C O T Transfiguration

 It was with deep confidence that I  decided to make a week-long retreat and  take it as my annual one. I have no doubt that my friend Anita also had a good retreat. And I can confidently say that for most people. It is not the first time that I made a retreat with the Divine Retreat Centre in Kerala, India.  My very first one was way back in 1997 when about 80 of us went with a priest and a deacon. It was truly an eye-opening experience for all of us. If you have to make it to Kerala, India, then to miss the world’s largest retreat centre for the Catholic Church is really to miss something truly precious.

In the new and beautifully decorated Church of the Transfiguration (Parish Priest Fr Joachim Chang, gifted and artistic ) are the three anointed priests who served with deep conviction and powerfully preached to us the Word of God.

Please look at the poster which  gives the names and photos of the three special priests. 

Till we meet again

It came as a shock more than anything

Not that it should be so

But we are frail human beings

The news came so suddenly

The priest had gone home to the Lord

To his eternal home in heaven

And  how had it all taken place?

A sudden heart attack!

The news came late in the night

Were we shocked

Were we taken aback – yes we were

Even  if we know that the Lord can call

Anyone at anytime and anywhere

Truly we are to be prepared at all times

Still it came so suddenly and so quickly

Yes, it is all too soon and he was only 56

Our prayer is that he rests in peace

Always through the  mercy of God

Fr Phillips was a canon lawyer and a brilliant priest who served under a  bishop. Most of us had met him only in the month of August this year when we visited several places including Terengganu, in the east coast of Malaysia.

We were treated so well and we had a mass in his home. He struck us all as a humble and hardworking priest with so many plans to fulfil. He had just celebrated his silver jubilee as a priest and had given us a souvenir magazine. We had met some of his volunteers and been blessed to celebrate a mass in his home.  So glad he went to  the World Youth Day in Poland this year and that his life touched so many youths. His funeral mass was today,  Tuesday 12 Sept 2016 at St Jude’s in Rawang Malaysia

Nothing can prevail against the church

Is this not a beautiful shot? I have captured a moment of deep joy as reflected on the faces of the two priests. Both are smiling so deeply, so beautifully. We have gone to look at an old Catholic church no longer in use. Behind the two priests is a very old church built by the early missionaries in the 19th century.

Today one sees a church locked up and no longer in use as a place of worship. It was one of the places where communist leaders held their meetings. One knows that a number of churches were destroyed, made into ware houses or factories. The people were deprived of the sacraments for thirty long years. How did it happen and how did they manage? Nothing can prevail against the church of God and nothing can stop our faith from growing. The blood of the martyrs indeed acts as the best impetus for unprecedented growth. Indeed, nothing can separate us from the love of God. St Paul’s words in Romans ring out loudly and clearly.

The church is also more than the physical building. We form the church. We are the treasure of the church. So we have reason to smile. Political ideologies no longer prevail. Instead the sleeping giant is waking up to make her presence felt in the world. It is about time for the new spring with fresh ideas to flourish and to bear fruit. The Church continues to grow. . . Praise God!