Fr Shinu Vithayathil, VC presiding over the Mass for anointing of the sick with concelebrants behind him (From right) Fr Michael Payyapilly, VC, Fr Nicholas Ng, Fr Francis Dakun and Fr Mark Bonchol, St Joseph’s Cathedral, Kuching,  Feb 28, 2024 (Photo: Stephanie Chua)

KUCHING — The Kuching Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (APC), in collaboration with St Joseph’s Cathedral, organised a “Mass for Anointing of the Sick” on the evening of Feb 28, 2024.

The Mass was presided by Fr Shinu Vithayathil, VC and concelebrated by Fr Dr Michael Payyapilly, VC and local priests Fr Nicholas Ng, Fr Mark Bonchol and Fr Francis Dakun. They were later joined by Fr Patrick Heng and Fr Eugene Maglasang who helped to anoint practically the whole congregation who queued for the anointing, not only those who were sick.

Vincentian priest Fr Shinu Vithayathil is the Director of Divine Retreat Centre, Goa, India, and Fr Michael Payyapilly who is also a Vincentian priest, is the Director of Divine Retreat Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka. 

In welcoming Fr Michael and his team, the rector of St Joseph’s Cathedral Fr Nicholas Ng said Kuching Archbishop Simon Poh’s invitation to come at this “special time of grace in this season of Lent” was for parishioners to “gain spiritual growth” and “experience the love of the Holy Spirit.”

Offer your prayers to the Lord

Fr Shinu, in quoting the Word of God: “Be still and know I am God”, told the congregation to offer their prayers to God. “Your sickness, your suffering, your sorrow, your family – offer to the Lord.”

“Are you aware that we have come before our God?” he asked. “Encounter Jesus who has answers to all our questions.” It is because “Jesus loves us that he plans our days,” but the question is, “Why is it that sometimes we have to suffer?”

In explaining that we have a God who is steadfast in his love, who loves us and accepts us the way we are… his unconditional acceptance, Fr Shinu said it is because God has something better for us. Our sufferings are the easiest and surest way to go to heaven. We are to believe that God is “touching you, healing you, delivering you.”

We are to thank the Lord for the healing which he is going to work in our lives because Jesus has already paid the price on Mount Calvary.

The Mass for anointing of the sick concluded with eucharistic adoration led by Fr Michael Payyapilly. – Today’s Catholic