HOPE, a community home blessed and opened in Melaka

The Official Opening and Blessing of HOPE – A Community Home in Klebang Besar was held on January 19.

Feb 01, 2019

MELAKA: The Official Opening and Blessing of HOPE – A Community Home in Klebang Besar was held on January 19.

It was graced by Bishop Bernard Paul, Fr Thomas Chong, Fr John Chia, Fr Thomas Koo and Fr Martin Then, with invitees from the BEC of Klebang Besar, Catholic Prison Ministry, Melaka, donors and benefactors including fellow Vincentian brothers and sisters.

The event began with the opening speech by Erik Ravi, President of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) State Council of Melaka.

“Today is a historical day for the members of SSVP Melaka for it is our first major project in the state. My heartfelt thanks to His Lordship, Bishop Bernard Paul, for his guidance and wisdom in inviting SSVP Melaka back in April 2017 to be in partnership to initiate this project.”

He urged members to make regular visits to the Home. He noted that there were many challenges during the start-up of this project. Presently, the Home has only two residents although it can accommodate up to 10 residents.

“I would like to thank everyone here today on this auspicious occasion and especially for your time and financial support,” Erik concluded.

In his speech, Bishop Bernard thanked the State Council of Melaka for its willingness to embark on this project. Bishop said that he understands the problems of such a Home for he had started a “Drug Rehabilitation” in Penang many years ago. The residents’ duration of stay varies, some as short as a day while some may stay as long as 10 years. Then, sharing on Pope Francis’ 2018 on Migrants and Refugees, he said, “Our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate.”

To Welcome – in a spirit of compassion, let us embrace them into our Home and provide all the basic needs for their stay.

To Protect – our duty to recognise and defend their inviolable dignity, security and to prevent their being exploited.

To Promote – enable them to cultivate and realise their potential, but also better equip them to manage their future.

To Integrate – to participate fully in the life of the society that welcomes them, as part of a process of mutual enrichment and fruitful cooperation in service of the integral human development of the local community.

The Home has to work with all the various ministries in the Church, BECs and government agencies or NGOs to achieve its objectives. Bishop noted that he’s happy to see the BEC members for their presence and support of this new community. Bishop urged the committee to rephrase the name of the HOPE to Hosting Occupants Pursuing Excellence.

Bishop Bernard conducted the “Rite of Dedication of the Home” with a short Homily by giving words of encouragement to those who are involved in the management of the Home. He then proceeded with the Cutting of the Ribbon and Signing of the Plaque, followed by the blessing of the building with Holy Water.
As a symbol of growth and strength, Bishop Bernard was invited to plant the DIMOCARPUS Longan Tree at the front compound that it may grow, sustain, evolve, protect and develop in achieving the Vision and Mission of HOPE – A Community Home.

The ceremony concluded with a Tea Fellowship.
The Home is equipped with basic facilities for this “Stay-in” programme and is only for Non Muslim males. The potential resident must be a Malaysian, irrespective of where he lives – preference will be given to those outside Melaka. If you know of anyone who may want or is in need to undergo rehabilitation do contact: Anthony Tan – 016-314 6518

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