" I make some new friends." " It was wonderful. I was able to talk to friends. Normally, after mass I go straight home." " It was enjoyable. I was able to make some new friends." "It was good. I look forward to the next one."
These were some of the glowing comments by senior parishioners who attended the first Christmas High Tea for the elderly at the Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) in Penang. The event is organized by the Living Spring Ministry at the prompting of Fr Martin Arlando, the parish priest of CDM. Fr Martin had long sensed that there were parishioners who may be "missing out” in activities of the the church because of old age and failing health. This event provided an opportunity for parishioners to bring their elderly parents and relatives to enjoy the company of others whom they had not seen for some time. It’s primary objective was to enable the less mobile elderly and those who were home bound to socialize more with others of their age group. In doing so, a greater sense of awareness and understanding of the needs of the elderly within the community would be brought about. They will be given a chance to interact and contribute towards the building of greater love and care within the family.
A total of 130 people turned up for the event held on Saturday, 28th November, 2015. The Youth Ministry of CDM came out in force to provide jolly entertainment in line with the coming season of Advent with Christmas carols and action songs. This brought smiles and cheers from many of the elderly, even though some were a bit weary after that. The Single Adults Ministry (Choice) had earlier decorated Faustina Hall with colorful streamers and decorations. They even came forward to help serve the food to the elderly. Many commented that the food was good and the event was well organized. Some remarked that they had an awesome time and was looking forward to the next event.
To add to the occasion, Fr. Martin Arlando, gave each elderly parishioner an early Christmas present in the form of a souvenir pen. One person remarked that it was so nice that she wondered if she could buy another pen to give away to her friend. In view of the overwhelming response to this event, provisions will be made to provide a bigger space for such an event the next time around.