Wednesday, July 28, 2010

St Anthony Church at Carey Island, Selangor


Last June, 20th to be exact, my beloved John and I followed a one-day pilgrimage tour, organized by George Yeow, to Carey Island to attend the Feast of St Anthony of Padua who is the patron saint for lost causes and lost items. It was celebrated with a Sunday Mass and Benediction at the St. Anthony Church by Rev. Fr. VA. Michael, who's also the Parish Priest of the Church of Our Lady of Fatima in Banting.

St. Anthony Church in Carey Island, with several tents erected to accommodate the large crowd

Though the Eucharistic Mass commenced at 10.30 am, we left home before 7 am to meet up with 2 busloads of pilgrims who had to be picked up at various points in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Journey from KL to Carey Island took about 2 hours. Perfectly timed as we arrived at the Church 15 minutes ahead of time.

It was our first visit not only to this quaint-looking Church but also to this lovely Carey Island in Selangor that is covered with vast hectares of Sime Darby's palm oil plantations and linked to the mainland by a bridge. A popular destination for seafood lovers!

River separating Carey Island from mainland on left, and oil palm plantation on right

The Church is quite small...probably that's why it was referred as Chapel of St Anthony previously and able to accommodate about 50 parishioners comfortably.

 Inside St. Anthony's Church. The pews were taken outside for the Feast Day celebration of the Holy Eucharist

Exterior of St Anthony's Church and its compound

Hence, for special days, such as Feast Day where a large turnout is expected, the Eucharistic Mass will be celebrated in its grounds with several tents erected. Head count that Feast Day could easily have been between 500-800 pilgrims and devotees.

Rev. Father VA. Michael celebrating Mass in the Church's compound

In his homily, in relevance to that day's gospel reading (Luke 9:18-24), the charismatic Fr. VA. Michael challenged all baptized Catholic present to ask himself/herself, "Who is Jesus, to me?" Further elaborated that unless we can accept Jesus as our own personal Savior and cultivate a deeper relationship with Him, our lives will remain as is and, our hearts and minds will remain closed too to transformation by His Holy Spirit for the fullness of life that He came to give. We need to ask this question frequently to grow in our spirituality.

Mass was followed by Benediction and Healing. Fr. Michael reminded the faithful that he's not the healer but Jesus is! Emphasized again that Christ is The Greatest Physician, The Specialist, The Healer, The Comforter, The Consoler and so forth, lest some forget! Asked us all to repeat after him all the titles he bestowed on Christ and place our hands on the areas that we want healing as he raised the Blessed Sacrament. Somehow, many will get emotional and teary during such healing sessions, including me, as our tears flowed unrestrained!

We stayed back for the fellowship where lunch was generously served.

A big thank you to Fr. Michael and his team for having welcomed us pilgrims from near and far, so graciously! Thanks too to George Yeow for arranging this lovely tour for just RM20 per person that included transport, a bun and a bottle of mineral water.

Home sweet home by about 5.15 in the evening - a wonderful Sunday, well-spent with the Lord Jesus and our brethren in Christ.

Address:
Chapel of St Anthony
52960 Carey Island
Selangor D.E.
Malaysia

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