KUCHING – As part of the Focus on the Family programme, St Joseph’s Cathedral Parish held the third in a series of Family Masses in English, Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin in December. Each Mass was preceded by a sharing from some parishioners.
The Family Mass in English was held on 4 December at the Cathedral. A young bachelor shared how as a Catholic from the cradle, his faith was initially only in the head, but not in the heart. Through the prompting of a friend, he attended a Life in the Spirit Seminar, and his life was changed. He began to feel the urge to give, and not just to receive. He became a lector and participated in other Church activities. He felt that although he might not be called to do big things, he could play his part by doing little things. He recounted how his renewed faith enhanced his relationship with his family.
The second speaker, a single woman, was a convert. She was active in Church, but her communication with her parents at home was not very satisfactory. They were not too keen on her conversion. She kept to herself, and God became her refuge. In her prayers, she found peace in the struggle of her daily life. While studying in Kuala Lumpur, she found her involvement with the Catholic Students Society a very enriching experience. Back in Sarawak, she participated in the CHOICE programme, and her relationship with her parents improved. They began to accept her conversion and this encouraged her to pray for them. As a member of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, she visited some very poor families, and this helped her to appreciate her own life situation. She was glad that she found a God who was ever faithful, and sustained her in the ups and downs of life.
The third sharing was by a single parent, who recounted his life as a single parent, after a painful divorce. Initially, everything fell apart and he left the Church, not to run away from God, but from the people, as he was embarrassed, scared and ashamed. It was not until two years later that someone reached out to him, and invited him back to the Church, even if only for the sake of his child. Because of his son, he slowly came back to Church. He gradually realised that no matter what happened, God was always at his side. He felt that God had seen him through many things – things which should have gone wrong, but didn’t. He felt that there were others like him who had left the Church, and needed help to come back to the Church.
After the sharing, families were invited to write down their petitions, which were then offered up during the offertory.
Dr Michael Hii