4th Connection With Loves Pilgrimage a success
PENANG — Connection With Loves (CVL4) successfully organised the pilgrimage to Bukit Mertajam, Penang in conjunction with the annual St Anne’s Feast Day from 26 – 31 July. It was their fourth pilgrimage.
The CVL4 pilgrims were made up of parishioners from the rural parish churches. Some of them have joined the pilgrimage for the fourth consecutive year since the first one, CVL1, in 2015. Fr Benard Jim Bujang from St Stephen’s Church, Bau, the group’s spiritual director, was also present. It has been the second year he travelled with them.
The highlight of the pilgrimage was on 28 July, the Feast Day of St Anne. The pilgrims went to St Anne’s Shrine, bringing flowers and candles as a sign of thanksgiving for the saint’s intercession.
Fr Benard led the pilgrims in praying the Stations of the Cross at St Anne’s Hill. Even though some pilgrims were suffering from leg pain, their strong faith brought them to the hilltop. They later testified that the pain was gone!
The climax of the Feast Day was the Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Marino. Concelebrating at the Mass were Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang, Msgr Henry Rajoo, Fr Benard Bujang and priests from West Malaysia and Sabah. The grand procession and the burning of petitions followed after the Mass. CVL4 pilgrims also brought with them petitions from friends and relatives at home to be burnt and presented to St Anne for her intercession.
The pilgrims visited and attended Holy Mass at the Church of St Francis Xavier, Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Church of St Louis in Taiping, and the Church of St Anthony in Nibong Tebal. They also had the privilege to visit the oldest Anglican church in the West Malaysia, All Saints Church, Taiping.
Worth a mention is the visit to the Garden of Bethlehem at St Anne’s Church. The Garden of Bethlehem was a project by St Anne’s Parish to heed the call of Laudato Si’. It is the community’s effort to battle climate change by building earth and community resilience. Fruit trees such as banana, papaya, longan, ciku, guava, lime, and other herbs and flowers such as pandan, moringa, hibiscus and japanese roses were planted in the Garden. Just as hope was born in the person of Jesus in Bethlehem, the Garden of Bethlehem is a symbol of hope and faith in the face of climate change.
The pilgrims also enjoyed sight seeing to various places of interest around Penang.
The main objective of CVL Pilgrimage is to connect God’s love with everyone they got in touch with. It hopes to give an opportunity to members from the rural parishes in the Archdiocese to go for pilgrimages as a family of love. The organiser and founder, Jeff Ng told Today’s Catholic: “CVL is now four years old. Yet again, we saw love in action during the pilgrimage. No matter how challenging the trip was, pilgrims served and helped each other.”
The fifth CVL pilgrimage to St Anne’s Novena and Feast 2019 is now open for enrolment. CVL pilgrimages are open for non-Catholics and Catholics alike, but limited to 40 pax only. Those who are interested may contact Jeff at 016-3278868.