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The Christmas and holiday seasons have ended with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which was celebrated on Monday, 9 January 2023. We also celebrated the New Year with expectations and hopes for a brighter year ahead. We now move forward towards Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Year, until the Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time (19 February 2023) after which we enter the Season of Lent.

This weekend and the next, we have two upcoming important cultural celebrations – Ponggal (harvest festival) and Chinese Lunar Year. Both the Tamil and Chinese Apostolates are busy preparing for these events. The Church will also be celebrating Sunday of the Word of God (22 January) with the theme – “Synodality and the Word of God” and, the following Sunday (29 January) we will be having our Parish Pastoral Assembly 2023, with Archbishop Julian Leow, in attendance. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will commence from Wednesday, 18 January, until the following Wednesday, 25 January 2023. It is 8-days of prayer, inviting the Church to join other Christians around the world in promoting Christian unity as we endeavour to “do good and seek justice” (Is 1:17) together.

Our Parish has invited a Pilgrimage Choir from the Church of Holy Trinity, Hshin Chu in Taiwan. This choir is led by Rev Fr Chin Sin Wee, OCD. This will be their third visit to Malaysia and this time, they have expressed interest in performing here in the East Coast. They will sing alongside our Parish choir for the Chinese New Year celebration and will join us for the Chinese New Year fellowship on Wednesday, 1 February.

Apart from that, we are also in the midst of preparing for the Parish Lenten Retreat 2023 which will be led by Rev Fr. Michael Payyapilly and Rev Fr Joseph Kannampally from the Divine Retreat Center in Sri Lanka. We are expecting at least 400 participants for this retreat. All are welcome!

Our Parish Catechetical Ministry has already requested parents to register their children for Catechism, as classes will resume soon. Registration must be done online. We will officially begin Catechism classes for 2023 with a spiritual orientation for catechism students and their parents on Sunday, 12 February 2022. Pope Francis, in his prayer intention for the month of January 2023, focuses on Educators and proposes to add new content “Fraternity” to their teachings. Hence, all educators – parents, teachers, catechists, clergy and religious – “not only impart their mental knowledge but also their convictions, their commitment to life” with gentle patience to those who are “youngest and vulnerable.”

We hope that all Parishioners take the opportunity in glorifying and praising God by getting involved in our Parish events, activities and celebrations. Let us follow Jesus wholeheartedly so that these first six weeks of Ordinary Time will be something great for everyone!

Our Parish leaders from various ministries have drafted their yearly plans and activities and presented them during the PPC and PCC meeting held last Saturday (7 January). There are many exciting events lined up for our Parish this year, and we hope to make it more engaging than in previous years. Let our every word, deed and action bring life to our Parish once again. We shall keep our spirits up with aspirations to strengthen our faith community.

May our loving Saint Thomas the Apostle and patron, pray for our community to grow spiritually.

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