2020 Christmas & New year Pastoral Letter

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

We are now in the season of Advent and are called to prepare well so as to receive Jesus Christ on Christmas Day. For this year, the celebration may not be the same as in the past years due to the pandemic that has impacted the whole world. As such, adhering to the guidelines from the government is crucial to ensure meaningful celebration albeit simple.

  1. Carolling – the carolling activities from house to house shall be suspended. I would like to exhort our faithful to strictly follow this directive. However, each household is strongly encouraged to conduct their own carolling preferably to be led by the head of the household. The Order and Guidelines shall be provided to each household.
  2. Christmas Holy Masses – Due to the physical distancing rule, the Cathedral can only accommodate 700 faithful at any one time. Therefore, there shall be more Holy Masses on the said days. There shall also be Holy Masses in the Chapels such as St. James, St. Dominic, St. Joseph, etc. The schedule shall be released later.
  3. BECs – The Basic Ecclesial Communities are essential for the growth of the parish. Please enrol your family in BEC available at your residential area. The latest list of BECs under our parish shall be released next year.
  4. Census – The Parish shall carry out Census to acquire better knowledge as well as to provide better pastoral care to all the faithful. Please do give your cooperation by filling the census form that will be distributed later.
  5. Sarawak Pay – The faithful can now have the option to give contributions to the Church via Sarawak Pay. Two QR codes shall be displayed i.e. “SHC 1” for First Collection and “SHC 2” for Second Collection during the Mass. Another QR Code i.e. “SHC DONATION” is meant for Donations and Monthly Contributions.
  6. Prayer Card – From January 2021 onwards, our parish shall pray for all the priests in the Diocese. The prayer shall be recited before Holy Masses on Sundays. Each faithful will also be encouraged to pray for a priest assigned to him/her daily for a period of one year.
  7. Christmas Gift to the Church – As carolling is not possible this year, I would like to encourage all especially those who are working, to give individual contribution to the Church. Envelopes will be distributed after Holy Masses and also through BECs, Longhouses, various Movements and Groups.
  8. Sibu Jaya Catholic Community – the term of the current Pastoral Leadership Team shall be extended till early 2022. Please continue to work together for the glory of God.

Give thanks to the Lord for his great love is without end! (Ps. 118:1)

On behalf of the Bishop of Sibu, Rt. Rev. Joseph Hii,
I wish you all a very blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021!

Yours Fraternally,
Rev.Fr.Philip Hu