Family is where we first learn to communicate and live together

The annual feast of St Anne’s was celebrated July 20 to 29. The theme for this year was My Family, My Hope.

Aug 09, 2018

By Marlina Sara Sylvester
The annual feast of St Anne’s was celebrated July 20 to 29. The theme for this year was My Family, My Hope. Every day there was a sub-theme related to Family. Parish priest Msgr Henry Rajoo said that the family is the basic unit of society and it’s the first place where we learn to communicate and live together.

“All values and habits come from early childhood formation in the family. If individuals are brought up in families with proper religious and moral education, many problems in society can be curbed. The solution to many problems is not out there in society, it’s at home,” he said. “Even Mother Teresa said that love begins at home,” he stressed.

There were daily Masses in English, Tamil and Mandarin, with Bahasa Malaysia Masses on the weekends.

A total of 1,200 volunteers offered their services in many areas to ensure a smooth celebration of Masses for all pilgrims.
Free pilgrim meals were provided daily after Mass. Msgr Henry thanked all donors who contributed for the pilgrim meals.

There were two processions in honour of St Anne. First, on the actual date of her feastday, July 26th, and the second procession on the 9th day, the final day of the Novena.

Bishop of Penang, Rt Rev Bishop Dato Sebastian Francis, celebrated the feastday Mass on July 26, with priests from all over the country. Priests from Taiwan and Macau also joined in this celebration.

In his homily, Bishop Sebastian stressed on Asian families as the sub-theme for the day was Family is a sanctuary for our children.

“Today is the actual feastday of St Anne and St Joachim, grandparents of Jesus Christ. The theme given by the Holy Spirit to us is about FAMILY. The Asian Bishops in 2016 consecrated all Catholic families in Asia to the Holy Family of Nazareth.

“Today, I want to salute all Asian families and say thank you, because Asia is largely young, energetic and hopeful. In our recent general election, it’s our young people who made the difference.

“Asian families are self-sacrificing and, because of this spirit and their values, Asia has a future. All you grandparents, fathers and mothers who made sacrifices for your families, I want to place all your sacrifices on this altar today.

“Pope Francis said there is no perfect family. There can be no healthy marriage or healthy family without the exercise of forgiveness. Forgiveness brings joy where sorrow has brought sadness; it brings healing where sorrow has caused the disease.”

Bishop Sebastian ended the homily by inviting all pilgrims to recite the prayer to the Holy Family of Nazareth.

The bishop and priests joined thousands of pilgrims for a procession, followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on returning to the church. --

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