Working together to Make A Difference

The second edition of Go MAD (Make A Difference) carnival was held on Hari Malaysia, September 16 at the Church of The Visitation. The carnival themed Unity in Divinity brought together people from all faiths in a spirit of unity and harmony.

Oct 12, 2017

By Peter Paul Fernandez
The second edition of Go MAD (Make A Difference) carnival was held on Hari Malaysia, September 16 at the Church of The Visitation. The carnival themed Unity in Divinity brought together people from all faiths in a spirit of unity and harmony.

Invited guests from the various religious groups representing the Negeri Sembilan’s Malaysian Consultative of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST), the various Christian churches, and representatives from the state government and from the police were also present. Cardinal Anthony Soter Fernandez was among the VIP guests, along with YB Dato Manickam Letchuman (representing the MB of Negeri Sembilan), YB Mary Josephine Pritam Singh (State Assemblywoman), Ms Florence Yeop (representing the Director of Jabatan Perpaduan Negara dan Integrasi Nasional (JPNIN) and Ms Sanchia Mary, (representing the Director of Negeri Sembilan’s JPNIN).

Joining them were hundreds of parishioners from all language groups, the Orang Asal and the Migrants.

YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup, Minister in the Prime Minister’s department, was the guest of honour.

In his opening speech, Fr George welcomed all and reminded everyone to be proud of this nation. He then asked all to pray and bless the leaders of this country, followed by an invitation to observe a moment of silence in solidarity with the families of victims who perished in the recent fire at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiah tahfiz, Kuala Lumpur.

Cardinal Soter congratulated the young people of the Parish for organising this event. He encouraged them to go and make a difference in their lives to promote unity, peace and bridge building and upholding the Rukun Negara. He made reference to Pope Francis’ World Day of Prayer for Peace where the Holy Father said, “May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other.” Cardinal Soter then thanked the members of MCCBCHST of Negeri Sembilan and Tan Sri Joseph for gracing this memorable event. He ended his speech with a reminder to all that “we belong to one race —the human race and we have one language — the language of love.”

Members from the Agape community church made their way to the stage and blew the horn before the official opening ceremony. This was followed by the enactment of harmonious living by children in traditional costumes singing Sehati Sejiwa. The VIPs were then escorted to the stage by the children.

Tan Sri Joseph was given the sumpit by a member of the Orang Asal. He blew out the dart to deflate the balloon, which allowed the Jalur Gemilang to unfurl. The flag had been made by the thumbprints of the parishioners. The national anthem, Negaraku, and the state anthem of Negeri Sembilan, Berkatlah Yang Di Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan were sung. Parish Youth Council representative Ashwin Xavier then led the recitation of the Rukun Negara.

Tan Sri Joseph thanked the Church of the Visitation for inviting him. He touched on the importance of Unity and the need to preserve that unity for the growth of the country. Tan Sri also spoke about upholding the Rukun Negara which was established 47 years ago to create unity among the various races in Malaysia. He noted that in the vicinity of the Church, are places of worship of other faiths like the Gurdwara, a Mosque and Temple which exemplify unity and harmony. He then officially launched the Go MAD 2 carnival.

The VIPs visited the booths and a tour of the Church. An autograph book was presented to the VIPs for their signatures. They were then ushered to the VIP room for refreshments,followed by a press conference.

On the main stage, a total of 15 performances by individuals and groups was held. Inflatable play equipment and sand art craft attracted the children from all language groups.

Booth games attracted the older children and adults alike. There were also many lucky draw prizes.

The Orang Asal had a mini exhibition in conjunction with Hari Orang Asal. Doctors and nurses from a private hospital were there to provide free medical screening.

In the afternoon, Archbishop Julian Leow made a surprise visit to the carnival. Addressing the crowd from the main stage, His Grace wished Selamat Hari Malaysia to everyone. He reminded them that, as citizens of Malaysia, we have a responsibility towards the well-being and growth of this country. Then His Grace tried his hand at one of the game booths.

The carnival came to a close at about 4.45pm after the last lucky prize was drawn. Fr George thanked each and every one for making this carnival a success. He also invited them to join in the 170th anniversary celebration next May 31, 2018.

The carnival culminated with the celebration of the Sunset Mass at 6.00pm.

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