Pastoral Message on PRN (State Elections) – “Our moral duty to vote”

“All citizens should be mindful of the right and also the duty to use their vote freely to further the common good.” 

Gaudium et spes – Church in the Modern World, n.75

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Hardly nine months have passed since our nation had its national general elections (GE 15) and after weeks of intense wrangling and negotiations, a coalition government has emerged. Tomorrow, many of us will be going to the polls again to cast our vote at the state level.

Though many of us feel the fatigue of enduring more politicking and posturing by politicians, it is incumbent on us to exercise not only our civic duty but our Christian obligation to exercise our right to vote. Voting expresses our love for our country and its people.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country.” (CCC 2240)

We must cast our vote through prayerful consideration and in accordance with our conscience formed by the Catholic faith. Let us also consider the following before making our decision:

  1. Scrutinise the candidate and his or her party’s position on religious freedom and protection of the rights of minorities;
  2. Ensure that they must be persons of integrity, free from corruption;
  3. If the candidate is an incumbent, check his or her performance since the last elections;
  4. Is the candidate someone trustworthy and accountable to the electorate or has he switched political alliances for personal gain?

We, the priests of Holy Family Kajang, would like to call all parishioners to offer up prayers for a safe and trouble-free elections and entrust the fate of our state to God. “If the Lord does not build a house in vain do its builders toil. If the Lord does not guard a city in vain does its guard keep watch.” (Psalm 127:1)

For those who are worried about the future of our country and state, let us heed the advice of St Clare: “Do not be disturbed by the clamour of the world, which passes like a shadow.” More importantly, she tells us: “Don’t be afraid. Trust in Jesus.”

May the Holy Spirit, grant us the wisdom and fortitude we need in choosing those who will represent and lead us in our state assembly and government. Therefore, we urge you, pray, stand up, uphold the common good, choose wisely, and your vote will be a blessing for our state.

God bless Selangor!

Your loving shepherds,

Fr Michael Chua, Fr Philip Chua and Fr Bonaventure.
11th August 2023
Memorial of St Clare of Assisi

A 5 Year Pastoral Renewal Plan for Holy Family Kajang “Make all things new”

“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

– Apocalypse 21:5

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the famous Russian novelist, tells us that “a people that no longer remembers has lost its history and its soul.”  Our parish has both a long history and an old soul that is worth remembering and cherishing. We will be celebrating the 125th Anniversary of Holy Family in 2026. We can trace our official beginnings from the date of the dedication of the first church building on the 24th of February 1901. Though none of you would have been alive to witness that, most of you would still have tons of fond memories of this parish. We hope that the activities lined up for the next four years will help us to remember, review, and rejoice over the many blessings we as a community, have received from the Lord. 

But there is also something else which must be done beyond looking to the past and focusing on the present. As much as we need to look back, recover and celebrate our history, this is also a time for renewal. As a Church, we are always called to grow, change, deepen, repent, convert, improve, and learn from our successes and failures in the pursuit of holiness and fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ and the mission He has given us.

It is for this reason, that we would like to announce a five-year Pastoral Renewal Plan which will commence on the 1st of January 2023, on the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God. 

We share this vision with you in the spirit of Synodality. This vision addresses four areas of potential growth in our parish, which is a response to the four main areas of concern identified in our parish Synodal process, namely: youth, formation, communication and evangelisation. We wish to approach this process of renewal by focusing on four areas of growth: our spiritual and prayer life, our understanding and living out of our faith, our community experience and the mission to evangelise.

1. Renewing Spirit

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”

– Ezekiel 36:26

The work of the Holy Spirit is at the heart of the Church’s renewal. All programmes, structures and initiatives would be fruitless if they do not bring about the conversion of hearts and a deepening of faith. That is why there should be a two pronged approach in our initiative to bring about a spiritual renewal of our parish. 

First, we need to foster a vibrant prayer life for individuals and the community through the promotion of devotions, praying the Liturgy of the Hours, recollections, retreats, Parish Renewal Experiences (PREs), Life in the Spirit Seminars. 

Second, we must renew our reverence, love, adoration and devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, within and outside of Mass, for the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of Christian life. We must foster and restore the sense of the sacred, where God alone is glorified and man sanctified.

2. Renewing Faith

“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!””

– Luke 17:5

Our relationship with God is the absolute centre and purpose of faith. But how can we be in a relationship with God if we do not know Him? We must be catechised or re-catechised. Catechesis does not end with Sunday School. For this reason, the parish hopes to strengthen our Catechetical Ministry with the systematic training of catechists and set up and strengthen a formation ministry which can offer more catechetical programmes for both youth and adults, and especially for our leaders. 

3. Renewing Community  

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”

Ephesians 4:3

Unity provides us with the foundation for mission as Tertullian noted: “let people say of us: ‘see how they love one another.‘“ On the other hand, disunity puts people off and drives many away from the Church. We must acknowledge that our parish is a multicultural family made up of different language groups, people of different nationalities, the old and the young, long time and new members and a myriad of BECs and ministries. Our diversity should be celebrated, not resented. Synodality demands that we journey together instead of each individual or group taking their own path.  

4. Renewing our ardour for Mission

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord”

Romans 12:11

“Evangelising is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelise, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass.”[Evangelii Nuntiandi #14] Sharing our faith is an intrinsic duty of charity. Certain sectors within our parish would require new evangelisation and outreach – youth, campus students, BECs, migrants, homebound and families. For this reason, our formation and means of social communication should not just be focused on transmitting information but it must help us regain our confidence in the power of the Word of God to change lives and touch hearts. 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, to see a need for renewal, to commit ourselves to the work of renewal, to bring about the renewal of our parish and the world, we must humbly acknowledge our imperfections, our flaws, our weaknesses and our need for repentance and conversion. We cannot even begin to change the world for Christ, unless we allow Christ to change our hearts and conform them to His and the Father’s will. 

Our consolation is knowing that we are all “works in progress,” not “finished products”. What we sow now, others will reap. Let us ask the Lord to sustain us as we build and grow this parish towards Him and to increase our faith as we work. Like St Paul, we can be “confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6). 

Wishing all of you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Your loving shepherds,

Reverend Fr Michael Chua
Reverend Fr Philip Chua
Reverend Fr Bonaventure Rayappan

Solemnity of the Holy Family 
30th December 2022

The Pastoral Renewal Plan is available in English and Bahasa:

English

Bahasa

Pastoral Letter on GE15 – “Our moral duty to vote”

“All citizens should be mindful of the right and also the duty to use their vote freely to further the common good.”  (Gaudium et spes – Church in the Modern World, n.75).

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We have witnessed an unprecedented political turmoil in our country for the past few years,  with the will of the people expressed in the last general election being undermined by self-serving politicians jostling for power who had betrayed their own constituents and abused the mandate given to them. Many of us are still reeling from this shenanigan and have grown disillusioned over the democratic process. 

But now that a new opportunity presents itself to us as a nation at the cross roads, an opportunity to right the wrongs and send a loud message to all politicians that they are answerable to the people who put them in positions of authority, it is incumbent on us to exercise not only our national duty but our Christian obligation to exercise our right to vote. Voting also expresses our love for our country and its people. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country.” (CCC 2240)

We must cast our vote through prayerful consideration and in accordance with our conscience formed by the Catholic faith. Let us also consider the following before making our decision:

    1.    Scrutinise the candidate and his or her party’s position on religious freedom and protecting the rights of minorities;

    2.    Ensure that they must be persons of integrity, free from corruption;

    3.    If the candidate is an incumbent, check his or her performance since the last general elections;

    4.    Is the candidate someone trustworthy and accountable to the electorate or has he switched political alliances for personal gain?

In preparation for this event, we the priests of Holy Family Kajang would like to call all parishioners to come together in prayer and to bring our concerns and discernment process before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Until GE 15 on 19th November, we will be having Holy Hour every consecutive Friday (11/11 and 18/11) at 8 pm. We do so trusting that our fate is in the hands of God. “If the Lord does not build a house in vain do its builders toil. If the Lord does not guard a city in vain does its guard keep watch.” (Psalm 127:1)

May the Holy Spirit, grant us the wisdom and fortitude we need in choosing those who will represent and lead us in our national and state governments. Therefore, we urge you, stand up, uphold the common good of our nation, choose wisely, and your vote will be a blessing for our nation.

God bless Malaysia! 

Your loving shepherds,

Fr Michael Chua, Fr Philip Chua and Fr Bonaventure.

6th November 2022

Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Downloads:

GE15 Pastoral letter_Our Moral Duty To Vote
Surat Pastoral PRU 15_Kewajipan Moral Kita Untuk Mengundi
第十五届全国大选的牧函信件 _我们投票的道德义务
GE15 குறித்த பங்கு அருள் தந்தையர்கள் கடிதம்_வாக்களிப்பது நமது தார்மீகக் கடமை
Christian Funeral Rites: A Manual for BEC and Zone Co-ordinators

The Catholic funeral Mass and Rites are some of the most beautiful rituals of the Church, meant for the deceased as well as their loved ones who are left in sorrow. 

In the Catholic funeral (from wake to funeral Mass to graveside committal), we commend our loved ones to the mercy of God. We also entrust ourselves, praying for God’s comfort and peace at a time of loss.

The Catholic funeral, in its depth of ritual and meaning, reminds us that the grave has been overcome by the death and resurrection of Christ our Lord, giving us true hope which comforts and heals our sorrow. 

This manual is a tool on Christian Funeral Rites for BEC and zone co- ordinators so that they can provide the appropriate liturgical, pastoral and theological guidance, advice and assistance to bereaved families in their communities.

It was created to guide BEC and zone co-ordinators on the practical aspects of the Funeral while at the same time explaining the theological and liturgical aspects of why we do what we do.

Christian Funeral Rites (Eng)Download
Pentecost Pastoral Letter

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The joys of Easter are so immense that it is insufficient to just confine our celebrations to a single day. If Lent is observed over 40 days, then Easter, the celebration of the Paschal Mystery which is at the heart of our Christian faith, must deserve a longer period of 50 days. Today, the Solemnity of the Pentecost marks the end of Eastertide. In a fitting closure to the season, we will hear the priest solemnly intone the Alleluia at the dismissal at the end of Mass, as he once did on Easter Sunday.

But Pentecost is not just a fitting ending to Eastertide but also marks the birthday or the beginning of the mission of the Church as she receives her Baptism of fire through the descent of the Holy Spirit, who came upon the Apostles and Disciples. Before the inauguration of this Christian feast, Pentecost was already commemorated as an important pilgrimage festival by the Jews – at the natural level, it was a harvest of wheat and at a spiritual level, it commemorated the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. Now, with the inauguration of the new covenant by the death, resurrection and glorification of Christ, this Feast assumes a far greater significance. Today, we also celebrate the fruits and effects of the descent of the Holy Spirit: the completion of the work of redemption, the fullness of grace for the Church and her children, and the gift of faith for all nations.

During this time of the year, several of our communities also celebrate their respective harvest festivals: Kaamatan (Sabah), Gawai (Sarawak) and Penan (Indonesia). KAGAPE is the neologism that has been invented to encompass these three festivities. Though having agrarian roots, like Ponggol of the Tamilians and Chinese New Year, these cultural celebrations have evolved from thanksgiving celebrations for bountiful harvests into occasions for the community to celebrate and renew their fraternal bonds, regardless of ethnicity, religion and background.

The convergence of these various celebrations is no coincidence. Today, indeed is a day we give thanks to God, for the bountiful harvest of the fruits of the Holy Spirit which we witness in our Church, in this parish of the Holy Family in particular. We are reminded that the Church is not merely a human organisation nor is it the product of human invention. We may sow the seeds of the Gospel, but it is the Holy Spirit that confirms the Word by His working, God gives the growth, and the harvest that began with the first fruits of Pentecost, continues now in our midst and through us, until the end of the age.

This Pentecost comes at a time of remarkable challenge and opportunity. We are gradually emerging from the tragedies and restrictions of the pandemic. We continue to witness an economy, badly bruised by the lockdowns and further damaged by gross mismanagement, tottering on the brink of collapse. At the spiritual level, as our parish returns to some form of normalcy, many continue to stay away as they have gotten used to the routine of following online Masses and have not made the decision to return physically. Still others have lost their spiritual bearings, and the Church and faith, have become distant remote realities in their lives.

More than ever, we need a spiritual reawakening, another Pentecost, a recommitment of the members of the Church, to her mission of planting, nurturing and gathering a harvest of souls, especially for those whose faith have grown tepid and dull.

As a start, here are some things which you can do to begin living out the graces and spiritual fruits you’ve received from the Holy Spirit:
1. Invite a friend or relative to the RCIA, which begins in July;
2. Join a ministry in the parish;
3. Encourage someone to return to Church for Mass;
4. Get involved in your BEC;
5. Sign up for the next formation session;
6. Visit the elderly and homebound;
7. If you’ve not returned, time to come back to attend Mass in person.

In all our human endeavours, we need the presence of the Holy Spirit, ‘the Lord, the Giver of Life’, whose gift to the Church and the world we celebrate again, at Pentecost. Let us keep this Feast with that enduring hope that we can begin to repair the damage that has been done and allow the Holy Spirit to breathe new vitality into our Church. Our hope will be strengthened by our prayer. May our constant request be that the Holy Spirit guide us, strengthen our resolve and ‘renew the face of the earth’.

To all our friends from Sabah, Sarawak and Indonesia, Selamat Hari Kaaamatan, Gawai dan Penan!

Your loving Shepherds,

Fr Michael Chua, Fr Philip Chua and Fr Bonaventure Rayappan.
Solemnity of Pentecost
5th June 2022
#HFKCOMEHOME

The Pentecost Pastoral Letter is available in 4 languages:

English

Bahasa

Mandarin

Tamil

Methods Change, the Message and Mission for Christ Does Not!

Catholic Asian News, May 2022

The world’s largest taxi company owns no cars, and employs no drivers directly.  The world’s largest hotel service owns no properties and employs no housekeeping or room service staff. Communication has been Whatsapped, memories Instagrammed and TikToked, and life itself Facebooked.  Almost everything we knew as normal in both business, social and faith life has changed dramatically in just the last 20 years – Needless to say that more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has further splintered our society in ways we never imagined.

Welcome to the 21st century where everyone and everything we knew as normal in has dramatically changed. We now live and work in the age of 24/7 connectivity where ordinary people are connected, more empowered than ever before and everything fully transparent.

The very nature in which people work, interact, and transact has already changed beyond recognition. The COVID-19 crisis has made this imperative more glaring than ever before. Needless to say, churches and religious communities have not been spared. The way in which the faithful have lived out their faith routines and do Church have severely changed and very likely for some, this may constitute a ‘new normal’.  Current times are posing unprecedented challenges and opportunities. How does the Church need to re-evaluate, adapt and consider different approaches to communicate, engage and stay connected with its faithful in this new future? 

The evolution of Communication: Old Church vs New Church

To better answer this question we, let’s take a quick look at how the landscape of communication has evolved.    Until 1995, snail mail, telegram, telex, fax, and expensive international phone calls were the ways in which people communicated. However, in just the last 15-20 years we have started taking things like free voice and video calling, email, instant messaging and 24/7 connectivity for granted. The amount of freedom and empowerment these communication channels provide individuals and society is unparalleled. In the context of the church, we could simply look at it in two broad categories. The Old Church and the New Church.
The Old Church interacted with parishioners only episodically. For many years right from Jesus’ time, most ministry occurred face-to-face. Jesus ministered in front a of a live audience. In the early church, sermons, prayers sessions, evangelical meetings, counselling sessions and all other types of ministry happened before a live audience. This is how the Gospel spread across the world – face to face, one-on-one. This type of ministry continues to be relevant and important for church growth and will never go out of style or lose its relevance. Let’s move on now to the New Church.

The New Church is able to minister to the community of believers 24/7. Today, thanks to new technologies-pastors have access to each other 24/7.  That’s an incredible gift of this era. Covid-19 has speeded the adoption of digital technologies by the faithful community by several years. It is in fact no understatement in saying that digital adoption has taken a quantum leap in the church today. Just in the last two years – we have seen unprecedented levels of engagement with the church no matter when and where in the world you are.

Why Does it Matter:

The digital world offers a free and open network that the Church can use to expand the reach of its message to better shepherd its people. Social media offers a space for congregations to actively engage with sermons by tweeting along, posting questions, sharing photos of church activities or continuing discussions throughout the week – interactions with the priests are not just limited to Sundays at the once a week in-person congregational worship. This inadvertently, fosters deeper ties that dramatically improve our faith experience, increase Godly encounters, strengthens our faith roots and creates for a more connected faith family – technically one that is free from geographical constraints and boundaries. Exacerbated by the pandemic, we have witnessed how the church was forced to rethink and do things differently when churches had to be closed.

Social Media – Obstacle or Advantage to Share the Good News?

Faith grounding is a full-time activity and social media is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, so it is not surprising that the two can overlap. Two years ago, most clergy would not have believed it if they had been told that they would conduct masses for weeks before empty pews or inviting congregants to join them on YouTube as they were being recorded and streamed live into the homes of the faithful. Many of the faithful were in a limbo not knowing how long restrictions and Church closures would last. The accelerated digitization and extensive use of social media channels for online broadcasted Masses, prayer sessions, Eucharistic adorations, virtual community gatherings and other day-to-day online interactions helped give hope and sustain their faith needs while keeping them connected at a time most needed. Here we are, two years on. Even as things gradually ease and begin to resume, we are at a crossroads of what the right balance should now be between ‘onsite faith engagement’ vs ‘online’. We cannot pretend that the last two years did not happen and we cannot ignore the evolution of connectivity and heightened familiarity and dependence that many now have with virtual faith routines. We have a choice – we can either view the new way of doing things as an obstacle/threat or see it as an added advantage where we recognize potential risk (finding ways to mitigate them) while maximizing the tremendous opportunity the ‘online realm’ offers for staying closely connected to inspire and nurture faith.   

Caution – the Double-Edged Sword

In no uncertain terms, can we dismiss the perils of the digital world and its impact on our faith experience and Godly encounters even while the benefits seem clear. Advanced communication, in all its various forms can be a double-edged sword. It can be used for great good or great harm. As people of God, we have the critical responsibility to promote its positive use. 24/7 connectivity allows for all our actions to be fully visible. Our Christian witnessing can be greatly compromised by our online actions. Our activity (whether online of or offline) should be regulated by the primary purpose of being witnesses to the Good news. We must not allow for it to be reduced in value and measured by the wrong metrics where “shares, likes and numbers of views” dominate or to draw people in simply for an adrenaline rush of producing or being a part of something that goes viral. With every online interaction -whether as clergy, lay minister, or member of ministry – take a pause and ask ‘Whose glory am I seeking- the Lord’s glory or mine? As followers of Jesus, the question about what we as Church and ministry do on these digital platforms and social media channels must always be about the message we are proclaiming, the people with whom we are connecting and never about who we are becoming. The mission of Christ must reign central so all who engage come away informed, inspired and equipped to be God’s redeemed people sent into mission. Therefore, we must at all times be on guard – Be wise. Be gracious. Be kind – Be Christ-like!

While 24/7 connectivity expands reach and accessibility at a compounded rate, we cannot lose sight of members of the faith community who may not have equal access to digital platforms. Inevitably digital and social media strategies exclude majority of the poor segments of the congregation – those who are not able to afford the internet, data packages and sophisticated electronic devices. Church in leveraging the use of technology, must keep in view how it would continue with its mission and ministry reach among the poor and other segments of the faith population who have limited or no access to the online world including the elderly, migrants and different language groups (non-main stream). In the deployment of digital strategies – options for segments who might be excluded must be seriously considered. Pursuing digital strategies in expanding the mission of Jesus while important, must remain ‘present’ and accessible for all so as to not have any one group omitted or left in a lurch nor should it in anyway widen gaps between the rich and poor.

Digital Discipleship Is Possible: Supplement not Substitute

The onset of the pandemic – while a stretching time for the church – led it to quickly implement new technologies and embrace unique ways of ministry. It reminds us that faith could thrive in what seemed like a pro-longed season of darkness. Today, thanks to new technologies, clergy and parishioners have unprecedented access to each other no matter when and where in the world they are. That’s an incredible gift of this era. Faith engagement through digital platforms the likes of Zoom, Google Meet and Social Media, including Facebook, Telegram, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and other faith-based apps must be viewed as COMPLEMENTS rather than REPLACEMENTS, SUPPLEMENTS and not SUBSTITUTES for traditional kinds of ‘onsite’ religious participation. While online platforms and social media are engaging and exciting, the value of face-to-face ministry and the power of relationships should never be forgotten. Virtual engagement can never replace fellowship that is much needed and formed around warm exchanges at the church foyer, casual chats outside Sunday classrooms, carpark conversations, small group meetings and personal connections that only physical in-person gatherings can forge and sustain.  Digitisation and social media is fundamentally changing how people communicate and as Church, we cannot ignore its powerful means of evangelization. However, it is critically important to remember the significant value of other forms of communication to share the gospel of Jesus. Underlying all that rapid change and advancement, we must never lose sight of the ONLY one constant that remains – our God. Methods Change, the Message and Mission for Christ Does Not!

Resumption of Physical Gatherings in Church / BEC

In line with the public health protocols under the endemic period, the Parish Pastoral Council has recommended that physical gatherings, meetings and activities be allowed to resume on the Church premises and within the BECs.

As there remains a public health risk, especially for the most vulnerable, we have issued two sets of SOPs to ensure that we can minimise the risk of transmission and infections at all our gatherings.

All ministries and BECs are hereby allowed to resume physical gatherings from the 1/6/2022, while strictly observing the SOPs.

Please refer to the SOPs below:

SOP for In-Person BEC Home Gathering

SOP for In-Person meetings, gatherings and events in Church

Reopening of the Adoration Chapel

The Adoration Chapel will be reopened for personal prayer and adoration from 23rd May 2022. The opening hours for the Adoration Chapel will be from 8.00am to 10.00pm.

Please refer and adhere to the SOP for the usage of Adoration Room (pdf) given.

Easter Pastoral Letter

Dear friends in Christ,

Alleluia! The Lord is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Our fasting is ended, our feasting begins. After 40 days of fasting and penance, the Church now commands us to cast aside our mourning veil and penitential attire and assume the festal garment of rebirth. But Easter does not erase the memory of Good Friday.

For many of us, the past two years have felt like an extended Good Friday. But after the long “dark night” of this painful and confusing experience, we now begin to see the bright rays of hope of Easter. The message of Easter is clear: there is victory after defeat, reunion after separation, rejoicing after mourning and life after death.

The Church had already opened her doors since last November after months of shutdown and suspension of the sacraments. But yet, we noticed that many continue to observe a stay-at-home policy for a variety of reasons; some due to medical reasons, others have grown used to online Masses and others have experienced a cooling of fervour and waning of their faith.

As our country has transitioned into the endemic phase, we the priests would also like to make this appeal to all of you, “it’s time to COME HOME!”

For the past two years, certain words and phrases have been bandied around by the authorities and experts and these have become part of our daily vocabulary. But it is important that we do not allow the use of these new terms and concepts to reshape the fundamental tenets of our Catholic faith to the point of being made into new dogmas of faith.

We hope that this clarification will help you to have a better understanding in order to come to a decision to return to Church.

1.0 Normal vs abnormal

We have been told that we would need to adapt to a “new normal”. However, this must never be interpreted as normalising what is inherently abnormal. It is never normal to permanently stay away from the church and to deny ourselves of the sacraments. It is not normal for us to experience the sacraments off-site through live streaming. It is not normal for us to turn our backs on community life purely in the name of social distancing. As much as we should be prudent to take necessary measures for the sake of public health, Catholics should resist the tendency to normalise the abnormal. It’s time to COME HOME and coming home to church is NORMAL!

2.0 Essential vs Non-essential

One of the unintended consequences of the initial public health measures was to lump public worship together with non-essential services. It’s good to ask the question, “when did religion ever become non-essential?” On the contrary, religion is the most essential service. As our Lord reminds us in his answer to the tempter, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). It’s time to COME HOME to what is essential.

3.0 Safety vs Salvation

For the past two years, we have adopted many extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of our members. But again, we must never confuse the priority of eternal life over merely preserving a healthy life. Our ultimate goal in life is our salvation, to participate in the eternal life won for us by our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and made manifest at Easter. As much as it is prudent and also a moral obligation to care for the health of every individual and to avoid endangering the lives of others, we must never forget the purpose of our lives is not just to avoid sickness and death, but rather to gain eternal life. So, it’s time to COME HOME for the sake of your soul’s salvation!

During this season of Easter, the daily first readings at Mass are taken from the Acts of the Apostles. Acts describe a nascent church, an early Christian community, living in a strange, hostile and dangerous environment. And yet, the story of Acts is not a story of a cowardly and frightened community concerned solely for their own safety but rather one of victory and vibrancy in the face of incredible obstacles, opposition and persecution. Their experience can be a model for us too.

My dear friends, we understand that many of you have grown fearful, many have become despondent about the uncertainties of the future, and some of you who are tempted to give up praying and hoping. But the God who has proven His love for us by dying and rising for us, calls us out of our spiritual tombs today—the tombs of our doubts, the tombs of fear, the tombs of despair, the tombs of the complacency that has settled for mediocrity, the tombs of low expectations for ourselves and for God’s loving power in our lives.

If you have been away from church, it’s time to COME HOME. The Church is your HOME. It is here, and no where else, where you will hear the voice of the Heavenly Father echoed in the voice of the Prodigal Son’s father, when he embraced his long lost son and welcomed him home with these words: “we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:23-24).

Wishing you a blessed Easter! Alleluia! The Lord is Risen! He is risen indeed!

Yours faithfully in Christ,

Fr Michael Chua, Fr Philip Chua, Fr Bonaventure Rayappan and Bro Jonathan Rao
Easter Sunday 17th April 2022
#HFKCOMEHOME

This Pastoral Letter is available in all 4 languages:

English

Bahasa

Mandarin

Tamil

HFK Holy Week Mass Schedule 2022

Holy Week is here!

The most sacred week in the liturgical calendar is the culmination of the 40-day Lenten period. As we the faithful prepare to celebrate the solemn mysteries of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection, here is the schedule for the liturgical ceremonies (for all language groups) at Church of the Holy Family, Kajang.

Do mark your calendars and no pre-registration is required.

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