The parish leaders of Church of St. Thomas, Kuantan together with Fr. George Packiasamy, our Parish Priest had been busy making preparations for the Triduum celebrations during the past week. This was in anticipation of the return of parishioners to the house of God as they had not been able to attend physically these important liturgical celebrations for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Not forgetting the aged and the home-bound, Fr. George had made pastoral visits to them prior to the Easter celebrations for their spiritual needs. The celebrations for the Triduum were multilingual except Way of the Cross which was conducted separately in English, Tamil and Mandarin.
A busload of 41 “Orang Asli” from Kuala Rompin were specially brought to Kuantan for the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Masses. During their stay the PIHDM looked after their needs such as food, pillows and mattresses. The parish priest promised to bring them again for the St. Thomas Feast Day in July this year. There were also about 30 Indonesian workers from the oil palm plantations who came for the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Mass and they put up a night in the church.
At the end of the Vigil Mass, Fr. George launched the new parish website (www.stthomskuantan.org). For the past two months the Social Media team has put in a lot of efforts to design and upload the necessary information into the website. The contents include historical records of the Parish, information on the parish leaders and the various Ministries, special announcements, events, spiritual insights and events which would be updated from time to time.
We have noticed many parishioners have returned and participated fully in the Masses during the Holy Week and Easter Triduum. The turnout was overwhelming but the Parish Action and Response Team (P.A.R.T.) had arranged the seating capacity according to S.O.P. guidelines to accommodate the expected crowds. We were blessed with fine weather which was a contributing factor to the good turnout. Among those who came were Maritime students, university and college students and Sabahans and Sarawakians from the Armed Forces . While many parishioners had been accustomed to attend online Masses for the last two years but now with the loosening of S.O.P. restrictions and gradual reopening of churches for public worship there is hope for a return to normalcy in the near future.