All on board for a destiny of love and mercy

The Church of Divine Mercy in Sg Ara introduced an innovative approach to encourage parishioners and pilgrims to participate in its novena and parish feast day celebrations, culminating in grand events on April 6 and 7.

Apr 19, 2024

Devotees taking turns to carry the Divine Mercy image


PENANG: The Church of Divine Mercy in Sg Ara introduced an innovative approach to encourage parishioners and pilgrims to participate in its novena and parish feast day celebrations, culminating in grand events on April 6 and 7.

Under the theme Ticket: Trust and Prayer. Destination: Love and Mercy, the festivities, with novenas starting on Good Friday till the feast day, were designed to guide devotees on a journey to encounter the limitless love of Jesus. Ticket passes distributed prior to the feast week were stamped daily during the festivities, fostering engagement among the congregation and sparking the interest of believers from near and far to delve deeper into the revered Divine Mercy devotion.

The celebration was meticulously organised and made memorable by the dedicated parishioners of CDM and parish priest Fr Michael Raymond, OFM Cap. Clergy members from the diocese, including Fr Fabian Dicom from the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and Fr Esmond Chua, OFM, from the Church of the Risen Christ, led the week long daily Masses and concelebrated the feast day Mass, respectively. Pilgrims from Masai, Johor, and Ipoh, Perak, were also in attendance, joining in the feast day celebrations that commenced with a nine-day Novena on Good Friday.

Parishioners from diverse backgrounds had a unique experience during this feast day, with a variety of activities planned throughout the week and weekend. These included short movies for both children and adults, a family colouring contest, photo-booth sessions, games with various prizes, and daily refreshments.

The highlight of the feast day was the veneration of relics, benediction, and the eagerly awaited procession, accompanied by the recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet in four languages. The procession spanned a route of 2.65km and was observed by neighbours and onlookers from around the church neighbourhood.

Devotees took turns carrying the image of the Divine Mercy while Frs Michael and Esmond alternately bore the Holy Eucharist aloft throughout the reverent procession, serving as a beautiful testament of the Catholic faith to the Sungai Ara community.

It was a profound fulfillment of the mission to spread the message of love and mercy through the Divine Mercy image, first revealed to a Polish nun, St Faustina, by Jesus. The Feast of the Divine Mercy is celebrated worldwide on the Sunday after Easter, with devotion to the Divine Mercy flourishing after the year 2000 when St John Paul II established Divine Mercy Sunday for the universal Church.

Fr Michael expressed immense joy at seeing the parish alive with pilgrims and devotees who had come to experience the love and mercy of God through the Feast Day celebrations. He remarked, “Let us always seek the face of God, and may this moment grant us the grace to draw ever closer to the Lord and find peace with Him and one another. To all the pilgrims who submitted your petitions and prayers, believe that Our merciful God will always grant us our earnest desires.”

Elizabeth Yong, from the Church of St Theresa, Masai, praised the procession, stating, “The procession was very well-organised, and we thoroughly enjoyed the entire procession, including the novena and Mass.”

These efforts reflected the dedication of the Divine Mercy parish community to instill in both young and old a deeper understanding of God’s mercy. It was indeed a fulfilling week spent in prayers and petitions, learning about the Divine Mercy image, St Faustina, St Pope John Paul II, and more. The feast day concluded with food and fellowship, accompanied by favourable weather throughout the day.

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