World Day Of The Poor at Visitation Parish - 19th November, 2017

The 33rd Sunday in Ordinary time has been declared as World Day of The Poor by the Holy Father, Pope Francis. The first World Day of The Poor with the theme “Love not in Word but in Deed”, was celebrated on the 19th of November 2017 in Vatican.

In responding to the Pope's declaration and echoing his sentiments towards the poor, The Church of The Visitation, Seremban organised and hosted a luncheon for a group of special invited guests of all races, religion and language held on the church grounds on the same date. The Parish event was spearheaded by the Visitation Soup Kitchen (VSK) led by Stephen Dionisappu and assisted by Visitation’s PIHDM led by Patricia Lee.

These special guests numbering about 400 people of old and young were in the words of Pope Francis, “they are the ones who open to us the way to heaven; they are our passport to paradise”. The guests arrived at about 2.00 pm and were ushered to their seats by volunteers and helpers who made up of members of the Visitation Soup Kitchen, PIHDM, other ministries of the church and about 15 Youths who spent their Sunday afternoon with them.


Parish Priest, Rev. Fr .George Harrison in his speech said, “God bless a cheerful giver. The Church is always the church of the poor. Blessed are you when you have the poor with you”.


Assistant Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Andrew Kooi was also at the event. He said, “Good number of the poor especially the children and Orang Asal came. Helpers from all walks of life did a good job in serving and reaching out to the poor”.
Glen Sebastian one of the youth who helped said, “A beautiful gesture on the part of the church to feed the less fortunate. The year of mercy may have ended more than a year ago but the works of mercy never stops”. (Glen Sebastian and some 20 youths of Visitation runs the Street Feeding programme on last Friday of each month.)

The statue of Saint Teresa of Calcutta (canonized on 4th September, 2016), a figure associated among the poorest of the poor was placed outside of the side entrance of the Church. It is to imply though the Saint of the Gutters was also there “overseeing” the event as it unfolded. Her spirit of kindness, love and service has inspired the volunteers and helpers alike.

Before food were served, Fr. George went around blessing all the volunteers and helpers. The guests were then treated to a good lunch prepared by the VSK members. Volunteers and helpers were seen mingling with the guests and assisting them. 

To add on the smiles on the faces of the guests and to bring cheers especially to the children, clowns and some Disney cartoon character mascots were invited to entertain them. Balloons were also distributed to children. The clowns and the mascots has certainly caught the attention of Fr. George and some parishioners who took photo with them.


Towards the end of lunch, each guest was presented with a door gift. Youths were seen helping out to distribute the gifts. The event ended about 5.30 pm.


Christmas is around the corner. Many of us will be inviting relatives and friends to our house, having Christmas parties, singing Christmas carols and exchanging gifts. Are the poor in our BECs and neighbourhood among the invited guest on our list?  In the poor, Jesus knocks on the doors of our hearts, thirsting for our love…says Pope Francis.

Till the next World Day of The Poor in 2018, we ponder on the words of Pope Francis who spoke in Vatican to mark the 1st World Day of The Poor. Speaking to the crowd, he hoped “the poor would be at the centre of our communities not only at times like this, but always, because they are at the heart of the Gospel. In them, we encounter Jesus who speaks to us and calls us through their suffering and their needs”.

The Church of The Visitation Social Communication team extends its gratitude to the following persons who contributed photos of the events – Rev. Fr. Andrew Kooi, Jerome Selva Retnam, Christopher Krishnan, Patricia Lee and Glen Sebastian.