Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lean Horse. Bell Rings 瘦马摇铃

Kuala Lumpur Archdiocesan Chinese Language Apostolate Commission (ACLAC) celebrated its 20th Anniversary on Nov 6 at the Church of the Holy Family, Kajang.

A book “Lean Horse . Bell Rings – The history and story of Catechists in Malaysia” was launched in conjunction with the anniversary celebrations.

The Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated at 5:00pm with Fr. Clement Lim as the main celebrant, and con-celebrated by 12 other priests, including Fr. Philip Tan, the Superior of CDD in Malaysia, Fr. George, the Parish Priest of Holy Family Church. Present were many religions Sisters and Brothers, and about 500 laity and well-wishers from 3 dioceses in Peninsular Malaysia.

Fr.Kang, former Monsignor of Penang Diocese and former principle of the Batu Gajah Catechist Training Center, flew from Hong Kong to attend this conspicuous occasion. He officiated the launching ceremony of the book after the Mass.

About 18 aged Catechists also attended the Mass and ceremony.

The book was initiated about 10 years ago by Fr. Joseph Ng, a Jesuit who once served as one of the spiritual advisor to ACLAC. The project took off about one and a half year ago with the support and active participation of Rev. Sr. Theresa Chew, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Ng, by forming a committee filled by many talented and enthuciastic youths. Ye Ning, an experienced media worker and writer, agreed to author of the book, is the single most important factor ensuring the success of the project.

The Foreword in the book by His Grace Paul Tan, Bishop of Melaka-Johor Diocese summed up the importance and historical values of the book:

 “Undeniably, the church general history tends to centered on the consecrated religious clergy. In the process of evangelization, the Catechists are although an integral part of the medium bridging the laity and missionary, but are being ignored simply because they are not the consecrated ones. Now, I am delighted that, with the publication of the book  [Lean Horse.Bell Rings – The history and story of the Catechists in Malaysia ], we have finally discovered a segment of precious history of our local church, and allow the “catechists, a lost piece of the beautiful patchwork”, be united and merged into the history of local church as a whole.” (Translation by the blogger)

The title of the book “Lean Horse.Bell Rings” literally means "Lean horse ringing bell".

According to the author, the catechists lived a frugal and simple lives and are best be described as “lean horse”. However, their footsteps of evangelization brought them to the byways and highways, remotest and poorest areas of the country, thus ringing the bells of Good News along the way, bringing the love of Christ to everyone they met.  

The 20th Anniversary of ACLAC also marked an important milestone of the organization. 

It is the continuation of the objective and spirit of the organisatioon named “Chinese Apostolate”. It was formed about 40 years ago by a group of Chinese speaking priests ( Many had been called to rest by the Lord) to look after the Chinese speaking laity.

Our local church, by nature, is an English speaking church, thus it requires extra effort to care for these vernacular communities and for effective evangelisation.

I do not have statistic of Chinese speaking population in our country, but by looking at the number of Chinese schools, newspapers and publications, it would not be a small figure.

Ignoring this segment of the society is ignoring the spirit of evangelization.

Many non-Chinese and non-Chinese educated priests had taken up Mandarin is a good sign of the work of the Spirit. (And my great respect and admiration for their effort and sacrifices)

On this special occasion, may I pray that the Spirit guides our local church, continues in its understanding and dialoguing with different language communities, the marginalized, the poor and migrants, discovering the humble presence of Christ in the richness of each community, seeing the beauty of God’s creation of diversity in traditions, cultures and languages, thus bring about the genuine spirit of communion of communities.  It will be then a truly beautiful piece of patchwork pleasing to God!

May ACLAC and all its members continue to be the effective "witnesses and promoters of communion with God, with one another and the creation." (FABC 10th plenary statement No.4)

(More pictures in Facebook )


吉隆坡总教区华文促进会,在十一月六日,假加影圣家教堂庆祝了成立二十周年,于此同时,也推介了该促进会出版的《瘦马摇铃 -- 大马传道员的历史与故事》一书。






“无可否认,教会一般史料的重心,都专注在圣统的圣职人员身上。虽然,传道员在教会福传过程中,是不可或缺的平民及传教士之间的媒介桥梁,却因未有圣职而长受到了忽略。如今,我深感欣慰,随着《瘦马摇铃 -- 大马传道员的历史与故事》一书的出版,我们终于有机会寻回本地区域地方教会发展过程中一段珍贵的历史,让”传道员“这一块曾经一度失落的美丽拼图,得以重新纳入整体的地方教会史料中。”








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