Archbishop Simon Poh

By Ivy Chai

KUCHING — Kuching Archbishop Simon Poh has launched an “ADVENT APPEAL” aimed at alleviating poverty and suffering and to bring some Christmas hope and joy to communities in need.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has badly affected our economy, creating a category of ‘the new poor’. The greatest impact has been on the poor, migrants, widows, elderly, women and children, especially in rural communities,” he said.

He added that many breadwinners in urban areas have lost their jobs and are unable to support their families. The sluggish economy has put a strain on many families, and some have depleted their emergency funds and life savings.

During the season of Advent and Christmas, the Church traditionally organises events and projects to collect gifts and donations for the urban poor and rural families. All such projects had to be shelved this year because of COVID-19.

“Nevertheless, as in previous years, we would like to continue giving these families food provisions and a box of facemask per family,” Archbishop Simon Poh said.

Besides these people, there are many migrants in Kuching who are stuck here, unable to travel and return to their home countries.

Rural parishes also need financial assistance to pay catechists, sacristans and staff so that parishes can continue to serve the needs of Catholics. 

“In this holy season of Advent, I would thus like to use the same concept of the LENTEN APPEAL by inviting all Catholics and friends of goodwill to contribute to our ADVENT APPEAL throughout this month of December leading up to Christmas,” he further added.

From 1-24 December 2020, those wishing to contribute to the ADVENT APPEAL Fund can do the following:

  • Donate to Archdiocesan E-Collections during Sunday live-streamed Masses.
  • Use Sarawak Pay QR Code or Bank-in to Hong Leong Bank Account (see above).
  • Send their donation directly to Catholic Welfare Services Sarawak.

In wishing all Catholics and friends an “Advent and Christmas filled with God’s Love, Mercy, Hope, Joy and Peace,” Archbishop Simon Poh said: “May this year 2020 which has been under the shadow of COVID-19 be brightened with Advent hope and joy (cf. Isaiah 9:2), and that many will be blessed with Christmas giving and sharing because of Emmanuel – our ‘God is with us’ (Matthew 1:23).”

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