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WELCOME TO LOURDES IPOH

Priests Message
Greetings of peace and goodness as we enter the year of the Lord 2017 with hope!

 

As the Lord invites us to prepare for the year 2017, let us be reminded of the words of our parish’s co-patron, St. Bernadette, who said, “Everyone is precious in the eyes of God.” Although spoken a long time ago, these words have had an inter-generational effect on our lives. The truth of these words continues to be relevant and to affect us to this very day. In simpler words, as a church, we have truly incorporated these words of St. Bernadette by living lives that affirm others as precious in the sight of God.

 

In the sea of our parish, all of us stand as precious in the eyes of God especially the sick in the hospitals, at home and other places of Medicare. The sick are the silent intercessors of our parish by their disposition of solitude and patience. They also witness to the inevitable suffering of Jesus that all of us ought to embrace in order to reach a discipleship that is close to the heart of Jesus.

 

As we remember the sick, we should also admit that the physical end of certain kinds of illness is death. Perhaps, it is important to view this definition of death in line with Winston Churchill’s political slogan,

 

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end but perhaps, it is the end of the beginning.”

 

Our loved ones who have gone before us have in fact run the race and completed it well. Their beginning is over… their hardship has ceased, it is time for them to be vindicated. In this way, they join us not only by interceding for us but primarily by setting us an example for the sole yet crucial purpose of emulation.

 

When I think of the leaders of the parish working together, the image that comes to me is of a heart that perpetually palpitates. As the heart dispenses oxygenated blood to the entire body, the leaders by their dedication and sincerity constantly enrich the parish with disciples who bring life to the parish by their involvement in its up-building. The presence of young people in this evangelical work has also been essential to tie-in with the inter-generational culture, language, morality and precepts. The young people with their youthfulness help us to see a reality that lies ahead of us while challenging us to embrace a new future. In this whole phenomena, every newborn is a divine assurance that God will never be exhausted with us. He continues with his creative work and fills it with life which gives us hope. Thus, among the many gifts a newborn brings to the world, the gift of hope has the pride of place.

 

Children are another cardinal constituent of the parish in a distinguished way. Our parish consists of children from various walks of life including children with special needs, children whose parents have died, and children who suffer from some major illness. What amazes me is that the joy and cheerfulness a child expresses never fades amidst his or her life challenges. As adults, we struggle with work-related stress, friction in relationships, financial problems, materialism and individualism. The innocence of children, however, lead us to a transcendent realm where the Beatitudes of Jesus are made a reality.

 

Migrants and people of other faiths who are with us through marriage, work or other affiliations challenge us to move beyond the comfort zone of the parochial church. In the ecclesiology of Vatican II, the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church. Migrants and people of other faiths in our parish serve as a lens by which our gaze searches for new horizons. They add a new flavour to our parish; a flavour according to their own culture, religion and language which shines a ray of the Church of Christ in our parish.

 

As we anticipate the New Year, my desire is that we as a parish at large continue to allow these words of St. Bernadette reverberate in our hearts as Shema for Israel. Let it be a motto for our prayer and let it be translated into our beliefs and lastly, let it become a way of life that considers everyone as precious in the eyes of God.

 

Rev. Fr. Robert Daniel Francis & Rev. Fr. Simon Anand Marthamuthu
Priests of the Parish