KOTA PADAWAN – The parishioners of St Ann’s gathered from 50 outstations to celebrate the feast day of their patron saint on 27 July.
The celebration began in the morning with a Mass presided by Archbishop John Ha, and concelebrated by Friar Gerard Victor OFM (Rector of the Parish), Friar Michael D’Cruz (Superior of the Franciscan Friars in Singapore, Malaysia & Brunei), Friar Moses Yap OFM, Friar Joseph Lee OFM (both attached to St Ann’s), and Friar Peter Clifford OFM (visitor). Also present among the large congregation were 40 Singaporeans who had come to join in the celebration.
In his homily, the Archbishop reminded parents to make God the centre of their family life through daily prayer, participation in church services, and faith formation of their children. He urged parents not to neglect the spiritual needs of their family in their pursuit of meeting the material needs of the family.
After the homily, the prayer leaders and extraordinary ministers of Communion of the Parish renewed their commitment to their respective ministries before the Archbishop.
After that, the Catholic Youth Movement (CYM) of Kpg Bumbok led the offertory procession with a Bidayuh dance accompanied by music from gongs.
At the end of the Mass, Friar Gerard expressed his joy in seeing the huge number of parishioners who had gathered for the celebration. He noted that the occasion also marked the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Parish and the Golden Jubilee of the founding of the Franciscan ecclesiastical province in the region. He believed that the success of the event was a testimony to the strong bond among parishioners and with their pastors, and the deep faith of the people.
In a speech, Friar Michael praised the people for their warmth, generosity and deep respect for the clery. He commended Friar Gerard and his predecessors for the improvements to the Parish, now in the 9th year under the Order. He was happy to note that so far RM 1.6 million had been netted for the building of St Ann’s Complex, and looked forward to the completion of the building.
The celebration also included the launching of two fund-raising projects. One was the sale of gift coupons for a lucky draw; the other was the ‘Longest Palmprint Banner’ in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee of the Franciscan presence in the region.
As usual, the celebration included the annual parish sale at the St Lukas’ Apostolic Centre.
The final event of the celebration was a thanksgiving dinner held at Siburan Bazaar Hall on 2 August.