Sunday, May 30, 2010

Parish Feast Day Dinner Fellowship and Farewell for Fr Michael


The Parish of Visitation celebrated the final day of its Feast Day Triduum on Saturday, 29 May, with Mass in four languages followed by dinner fellowship for all parishioners. Several parish groups provided performances for the evening entertainment. The Parish also took this opportunity to bid farewell to Fr Michael Chua who has been with the parish for the last 6 1/2 years, the earlier 3 1/2 years as Assistant to Fr Albet Arockiasamy and the last 3 years as Parish Priest. Fr George Packiasamy will succeed Fr Michael as Parish Priest with effect from 1st June 2010.

More Photos on Facebook. More videos on The Welcoming Parish Youtube Channel.


Living the Word of God

May 29, 2010 – Saturday – Feast Day
“Living the Word of God”


Homily Outline

• The Word of God is like a seed that is planted in soil. Unless the seed bears fruit, then the planting will be in vain.
• Last two days, we have learnt how to read and pray the bible. Today, we must allow the Word of God which is planted in us to grow and bear fruit.
• Mary is the example of someone who lives the Word of God.
1. She was obedient to the Word of God delivered to her by the angel Gabriel.
2. Because of her obedience, the Word took flesh and dwelt among us. – Jesus came into the world through Mary.
3. Mary did not keep the Word a secret but went to share the good news she has received with Elizabeth. She is a woman of Witness– we too must share the Word that we have received.
4. The Word bore fruit in her life by making her a Woman of Prayer – e.g. Magnificat. She was also someone who always contemplated the events of her life.
5. She was also a Woman of Communion – she was in communion with the poor (birth of Jesus at Bethlehem), with those in need (Wedding at Cana), and with those who suffer (especially her son on the Cross), with the Church at Pentecost.
6. She was a Woman of Ministry – who served the needs of others (Wedding at Cana) and must have taught her son the important lesson of serving with unconditional love.
7. Most of all, even though she was the mother of Christ, she was His best disciple – she was a Woman Disciple of the Lord – listening to Jesus, suffering with Jesus on the Cross

• From Mary, we learn these 5 important lessons of how to live a Christian life, how to live the Word of God:
1. WARMER through fellowship or communion,
2. DEEPER through discipleship,
3. STRONGER through prayer,
4. BROADER through ministry, and
5. LARGER through witnessing.
• We must have all these elements in our Christian life and community life. To only focus of one and not the other would make us less Christian.

Friday, May 28, 2010

God Reveals Himself in Love

Holy Trinity Sunday

Whenever some of us talk about the Holy Trinity, we often get a headache? Many of us are often caught up in the problem of numbers and mathematics – how can three be one and how can one be three? We often forget that this isn’t what the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is all about. Today’s readings give us three areas of reflection.

The doctrine of the Trinity highlights the fact that God is mystery. In the old testament, we read about God appearing on mountain tops and speaking from clouds. Mystery here doesn’t mean that God has kept many things secret. On the contrary, God has fully revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ. When we speak of mystery, we are speaking of the limitations of human knowledge. Man may have advanced in science and medicine and many other fields, but he is still unable to explain everything. This is because man is himself a mystery. Life and death are mysteries. The universe is a mystery. Suffering is a mystery. Love is a mystery. And finally God is a mystery. Learning this truth will make us more humble. Learning this truth will make us understand that we do not have all the answers to all the problems in the world. Learning this truth will allow us to depend wholly on God and allow him to take charge of everything.

The second truth which we can learn from today’s feast is that God is a God of relationships. Mystery does not mean that God keeps at a distance. Although we can never fully know or understand the depth of God’s mind, we can still have an intimate relationship with him. In fact, man was created for relationship with God. This is possible only because God chooses to come close to us. He does not come close to us by descending from the clouds. God comes close to us by becoming one of us. God the Son came into the world in order to save it. God the Son became human, became one of us, so that we might become one with God.

God chooses to come close to us because he is love. This is the third truth that we can learn from today’s feast. If there is any quality which can best describe the nature of God, it is Love. The Trinity is not a thing. It is a relationship of persons. The Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father and this love is perfected by the bond of the Holy Spirit. That is why St. Paul reminds us that we should “grow perfect; help one another, …be united, live in peace” because we are made in the image and likeness of this God of love and peace.

If we are to be signs of the Trinity in today’s world, then we must be people who are able to live with mystery. In other words, we must remind the world that there is more than meets the eye, that there is a greater truth than that which is revealed by science – it is God. We are also called to be witnesses of the Trinity through our way of life. We must strive to build communities where we can live in unity and peace and in mutual forgiveness. When we are able to express this in our actions and words, the Trinity ceases to be a mere concept but becomes alive in each of our lives.

Announcements - May 29-30

Sunday School
Meeting of Catechists - English speaking
6th June 2010 (Sunday)
Time: 12.00 noon
Place: 1st Classroom of Visitation Hall upstairs
(Attendance is Compulsory)

Colouring Competition (Nursery to Std 3)
Results of Colouring Competition are now available at the Notice Board of the Catechetical Office. Prizes will be given later.



Clergy News
Fr George appointed as Parish Priest
We congratulate Fr George Packiasamy on his appointment as our new Parish Priest with effect from 1st June 2010. Let us continue to give him our support and prayers.

Farewell to Fr Michael
Fr Michael Chua will be on study leave to pursue Islamic studies at IIUM, Gombak. We thank him for his pastoral care during this tenure of office as Parish Priest and we wish him all the best in his new undertakings.

Ordination of Dr. Sherman Kuek, SFO to Permanent Diaconate, Diocese of Melaka Johor on 16 June, 2010 (Wednesday) 8 pm at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, JB
For those who require transport to Johor Bahru, please contact Doreen @017-3326007 as soon as possible with your Name, I/C No. & Cash RM35/- per person
Dr Sherman Kuek was received into the Catholic Church in Visitation, Seremban and has served our parish as Pastoral Associate for Formations and Youth Ministry for two years prior to moving to Johor. He is also a member of the Secular Fransiscan (SFO) community in Visitation, Seremban.

Sacraments
RCIA Journey 2010/2011
If you know of anyone who would like to know about our Catholic faith, do invite them to join us in the forthcoming RCIA Journey which will begin in June 2010.
Registration forms are available at the Parish Office or contact:
a) Arthur Pinto @ 012-6104927 - English Session on Tuesday @ 7.30 pm (w.e.f. 22-6-10)

b) Valerie Siow @ 012-6733227 - Mandarin Session on Mondays @ 8 pm (w.e.f. 21-6-10)

c) Theresa Soosay @ 016-3912484 - Tamil Sessions on Sundays @ 9 am (w.e.f. 13-6-10)

d) Eric Lim @ 06-6321824 - BM sessions on Sunday @ 10.30 am (w.e.f. 20-6-10)


Liturgy
Visitation Feast Day
29-5-2010 (Sunday) - "Living the Word of God"
5.15 pm Rosary
5.45 pm Feast Day Mass
After the Feast Day Mass this evening, there will be fellowship dinner for all parishioners at various stations in the Church compound. Come and participate as one big family.
All are Welcome.
No Parking of Cars in the Church compound on 29th May 2010 - Feast Day Celebration.

Misa dalam Bahasa Malaysia
akan dirayakan pada 30hb Mei, 12 tengahari

Feast of Corpus Christi - 5 June 2010 Saturday
(3 Language Groups)
Mass at 5.45 pm followed by Candlelight Procession within the Church compound.
Altar Servers will be selling candles.
Novena will be at 5.15 pm.

Holy Hour - 3rd June 2010
(1st Thursday of the month)
No Morning Mass. Mass will be celebrated 7.00 pm followed by Holy Hour at 7.30 pm

Praying the Word of God

May 28, 2010 – Friday

Guide Outlines
• Goal for Praying the Bible - Our real goal is to meet our Lord as we read his Word and allow him to transform our lives to be more like him through the work of the Holy Spirit.
• Promote the Divine Office and Lectio Divina

Guidelines for Lectio Divina
LECTIO – READING
1. Reading the Scripture passage humbly and prayerfully. Do not rush. So begin with a prayer and ask the Holy Spirit’s assistance Read the passage slowly and carefully.
2. Avoid looking at commentaries at this stage.
3. Have a notebook and pencil ready. Underline, or make a note of, any words or phrases that stand out to you. Write down any questions that occur to you.
4. Read the passage several times and read it aloud. Give yourself time to understand and appreciate what is being said.

MEDITATIO – MEDITATION
1. Here are some suggested approaches you may find helpful.
a. Use your imagination. Picture the passage; put yourself into the scene and become part of the story. See things through the eyes of the other characters, listen to what they say, watch their reactions, imagine how they feel. Keep coming back to Jesus.
b. Ask questions. Use your questions to think more deeply about the passage and what God wants to say to you. Ask Jesus why he did and said what he did. Try to understand his mind. Allow time to be quiet, to listen and hear his answer.
c. Let the Word be a mirror for you. We see how God’s Word applies to our daily life, as an individual, and as part of our community and society. We will find promises and encouragement, challenges and demands.
d. Take the word or phrase into yourself. Memorize it and slowly repeat it to yourself, allowing it to interact with your concerns, memories, and ideas.

ORATIO – PRAYER
1. Using the words of the responsorial psalm can help us but we can also use our own words to have a conversation with a very special friend.
2. We can bring what is happening in our own life and in our community before God.
3. We speak and listen, listen and reflect – it is a conversation with God.

CONTEMPLATIO – CONTEMPLATION:
1. We now move from active reflection which uses words and thoughts to a time of silent contemplation. It is like to persons in love who move from discussion to just silently appreciating each other’s company.
2. Few words are necessary here. Let go of words and images, or just stay with one word or one image.
3. Enjoy time in his presence. Just be with him and let him love you. Let him refresh your soul.

Review
After you have finished you may want to jot down in a notebook any experiences or thoughts that particularly impressed you. You may find it helpful to look back at these later.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reading the Word of God


Homily Outline for 1st day of Parish Triduum

What is the Bible?
Biblos – Library of Books – “The Bible is God’s self revelation to man in history inviting man to respond” or “The WORD OF GOD in the words of men”

Definition helps us to have 2 attitudes when reading the Bible:
1. It is God’s Word – it is truly God speaking to us and inviting us to respond – so we must read with the eyes of FAITH;
2. It is written in the words of men – God chooses human persons like you and me to write down his Word. These human authors live at a certain time, in a certain place, have a certain culture, speak a certain language. So it is equally important to try and discover and understand all these factors if we are to read, study and understand the Word of God.

Here are some important points:
1. Select a good bible (good and accurate translations, footnotes and good introductions)
2. Note Geographical, Historical and Cultural Background.
3. Know the Circumstances of Writing: Audience, Time, Place and Other Factors.
4. Interpret According to the Purpose of the Writer.
5. Recognise the Form of Literature.
6. Interpret According to the Grammar of the Passage.
7. Get at the Meaning of Single Words, but always study them in their setting.
8. Interpret a Passage in the Light of its Context.
9. Interpret any Passage in the Light of the Whole Bible Teaching & Analogy of Faith (Analogy of Faith/ Rule of Faith – what is necessary in terms of faith and morals for salvation)
10. Interpret it within the Church – the light of Tradition guided by Magisterium

How do we start?
1. Start by reading the gospel (esp the Gospel of Mark), because the whole Bible is focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Old Testament is preparation for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The New Testament is how the Christian community lives out the gospel.
2. Use the Sunday readings or daily mass readings – there are reflections which can be found in Shalom, Word Among us (Tamil/Mandarin – you have other resources including The Herald)
3. Join a Bible Study group or start one among your friends or in your BEC.

More photos on Facebook.

Lectio Divina Meditation for Holy Trinity Sunday Year C

Holy Trinity Sunday Year C
May 30
“Revealing the Truth”

1. Lectio
John 16:12-15
12 “I have much more to tell you, but now it would be too much for you to bear.
13 When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own authority, but he will speak of what he hears, and will tell you of things to come. 14 He will give me glory, because he will take what I say and tell it to you. 15 All that my Father has is mine; that is why I said that the Spirit will take what I give him and tell it to you.

Comments
The Holy Spirit continues to be our focus. After the Holy Spirit was revealed on Pentecost Sunday, we can now fully understand the fullness of the revelation that God is Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Here Jesus teaches that the role of the Holy Spirit is to ‘reveal the truth about God’, to ‘lead you into all the truth’ and ‘tell you of things to come’ (verse 13). Jesus could have explained more to his disciples at this point about what is going to happen but he knows that they would not be able to take any more in. So he chooses instead to give them glimpses of the work of the Holy Spirit. After Jesus’ resurrection the Holy Spirit will help the disciples understand what they need to know in order to live in relationship with God and give them the power they need to do so (Acts 1:8). Jesus explains more about the relationship between the Holy Spirit, the Father and himself. The Holy Spirit helps us understand and see the truth about God and guides us. In this way he brings glory to the Father and the Son. The three members of the Holy Trinity are one in complete unity.

2. Meditatio
1. Choose a word or a phrase that touches you. Speak it out aloud three times in a prayerful manner.
2. Spend a moment of silence, remembering the word or phrase you have chosen or you have heard from others in the group.
3. Share the reason why you have chosen this word or this phrase with the other members of the group.

3. Oratio
Father,
you sent your Word to bring us truth
and your Spirit to make us holy.
Through them we come to know
the mystery of your life.
Help us to worship you,
one God in three Persons,
by proclaiming and living our faith in you.
We ask you this, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
one God, true and living, for ever and ever.

4. Contemplatio
Contemplate the intimate union the Father has for the Son and the Son for the Father and how this love is expressed perfectly in the Holy Spirit.

5. Actio
1. Personal Life – Go back and read the section on the Holy Trinity (you can find it in the index) in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
2. Communal Life – Make a list of all the members of the community, especially of the sick and elderly. Make a commitment to pray for each of them during this week/ month.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost (Ancient Greek: πεντηκοστή [ἡμέρα], pentekostē [hēmera], "the fiftieth [day]") is one of the prominent feasts in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ. The feast is also called Whitsun, Whitsunday, Whit Sunday, or Whitsuntide, especially in the United Kingdom. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday, hence its name. Pentecost falls on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday.

Pentecost is historically and symbolically related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus. Among Christians, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the New Testament Acts of the Apostles 2:31 during these Jewish "fiftieth day" celebrations in Jerusalem. For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described as the "Birthday of the Church".

The biblical narrative of Pentecost is given in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. As recounted in Acts 2:1-4:

"On the day of Pentecost all the Lord’s followers were together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind. It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak."
The apostles received the Holy Spirit and were miraculously enabled to go out into Jerusalem prophesying and speaking in languages that all the visitors to Jerusalem could understand as told further in Acts 2:5-6.

Eastern churches

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Pentecost is one of the Orthodox Great Feasts and is considered to be the highest ranking Great Feast of the Lord, second in rank only to Pascha (Easter). The service is celebrated with an All-night Vigil on the eve of the feast day, and the Divine Liturgy on the day of the feast itself. Orthodox temples are often decorated with greenery and flowers on this feast day, and the celebration is intentionally similar to the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Mosaic Law.

The feast itself lasts three days. The first day is known as "Trinity Sunday"; the second day is known as "Spirit Monday" (or "Monday of the Holy Spirit"); and the third day, Tuesday, is called the "Third Day of the Trinity."

The Orthodox icon of the feast depicts the Twelve Apostles seated in a semicircle (sometimes the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) is shown sitting in the center of them). At the top of the icon, the Holy Spirit, in the form of tongues of fire, is descending upon them. At the bottom is an allegorical figure, called Kosmos, which symbolizes the world. Although Kosmos is crowned with earthly glory he sits in the darkness caused by the ignorance of God. He is holding a towel on which have been placed 12 scrolls, representing the teaching of the Twelve Apostles.

The typical image of Pentecost in the West is that of the Virgin Mary seated centrally and prominently among the disciples, with flames resting on the crowns of their heads. Occasionally parting clouds suggesting the action of the “mighty wind”[18], rays of light, and/or the Dove, are also depicted. Of course, the Western iconographic style is less static and stylized than that of the East, and other very different representations have been produced, and in some cases have achieved great fame, such as the Pentecosts by Titian, Giotto and el Greco.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Come Holy Spirit Come!

Pentecost Sunday – Year C

Today, as we look around this congregation, we can imagine seeing the tongues of fire coming down on the heads of everyone here. After a period of waiting – 50 days of waiting – Jesus finally sends us the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, the one who will teach us everything and remind us of all that Jesus has said.

What is the significance of the coming of the Spirit?

First, the Spirit allows us to overcome our fears. Does this mean that we would no longer have any fears? No. We will always have fears. The opposite of fear is not courage but love – in fact, it is God’s love that overcomes our fears. It is love that help us to do things even when we are fearful of the consequences. Fear does not disappear, but it can no longer control us. In love, we allow the Spirit to take control of us. This was the experience of the apostles. Fearful, they hid behind closed doors. But when they were filled by the Spirit, they felt compel to go out from that room to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

Secondly, the coming of the Spirit breaks down barriers between us and creates unity among people from diverse backgrounds. Today, the Church is not a Chinese Church, it is not an Indian Church, it is not a Malaysian Church. The Church does not belong to any particular group. The Church is the Church of Christ and all people, regardless of race, color or language are part of it. In the words St. Paul in the second reading, we are “children of God”, “heirs of God and coheirs with Christ.” If we were to live according to the Spirit, then we must not allow prejudice to affect the way we live our Christian lives. If language had been a barrier to the early Christians, as in the case of the first reading, the Holy Spirit breaks down even that barrier. Different peoples can still be united in Spirit even if they do not share a common language. What does this tell us about our own parish situation? Each of us must seriously reflect over this.

This is the reason why the Church is different from every other social group. Social groups consists of members who share a common interest, or a common language or a common project. This can never be the case for the Church. The Church is made up of peoples from diverse backgrounds. We must be able to look after the interest of everyone and not only look towards our own interest. The Church is not Barisan Nasional, made up of different racial parties – UMNO, MCA or MIC.

Thirdly, the Spirit comes to “teach you everything and remind you of all (Jesus) has said to you.” We need to be reminded because we forget so easily especially when we encounter problems. We need to be reminded constantly of our identity as children of God. We need to be reminded constantly that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to be reminded that our new life in the Spirit is a life that must be founded on love. Life in the Spirit means that there is no room for hatred, prejudice, unforgiveness, or selfishness.

We give thanks to God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is truly our Advocate, our helper. Let us make room for him in our hearts that we will always be ready to listen to his prompting.

Come, Holy Spirit, come!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lectio Divina Meditation for Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday Year C
May 23
“Divine Help”

1. Lectio
John 14:15-16, 23-26
15 “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you for ever.
23 Jesus answered him, “Whoever loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and my Father and I will come to him and live with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not obey my teaching. And the teaching you have heard is not mine, but comes from the Father, who sent me.
25 “I have told you this while I am still with you. 26 The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.

Comments
Jesus asks the disciples to love him. Easy enough to say ‘yes’, you might think. But Jesus makes it clear that loving him takes far more than a simple word. Love in Jesus eyes has a very practical outcome and it takes the shape of obedience to his commandments. Jesus promises a very special and intimate relationship with the Father and the Son for everyone who obeys him. Jesus tells them that he does not speak on his authority but everything he says comes from the Father. Jesus now talks about the helper, who he reveals as the Holy Spirit. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is overlooked as people deepen their relationships with Jesus and the Father. But he plays a huge part in our relationship with Jesus. In this reading
he is revealed to be a teacher and helper for the disciples, reminding them of Jesus’ teaching and helping them to understand and live it.

2. Meditatio
1. Try to recall what happened in your life yesterday. Try to remember the main events that took place and especially your actions, words, decisions and emotions. (Pause 1 minute)
2. How aware were you of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life? Did you feel God speaking to you or Jesus speaking to you through the Holy Spirit, throughout yesterday? (Pause 3 minutes)
3. Were you obeying the commandments of God and Jesus throughout the day or were there are times when God was not in your mind at all? (Pause 3 minutes)

3. Oratio
Today we remember the dramatic way the Holy Spirit filled the first disciples on the day of Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles. Give thanks to God for sending us the Holy Spirit to be our helper. Each day this week, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh and help you to live in a way that will please Jesus. It’s only with the Holy Spirit’s help that we can obediently love and serve Jesus.

4. Contemplatio
Romans 8:15 reminds us that the Holy Spirit makes us children of God. Use this theme in your contemplation – that you have been made children of God by the Holy Spirit.

5. Actio
1. Personal Life – Pray for the Church throughout this week/ month.
2. Communal Life – Organise a Pentecost party for the community and especially for the children. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church and so it’s everyone’s birthday too! As a theme for the party, use the gifts (7 gifts can be found in Isaiah 11:2-3) and fruits (9 fruits can be found in Galatians 5:19-23) of the Spirit. Each person could choose a particular gift or fruit and dressed up accordingly or do a performance based on that theme.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Formation for Myanmarese/ Chin Refugees


A team of 3 Myanmarese pastoral workers from the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur came down to Seremban today to give a talk to 38 Myanmarese/Chin refugees to create awareness of and provide ways to cope with the problems related to displacement, physical and mental health issues.

Refugees are no different than any other person in that they are equally vulnerable to the diseases that affect local communities. But where they differ is that refugees often find local healthcare facilities difficult to access due to costs, fear of travelling to reach those facilities and language barriers.

Refugees know that their safety and wellbeing depend on their accurate reading and careful negotiation of different spaces and landscapes in urban areas.

There are over 28 million people living in Malaysia. Among the three to four million non-citizens are around 100,000 asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons.

Malaysia is signatory neither to the 1951 Refugee Convention, nor to its 1967 Protocol. It has not enacted domestic legislation recognising the legal status of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons. However, it permits UNHCR to register, determine status and provide assistance to these populations. There are no refugee camps in Malaysia. Most reside in urban areas – the largest numbers in Kuala Lumpur, the Klang Valley and Penang.

Unreliable income, exploitation at work (in particular, in the form of unpaid wages), extortion by law enforcement officers, robbery by local gangsters, the high cost of rent, health services and education, as well as the need to support those unable to find work make poverty endemic amongst refugees in Malaysia.

More Photos on Facebook.

Children Colouring Competion - Nursery to Standard 3



More photos on Facebook.

Marian Congress - May 15 & 16

Over 1,000 participants from various parishes in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur gathered in Wisma MCA for the Marian Congress. This two day event had as its theme, "Mary - Model Disciple for Mission." This Congress was intended to give the participants an insight into the spirituality and perfect discipleship of Mary and how they imitate her as a model disciple in Christ. The event was jointly organised by the Church of St Ignatius and the KL Archdiocese Regia of the Legion of Mary.

The speakers were Fr Robert Faricy SJ (USA), Cheryl Nguyen (USA), Sr Celia Chua MIC (Canada), and two Malaysians, Fr Bernard Paul,and Fr Michael Chua.


More videos on the Welcoming Parish youtube channel.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Announcements May 15 & 16

Sunday School
Sunday School Holiday 9-5-2010 (Mother's Day)

Catechism Classes resume this Sunday 16 May


Colouring Competition (Nursery to Std 3)
Date: 16-5-2010 (Sunday)
Time: 9.15 am - 10.15 am (Tamil and Mandarin)
10.45 am - 11.45 am (English)
Venue: Visitation Hall - downstairs
(Children are to bring their own colouring materials)

Bible Quiz - English Speaking (Stds 4-6 & Forms 1-4)
Date: 16-5-2010 (Sunday)
Time: 10.45 am -12.00 noon
Venue: Respective Classrooms

Food Sale on 15-5-2010 & Breakfast Sale on 16-5-2010
By 1st Holy Communion Students/ Parents (3 language groups)
Please support this project to raise funds for the Joy Camp and other related expenses.

Congratulations to the Recipients of the Dominic Vendargon Award 2010
SPM Category - Rachel DeCruz (10A+ 3As) with distinction in Bible Knowledge - Cash Award: RM 300.00
PMR Category - Jesica d/o Josof (8As) - Cash Award: RM 200.00



Clergy News
Fr George On Leave
Fr George Packiasamy will be on pilgrimage to Rome from 10-5-2010 till 22-5-2010.

Clergy Monthly Recollection - 18th & 19th May, 2010
Mass on 19/5/10 will be at 7.00 pm

Ordination of Dr. Sherman Kuek, SFO to Permanent Diaconate, Diocese of Melaka Johor on 16 June, 2010 (Wednesday) 8 pm at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, JB
For those who require transport to Johor Bahru, please contact Doreen @017-3326007 as soon as possible with your Name, I/C No. & Cash RM35/- per person
Dr Sherman Kuek was received into the Catholic Church in Visitation, Seremban and has served our parish as Pastoral Associate for Formations and Youth Ministry for two years prior to moving to Johor. He is also a member of the Secular Fransiscan (SFO) community in Visitation, Seremban.


Formation

ACTM Formation on 19/5/2010 (Wed)
Time: 8 pm - 9.30 pm
Venue: Visitation Hall (downstairs)
All 3 language groups BEC Coordinators, Ass Coordinators, Youth Reps, Messengers & Liturgy are required to attend.
Please take note that this month's formation has brought forward earlier by a week due to the Parish Feast Day Triduum in the last week of this month.


Sacraments
RCIA Journey 2010/2011
If you know of anyone who would like to know about our Catholic faith, do invite them to join us in the forthcoming RCIA Journey which will begin in June 2010.
Registration forms are available at the Parish Office or contact:
a) Arthur Pinto @ 012-6104927 - English Session on Tuesday @ 7.30 pm (w.e.f. 22-6-10)

b) Valerie Siow @ 012-6733227 - Mandarin Session on Mondays @ 8 pm (w.e.f. 21-6-10)

c) Theresa Soosay @ 016-3912484 - Tamil Sessions on Sundays @ 9 am (w.e.f. 13-6-10)

d) Eric Lim @ 06-6321824 - BM sessions on Sunday @ 10.30 am (w.e.f. 20-6-10)


Liturgy
Visitation Feast Day Triduum
27th - 29th May 2010 (3 language groups)
27-5-2010 (Thursday) - "Reading the Word of God" 7.00 pm Rosary 7.30 pm Mass.
28-5-2010 (Friday) - "Praying the Word of God" 7.00 pm Rosary 7.30 pm Mass
29-5-2010 (Sunday) - "Living the Word of God" 5.15 pm Rosary 5.45 pm Feast Day Mass

Pentecost Vigil - 22/5/2010 (Animated by Charismatic Prayer groups)
7.30 pm - 9.00 pm - Tamil
9.00 pm - 10.30 pm - Mandarin
10.30 pm - 12.00 pm - English

Paulian Mass 15/5/2010
The SPI Students will be animating the Sunset mass in conjunction with Founder's Day. All past and present Paulians are invited to attend.
SPI Secondary students will also be collecting donations for a jogathon to raise funds for their school building project.

Misa dalam Bahasa Malaysia
akan dirayakan pada 30hb Mei, 12 tengahari

Feast of Corpus Christi - 5 June 2010 Saturday
(3 Language Groups)
Mass at 5.45 pm followed by Candlelight Procession within the Church compound.
Altar Servers will be selling candles.
Novena will be at 5.15 pm.


Y2Y Meeting
Date: 16/5/2010
Time: 12.30 - 2 pm
Venue: Visitation Hall (downstairs)

Drama Club is now open to all children and youth
Date: Every Sunday w.e.f 16/5/2010
Time: 12.30 - 1.30 pm
Venue: Visitation Hall (downstairs)
Fee: RM 5/- per month
Y2Y members who interested please contact:
Marcia @ 016-972298
Jennifer @ 012-6657300

SSVP Nation Youth Convention 2010
Theme: "Come and See:
Open to SSVP Members and Non-Members
Organised by SSVP for all Working Adults/ Youth (ages 23-39)
Dates: 25th - 27th June 2010
Time: 3.00 pm
Place: College General, Penang
Cost: RM 100.00 per pax
For more information, please visit their website: http://www.blogger.com/www.ssvp.org.my
Email: mailto:svpmsia@streamyx.com?subject=Email%20for%20further%20details%20here


Meetings
Christmas Campaign 2010
All Committee members, BEC Reps and interested parishioners are invited to attend this meeting to evaluate 2009 Campaign and to plan for 2010 Campaign.
Date: 28/5/2010 (Friday) - Public Holiday
Venue: Visitation Hall - downstairs
Time: 9.00 am

"We" vs "They"

Seventh Sunday of Easter Year C


“We…” “They …” We often use these words to refer to different groups of people. “We” usually refers to the group which I personally can identify with. I’m a member of this group. This group of mine shares common interest and are like-minded. This group of people are my friends and my loved ones.

“They” is often used to refer to people who do not belong to that special group of ours. These people are outside my group of friends and loved ones. These people are considered different – whether it be a different opinion, a different language, a background or a different religion. Very often the “we” are against “them.” They are not our friends. We distrust them. We don’t like them.

Very often, we tend to think like this. We tend to make distinctions. We tend to see our differences rather than to recognize what is common between us. “Why are we helping the Mandarin or Tamil speaking?” “Why are we taking care of the needs of the migrants?” “We should only take care of our own.”

Today, Jesus reminds us that on this world there are no ‘we’ and ‘they.’ All of us are God’s children. All of us are recipients of the saving grace of Jesus. All of us are called to be that One family of God. There is no room for division and distinction in this one family of God. The poor will not be separated from the rich. The educated will not be separated from the uneducated. People of different languages and different cultures will not be separated and placed in different rooms.

This is the prayer of Jesus during the last supper just before his death. He was concerned not only for his disciples, those that the Heavenly Father had given into his care, but also for the others – the unconverted, those who rejected him and would put him to death, his greatest enemies. And so Jesus prayed: “Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me. May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us as you are in me and I am in you.”

This is the reason why we cannot only be praying for our loved ones and friends. We cannot only be helping people who are close to us. We are also called to pray for the “others” – for our enemies, for people who hurt us, for those speak ill of us, for those who think differently, for those who are of a different skin colour or language. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen did exactly this. As he was being stoned by his enemies, he prayed that God would forgive them their sins.

One day, we will all walk hand in hand into the gates of heaven. We will hear the voice of Jesus inviting us to enter into the new Jerusalem. If we are unable to face our enemies and people whom we dislike now, how can we possibly live with them for eternity after death. In heaven, there can be no division, hatred or unforgiveness. There is only unity and love. While we are still alive in this world, let us begin to work for unity and reconciliation because heaven is only a perfect reflection of the way we have lived here on earth. May our robes be washed clean by the time we stand before Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. May we be one as Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit are one.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

Tomorrow, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. It is the fortieth day after Easter Sunday, commemorating the Ascension of Christ into heaven, according to Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:2.

In the Eastern Church this feast was known as analepsis, the taking up, and also as the episozomene, the salvation, denoting that by ascending into His glory Christ completed the work of our redemption. The terms used in the West, ascensio and, occasionally, ascensa, signify that Christ was raised up by His own powers. Tradition designates Mount Olive near Bethany as the place where Christ left the earth.

The feast always falls on a Thursday (40 days after Easter). It is one of the Ecumenical feasts ranking with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter and of Pentecost among the most solemn in the calendar. Belief in the Ascension of Jesus is found in the Nicene Creed, and is affirmed by Christian liturgy and, in the West, by the Apostles' Creed.

The observance of this feast is of great antiquity. Although no documentary evidence of it exists prior to the beginning of the fifth century, St. Augustine says that it is of Apostolic origin, and he speaks of it in a way that shows it was the universal observance of the Church long before his time. Frequent mention of it is made in the writings of St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and in the Constitution of the Apostles. Representations of the mystery are found in diptychs and frescoes dating as early as the fifth century.

In Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox theology, the Ascension is interpreted as the culmination of the Mystery of the Incarnation, in that it not only marked the completion of Jesus' physical presence among his apostles, but consummated the union of God and man when Jesus ascended in his glorified human body to sit at the right hand of God the Father. The bodily Ascension into heaven is also understood as the final token of Christ's two natures: divine and human. The Orthodox doctrine of salvation points to the Ascension to indicate that the state of redeemed man is higher than the state of man in Paradise before the fall.The Orthodox understand Christ's physical presence to continue in the Church, which is the "Body of Christ".[1 Cor 12:12-27] Jesus' promise that he will be "with you always" is understood not only in terms of his active, divine grace, but also in the divine institution of the church (human sinfulness notwithstanding).

Christ's Ascension into heaven is understood as a necessary prerequisite for the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,[Jn 14:15-20] [14:25-28] [15:26] and especially [16:7].

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lectio Divina Meditation for Seventh Sunday of Easter

Seventh Sunday of Easter Year C
May 16
“Unity with God”


1. Lectio
John 17:20-26
20 “I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message. 21 I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 I gave them the same glory you gave me, so that they may be one, just as you and I are one: 23 I in them and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me.
24 “Father! You have given them to me, and I want them to be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory, the glory you gave me; for you loved me before the world was made. 25 Righteous Father! The world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you sent me. 26 I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be in them.”

Comments
Today, we hear a part of the prayer which is known as Jesus’ ‘High priestly prayer’. This is the jewel and the final part of Jesus’ teaching for his disciples before his passion. Unity is at the heart of this prayer. Jesus prays repeatedly that his disciples will experience the same unity that he enjoys with the Father. And this prayer is not just for those disciples that were with him that evening. This unity isn’t limited in any way by time or space. It is for all his believers for all time. It is a mystery of God’s grace that sinful and weak human beings can be in such unity. Two things however seem to be essential. Firstly, to be in relationship and unity with God the Father and with Jesus: ‘may they be in us’ (verse 21). Secondly, to have God’s unconditional love in us: ‘that the love you have for me may be in them’ (verse 26). This unity has a glorious purpose - to draw others to God the Father through Jesus. Through this unity people will believe that God loves them and sent Jesus to save them.

2. Meditatio
1. Spend time reflecting on your relationship with members of this community. Is there unity? How have you contributed or not contributed to the building of unity in your community? (Pause 3 minutes)
2. Spend time reflecting on your relationship with others, who are not part of this community? Is there solidarity with them or hostility? How have you contributed or not contributed in reaching out to them? (Pause 3 minutes)
3. Spend time reflecting on your relationship with the Church. How have you contributed or not contributed to the unity of the Church? (Pause 3 minutes)
4. Spend time reflecting on your relationship with God. How is your relationship at this present moment? Have you grown closer to him or you have grown distant from God? (Pause 3 minutes)

3. Oratio
Sit down and spend a while in silence. Let God speak to you and lead you to respond to him in prayer. He may encourage you to be daring and ask something that you’ve not had the courage to ask before because humanly speaking it seems impossible. He may direct you to pray about a relationship that needs reconciliation or for someone to believe in Jesus and know that God loves them.

4. Contemplatio
Pick out a word or a short phrase from the passage above and use it in your contemplation.

5. Actio
1. Personal Life: During this month or week, pray for unity in your family, BEC, the Church and Malaysia. Pray especially for reconciliation where relationships have been injured or weakened.
2. Communal Life: Brainstorm and discuss a project which could be done together as a community during this month.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sunday School
Sunday School Holiday 9-5-2010 (Mother's Day)

Mother's Day Sale on 9th -10th May

The Confirmation Students and Parents of the 3 language groups will be selling special gifts at RM5/- each after all the masses on the above dates.
Kindly give them your support as funds will help subsidise the costs of confirmation camp and activities.

Colouring Competition (Nursery to Std 3)
Date: 16-5-2010 (Sunday)
Time: 9.15 am - 10.15 am (Tamil and Mandarin)
10.45 am - 11.45 am (English)
Venue: Visitation Hall - downstairs
(Children are to bring their own colouring materials)

Bible Quiz - English Speaking (Stds 4-6 & Forms 1-4)
Date: 16-5-2010 (Sunday)
Time: 10.45 am -12.00 noon
Venue: Respective Classrooms

Food Sale on 15-5-2010 & Breakfast Sale on 16-5-2010
By 1st Holy Communion Students/ Parents (3 language groups)
Please support this project to raise funds for the Joy Camp and other related expenses.


Fr George On Leave
Fr George Packiasamy will be on pilgrimage to Rome from 10-5-2010 till 22-5-2010. This was postponed from the earlier scheduled dates due to closure of airports in Europe.



Formation
Marian Congress on 15th and 16th May at Wisma MCA Convention Hall
Final Registration this weekend.
All interested participants, please register with the Legion of Mary. Legionaries are to register with your respective praesidiums. Legionaries will be at the entrances of the church after all masses this weekend to do the registration.
Transportation: RM10/- for two days.
Bus leaves on 15/5/2010 at 5.45 am (sharp). Be at church by 5.30 am.
Bus leaves on 16/5/2010 at 6.45 am (sharp). Be at church by 6.30 am.

ACTM Formation on 19/5/2010 (Wed)
Time: 8 pm - 9.30 pm
Venue: Visitation Hall (downstairs)
Please take note that this month's formation has brought forward earlier by a week due to the Parish Feast Day Triduum in the last week of this month.

Sacraments
RCIA Journey 2010/2011
If you know of anyone who would like to know about our Catholic faith, do invite them to join us in the forthcoming RCIA Journey which will begin in June 2010.
Registration forms are available at the Parish Office or contact:
a) Arthur Pinto @ 012-6104927 - English Session on Tuesday @ 7.30 pm (w.e.f. 22-6-10)

b) Valerie Siow @ 012-6733227 - Mandarin Session on Mondays @ 8 pm (w.e.f. 21-6-10)

c) Theresa Soosay @ 016-3912484 - Tamil Sessions on Sundays @ 9 am (w.e.f. 13-6-10)

d) Eric Lim @ 06-6321824 - BM sessions on Sunday @ 10.30 am (w.e.f. 20-6-10)


Liturgy
Visitation Feast Day Triduum
27th - 29th May 2010 (3 language groups)
27-5-2010 (Thursday) - "Reading the Word of God" 7.00 pm Rosary 7.30 pm Mass.
28-5-2010 (Friday) - "Praying the Word of God" 7.00 pm Rosary 7.30 pm Mass
29-5-2010 (Sunday) - "Living the Word of God" 5.15 pm Rosary 5.45 pm Feast Day Mass

Ascension of the Lord (Day of Obligation) 13th May 2010
12.00 pm - English Mass(especially for Senior citizens)
7.00 pm - Rosary
7.30 pm - Mass (3 languages)

Pentecost Vigil - 22/5/2010 (Animated by Charismatic Prayer groups)
7.30 pm - 9.00 pm - Tamil
9.00 pm - 10.30 pm - Mandarin
10.30 pm - 12.00 pm - English

Paulian Mass 15/5/2010
The SPI Students will be animating the Sunset mass in conjunction with Founder's Day. All past and present Paulians are invited to attend.
SPI Secondary students will also be collecting donations for a jogathon to raise funds for their school building project.


Y2Y Meeting
The meeting on 9/5/2010 has been postponed to 16/5/2010
Time: 12.30 - 2 pm
Venue: Visitation Hall (downstairs)

Drama Club is now open to all children and youth
Date: Every Sunday w.e.f 16/5/2010
Time: 12.30 - 1.30 pm
Venue: Visitation Hall (downstairs)
Fee: RM 5/- per month
Y2Y members who interested please contact:
Marcia @ 016-972298
Jennifer @ 012-6657300

SSVP Nation Youth Convention 2010
Theme: "Come and See:
Open to SSVP Members and Non-Members
Organised by SSVP for all Working Adults/ Youth (ages 23-39)
Dates: 25th - 27th June 2010
Time: 3.00 pm
Place: College General, Penang
Cost: RM 100.00 per pax
For more information, please visit their website: http://www.blogger.com/www.ssvp.org.my
Email: mailto:svpmsia@streamyx.com?subject=Email%20for%20further%20details%20here


Meetings
Christmas Campaign 2010
All Committee members, BEC Reps and interested parishioners are invited to attend this meeting to evaluate 2009 Campaign and to plan for 2010 Campaign.
Date: 28/5/2010 (Friday) - Public Holiday
Venue: Visitation Hall - downstairs
Time: 9.00 am

Introduction to Interreligious Ministry


Seremban (May 4, Saturday) -- Forty over parishioners participated in a formation cum workshop programme organised by the Archdiocesan Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (AMEIA) and were introduced to the Catholic Church's teachings on relations with other religions and how to engage in interreligious dialogue.

This one day programme provides an introduction to the teachings, dynamics and practicalities concerning the ministry of inter-religious dialogue with the objective of forming lay persons (especially BEC leaders, catechists, RCIA facilitators etc.) who will be involved in the animation of inter-religious dialogue and activities in their respective BECs, parish and district.

More photos on Facebook.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Visitation Tamil Youth Choir at Song Competition

A Stunning performance by Church of Visitation, Seremban Tamil Youth Choir in PAAMAALAI VILZHA 01 MAY 2010.

Video uploaded and contributed by Belinda Grace

The Advocate and the Church

Sixth Sunday of Easter – Year C


Making decisions can be very difficult especially when everyone seems to have their own opinion. You and I know that each of us always think that our own opinion is always the most important of all. That is the reason why we have disagreements which may even lead to conflict and later to disunity.

That was also the problem of the early Christians. Some of the early Christians believed that they should still follow the Jewish customs, for example circumcision and prohibitions towards certain foods. For them, Jesus was a Jew and had also followed Jewish ways and rituals. But there was also another group of Christians who were able to recognize the newness brought about by Jesus. Jesus was not merely another Jewish teacher who wanted to reform his religion, but he was the Son of God who came to announce the good news of the kingdom of God. And within this kingdom, customs and rituals which separated one race from the other could no longer be barriers to Christian brotherhood.

And so a problem was presented to the Council of Jerusalem, the assembly of Christian leaders, who came together to decide on this critical matter – whether non-Jewish (Gentiles) converts to Christianity should adopt the practices of the Jews. After long discussion a decision was made – the Gentile converts should “not be saddled with any burden beyond certain essentials.”

Throughout the centuries, the Church has also experienced many crisis that threatened to break its very foundation and unity. In the early centuries, many Church leaders were divided as to whether Jesus was God; and if he was God, was he equal to God the Father. In later centuries, there were also disagreement about many church teachings and practices. In the 15th and 16th century, the Church also faced the crisis of the Reformation where many Protestants broke away from the Catholic Church. In the last century, faced with the rapid development of society and new problems emerging there from, the Church’s bishops came together in Rome to decide on the future of the Church – and so we had the famous Second Vatican Council which has affected the lives of everyone.

Throughout all these centuries, throughout all these years of crisis and trials, the Church has continued to survive and grow, only because of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the gift of the Father and the gift of Jesus to the Church and to each of us who are believers. He is sent to as to “teach you everything and remind you of all (Jesus) have said to you.” His presence guarantees that we will experience peace in our decisions even in the midst of chaos and problems. His guidance ensures that in spite of all our personal opinions and ways of thinking, we can still come to a common decision that reflects the will of God. In other words, he is the guarantee of unity within the Church. Without the Holy Spirit, the Church and unity would not be possible.

We must therefore always remember that our decisions must always be made with reference to the Church and the community as a whole. It is that same Spirit which will inspire each of us. There is always the temptation to think that my opinion is the best and the most important of all. But what matters most is not this or that opinion or even the opinion of the majority, but it is the will of God that we must always search for with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let us continue to treasure the gift of the Holy Spirit and give thanks to God because the Holy Spirit is the sure hope and promise that God has not and will never abandon us.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Parish Feast Day Triduum - Mass Schedule

"The Bible, A Guide for our Steps and a Light for the World"


Day 1 - Parish Feast Triduum
Thursday, May 27, 2010 - "Reading the Word of God"
7.00 pm Rosary
7.30 pm Mass (3 languages)

Day 2 - Parish Feast Triduum
Friday, May 28, 2010 - "Praying the Word of God"
7.00 pm Rosary
7.30 pm Mass (3 languages)

Parish Feast Day - Feast of the Visitation
Saturday, May 29, 2010 - "Living the Word of God"
(No Novena)
5.15 pm Rosary
5.45 pm Feast Day Mass (4 languages)

(followed by dinner fellowship)

ALL ARE WELCOME
Come and savour the Word of God! The Word of God will come alive in these 3 days of our preached Triduum. Learn to read it, pray with it and finally live it to the fullest!

Lectio Divina Meditation for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Sixth Sunday of Easter Year C
May 9
“Trusting Jesus”

1. Lectio
John 14:23-29
23 Jesus answered him, “Whoever loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and my Father and I will come to him and live with him.
24 Whoever does not love me does not obey my teaching. And the teaching you have heard is not mine, but comes from the Father, who sent me.
25 “I have told you this while I am still with you. 26 The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.
27 “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.
28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am leaving, but I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father; for he is greater than I. 29 I have told you this now before it all happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe.

Comments
This week we continue to read about the teaching Jesus gave to his disciples in the context of the Last Supper (John 14-17). Jesus emphasises again his relationship to God the Father. He stresses that his teaching comes direct from the Father and that the critical point is for each one to put his teaching into action. But Jesus makes it plain he doesn’t expect us to be able to do this on our own. God the Father is going to send us a helper. The Holy Spirit is going to teach us everything we need to know to live, love and serve Jesus. Jesus tells them he will be leaving them to go to the Father. He doesn’t reveal just how soon this will be or explain the shocking nature of his death. But he does seek to reassure them. He promises them he will come back for them, that they won’t be left on their own but will have the Holy Spirit to help them and he leaves his peace with them. Jesus wants them to trust him. Even though they don’t understand everything now, later they will see what he was saying and believe in him.

2. Meditatio
1. Do we have problems with obedience? Do we find it easy to follow God’s commandments and the laws of the Church? What are some of the obstacles that prevent us from obeying? (Pause 3 minutes)
2. Do we find it difficult to listen to others, to their suggestions, their comments and sometimes their criticisms? Do we experience peace when we receive feedback from others? (Pause 3 minutes)
3. Spend time reflecting on the role of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us to remember everything Jesus has taught us. The Holy Spirit teaches us to obey God’s laws. The Holy Spirit teaches us to love. The Holy Spirit brings peace to our hearts. (Pause 3 minutes)

3. Oratio
Thank God for sending Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Ask God to speak to you and show you how he wants you to respond to him today. This may be out of a word or phrase from the Scripture passage or it maybe something prompted by one of the questions above. Take your time.

4. Contemplatio
Think about how much God loves you and how he has shown his love for you.

5. Actio
1. Personal Life: Spend time this week with a family member or a friend trying to listen to this person without having to interrupt with your own stories.
2. Communal Life: Discuss the problems of communications you may have in your community. What can you do about this?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bible in 100 Weeks - Training of Facilitators

Sunday (May 2) --- Msgr James Gnanapiragasam, the Chairman of the Archdiocesan Biblical Ministry, gave an introduction of the objectives and dynamics of the Bible in 100 Weeks course to several parishioners who had volunteered to be trained as small group facilitators. Msgr James explained that the course is a simple of way of reading the entire bible from cover to cover and gives the participant "a first glimpse of the entire bible."

"It's not mean to be an academic course but the course is meant to allow the participant to read the entire Bible over a period of time," he added. "The Bible is to be read with the correct perspective. It is first and foremost the Word of God, and so must be read with faith and within the heart of the Church."

The method of bible study that is introduced by this course is both personal and at group level. Participants are expected to read 1-2 chapters of the Bible every week according to a prescribed schedule. The weekly meetings are opportunities for the participants to share the fruits of their bible reading and reflection.

The Bible in 100 Weeks course will be commencing soon. Please look out for announcements in the bulletin.

For more information on the course and handbook, please contact: Doreen 017-3326007 & Jessie 019-2524290.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Reading the Bible From the Heart of the Church

Celebrating 5 Years of Pope Benedict XVI
by EDWARD SRI


Edward Sri is provost and professor of Scripture at the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado, and is the author of several books, including The Bible Compass: A Catholic’s Guide to Navigating the Scriptures (Ascension Press).


In an era when “mainstream” biblical scholars deny that the Lord instituted the Eucharist or that Jesus really rose from the dead, Pope Benedict’s insights on how to interpret the Bible are perhaps needed now more than ever. No pope of recent memory has devoted more time and thought throughout his life to weighing carefully both the benefits and challenges of modern biblical scholarship.

Pope Benedict discusses two essential levels to interpreting the Bible: historical and theological. First, he recognizes the importance of a serious historical study of the Scriptures. He is no fundamentalist.

Since Christianity itself is about God’s saving actions in history, and since the Bible bears witness to this history, it is important to understand the meaning of the biblical texts in their original historical settings.

Interpreters, therefore, should take seriously the human dimension of the Bible and discern the original meaning of the text. They can do this by using historical methods that consider the literary genre of a text, its historical context and the modes of expression and narration used in the time of the sacred authors. This first level of interpretation, Pope Benedict notes, is being pursued vigorously by much modern biblical scholarship.

However, he notes that the second level of theological interpretation appears to be “almost absent” in academic work on Scripture. And the effects are devastating.

The second level considers the divine dimension of Scripture. Since Scripture is inspired by God, it must be interpreted in the same spirit in which it was written (Catechism, No. 111). Here, the Pope calls on biblical scholars to avoid a myopic reading of Scripture that focuses only on the historical. He reminds us of the three criteria from Vatican II for authentic interpretation of the Bible: (1) one must read individual biblical texts in light of all the books of the Bible, since the same Holy Spirit coauthored them all; (2) one must read Scripture in light of the living Tradition of the Church, since the same Spirit that inspired the Scriptures is animating the Church’s tradition; and (3) one must interpret Scripture in light of the coherence of truths revealed by Christ and taught by the Church, which also is guided by the same Spirit (see Catechism, Nos. 112-114).

When, however, biblical scholarship fails to interpret the Scriptures theologically — from the standpoint of faith in its inspiration and faith in the God who acts in history — two tragic consequences follow. First, “the Bible becomes solely a history book.” Instead of being experienced as God’s divine words spoken personally to each individual, “the Bible remains in the past, speaks only of the past.”

Second, interpreters tend to deny the divine acting in history. Consequently, when miracles, prophecy or anything else supernatural is found in the Bible, it is automatically discredited as not being even possibly historical. Benedict critiques this bias toward the supernatural: “When there seems to be a divine element [in the Bible], the source of that impression must be explained, thus reducing everything to the human element. As a result, it is the grounds for interpretations that deny the historicity of divine elements.”

Only by reuniting the historical and theological levels of interpretation will modern Scripture scholarship be able to serve a reading of the Bible from the heart of the Church.

(First Published in National Catholic Register, April 25, 2010)

Catholic Students Society (CSS) BBQ Fellowship


The Catholic Students Society (CSS) of Visitation organised a barbecue fellowship for over 20 college and university students and school leavers on Labour Day. This was the first major activity organised by the new CSS committee in order to promote CSS to new students and members. The barbecue dinner was preceded by games and icebreakers animated by the CSS committee members.

More photos on Facebook.

SIC Parents Group visits Seremban


The Parents Group (Family Life Ministry) of St. Ignatius Church, PJ, visited the Church of Visitation, Seremban as part of their one day outing to Negeri Sembilan, which covered other places of interested including a goat farm in Bahau and the Carmelite Monastery in Jalan Rasah, Seremban.

At the Church of Visitation, the members of the group were given a briefing by Mr. John Lim, the Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, on the history of Visitation, which is the oldest parish in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur. Later they joined the Visitation community at sunset mass. After mass, the SIC Parents Group shared with the Parish Family Life Commission of Visitation some of the activities and programmes that had been carried out by the former.

More photos on Facebook.

Announcements - 1st & 2nd May

Sunday School
Mother's Day Sale on 1st -2nd May & 9th -10th May
The Confirmation Students and Parents of the 3 language groups will be selling special gifts at RM5/- each after all the masses on the above dates.
Kindly give them your support as funds will help subsidise the costs of confirmation camp and activities.


Secretariat News
We thank Nancy a/p Sylvester for her services rendered during her tenure of work at the Secretariat. We wish her all the best with a happy marriage. We welcome Theresa a/p Anthony, our new office clerk and Rita Wong, our new accounts clerk, who both joined the Parish Office this year.


Formation
Marian Congress on 15th and 16th May at Wisma MCA Convention Hall
Closing date for registration - 30th April 2010
All interested participants, please register with the Legion of Mary. Legionaries are to register with your respective praesidiums. Legionaries will be at the entrances of the church after all masses this weekend to do the registration.
Transportation: RM10/- for two days.

Introduction to Inter-Religious Ministry
Date: 8-5-2010 (Saturday)
Time: 9.00 am to 4.00 pm
Venue: Visitation Hall (downstairs)
Formation Team: Fr. Michael Chua and the AMEIA (Archdiocesan Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs) team members.
Reg Fee: RM5.00 per person.
Please register with Alfred @ 016-2129404
Closing Date: 2-5-2010
For whom: BEC leaders, catechists, RCIA facilitators, IHD members, all parishioners etc.

Sacraments
RCIA Journey 2010/2011
If you know of anyone who would like to know about our Catholic faith, do invite them to join us in the forthcoming RCIA Journey which will begin in June 2010.
Registration forms are available at the Parish Office or contact:
a) Arthur Pinto @ 012-6104927 - English Session on Tuesday @ 7.30 pm (w.e.f. 22-6-10)

b) Valerie Siow @ 012-6733227 - Mandarin Session on Mondays @ 8 pm (w.e.f. 21-6-10)

c) Theresa Soosay @ 016-3912484 - Tamil Sessions on Sundays @ 9 am (w.e.f. 13-6-10)

d) Eric Lim @ 06-6321824 - BM sessions on Sunday @ 10.30 am (w.e.f. 20-6-10)

Infant Baptism on 2nd May (Sunday)
11.45 am.
Instruction for parents and godparents will be held in this evening 1/5/10 at 7.30 pm in the class room.

Liturgy
Visitation Feast Day Triduum
27th - 29th May 2010 (3 language groups)
27-5-2010 (Thursday) - "Reading the Word of God" 7.00 pm Rosary 7.30 pm Mass.
28-5-2010 (Friday) - "Praying the Word of God" 7.00 pm Rosary 7.30 pm Mass
29-5-2010 (Sunday) - "Living the Word of God" 5.15 pm Rosary 5.45 pm Feast Day Mass

Ascension of the Lord (Day of Obligation) 13th May 2010
12.00 pm - English Mass(especially for Senior citizens)
7.00 pm - Rosary
7.30 pm - Mass (3 languages)

Music Ministry invites Organists/ Pianists to join the Visitation Choir.
Practices every Friday @ 8.30 pm
Contact: Adrian @ 013-6208404 & Edward @ 016-6689117.


Catholic Students Society (CSS) BBQ Fellowship
Date: 1st May 2010 (Saturday)
Time: 7.30 pm to 10.00 pm
Venue: Recreation Corner (Canteen)

SSVP Nation Youth Convention 2010
Theme: "Come and See:
Open to SSVP Members and Non-Members
Organised by SSVP for all Working Adults/ Youth (ages 23-39)
Dates: 25th - 27th June 2010
Time: 3.00 pm
Place: College General, Penang
Cost: RM 100.00 per pax
For more information, please visit their website: http://www.blogger.com/www.ssvp.org.my
Email: mailto:svpmsia@streamyx.com?subject=Email%20for%20further%20details%20here