TOGETHERNESS IN SPITE OF DIFFERENCES


Our Family Day 2022 in conjunction with World Day of the Poor (WOP) was an exciting and memorable event for the Parish of St Thomas, Kuantan. It was held last Sunday, 13 November from 9:30 am onwards, at our church grounds. We began with a thanksgiving Mass, to remind us of the essence and importance of works of mercy towards the underprivileged and marginalised. Of course, the main intention of this event was fundraising towards flood relief during the monsoon season which is expected to occur soon and also to spend time with the underprivileged in our community.


We managed to bring people together from far distances - the Orang Asli from Kuala Rompin and Muadzam Shah, as well as the Indonesian plantation workers from Maran, by providing shuttle bus services to transport them. Whereas the local Kuantan dwellers were transported by our very own Parishioners, who have created a strong, healthy relationship with these families and have proven to have an enormous impact on their lives. As a Church, we hope to establish a positive relationship to provide assistance and service, whenever possible. Furthermore, the gathering is one of the best ways to remind us of the essence of family in our lives and to bring awareness of interacting with each other despite our differences.


This very special day was flavoured with a wide variety of food stalls, exciting games and other fun activities. Among the highlights of the day were the various performances such as line dance, traditional and cultural dances, singing, musical performances and lucky draws. Everyone participated in fun activities together and spent quality time with family and friends, new and old. It was a day of great celebration that not only got everyone exhausted, but thoroughly satisfied and happy too, and filled with the hope of having a similar get-together next year!


We are very grateful to God for providing us with wonderful weather that day! As we know, we are in the midst of pre-monsoon, but every one of us went down on our knees with hands stretched out towards heaven before God (cf. 1 Kings 8: 54) praying for pleasant weather and He certainly did not disappoint us! Everything went on smoothly, except for a slight drop of rain that for a moment threatened to dampen our celebrations for a while! For this, we praise and thank you, Lord.


I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the organising committee for their hard work and excellent coordination of the event and for making our Family Day 2022 a successful and memorable one. Thank you also to all the Parishioners of St Thomas, friends and benefactors who generously helped us make this event a success. We really couldn’t have done this without all of you!


A special thanks to all our invited guests - the Orang Asli, migrant and refugee communities, and those from within the Kuantan city area. Thank you for being with us on this special occasion. Your presence was highly appreciated and we hope that you enjoyed your time spent with the communities and Parishioners of St Thomas Church, Kuantan.


We had a fun-filled event and I am certainly looking forward to more events in our Parish in the future.