They came, they saw, they witnessed… and many left telling the story of how the powerful presence of Jesus inspired and even moved them to tears. Indeed the Divine Mercy feast at the church of Divine Mercy in Sg. Ara (9th -15th April, 2012) was a spirit-filled experience for the many devotees who came from far and wide.
The week-long annual celebration, held for the second time at the 2-year old Church of Divine Mercy in Sg. Ara Penang, began immediately, the week following Easter Sunday celebrations.
This year, the Divine Mercy novenas began at the family-level on Monday and Tuesday while Bec-level novenas were held on Wednesday. Beginning Thursday, church-level celebrations commenced with daily novenas and masses in English, Tamil and Mandarin , peaking in a praise-filled Healing mass on Saturday and ending with the final 3pm novena to the Divine Mercy and mass on Sunday. In keeping with the diocesan thrust of “Evangelization through Liturgy”, the central theme of “Telling the story of Jesus”, was maintained for all masses.
Devotees from as far as Silibin Ipoh, mainland Penang and the many parishes within Penang Island came as one, to celebrate the feast. As one 67 year old –parishioner, Nancy Choong shared. “… my tears just kept flowing during the healing session and I felt touched by Father’s homily.”
The devotees, in excess of 800 individuals who filled the church and spilled over into the adjoining hall and church compound for the mass on Saturday evening took advantage of the special healing session that followed the mass. Prayer teams were on hand to minister and pray over those who came forward with personal prayer requests. Another parishioner, Julie Chen said: “I felt a very strong presence of God moving here… I saw many going forward to be prayed over and my friend said she felt very much at peace afterwards.” Young and old came without reserve and as teenager Erik Arthur Mitchell, 15, shared about his experience of being prayed over: “I felt a very warm feeling and a strength. I am looking forward to more healing masses.”
Before and after masses an air of festivity could be felt around the church grounds. Stalls showcasing religious articles and drink and food stalls were on offer to all visitors. Visitors and parishioners alike were treated to a complimentary rice and curry dinner after the Saturday sunset mass.
Organizing committee chairman, Daniel Kan noted: “This is our second time organizing the Feast of the Divine Mercy at the Church of Divine Mercy Sg. Ara and we happy to welcome pilgrims from Penang and even other states. We hope to make this annual event a prayerful and meaningful feast for all.”
25th April, 2012