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Food & Fun Fair Day at CDM

11. September, 2018NewsComments Off on Food & Fun Fair Day at CDM

After over five months of planning through weekly meetings, it finally arrived on the 1st September, 2018. Food & Fun Fair Day at the Church of Divine Mercy, Penang (CDM) with the theme #JomENJOY. Preparations for the stalls began earlier with the setting up of large tents and food preparations. People started arriving as early as 8 am when the official opening time was an hour later. The weather forecast for the day was rain which fell the day before and the day after the fair. But that morning, God was indeed merciful and the sun came out brazing for the whole day.

The children at catechism were told to come and bring a friend along. People from other parishes, many non-Catholics and well wishers turned up to an array of 34 food stalls with 60 different food items and 10 types of drinks, 10 game stalls and 17 booths offering various services from Henna & Face painting, Head and Shoulder massage, health screening and even a garage sale of bargain items. There was something for everyone, young and not so young all at affordable prices. The food stalls held the famous Penang food favourites like Char Keow Teow, Hokkein Mee, Laksa, satay and Tosai & Roti Jala with chicken curry. Other items on sale were the home favourites specially made by the parishioners of CDM. These included Sarawak laksa, Filipino food, tomato rice, nasi lemak and a host of finger food of sausages, fries, cup cakes, waffles and even home-brewed Sabahan Lihing (rice wine). Many who came were amazed at the wide variety of food available. One person remarked, “They actually have so much food! The food fairs I went to, I usually ended up packing home bread.” There were many who also came with large orders to pack food for those who couldn’t make it.

The games stalls started off with people being offered a chance to dunk the parish priest, Fr Martin Arlando with a bucket of water. The children were entertained by a clown and various games of darting a balloon, angry bird and fishing a lucky ducky. The people at the fair were also entertained to music led by Ronald Vic DeLeon (Pianoman-iac) and Friends which included our very own young musicians at CDM.

Older people had a chance to have a head and shoulders massage carried out by a couple who were former engineers and parishioners of the Assembly of God (AOG). They decided to help out at this fair at the invitation of their Catholic neighbours. There was even a lucky draw which offered attractive prizes.

The organizing committee were given good compliments by those who had organized such fairs before for their choice of food sold, spacing of stalls and the arrangement of sitting areas for people to gather and eat. Some were surprised that CDM was doing this the first time and there was a hint that it should be repeated again in the future. The #JomENJOY Food & Fun Fair brought out the best display of the community spirit and fellowship among the ministries and parishioners at CDM. The event was also able to bring together peoples of various other faiths and different cultural backgrounds and made everyone more aware of the rich diversity found in Penang. Fr Pawel Boguslaw from Korea remarked that he had never see such a spirit of cooperation even in Korea. Members of 12 less privileged families were sponsored coupons to join in the fair together with children and residences from 12 orphanages and homes.

The target of this fund arising event for the building of our new Community Hall and Free Learning Center for all irrespective of religion and status was achieved. But by the grace of God’s mercy we have only another RM 9 million to go. Jesus, we trust in You that this will be done.

Written by
Dr. Ivan Filmer
11th September, 2018.

First Holy Communion Camp at CDM Penang

9. September, 2018NewsComments Off on First Holy Communion Camp at CDM Penang

It was a one day camp held on the 18th August for 21 young parishioners at the Church of Divine Mercy, Penang (CDM) to come to a better understanding of the second sacrament of Catholic initiation, The Holy Eucharist. A program was organized especially to help them realize this important sacrament and the great part it will play in their lives as Catholics.

After a praise and worship session the camp began with the first session of making the children in Year 4 understand that the Holy Spirit that came to them when they were baptized is now present in their lives. This same Holy Spirit is always there to protect them and help them be better Catholics. A simple activity was carried out with plastic bags filled with water that remained intact when pierced with pencils. This was demonstrated and then they given a chance to try it out for themselves. This was to illustrate that if we are filled with the Holy Spirit we are protected from harm. To further stress this point, a lighted fire was held to the plastic bag and it still remained intact. A follow-up activity with strings was carried out to illustrate that when we are in trouble we need help to escape from it. Just like when we sin we need the help of confession to help us repent and turn away from sin. The children were asked to solve this string puzzle and when they were unable they were given a demonstration how it could be done. However, they repeatedly needed to come back to obtain help to unravel the puzzle time and time again which was similar to having come back often to confession. They were told that this showed that they need to go to a priest often to help them when they sin.

The next session began with a video on how the communion hosts were made. They were also shown a another video on how to receive Holy Communion properly and this was followed by an explanation given by an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC). A mock demonstration was carried out with unconsecrated hosts. Each child was given the experience of receiving the host. The children were told that this bread was similar to the bread at the Last Supper but different from unleavened bread eaten at the time of Exodus. A short explanation was given followed by the children themselves making the unleavened bread with the help of parents and teachers. They then ate this bread they each made, as part of their lunch.

After lunch the children were given a session on the reverence that should be shown on entering the church. They were shown the proper way to genuflect and the respect given when entering the house of God. They were taken on a tour of the altar and the sanctuary and shown the garments worn by the priest to celebrate different masses.

The final session was on confession and a mock session was given where each children was given a chance to follow through a practise session of reconciliation with a teacher as the priest.

The camp gave the children a chance to better understand the important sacraments they were going to receive and how it will help them grow further in their faith journey towards confirmation.

Written by
Dr. Ivan Filmer
28th August, 2018.

CDM Penang celebrates Day of Prayer for the Sick

9. September, 2018NewsComments Off on CDM Penang celebrates Day of Prayer for the Sick

On a bright and sunny morning on Saturday 25 August 2018, a group of smartly-dressed EMHC (Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion) at the Church of Divine Mercy (CDM), Sg Ara, Penang, had just put the final touches on their preparations for the Day of Prayer for the Sick. Rows of gleaming wheelchairs had been arranged neatly in the reception area which had been specially set up in the Garden of Mercy. As if on cue, they started arriving – the sick, the infirm and the immobile, their ages ranging from 5 to 92 years. In wheelchairs, hobbling on walking sticks and carried on stretchers, they came with their caregivers to place before God their needs for physical, emotional and spiritual healing. They were all given a warm welcome and named tagged by the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC), who were the main hosts for the day, and ushered to their seats in the front pews of the church.

In his greeting, parish priest, Fr Martin Arlando, gave an apt reminder that Jesus can heal us only if we surrender to him our doubts and lack of faith and place our trust in him completely. He expanded on this during his homily with a story which illustrated the power of Jesus’ name. He explained that so often we concentrate so much on ourselves and all that is wrong with us when instead we should be focusing on Jesus whose name alone holds so much power. We need to believe in the power of that name and we need to have faith that Jesus wants to heal us and lift us out of sickness.

Fr Martin continued by saying that the sick must not think of themselves as being a burden to their family and caregivers. They should instead be aware of how closely linked they are to Jesus through the Stations of the Cross. He explained that a careful reflection on the Stations of the Cross will reveal that the story of each Station is actually our personal story as our sufferings are similar to Jesus’ sufferings. For example, isn’t sickness a heavy cross on our shoulders, similar to the heavy cross that was placed on Jesus’ shoulders at the second Station? Just like Jesus, we must carry our crosses forward and, just as he did, we will also fall due to our fear and our tendency to give up easily. As we carry our crosses, we will meet people along the way who help us (just as Jesus was helped by Veronica and Simon of Cyrene), and we will also meet people who experience the pain of helplessness because they are unable to help us (cf. Jesus meeting his mother). Fr Martin reminded the sick that they had an important role to play by praying for others whose situations are similar to their own. He also reminded them that in the Sacrament of Anointing, it is Jesus who is laying hands on them. Fr Martin then went up to each sick person, anointing 48 Catholics and blessing two non-Catholics.

After Mass, all those who had been anointed or blessed received a candle each, beautifully encased in a glass holder. Everyone then proceeded to the Faustina Hall to partake of the hearty brunch served up by the EMHC. As they chatted away, several people commented on the celebration, saying that they had experienced feelings of happiness and inner peace during the Mass. Mary, from Risen Christ Church, said that this was her 3rd time participating in a Mass for the sick and each time she had felt so touched. Monica commented that the homily was very meaningful, especially in the way it showed the link between our personal lives and the Stations of the Cross. It was interesting to note that number of people who came for anointing this year was a little different from those who regularly came for this event. It is with the grace of God that we infer that those absent have received sufficient healing from their last visit.

Written by
Ng Wai Queen
3rd September, 2018