Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pilgrimage to Church of St. Paul the Apostle

Last Saturday, 20 June 2009, my beloved spouse John and I went on a day pilgrimage to the Church of St. Paul the Apostle at Kuala Kubu Baru, Ulu Selangor with almost 90 other pilgrims, mostly from our parish, Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The pilgrimage was organized to celebrate the year dedicated to St. Paul (Pauline Year) as proclaimed by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI and in order to gain the plenary indulgence. Our Spiritual Director was none other than our beloved Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Valentine Gompok.

Hehe, John and I were like happy kids, a little too excited that we didn't sleep too well and got up before 6 am to prepare ourselves for the pilgrimage. Left home at 7.10 and arrived at SFA Church very much ahead of the departure time. :-D

Just before departing to KKB at 8.10 am, we had the rite at the beginning of the pilgrimage at our church's ground. Then, each pilgrim was given a bottle of mineral water and a pack of egg sandwiches and banana cake as breakfast before boarding the air-conditioned bus.

We reached St. Paul's Church about 9.40 as envisaged and was welcomed by the PPC Chairperson, Mr. Colin Teh and his spouse, Dolly as there was no residing Parish Priest currently. A very meaningful Mass was celebrated from 10 am. with Fr. Valentine as the celebrant (thank you, Father!), ending almost one and a half hours later. After some photo sessions and signing of the pilgrimage book, we walked to Kuala Kubu Baru town nearby for lunch, led by Colin and Dolly.

Lunch for us and our retiree friends was simple: just Teochew porridge/rice with the traditional accompaniment (egg, salted vege, tow foo, pork and fish). Cost only RM42 for 7 persons that included an unknown Indian pilgrim, who preferred Chinese food. We decided to treat the latter and shared the cost among 6 of us.

Returned to St. Paul after lunch. More photo-shoot and cake-cutting by all the fathers present, celebrating Father's Day, a day earlier. Cake was graciously donated by Julie, one of the pilgrims.

Before leaving the Church of St. Paul the Apostle at 2 pm, we concluded with the rite at the end of the pilgrimage.

Arrived home safely about 3.40 pm. Praise and thank the Lord!

We thoroughly enjoyed this wonderfully joyful and enriching pilgrimage. A big thank-you to George Yeow, who did a great job in organizing this pilgrimage - prayerful and meditative yet not too heavy! And, it costs only RM15/pax with packed breakfast and transport included. Throw in a few more ringgit for lunch and you have a wonderful half a day pilgrimage, a real spiritual treat! Impossible to believe, huh?

Sharing below some pictures taken in and around the church that was established in 1965, located along Jalan Rasathurai in the town centre of Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor (Tel: 03-60641467). A simple Catholic Church with a life-size sculpture of St. Paul inside and outside, a well-maintained church grounds with a lovely Blessed Mary Grotto and beautiful garden trees or shrubs like Solanum macranthum (Giant Potato Tree) and vines such as Passiflora coccinea (Red granadilla), Thunbergia laurifolia, and Quisqualis indica (Rangoon Creeper).

Front view of the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, at Kuala Kubu Baru, Ulu Selangor, Selangor Side view of the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, at Kuala Kubu Baru, Ulu Selangor, Selangor

Some pilgrims inside the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, at Kuala Kubu Baru, Ulu Selangor, Selangor Group photo of our BEC MARS members, inside the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, at Kuala Kubu Baru, Ulu Selangor, Selangor

A group photo of all the fathers present including Fr. Valentine, our parish priest Grotto of Blessed Virgin Mary adorned by the lovely vine, Thunbergia laurifolia

Passiflora coccinea (Red granadilla) Solanum macranthum (Giant Potato Tree)

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