Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel - 16th July, 2019

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was celebrated on 16th July 2019 at the Carmelite Monastery of Jesus, Mary and Joseph located on a hilly area in Kampung Pasir, Seremban. The 6.00pm mass attended by faithful both far and near was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Nicholas Hoh Jeng Kin, OCD. Seated among the congregation as it was announced at the end of the mass was the Ambassador of Belgium to Malaysia,
H.E. Mr. Pascal Gregoire, his first visit to the monastery. Also, in attendance was Bro. George from Tawau, Sabah who is in his formation studies of becoming a Carmelite Priest. The Church of The Visitation’s Liturgy team headed by Mary Rajoo was presence to provide assistance and support.

Slide7“He who has God lacks nothing.” A famous quote by St. Teresa of Avila hangs on the wall behind the altar and noticeable to all as Fr. Nicholas celebrates mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Also seen are 3 altar servers from the Church of The Visitation, Seremban.

Slide2The Ambassador of Belgium to Malaysia (in black suit), H.E. Mr. Pascal Gregoire, his first visit to the monastery and seated on his right is Carmelo Ferlito.

Slide6A section of the congregation coming from far and near attending the annual Feast Of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Fr. Nicholas in his homily said, Israel was in intense drought due to the disobedience of the people of Israel towards God and they worshipped other gods. The long drought was only broken when Prophet Elijah ascended upon Mount Carmel and began to pray and waited for the signs of rain. There is an ancient tradition that been passed on from one generation of Carmelite friars to another, that when the Prophet Elijah saw the little cloud rising from the ocean, he saw a vision of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary was chosen for a particular mission to become a special instrument of God’s grace and mercy. The image of rain coming onto a land already parched and dried, symbolizes Mary after saying yes to God, bore Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Scripturally speaking he said, our spiritual drought ended with the coming of Christ who offers blessings, graces, mercy and love which flows abundantly upon this world. Fr. Nicholas said, we are here to honour Mother Mary, to contemplate on her life, her faithfulness, her examples and her fidelity to God. He asked the faithful to look up to Mary, to follow in her footsteps as she points the way to Jesus Christ.

At the end of the mass, Fr. Nicholas invited Carmelo Ferlito, an expatriate from Italy who has been in Malaysia for the past 8 years to say a few words. Carmelo was educated in a Carmelite school in his hometown, Verona and used to attend masses and went for confession in a Carmelite monastery. Upon diagnosed with cancer of the colon and liver in 2016 and learning of the Carmelite monastery in Seremban, he decided to come here with his friend Nick, a Buddhist and pray. After a relapse in 2018, the urge to come to the monastery became stronger. Carmelo and with some of his friends will come every month to the monastery to pray for physical and spiritual healing.

After mass, the enthronement of the Brown scapular for those who have not yet enthroned was conducted by Fr. Nicholas. The rest of the congregation joined in a fellowship. Elsewhere at the parlour, the faithful had the once a year time opportunity to meet the Carmelite sisters recognizable in their brown and white habits who otherwise embraces a contemplative life of individual and communal prayer, penance, spiritual reading throughout the year. There were scenes of joy and delight on seeing these sisters who are currently seven (7) of them as they exchanged greetings. The faithful handed their petitions and mass offerings to the Sisters and seen talking to them.

Slide12Enthronement of the Brown scapular for those who have not yet enthroned was conducted by Fr. Nicholas after mass ended.

Slide8Thumbs up! One for the album as H.E. Mr. Pascal Gregoire posed for a photo after the mass.
3 in 1Bro George from Tawau, Sabah speaking to Carmelo and with a member of the congregation after the mass. Photo on the right shows Carmelo saying a few words when being invited by Fr. Nicholas whom he is known to. 
Slide10Some of the congregation at the fellowship after the mass - meeting up with friends and relatives.

As the Carmelite sisters pray for us, for the world and we pray for them too, let us contemplate and ponder on these words of St. Teresa of Avila who said, “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things pass away; God never changes. Patience endurance obtains all things. He who has God, lacks nothing. God alone suffices.”