By Gregory R, Warrier
The Vigil Mass for Pentecost at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit was celebrated by Bishop Bernard Paul.
Concelebrating with him were Bishop Sebastian Francis, Fr Francis Anthony, Fr Matthew Bun, Fr Thomas Koo, Fr Anthony Liew, Fr Joachim Robert and Fr Michael Raymond OFM Cap. The Cathedral and the adjoining multi-purpose hall were packed. The Mass was also broadcast live on a YouTube channel.
Bishop Bernard began his homily by mentioning John Lennon’s famous song Imagine which was very popular during the Vietnam war. Many people were looking for different things but all wanted love. Even in the Bible, man was searching for heaven in the wrong way, like the story of the Tower of Babel. St Paul says the “whole of creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth, right up to the present time.” (Romans 8:22). But then, God responded to all the searching by sending us his own Son, the Son who became a missionary to quench our thirst.
The mission still continues till today and God continues to send more people like Mary whose apparitions in many different places bring many people to God. Speaking on the theme Mary, the Mother of Mission, Bishop Bernard summarised Mary’s missionary role:
— She was the missionary in her own family, as wife, mother to her son Jesus and helping him to grow in wisdom and power and encouraging him all the way.
— She adapted to every situation in the community.
— Mission to the waiting world through her many apparitions.
— She has become the voice of Hope by giving us encouragement.
Today Mary shows us the way:
— Common message – always pointing to Jesus, never contradicting.
— Conversion of the world in which sin is widespread.
At the conclusion of the Mass the Blessed Sacrament was placed in the monstrance and reverently carried in procession by Bishop Bernard, followed by all the other celebrants and the congregation, the majority of whom were dressed in specially designed red anniversary shirts and holding lighted candles. Outside the CHS compound, the Blessed Sacrament was carried in a beautifully decorated vehicle. The congregation began the solemn recital of the rosary to the Holy Spirit in four languages. The procession stopped at designated locations where the congregation knelt to revere the Blessed Sacrament.
A key spot was opposite the Convent Green Lane where CHS began. This brought nostalgic memories to the seniors who were the pioneers. After the 1.5km route round the neighbourhood, everyone returned to the Cathedral for benediction. This was the first time in the fifty years of its history that the parishioners of CHS had the opportunity to hold a procession outside the premises of the Cathedral. It was a truly a meaningful birthday celebration.
The article above appeared in The Herald 29 June 2019 edition