Group photo of pilgrimage participants in one of the churches after Holy Mass

By Joseph Then

Nov 28 2023

SERIAN — A total of 31 members from the Catholic Senior Citizens’ Fellowship (CSCF) of St Theresa’s Parish successfully organised a pilgrimage tour to the central region of Sarawak from Oct 9–14, 2023.

The trip was planned for about a month with the Chairman of CSCF, Alphonsus Naming responsible for the group formation and pilgrimage arrangements while Collin Mark and Jo Jo Lee from Ming Ming Travel Services Sdn Bhd, Serian were responsible for the transportation, itinerary, guide, accommodations, meals and visits to the places of interest.

Spiritual Director of CSCF, Fr Raj was invited to guide the tour spiritually with prayers and celebrating Holy Masses at the respective churches, which included Holy Family Church, Betong on Oct 10; St Francis Xavier’s Church, Kanowit on Oct 11; St Herbert’s Church, Song on Oct 12; Mary Immaculate Conception’s Church, Kapit on Oct 13 and St Anthony’s Church, Sarikei on Oct 14.

Chairman Alphonsus had a well-arranged plan during the pilgrimage to assign different roles to the participants, such as leading Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy recitations among others. For the Masses, commentators, readers and ‘love gift’ presenters were also assigned.

After Holy Mass at the respective churches, the team visited various places of interest:

In Betong – the church gallery, the Betong Market, Tugu Getah, Rose World Old Betong Town, Muzium Warisan Four Square.

In Kanowit – the making of Gua, Fort Emma, Water Front, Chinese Temple and Market.

In Song – the Song Water Front, Tugu Pahalawan and Song Express Terminal.

In Kapit – the Kapit Town Square, Kapit Water Front, Express Terminal, Fort Sivia, Market Teresang, Kapit Museum and Waterlily Pond.

In Sarikei – the old and the new townships. 

Fr James Ting of St Anthony’s Church, Sarikei introduced the places of interest at the church compound especially the church logo and the miracle events of the grotto of Mother Mary which attracted many people to pray for their own intentions. Fr Ting emphasised that “everyone must give donations to develop the church which is the property of our generation after generation. It does not belong to any priest as priests very often come in and go out.”

The team was so impressed by the big, marvellous and beautiful churches visited and the rapid developments of the places around linked with good roads, housing estates and buildings. Some retired members of the group used to travel to these places on official duties and felt emotional, especially when remembering the narrow town roads aligned with heavy traffic.

The members felt that through this pilgrimage, it has strengthened the religious love and care, unity, happiness, togetherness and co-operation among its CSCF members. – Today’s Catholic