The Church is Holy

A little vid which might cheer some of us up a bit, with some help from Gustav Holst. It did me, just a moment ago.

The church, of Our Lady of Lourdes, is that built in 1928 by French priests of the Paris Society of the Foreign Missions  (MEP fathers) in Klang, Selangor,  Malaysia, a city of one million situated just up-river from the Straits of Malacca.

The priest is Father Michael Chua, priest of the church there  until he was transferred about 2 months ago to another large parish. We have been able to read some of Fr Chua’s always well prepared homilies on CP&S here.

I think the video was made in order to usher in something of a parish “Holy Year” in 2014. Which is to say that the parish adopted “the Church is holy” as a parish theme for the year as a means for those in the parish to better know, understand and experience her real divine nature . Themes in subsequent years were to be “the Church is Catholic” and “the Church is apostolic”. Well, can’t go wrong there.

One little thought I had while watching earlier was how much indeed is a priest our “spiritual father”.


About GC

Poor sinner.
This entry was posted in Catholic Culture, Church Teachings, Living Catholic lives, Rosary, Sacraments. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to The Church is Holy

  1. kathleen says:

    Beautiful, GC! So Catholic, with lots of smiling faces, sweet chubby babies, and reverence among the faithful.
    Yes, a holy priest is indeed our “spiritual father”, leading many souls to God, and worth more than all the gold in the world. Thank you for this. It cheered me up too.


  2. johnhenrycn says:

    V unlikely you’d be censored on this blog, RGC, because you’re serious commenter. There are other answers, aside from you possibly saying something bad to warrant moderation.


  3. kathleen says:

    Strange that you should place your comment on a blog post entitled “The Church is Holy“, Richard, when you have shown that you clearly doubt that qualification of the Holy Bride of Christ.

    A moderator, not I, removed two or three of your inflammatory, anti-Catholic comments after I had replied to you. (See post, though for some unexplained reason the comments are no longer in chronological order – a glitch of WordPress presumably.)


  4. johnhenrycn says:

    Hmm…I take it that RJC is not quite as nice as I’d initially thought.


  5. GC says:

    Oh yes, kathleen. Dear Lord, give us holy priests!

    Father’s holiness video concentrated on the sacraments, 6 of the 7 anyway, which isn’t bad. These six involve priests (Confirmation was the one left out, generally requiring the visit of the bish, though I myself was confirmed by a monsignor episcopal vicar).

    It was obvious from the video that priest and people are united through the sacraments. Priest and people are one just as we are united to Christ and His mother. Priests channel to us the ways of holiness. The sacraments priests give to us, the ordinary people, the fathers and mothers, the elderly, the youth, the infants, are the means of our personal sanctification or “theosis”, as they say in the eastern Church, in order that we become more and more like God as His sons and daughters.

    I have to admit I became misty-eyed when I saw the Catholics from Burma (Myanmar) at 1:54. They are immigrant workers for the large part, struggling on the most meagre wages to support families at home. Still for them the Church is holy.


  6. johnhenrycn says:

    Sorry, RJC (@ 18:22): looks like we’re playing blog tag and getting our signals crossed. I really can’t comment on your deleted posts because I didn’t see them, but keep in mind that it’s not only what you say around here that can cause problems – it’s also how you say it. I know that from personal experience having been given a “time out” on a number of occasions over the years (probably less often than I deserve), and always remember that you and I are guests and must respect the avowed ethos of this blog or go elsewhere if we choose not to.


  7. kathleen says:

    Pandering to JH is not going to gain you any brownie points, Richard. He will make his own mind up, as he always has done.

    The moderator removed your comments, not only because they were blasphemous, promoting your homosexual agenda that you want forced upon the Church, plus Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried and a doing away with Humanae Vitae’s teachings, etc., whilst simultaneously promoting all the most rebellious rags and papers (mostly run by dissident priests and militant feminists) to ‘prove’ your point… but for your vicious, spiteful, mocking ad hominems to me for daring to disagree with you.

    That is the truth – and you know it.


  8. johnhenrycn says:

    I am impressed by your Catholic CV, RJC, much more than I am with my own. The thing is, though, I’ve known you for a couple of weeks, but have known all the owners of this blog for years, and they have never, ever disappointed me when it comes to our Faith, despite occasional disagreements.

    I apologise for my “not quite as nice as I’d initially thought” remark. Entirely my own thought – no one here feeds me private information (as if I would accept hearsay) – but based upon very limited information, namely your own comments, I’m beginning to wonder if you and I are as sympatico as I’d originally assumed. Even if we are not, I hope not to go into my full frontal sarcasm mode when speaking with you. We shall see.


  9. It was the republican Savonarola that was burned at the stake (as a heretic) 🙂


  10. johnhenrycn says:

    THR: Thank you for not mentioning Richard’s Grocer’s Apostrophe. That would be hitting below the belt.


  11. johnhenrycn says:

    1990’s is wrong. RJC meant to write 1990s. Plural, not possessive.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. johnhenrycn says:

    “It was the republican Savonarola that was burned at the stake…”?

    Not to worry, looking back today, I can see a couple of errors of my own who have not been mentioned by anyone.


  13. johnhenrycn says:

    “…pinch-mouthed spirituality…”

    For a “Catholic of the year” in your diocese who likes sugar much more than vinegar, you have a funny way of showing it.
    Not meaning to disparage the accolade you won in the 1990’s: it must have been embarrassing to be designated as such. Can you imagine, for example, if you move to another diocese, introducing yourself to your new parish community as “Catholic of the year”?
    “Oh my, Concepta, when he said that, I wanted to die for him.”


  14. johnhenrycn says:

    …well, I won’t mind if mine (01:06) disappears since people will scratch their heads wondering what I’m on about.


  15. GC says:

    I’ve never heard of a ‘Diocesan Catholic of the Year’ award, JH, have you? Such a thing seems ‘counter-intuitive’ to this Catholic.


  16. johnhenrycn says:

    A Catholic of the Year award does strike a dissonant note, GC, but I must confess , now that RJC has put the idea in my head, as I like to call it, I may quietly put myself up for a similar award, although of course, my chances of winning it up against the likes of our famous human rights solicitor, Mr Limerick, LL.M, P.Eng, MD, MC (with bar) QED, are hopeless.


  17. johnhenrycn says:

    …but who knows: Fr Thomas Rosica CSB, who’s been featured on this blog before recently won the “Clarion Award”, which recognises worthy Catholics “…for a timely contribution to Catholic communicators through…cooperation…”, so maybe I should throw my hat in the ring.


  18. toadspittle says:

    …Another flake.


  19. kathleen says:

    No, let’s allow it to stand JH so that everyone can get a sort of idea of who this Richard J Clarkson truly is.
    That one above, ^ allowed through in part by the moderator, is one of his tamest. I’ve just taken a peep in our spam folder (where most of his comments now, thankfully, appear to go automatically) and I can tell you, their pure venomous spitefulness would make your head reel. 👿
    If words could kill… well, I would no longer be able to banter with my buddies on CP&S. 😉 I can’t bear to imagine what those people who cross swords with RJC in the ‘real world’ must have to go through!!
    Pray for all those whose hearts are full of hate.


  20. kathleen says:

    Mmmm – that was a lovely comment of yours, GC.

    Do tell us more about the Catholic Burmese immigrant workers in your country – I’m interested. (Shamefully, I hadn’t realised they were not Malaysians!) We hear little about Christians in Burma (Myanmar), but a nephew of mine who recently passed through their country on his gap year from Uni, said that their conditions are very tough indeed.


  21. Tom Fisher says:

    Who is Richard J. Clarkson? This thread is impenetrable.CP&S has become confusing since my business got busy, and that was just six weeks or so ago!


  22. kathleen says:

    Hi Tom – we were wondering where you’d got to! Hope your ‘business’ is going well then? Busy-ness is a good sign that it is. 😉

    The article that RJC first started commenting on was this excellent one by Nick Donnelly:

    Richard’s first comments were a bit wrangled, but mostly appeared to be calls for “compassion”. Some of us responded in good faith, unaware that his real motive was to gather support to push through a changing of Catholic doctrine at the coming Synod in October, especially that dealing with homosexuality.

    Some of the comments on the thread do not make a lot of sense now (especially my later ones) as they were responding to false claims RJC was making of Catholic teaching, and extremely malicious personal insults. He also made a serious allegation about Blessed Card. JH Newman. These comments of his were all removed by a moderator.


  23. GC says:

    Hello kathleen, what I was really getting at above (while trying not to be too obvious) was that the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ so-called didn’t get much of a look-in in this video, did it?

    At this parish the Church is the means of personal, and even collective (?), holiness. Priests offer sacrifice and confer sacraments to sanctify us more and more at the deepest level of our being at each of the most important stages of our lives until we die, just like they always have. I am not sure that can be said always of other parishes more in tune with ‘the Spirit of Vatican II’, who seem to have found various other things to do.

    I saw these souls were from Burma, kathleen, by noticing the writing over the altar in that part of the clip. There are indeed many citizens of Burma working in the country for very long hours each day. They are of course trying to assist their families back home and trying also to save a little from their wages to put together some capital to use when they eventually return home years later. Their wages are for the most part among the lowest in the country, though there are also Burmese professionals here such as doctors and academic staff.

    The Catholics of Burma come mainly from the indigenous minorities and also the Chinese. The minorities are people such as from the Chin state, near the Indian border, and the Kachin people near the Chinese border. These are mostly rural areas so, as you say, it can be a bit tough at times. There are also Catholics in the larger cities and towns. The ones I have met are good sorts.

    Again we have to admire missionaries such as, again, the Paris Society of the Foreign Missions (MEP) for Catholicism in Burma.

    Here is a surprisingly ornate church in the city of Mandalay built by our French priests. I’m convinced it got everyone’s attention at the time, just as it was meant to.

    The interior is even more astonishing.

    Anyway, Our Lady in her maternal heart protect all the Catholics of Burma.



  24. GC says:

    Alas, JH, “Catholic of the Year” award actually is something bestowed in certain places, in America for example, where Our Sunday Visitor has its own version of the Oscars.

    I must admit I’ve never heard of it before anywhere and to me it sounds utterly strange. They should call it the annual AMDG awards, in my book


  25. kathleen says:

    That is true, GC; the “Spirit of Vatican II” (not to be confused with the Holy Spirit) was happily lacking in the lovely video you posted! 🙂

    Thank you so much for giving such an interesting account of the Burmese immigrants. What a wonderful people! Their faith and joy, to say nothing of their staunch courage in the face of so many difficulties, puts us comfort-seekers in the West to shame! Are the Burmese authorities relatively tolerant of Christianity now then? A while back I remember hearing some grim stories of harassment and persecution coming out of Myanmar (Burma) towards Christians and other minority religions.

    I enjoyed watching the nice (if somewhat wobbly 😉 ) video of the, yes, surprisingly lovely Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart in Mandalay too.

    Our Lady in her maternal heart protect all the Catholics of Burma.
    Amen to that.


  26. GC says:

    Yes, very wobbly video, kathleen, but it was the only one available. Could have done without the guitars too. But what a church! I gather the MEPs had architects among their number and often built striking or very handsome smaller churches to impress the local populace.

    Burma is a country of diverse peoples, though there is a Buddhist majority of Birmans or Bamar, Shan (related to the Thais) and Mon (related to the Cambodians) people there. The Chins, Lisu and Kachins are virtually all Christians as well as many of the Karens and strive to maintain their ethnic identities also. The minority peoples naturally have separatist tendencies which the government has always dealt with quite firmly. Many accounts describe persecution in Christian areas.

    Here’s a brief evangelical report on the situation, kathleen. It says Burma is one of the ten most violent states for Christians. I think the Catholic bishops there strive to promote harmony and goodwill with the Buddhist majority.


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