30 June 2014
Nestled within the busy Penang Road, flanked by many hotels and popular eating places, stands the Catholic Pastoral Centre (CPC), which was officially opened on 7 June 2014.
The Catholic Pastoral Centre (CPC) housed the Penang Diocesan Pastoral Institute (PDPI), The Lighthouse (under POHD), La Salle Learning Centre, St Joseph’s Home and Catholic Information Centre.
Within the compound of CPC is the St Francis Xavier Church, which had been in existence for over a century. There is also the former parish house, which now, is the residence of Bishop Emeritus Antony Selvanayagam.
CPC was officially opened by Bishop Sebastian Francis with a short ceremony inside the PDPI formation hall which has been named after the late Pope John Paul II.
In his message during the ceremony, Bishop Sebastian stressed that everything, every places, every ministries in the compound of CPC must serve only two purposes, i.e. the Glory of God and Mission.
“What is mission?” he asked. “Simply to live and to share the Joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all who came here.”
“All programmes, formation, activities, dialogues, be it spiritual, theological, social, psychological, catechetical, liturgical, biblical – that takes place here must prepare us for mission – mission that is directed by the Holy Spirit in and for the world.”
Bishop Sebastian then informed that the open space next to the SFX church (formerly squatters’ village), will be converted into a ‘garden of peace’, a much needed green space, for relaxation and meditation, amidst the busy city area, which is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage enclave.
“CPC will also become a patron saints centre” Bishop Sebastian said, “as we already have St Francis Xavier (church) and St Joseph (home) and all the new rooms at CPC like the hall we are in now, and all dormitories are named after patron saints.”
“As we bless all the places here in CPC, let us cast out all that is not of God in Jesus Christ from this place. We also bless our neighbours and all those who comes here seeking formation, consultation, justice, nourishment.”
Bishop also mentioned that the following day, during the Eucharistic Celebration at the Cathedral, the Diocese will launch Live Online Penang Diocese (LOPD, where there will be live streaming of important events.
(Those who wish to view videos from LOPD please visit the link: https://www.youtube.com/user/LiveOnlinePenang)
After his message, he proceeded to the main entrance to unveil the plaque and then went around blessing the places, together with Msgr Bernard Paul.
The 100 odd people who came for the ceremony, then had the opportunity to visit and see for themselves all the places and facilities at the Penang Diocese’ Catholic Pastoral Centre, before adjourning for fellowship.
– By Lucia Lai
NOTE: All photos can be viewed at our photo gallery page.