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ICC Note: In Malaysia, many gathered at the Church of St John Vianney to celebrate its 60th anniversary. Fr George Harrison gave a compelling speech encouraging the congregation to seek God, as well as be courageous and merciful to others. This small Catholic community is thriving despite the discrimination Christians face in Malaysia. In recent months, Islamic radicals have attempted to promote Sharia within Malaysia’s legal system but has met with push back from the predominately secular government. 

08/26/2016 Malaysia (Herald News): On August 6, the parishioners of the Church of St John Vianney celebrated its 60th anniversary.

Catholics from far and near joined St John Vianney Parish priest, Fr Peter Anthoney and his parishioners in the evening Mass, with Fr George Harrison from Seremban presiding. The main theme was Encountering Mercy; Encountering God. The subtheme on Aug 6 was Jesus — The Embodiment Of God’s Mercy

Fr George, in his welcoming remarks said, “Today this parish celebrates its 60 years and the feast of St John Vianney. We are pilgrims, people of God. Pray for strength and courage to continue to grow, be merciful and compassionate, as we emulate St John Vianney, to be closer to God.”

In his homily delivered in both English and Tamil, Fr George remarked, “We are happy. Happiness is a gift from God as we gather to pray at the Holy Door and partake in the parish feast day Mass to celebrate 60 years of faithful existence of this parish.”

“There are different kinds of Catholics — Sunday Catholics, feastday Catholics, Outstanding Catholics who love to stand, even when seats are available, and CEO (Christmas, Easter Only) Catholics. The one thing in common is that we go through the test of faith daily in life. Believe what God can do through your priests, call on your God and pray.

“Today, we come here to celebrate, remember and live the life of St John Vianney. St John Vianney became a hero in many ways. He knew he was a sinner, yet turrned to God. He went out to the fields and invited people to the Church, yet no one came. St John Vianney then started praying and celebrating the Eucharist. Many came back. He promoted the mercy of God and was sought in Confessions.”

Fr George emphasized that, “we need to celebrate the Eucharist daily, pray daily, and seek God. We might be discouraged. But God gave us saints like St John Vianney to give us courage. Today, we need to go to Confession and celebrate the Eucharist as we enter through the Holy Door. Fr George also reminded BECs to live, celebrate and remember. “Don’t be balcony Catholics — who stand on the verandah, who are careless and have no time for any Outreach or Rosary or BEC. Come back to the sacraments of the Church and send your children to Sunday school,” urged Fr George. Some also want to be sofa Catholics, he added. Jesus said this is not a Christian life and we should go out, be courageous and merciful to others.

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