Dear Friends in Christ,

We, the people of Kapit Parish, journey together as a community of disciples, nourished by the Eucharist, enlightened by the Word of God to bear witness to Christ in our parish activities.

Time to open up

For the past two years COVID-19 has caused big challenges. So it’s been wonderful to be able to open up the Church again and return to a full parish life. As you’ll see from the photos, we’ve had baptisms and weddings in the Church, as well as celebrating Mass in the longhouses. This has brought me such joy, being able to share the Good News of the Gospels with the Parish community, and to fully welcome people into God’s house after such a long time.  And this year, the Easter celebration will be like before the pandemic.

A blessing on a family in their house

Because I came to Kapit Parish in August 2019, I’ve never had the chance to celebrate Holy week and Easter with the people here. This year I am very happy and excited to celebrate with my Parishioners here in Kapit.

 Fr Mathews and I, visiting our friends from the Longhouses
A wedding blessing in the Church

We’ll be holding a Chrism Mass in our Diocese of Sibu on 6 April in the Cathedral. I am so happy and excited to witness it – my first time in the Cathedral! During the Chrism Mass, all the clergy of the Diocese will be renewing the vows we took at our Priestly Ordination before the Bishop. We’ll commit ourselves, once again, to be faithful in our calling to the Priesthood and to be good shepherds to the people of God entrusted to us in the Parish. People from all the Parishes are also welcomed to witness this beautiful event in the Cathedral.

A packed Holy Week Schedule

You might remember our Church cleaning programme, Gotong Royong, at Christmas? That will happen again on 9 April, in time for our Palm Sunday Mass the next morning. We’ll have a procession with the palm leaves, which are blessed at the amphitheatre (an open place where everyone can gather for the blessing). From there we’ll process to the Church to continue the Mass.

Our Holy Week Penitential Service is on 12 April and then we have a full schedule of confessions until the evening of the next day. We schedule timings for confessions, because Priests from nearby parishes will come and help us to listen confessions over these two days. This is the time all the Parishioners will partake in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

On Holy Thursday we have Mass at 7:30pm, during Mass the washing of the feet will take place. After the Mass we will transfer the Blessed Sacrament to the Parish house with Procession and continue with Adoration until midnight. Then, on Good Friday we’ll have Stations of the Cross at 9am. We hope the Parish youth will be re-enacting the Stations of the Cross. Of course, we’ll then have Good Friday service at 3pm.

New beginnings in our Parish

The Easter Vigil Mass should be wonderful this year. We’ll be having a candlelit procession from amphitheatre down to the Church. And during the Mass many people will be receiving the Sacrament of Baptism including children and adults. A huge cause for celebration!

And again during the Easter Sunday Mass, some children will be receiving First Holy Communion.

As you can imagine, we are looking forward with huge joy and anticipation for the celebration of Holy Week and Easter, after two years away from our Church life. I imagine this is the same for many of you in England and Wales, who have experienced similar restrictions throughout the pandemic and will have been missing your Church family.

May this Easter – the Resurrection of Christ – bring us back to true life with Christ because Christ is our hope and life. May He bring us more peace and happiness in this year.

‘This day was made by the Lord; we rejoice and are glad.’ Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

I wish you all Happy Easter. Peace be with you all!

Fr Michael MHM