PIHD - Kasih Kristus Holy Doors Pilgrimage Trip

Holy Doors pilgrimage for Senior Citizens of Kristus Aman 

Picture1In the first of 3 planned pilgrimages through the Holy Doors of Mercy for 2016 at designated churches throughout Malaysia, ‘Kasih Kristus’, the Pastoral Care arm of the PIHD @ Kristus Aman Chapel with the rest of the PIHD core team members, kicked start the “Year of Mercy” for its senior parishioners on 1 February 2016.

The day dawned bright and sunny as 136 mostly senior parishioners (one in wheelchair) sedately and patiently filled up 3 coaches and 2 cars early in the morning, and pushed forth to the Holy Doors churches of St John Vianney in Tampin and St Peter’s Church in Malacca, a historical church built more than 300 years ago. Our Parish Administrator Fr. Michael Chua who accompanied and led the pilgrims, said a prayer with us and blessed the travellers before boarding.

Picture 2Before walking through the Holy Door at St John Vianney, Fr. Michael reminded us to cast away all unforgiveness, to let go of misgivings, and to let God’s mercy flow forth. He gave us a brief background on the personality of St. John Vianney and his life, and how he became an example of God’s grace and mercy. Fr. Michael then celebrated mass with us. He related the Readings at the mass taken from 2 Samuel 15:13~14, 30; 16:5~13 for the First Reading, and from Mark 5: 1~20 for the Gospel to tolerance and mercy, and that the Church always invites its people to repentance, which leads to liberation.

Picture 3At St Peter’s Church in Malacca, we prayed and chanted the Divine Mercy chaplet. Fr. Michael brought our attention to the unique architecture of the Church and gave insight into the differences between Baroque and Gothic architectures which were reflected in the building designs of the churches in Malacca - St Peter and St Francis.

Music at both the Holy Doors churches in Tampin and Malacca, was provided by the father and son team – Alex and Julian Loo. 

In the late evening, as a “bonus” stop, the group paid a quick visit to St. Aloysius Church in Mantin for prayers. Fr. Dionysius Mathew, Parish Priest gave us a brief history of the work of the Carmelite nuns who had lived in their former monastery near the Church from 1982 - 2007.  

At all the stops, we were warmly welcomed by the Parish Priests and some parishioners of the respective Churches, and treated to snacks and refreshments.

Fr. Michael divided his time between the 3 coaches so that he could explain and give credence to what we were being exposed to, during the pilgrimage. The pilgrims were appreciative of the great effort put into the organisation of the trip and the fact that Fr. Michael had taken care to lead us in the pilgrim journey, and making us conscious of the meaning of what we were doing during the various stages of the journey. 

Picture4He likened the trip to our own personal journey in life which had a beginning, and a goal. The Holy Doors are the arrival of our journey, where we should be ready and be committed to give up our issues and problems in our lives to God, to open the doors of our hearts to let Christ enter, to move on, and to go towards others and bring Christ and his love to others. It was like the arrival at the Pearly Gates of Heaven, and at which time we would have to be already prepared to meet God and to let Him take over. 

With this journey in mind, the Holy Father declared 2016 as the “Year of Mercy” whereby through the act of going through the Holy Doors in the designated churches, one can obtain indulgence that the Church gives to its flock, to shed its sins and to get back to the right path.

Some comments from pilgrims:

  • I experienced great fellowship, spiritual blessings and got to know many parishioners by name, otherwise recognizable only by faces. … It really made me so proud of my Catholic faith and roots. I was happy to leave all my "baggage" behind as I passed through the door to a new and renewed life and faith in The Lord. … 3 bus loads of disciplined, peaceful, happy seniors who came back on time to our buses after each stop for lunch, dinner and toilet breaks. Nobody got lost or was late. Group Photo was quick with every one getting into position within seconds ..... incredible for 136 people.
  • I would like to thank the organisers of the pilgrimage. The food was good and we were able to bond with many many parishioners of Kristus Aman. Looking forward to many more. 
  • I was blessed enough to experience this pilgrimage with all my friends from my church, led by our Shepherd. (Thank you Father Michael Chua). …. It is such a privilege to visit 3 churches (2 with Holy Doors of Mercy) and a former monastery in one day, and fellowship with good food (& some jokes!) thrown in. ….. 
  • We had a very fulfilling day…..
  • We were so blessed to have Fr. Michael to lead our pilgrimage. I want to thank you for all your sacrifices in becoming a Priest ……. Thanks for all your teaching which has helped me to understand, appreciate & practice my faith better. May God bless you abundantly always & provide for your needs.
  • … St. John Vianney…. Lovely breeze blowing. Beautiful mass by Fr. Michael. Warm & helpful parishioners & a delightful brunch awaited us. The love of God enveloping us!!


Article written by: Lena Khaw. Photographs by: Michael Chua

Photos of the Holy Doors Pilgrimage on 1st February 2016 are available for viewing over the internet at: https://goo.gl/photos/jBF9yBUsyDf92QuY9

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