Priests, laity, happy to be back in church for Mass

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(Photo: Herald Malaysia Online)

Fr Raymond Pereira, Church of St Thomas More
Our first “closed door” Mass on June 28, after about three months of no physical Masses due to the MCO, was a spiritually moving experience. Parishioners shared their “euphoric experiences”. Some said they were in ecstasy and in tears during the Mass and couldn’t believe their spiritual hunger for the Holy Eucharist.

An attendee commented: “I was in a state of euphoria when I stepped into our church after a three month wait. Everything was systematic. The hospitality ministers executed their duties well. The SOP put in place was well thought out. I felt secure and safe.”

Another attendee: “Well organised, good process flow, overall everything went smoothly!”

Others felt all aspects of safety were well thought of and executed with minimal hassle.

As their parish priest, I too missed the congregation during their absence! I felt happy and delighted that they could now attend Masses in this physical space.

That Sunday’s Gospel, Mt 10:37-42, was very appropriate as Jesus emphasised the welcoming of others with Christian hospitality and love!

At the beginning of the Mass I was emotional and welcomed all my parishioners with much excitement and happiness, that we can now meet again after a long MCO, Christ was still present among us in spite of us not seeing each other for 3 months.

Special heartfelt thanks to our STM Crisis Alert Action Team (CAAT) who worked hard for the SOP process which was carried out well with just a few hiccups. There were no walk-ins.

Fr James Gabriel, Church of St Anthony
I was elated to celebrate Mass with a congregation again – to be able to sanctify the church, bless the people and pray for those who could not attend. Our Parish Response Team, headed by Winson Rajah, did an excellent job. I barely felt any stress or tension as the team had everything organised. Of course with all the new procedures, we feel a little lost and are treading cautiously. I believe that in a few weeks we will embrace this as normal and when the government permits, we look forward to welcoming back our Indonesian and Filipino communities.

Fr Michael Teng OFM Cap, Church of Mt Carmel
W e had one Mass in English and Mandarin with 62 parishioners. There was no Mass in BM as most of the BM-speaking parishioners are Indonesians.

“It was a very orderly process, conducted by the parish team led by Francis Xavier. The SOPs were strictly followed.

Everyone was following social distancing measures and there were no problems during the Holy Communion.

Everyone used masks except me. I found it uneasy to celebrate Mass with the mask on!

Deacon Francis Go was with me and so he delivered the homily in Mandarin while I gave mine in English.

Fr Norris Seenivasan SJ, Church of St Francis Xavier
“It was wonderful welcoming our parishioners back and celebrate the Eucharist together. At the same time, I was also anxious about whether all compliance procedures and on-ground logistics would be carried smoothly. Thankfully everything went well during Mass. Despite the restrictions, you could tell that people were grateful to be back, even if it was behind a mask. So it’s definitely a good start and we shall strive to keep improving for the well-being of our parishioners.

Herald Malaysia Online

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