four churches of City Parish.
A brief history of SJB Church was given by Thomas. According to him, the church was founded and built in 1969. The participants were then broke up into small groups for a short game which allowed them to get to know each other. The Walkathon then started from SJB Church heading towards Church of Our Lady of Sorrows (OLS), passing by the busy Jalan Datuk Keramat. Everyone walked together as one big family in Christ.
After reaching OLS Church, there was a short break and breakfast was served. Then a brief history of OLS Church was shared. The church was founded in 1888 and the present sanctuary was opened in 1958. Next, it was a fun quiz on the history of OLS Church, whereby participants went searching for answers in the church building.
The journey was then continued from OLS Church to the Church of St. Francis Xavier (SFX) in Penang Road. In SFX Church, the story of St. Francis Xavier was shared by Joshua. He shared on the missionary work of St. Francis Xavier from India to China. He also speaks about the history of the church, from its establishment in 1857 to the present church building.
This was then followed by 2 games: Straw-Rubber Band Passing Game and also Electricity Game. The participants enjoyed the games with enthusiasm. Although the games were simple, it reflects on church community building. As an act of charity, everyone joined in a mini gotong-royong to clean up the SFX Church compound after the games.
The participants then walked from SFX Church to Assumption Church, which is celebrating 226 years on 15 August. A brief history of the church was also given. The Assumption Church was founded in 1786, and it is the oldest church in Penang. It also houses a pipe organ which is almost 100 years old. In remembrance of the forefathers who had contributed in the building of the Catholic community in City Parish, Fr Dominic then encouraged all to pause for a moment of silence to pray for them.
A short group sharing was followed. One of the participants said that he initially did not want to come but after participating in the Faith Walkathon, he felt excited and happy to know more about the churches. Another participant said that the Walkathon was a good family event. The children also said that they liked the walk and it was fun. Fr Dominic then led all in The Angelus prayer.
The Faith Walkathon was ended with lunch fellowship. Everyone went home by learning more about the history of the churches. In recognition of those who participated in the walkathon, a certificate was given to each participant.
– By Aaron Lim
(Taken from Herald dated 19 Aug. 2012)