PENANG: 162 CDM parishioners attended the annual parish assembly in the Church discussing past events and future plans for the continued development of the Church. The parish can proudly declare a successful attempt in 2016 with some outstanding milestones that were achieved, and that too as one family together. Being the year of Mercy, the session started off with several questions such as how has the Year of Mercy impacted you personally? “I became more aware of the corporate work in the church and also felt beautiful Mercy through the parishioners in the church” said one parishioner. Another commented, “Although I was late to church once due to heavy rain, I was so afraid to enter not knowing how members of the hospitality team would react to my lateness, but to my surprise, they were really warm and found a seat indeed for me.” Joanna from Zone L3 said, “Mercy can be spread in various ways even in the simplest form that can be so effortless.”
Elizabeth Simon shared her thoughts on how the Door of Mercy that was recently launched by our parish priest Fr. Martin Arlando has brought in various people from different backgrounds to conduct their respective Walk of Mercy. She also mentioned the great things that CDM was capable of doing, especially in spreading the Word of God and the Mercy of God. Rose Gasper from Zone L3 said that CDM has done a great job and has now become a role model in welcoming pilgrimages from elsewhere.
“Year of Mercy is an awakening for everyone, and I can proudly say it has been a successful one simply because it was a great achievement to get all the different ministries in the parish to work together and work wonders,” said Rodney Gomez, CDM Parish Pastoral Chairman. Rodney also boldly stated that the church has a long way to go in achieving greater heights and for that, the support from the parishioners is essential.
As for the BEC updates, chairman Mike Yong mentioned that there has been some positive improvements in terms of BEC members responding to various activities conducted throughout the whole year and has seen an increase in terms of participation from non-English speaking families. “The main goal is to get everyone together as a family representing your zones and perform good deeds. Some of the weaknesses mentioned were parishioners who fail to get involved in their own BEC zones but often were involved in activities conducted in other churches.” Fr. Martin Arlando urged everyone to represent your own respective zones when it comes to BEC. He urged everyone to be actively involved in BEC activities especially those in relation to the parish. He also suggested that BECs invite non-Catholics and those marginalized for their Christmas parties this year. He emphasized that his present home visits are to help resolve issues regarding those not married in Church and to listen to any concerns regarding the parish and family.
Roland Victor representing Ministries was impressed with the increased efficiency, creativity and bold attitude that were implied by all the ministries in carrying out their duties. Some of the new landscapes that will rise in 2017 will be youth-social awareness, Catholic education and migrants.
Where are we heading? What are our needs? These were some of the questions and suggestions by 21 parishioners present that were raised during the Question and Answer session. In his final comments, Fr Martin said, “We are a fairly, steadily growing parish that is currently hitting a high point with the various developments and succession that has been implemented within the Church. I am happy to say that so far, we have all been generous in what we do and the hospitality portrayed is definitely something to be proud of. The tremendous success is also a mirror from the dedication of each and every parishioner in undertaking personal responsibilities in contributing to the Church. We have now marked an even greater in-depth identity individually and as a family in performing our task to the Lord himself”. He also shared the direction of future parish yearly plans in relation to the Diocesan theme of Hope, where 2017 will be a year of Prayer, 2018 as Word of God and 2019 as Family. CDM being a Christian community centre, Fr. Martin expects to see communal effort on a larger scale in the upcoming years and also encourages everyone to pray for one another by posting prayer requests on a Wall of Prayer that will be set up in Church near the relics. He also stressed on the importance of daily family prayer time for the well-being of the family.
Fr Martin addressing the CDM Parish Assembly on 20th Nov in Church
As much as Fr. Martin is delighted with how far CDM has progressed successfully in the past few years, he personally urged all parishioners to keep up the good work in spreading the Word of God and also to spare solid time in serving the Lord himself. He also forwarded a personal request from all parishioners, “I would love to encourage all CDM parishioners to conduct a prayer with your family or if you are alone, do it alone at 8.05 pm everyday. A little time to spare for prayer is not much to ask for. God Bless.”
24th November, 2016