CDM Celebrates Day of the Sick

2. September, 2017NewsComments Off on CDM Celebrates Day of the Sick

“Did you see Fr Martin glow during the acclamation of the HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!“ asked Rosy. “I have had this sinus problem for some time. This morning when Fr gave me a blessing the sinus just cleared up, “ declared Anne. “I just broke down. I experienced this great sense of relief since I have had emotional challenges lately, “ remarked Benedict. “I experienced this force on my forehead as Fr annointed me, “ explained Premala. “It was most heartwarming to see Fr come around to each of us to pray and anoint the sick. It was a most compassionate and loving act,“ remarked Cecilia. These were some of the testimonies given by those who came for the Mass for the Day of the Sick at the Church of Divine Mercy, Penang (CDM) on the 26th August.


Congregation attending the Mass for the Sick


This year’s theme of the Mass was “My Jesus, My Refuge “ and a total of 92 people came for anointing and blessing. Among them were 10 non-Catholics and the youngest was a child of 6 months and a lady 94 years young. Some came as a family, others with the young giving support to the elderly. An ambulance made two trips to transport two bedridden gentlemen and a total of seven wheelchairs were arranged at the front pew.

In his homily, Fr Martin Arlando, Fr reverted to the Gospel reading of Mark 7:31-37 when Jesus heals the deaf and mute man. Fr explained that Jesus has always said that he would not dessert us. Suffering and illness is a challenge in this world and we need to have faith. In having faith we put our trust in the Lord. Fr Martin then went on to relate the plight of a blind man in his inability to communicate, his feelings of isolation, his being ridiculed and pitied for his handicap and the sense of uselessness being unable to contribute to his community. When Jesus cures him, he is elated as he is given back his life. In return Jesus has asked for nothing, just to pray. Often when we are in need we ask but do not stop to listen. We need to stop talking in order to listen. We need to follow the powerful and important example of the Mother of Jesus. Who listened and accepted God’s will for her. To look with the heart and mind to directed the ear and tongue. God doesn’t force Himself on us and walk away but returns to us in the Eucharist and in anointing. Fr Martin reminded the sick that their prayers are the most powerful and they needed to pray not only for themselves but for those they love and are in need around them.


Fr Martin Arlando anointing the Sick


At the end of the Mass, Fr Martin gave each sick person a souvenir bottle of holy water. Everyone was then treated to a fellowship meal sponsored by the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Many asked when was the next anointing and were told that CDM does this twice a year and that they would be invited again when the occasion came by.

Written by

Dr Ivan Filmer

1st September, 2017

Pesta Keamatan, Gawai & Kesyukuran at CDM

31. August, 2017NewsComments Off on Pesta Keamatan, Gawai & Kesyukuran at CDM

PENANG. Once again, the resounding sound of gong and Sape filled the Church of Divine Mercy, Sg. Ara, Penang (CDM) on the 6th May. This is the second time, the church celebrated the Pesta Kaamatan, Gawai & Kesyukuran, in a joyful celebration that united all parishioners from various races and cultural backgrounds.

Led by the Bahasa Malaysia Apostolate members, the celebration commenced at 4.30 pm with the traditional bamboo dance of Sabah called the “Mogunatip”. This was followed by a dance around the “Ranyai” (known as the Tree of Life by the Iban community in Sarawak). Parish Priest, Fr. Martin Arlando was then given the honor to shoot at a target with a blowpipe, known in Sabah and Sarawak as the “Sumpit” to officiate the beginning of the celebration. This traditional tool of the native people was used for hunting in the old days. Approximately 50 parishioners participated in the opening ceremony.


At the end of the evening mass, three different ethnic groups from East Malaysia performed beautiful dances in front of the altar. In their beautiful traditional costumes, the Sabahans performed the Sumazau; the Sarawakians performed the Ngajat and the Indonesians performed the Batak dance. One parishioner who witnessed the dances said that she was so touched by the unity shown by the different ethnic groups that she could not help but shed tears of joy.

After the mass, the parishioners gathered at the church basement for a thanksgiving dinner. Almost everyone who were present donned the traditional costumes of Sabah & Sarawak, regardless of their races, this included even Fr. Martin himself. Traditional drinks such as ‘Tapai ‘ (Rice Wine) were served in a ‘Tajau‘ (jar) and consumed using straw directly from it. There was also the ‘misompuru’, which are several bamboo cups tied up together on a bamboo rod. It was used to serve ‘lihing’ or a type of rice wine so that many people can consume the drink at the same time. This method was commonly used by Sabahans in the olden days as there were no cups then.

The celebration was made even more joyous when parishioners from Church of Risen Christ, Air Itam and St Joseph, Juru performed their own traditional dances. Also joining the celebration were four Capuchin brothers from the Seminary who performed their Sumazau dance. The atmosphere was truly merry as the dances reminded the parishioners of their culture back home.

One parishioner, Peter Chow, who had come to the festival every year noticed that the participation of fellow church-goers had increased and was impressed with the added involvement of various parishioners of local races such as the Chinese and Indians. “This portrays good kinship and camaraderie among the people of our faith”, he added.

The highlight of the dinner was the group dance to the song “Sayang Kinabalu” where parishioners, young and old, were pulled into a big circle to dance and sing along to this famous song. There were also lucky draws and many walked home with not only a contented heart but with full hands full of prizes as well.

The thanksgiving dinner ended at around 10.30 pm. Organizing Chairlady, Sylvia Subuk expressed her deepest gratitude to Fr. Martin on behalf of the BM Apostolate. His encouragement and support helped make the event a reality and huge success. Sylvia also commented that she was very touched by the cooperation and enthusiasm among the BM Apostolate members who worked tirelessly for weeks to prepare for the celebration. Many even contributed cash and gifts for the decorations and lucky draws.

Parishioner, Anthonysamy, congratulated the organizer for a successful event and was very happy to see that a small community can stand so united despite being far away from home.


Pesta Kaamatan in Sabah and Gawai Dayak in Sarawak and West Kalimantan are celebrated each year in May and June to give thanks to God for a good harvest. Just as we are Catholics, wherever we may travel, we will never forget our cultural traditions. That is how it should be, for wherever the community goes, traditions should never be forgotten but should be kept alive and shown to the younger generations to remind them of their heritage.

Written by

Karen Giom

5th August, 2017.


26. August, 2017NewsComments Off on Formed

At the invitation of Fr Martin Arlando, the parish priest of the Church of Divine Mercy, Penang (CDM) a team of five led by Caroline Soon travelled to CDM to give a two-day formation on the use of FORMED.ORG. The first session was held on 12th August to a group of 20 odd parishioners, most of whom had already signed up for the on-line Catholic resource that is an Augustine Institute production from the US. CDM had started subscribing to it last year and had renewed it’s subscription again this year. The team’s main intention was to allow the parishioners find creative ways to use this revolutionary digital platform that offered a wealth of Catholic information and entertaining audio talks, eBooks, feature films, documentaries and video-based study programs.

The formation began with a reflection on a bible passage taken from Matthew 28: 1-10 regarding the encounter of the women at the tomb after the resurrection. Some remarked on the bravery of the women but Caroline said her personal thoughts was that we were reminded not to be afraid as the Lord walks before us. She added that after all, Jesus, the one man, choose 12 men and conquered the world, surely we can do something successful at our parish level. We just have to have the faith in knowing that the Lord walks before us.

A variety of the material contents from FORMED.ORG were shown and some discussion was carried out on ways to implement the resources more effectively. The parishioners then arrived at the following suggestions:

1. Educating my family and friends using FORMED.ORG

2. Bringing the use of its resources to Liturgy members

3. Have a small group with common interests of some resources from FORMED.ORG for discussion.

4. Commit to FORMED.ORG personally first and then get family involved and go from there.

5. Have BEC Movie night with a film from FORMED.ORG

6. CDM have Movie night on Friday nights using FORMED.ORG

7. Start a BEC Book Club using resources from FORMED.ORG

8. Start with oneself, then family members and then move on to BEC and FLM members to gain more knowledge. Read and share.

9. Start a FORMED.ORG chat group for sharing new programmes and discussion

10. Start working with catechism class students on the use of resources on FORMED.ORG

11. Have weekly sessions on FORMED.ORG on Sundays after mass in Church.

12. Share through WhatsApp with contacts on what has been read, watched and listened to on FORMED.ORG.

13. Share with friends even through social media some interesting things learned from FORM.ORG.

14. Start a movie session sourced from FORMED.ORG at home and get together fellow Catholic members and non-Catholics.

15. Have a family formation time slot every night probably for about 20 minutes using FORMED.ORG

The formation on the second day was opened to all secondary school students. The team helped the participants register on-line with the use of their smart phones. They were also shown the various materials found and viewed clips on “Who Am I? “ by Jeremy Rivers and “Awakening“ a biblical historical fiction work by Claudia C. McAdam from the Youth/YDisciple category. They later held group discussions on “Why we do not have time for God?“

It was interesting to note that while a few other parishes have only now begun to express interest in subscribing to FORMED.ORG, this resource has been already available at CDM for the last year. The parishioners just needed to be able to devote some time each week to assess and use its resources, all paid for by the parish.

Written by

Dr. Ivan Filmer

22nd August, 2017