Saturday, October 29, 2016

St Joseph’s Hall: Reflecting the Growing Catholic Community at St Mary’s Chapel

A grand opening for St Josephs Hall 

The official opening of St Joseph’s Hall at St Mary’s Chapel, recently marked another milestone in the growth of the chapel.

The hall which is linked to the Chapel was officiated by Vice Provincial of OMPH Church Rev Fr Eugene Fernandez CssR after the 10am Sunday mass on October 9th 2016.

Rev Fr Eugene Fernandez officiated at the opening of St Josephs hall.
St Mary's Chapel with St Joseph's Hall on the left. At the hilllock behind is 

...the Grotto at St Mary's 

 In his homily Fr Eugene said that the opening of St Joseph’s Hall was a testimony of the faith of the catholic community at Tg Rambutan.

“St Joseph’s Hall is a reflection of a community that is walking with Jesus and a show of their strong faith throughout the years” said Fr Eugene.
Clockwise. The chapel built by three local youth in 1979 and subsequently enlarged during the time of Fr David Anthony.
..after which activities such as mass, baptism's and wedding was held there.
Indeed the Catholic community at the 8th milestone, Kg Tersusun, Ulu Kinta has grown from a community of five families in the 60’s it now boasts of having over 100 families, a chapel and hall and a grotto atop the adjoining hill.

A slide presentation of the history about the community stated that during the 60’s and 70’s the community was served by the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 16 Km away.

The community initially held their Mass at the nearby Methodist School. It was not until 1979 that three local youth from within the community built the chapel at the present location.

The community subsequently enlarged the chapel during the period with Fr David Anthony after which various activities such as mass, feast day, baptism and weddings was held. 

The chapel then was built on government land. In 1987 their application for the land was approved.
The chapel received approval for the land in 1987 and the current St Mary's Chapel was blessed in 1992
The Catholic community at St Mary's. From 5 initially to well over 100 families now.

 It was not until 1992, with a grant of RM70,000 from the Penang Diocesan Fund and together with donations from the parishioners, the present chapel was built and officially blessed and opened by Bishop Antony Selvanayagam.

According to Peter James, Chairman of St Mary’s Project and Upgrading Committee, the project to build a hall was mooted since 2007.

“The initial plan was to have an open hall which was completed in 2010.

“However as there was bouts of theft and vandalism by monkeys from the adjoining hill despite having iron grilles the committee decided to build a closed hall”

A fundraising was started in 2013 and resulted with the opening of St Josephs Hall.

The mass and opening ceremony saw an attendance of over 350 who also attended the lunch. While St Joseph’s hall accommodated over 200 diners the rest spilled over to the tents outside.
St Mary's Chapel 2016 a far cry from 1979, thirty seven years ago.
The Offertory on October 9, building materials, sweets and a souvenir.

The morning mass was held smoothly amidst a melodic choir and a responsive congregation.
A view of St Mary's from the top of the Grotto. 
A full house luncheon at St Joseph's Hall paying attention and ....
...listening to Rev Fr Eugene Fernandez, Project Chairperson Peter James and viewing the slide presentation of St Mary's brief history.
Fr Joseph Stephen with members of the Project committee. 
Lunch is served ....
...with ample seating comfort to enjoy ones meal
Fr Joseph Stephen and Peter James presented souvenirs to thank the benefactors (l-r) Lawrence and Kathy Tham, Francis and Irene Ng, Dato Simon and Datin Miki Chan and Michael and Phyllis Goh

 In contrast to the images of a young and growing chapel some thirty years ago the progress that St Mary’s Chapel displays now is a clear testimony of the faith of a community that has helped it grow and progress.
The multiple members from the Redemptorist Congregation who have worked with the residents to grow the community over the last 40 years. 

Communion (video) at St Mary's Chapel, October 2016.


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