My second parish away from home

I love my parish, the Taiping Catholic Church, comprising the Church of St Louis and the Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

Jun 14, 2020

Dear Editor,

I love my parish, the Taiping Catholic Church, comprising the Church of St Louis and the Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. I’ve been actively involved in the life of the parish. Besides participating in Mass regularly, I was one of her church leaders.

But on that fateful day, March 18, I was completely lost and shaken with the closure of all churches because of the Movement Control Order. I was lockeddown in PJ, away from my home. Then the panic hit would I attend Mass? I then started surfing the net with my faithful iPhone after I received news that there were live-streaming Masses in certain churches. 

The Manila Cathedral was the first church that popped up on my iPhone. At that time, Mass was going on, so I watched. It was in English though part of the homily was in Tagalog-Maraming maraming po, Diyos, Panginoon... these were repeated so often that now I know what they mean. Though slightly disappointed, I stayed on.

Since I felt comfortable with the church, I decided to follow their online Masses as the Philippines is on the same time zone as Malaysia. I chose this to be  my second parish and I faithfully attended their daily Masses throughout Lent, Easter, Weekly Healing Rosary until now Pentecost.

Though it is not so effective as physical Mass, this alternative is giving me new ways to be involved in worship. Our Lord Jesus has provided me an avenue to share in His Banquet which itself is a blessing.

I found myself being part of the Manila parish attending the Online Retreat conducted by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the Administrator of the Archdiocese. At the same time, the Rector who is also the Chancellor, Fr. Reginald Mal icdem together with the Vice Rector Fr. Kali Pietre Llamado, gave us daily sessions Going Back to Mass in preparation for the coming public Mass in the Philippines after Pentecost. Indeed I do gain a lot from the Manila Cathedral.

You may wonder why I don’t follow our own parishes. I do... with Fr Gerard Theraviam, Fr Martin Arlando at the Church of the Divine Mercy, Sg Ara, and sometimes the City Parish. But I chose to take part in only one church just like we always go to our own parish.

Anyway, now it is the time to stay focussed on the spiritual discipline in my life... meditating  and reflecting on the homilies. With this social distancing, it gives me an opportunity to focus more on my spiritual needs...this is one thing good coming from the pandemic.

I must thank Fr Reginald Malicdem, Fr. Kali Pietre Llmando and the entire Manila Cathedral Team, not forgetting Bishop Broderick, for their unfailing commitment to reach out to us...the lockdown people.

I am one of the fortunate Catholics of the 500+K online participants. May God bless second parish away from home.

Valerie Angus

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