Visitation Church bid farewell to Parish Priest Rev Fr George Harrison - 31st December, 2019

The Church of The Visitation, Seremban, bid farewell to their Parish Priest, Rev Fr George Harrison on 31 December 2019 who had served in the parish for the last four and half years. It was announced in the Chancery Notice issued by the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur dated 27th December 2019, that Fr George had been appointed to serve the Dicastery for Promoting Human Development under the Roman Curia in the Vatican. In the same notice, it was announced that Assistant Parish Priest, Rev Fr Xavier Andrew has been appointed as the Parish Priest of the Church of Visitation and Carmelite Priest, Friar Kenneth Gopal OCD as Assistant Parish Priest respectively. Both appointments were to come into effective on 1st January 2020.


Rev Fr George Harrison was assigned to The Visitation parish in mid-2015 after having served in a similar capacity at The Church of The Holy Family, Kajang. During his tenure as Parish Priest in Visitation, Rev Fr. Lawrence Ng CDD, Rev Fr. Andrew Kooi and Rev Fr. Xavier Andrew have been Assistant Parish Priests. Rev. Fr Xavier was appointed as Assistant Parish Priest in Visitation Church on 1st July 2018, while Friar Fr Kenneth together with the then Deacon (now Friar Fr) Nicholas Ho and Bro. Dexter came to Seremban in November 2017.

On New Year’s Eve 2019, Rev. Fr George Harrison, presided at the 8.00 pm multi-lingual Mass. The Mass was concelebrated by Rev Fr Xavier, Friar Fr Kenneth and Fr Christopher Loh.  Joining the Rev. Fathers at the Mass was Seminarian Bro. Joseph Savage from the Malacca-Johor diocese. Fr Xavier read the Gospel text and Fr George gave his homily in 4 languages. In his homily, Fr George asked the congregation to recall the numerous blessings that they had received from God throughout the year 2019. The Church, he said was given this day, The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, who gave us Jesus. Fr George said, Jesus continues to bless us as we usher in the New Year 2020. Referring to the simple shepherds who saw baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas day, Fr George said that our lives too, must be simple, always be ready to listen, reflective and prayerful. As the Church also celebrates World Day of Peace, it is hoped that peace will be in our hearts, in our homes and in the World. He concluded his homily by urging all to be a blessing to one another.

At the end of the Mass, incoming Parish Priest, Fr Xavier Andrew called representatives from the Language Apostolates namely Ignatius Wong (Mandarin), Eruthayanathan (Tamil), John Maynard (English) and Albert Izuli (KUBM) to say a few words. July, an Orang Asal from Kampung Sebir presented a memento to Fr George.


Fr Xavier invited Friar Fr. Kenneth to say a few words on behalf of the Carmelites community in Seremban. Fr Xavier then said a few words of thanks and wished Fr George all the best in his new assignment in Vatican. Fr Xavier described Fr George as someone who is socially active, physically dynamic, spiritually discerning, pastorally giving and charismatic. It was Fr George’s turn to say a few words. He recalled visiting the Chapels in the estates and the Chapel of St. Augustine in Titi, Jelebu, celebrating masses and visiting homes of parishioner who became very close to his heart. He remembered vividly the first home visit he made to a gentleman in Titi.  Fr. George asked the congregation to keep him in prayer and to give their fullest support to Fr Xavier and Friar Fr Kenneth.


His Grace Archbishop Julian Leow was present briefly and said a few words. Noting that there were feelings of sadness around the Parish that evening, His Grace thanked Rev Fr George for saying yes and accepting the invitation to work in the Vatican. His Grace then wished Fr George all the very best. Fr Christopher and Fr Kenneth then presented gifts to Fr George. In a symbolic gesture of handing over his duties as Parish Priest, Fr George presented the Key to the Minangkabau style Tabernacle to Fr Xavier.  This received applause from the congregation. The key, Fr George said, represents Jesus Christ who is the Centre of everything.



The Mass was followed by a simple farewell fellowship, which was held in the Visitation Community Hall. There were some performances by groups and individuals. A song composed by the Orang Asal entitled “Sampai Jumpa Di Lain Hari” was sung in honour of Fr. George. Parishioners came forward with their families to wish Fr George and took photos with him. A cake cutting ceremony was held on the stage. Parishioners, John Davidson of the PIHDM and Bernadette Wong of Women’s Desk (Praise & Dance) on behalf of Visitation parishioners presented Fr George with a Love Offering and a best wishes message card respectively.  

DSC 0372
DSC 0448
Some parishioners stayed back in Church for a quiet moment in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. As the clock ticked past midnight, thus bidding farewell to 2019 and ushering in the dawn of the new year, 2020, to the sounds of firecrackers, which could be heard far away from the Church grounds but, the faithful remained silent in prayer.  With the Benediction of The Blessed Sacrament by Fr Xavier, the day’s celebrations came to an end at 12.30am.

Rev Fr George Harrison left for Rome on 3rd January 2020 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).  He was waved goodbye by a small group of Parishioners and well wishers.

IMG 20200105 WA0019

…. Heavenly Father, grant that our priests be strengthened and healed by the power of the Eucharist they celebrate. May the Word they proclaim give them courage and wisdom. We pray that all those whom they seek to serve, may see in them the love and care of Jesus, Our Eternal High Priest, who is Lord for ever and ever. Mary, Mother of the Church, look tenderly upon your sons, our priests. St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us all. Amen…. (St. Faustina’s Prayer for Priests)

For more photos click here :

Photos by Albert Anthony, Photo at Airport Courtesy of John Maynard, Editing by Lizzie Vincent.