8 January 2017
By Aaron Lim
“Most of you may not be able to go back for the celebrations, but we want to make this place a home away from home for you to celebrate Christmas together!”
These were the opening remarks by assistant parish priest Fr Joachim Robert during the Christmas Party for migrants on Dec 18, 2016 at the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows (City Parish).
Organised by the Parish Human Development Committee (PHDC), more than 100 parishioners from different nations attended the celebration. Also present was Fr Conegundo Garganta, a visiting priest from the Philippines.
In thanking the PHDC for organising this celebration, Fr Joachim spoke briefly about Christmas and hoped that all will “have a meaningful celebration this year.”
Fr Joachim also said that being in the heart of George Town, the City Parish churches are attended by many migrant workers and university students during the weekend Masses.
Besides fellowship, the choir, made up of students from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) also entertained the crowd with Christmas carols.
This was followed by dance and singing performances by members of the Filipino Catholic Community of Penang (FCCP).
There were also games, like Musical Chairs and Apple Eating, for everyone to participate.
USM student Alvin Yong, from Sabah, said that the interesting activities made him feel excited and he stayed to the end of the party.
“This celebration allowed me to mingle freely with migrants from Vietnam and the Philippines, and to get along with them as well,” he said.
Yong felt homesick celebrating Christmas away from Sabah, but the warm gathering in Penang made him feel like home again.
“Carolling preparations and Christmas stay-overs are some of the efforts made to foster our relationship, especially with the first-year students, so that they will not feel lonely spending Christmas here,” he said.
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