Last Sunday, the Parish Youth Ministry together with the Tamil Apostolate organised a Pongal Mass celebration attended by Archbishop Julian Leow together with our parish priest, Fr Stanislaus and 2 other visiting priests; Fr Edwin Peter and Fr Andrew Xavier to mark the occasion of the Tamil harvest festival. The Mass was animated by the Parish Youths from Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Chapel of Our Lady of Good Health which involved many aspects of Indian Culture and with the concept of ‘Laudato si’.
Before the mass, the Pongal rice with milk was boiled at the entrance of the church which was decorated with hanging ‘thoranam’, ‘kolam’, and sugar canes. AB Julian and other celebrant joined in together with the parishioners to witness the ceremony. Fr Stan celebrated the Eucharist. In the celebration, he emphasized the unity and the love for the community, and it’s a unique celebration as we thank and praise God for His continued blessings and His abounding love in all areas of our lives.
The Youths gifted a painted clay pot filled with Pongal rice and a plant to the celebrants. Parishioners attending the Pongal Mass were also treated with Pongal rice filled in the specially painted clay pot. The Youths have come up with this idea to reduce plastic usage and to care for the environment.
In a multicultural community such as ours, the Pongal celebration is also a means to unify the parish family as we come together to celebrate and to understand each other’s culture in a better way.