Blessed Mother The Joys We Share . . . a flower for Our Lady.
A Pilgrimage to Mount Hosanna
My wife and I brought a joyful heart as we started our journey from Kuching at 7:30am on Sunday 16th November 1997. The weather was good and the morning was cool. We had been very much looking forward to visiting the holy mountain, a mountain for peace and healing. Even though Fr Khoo had shown me photos of the sites before the construction started and photos of the Chapel when it was nearly completed , but where exactly is it? Can I find it? Is it before or after Sri Aman? Anyway since there will be many people going to the opening ceremony, that the Chapel is visible from the main road and with the guidance of our Lord, I was sure not to miss the holy mountain. On the way, we left our two younger children Evelyn and Moses at the baby sitters place. The other two preferred to stay at home. In a way the pilgrimage bore a special meaning for me and Moses ...
Mt Hosanna Chapel
When Fr Richard Khoo first visited me and revealed the sketches of the proposed Chapel, I was all for the good idea and offered my humble financial support and prayers. I also helped to solicit some support from friends, brothers and sisters, in particular my sister Mary who was much troubled with her marriage at that time. When Fr Khoo came the second time, it was as if the Lord himself had called! For my faith was put to test not so long ago when Moses, at 3-year 4-month old, had a fit due to high fever during Chinese New Year at 5:00 pm on Sunday 5th February 1995. In the helplessness and panicky minutes, we knew that only Jesus will give him healing and we put ourselves and our baby in the hands of our Lord. Lord Jesus, have mercy on us, have mercy on Moses. It was a traumatic experience for Eileen and I and the whole family. It took many months for Moses to recover from the fit. But the high fever problem lingered on, is he going to have another fit? How to solve the temperature problem? We have no solution but to put our trust in Jesus. And there you are! Fr Khoo came, representing the Lord.
|Conversation with Fr Khoo had made me understand deeper into the process of spiritual healing and forgiveness; and of the great love Jesus has for us. Before he left, Father gladly assured me of prayers for Moses. Ah! how relieved I was, help is at hand!|
Fr Richard Khoo
Joining us on the way were Felix Fang, his wife Lucy and Mrs Alice Wong, all members of our Blessed Mother Rosary Group, newly formed in July 97. As we allowed plenty of time (3 hours for the 100 miles), the drive was steady and comfortable, with plenty of chit-chats and stories to tell. Lucy said that three wishes will be granted in pilgrimage to new church opening like this, so everybody started to think hard for some good wishes, Michael said since this is only a small chapel, may be our wishes should be small too!! Stopped over at Sungai Tenggang for breakfast at 9:30am, we met a few friends heading towards the same mountain. While Lucy urged us to eat more of the delicious sandwiches she made at 5 oclock in the morning (as we didnt know when will be lunch time and there was a high mountain awaiting us to climb), our friend Mabel Lau and company were not eating they were fasting. On the road again after 20 minutes rest, I had the feeling that the mountain would not be far away. Lucy suggested that we say the Rosary. We did, and by the time we finished the fifth decade, we approached Gua. I slowed down when I saw Gua this, Gua that road signs. How our hearts beat with joy to see all the cars and buses parked along both sides of the main road. Even though the sky was clear and cool, Eileen insisted we carried some umbrellas with us. These umbrellas came in handy later on as we stood under the extremely hot sun. Felix, with his shirt soaked with sweat, spontaneously extended our big umbrella over Fr Philip Su when he came to the front of the Chapel to give communions, and Michael, being at the strategic position outside the Chapel, was privileged to be the first in line to receive Jesus, in front of His house.
The Rocket-shaped Chapel looked magnificent and unique from the road and from the valley, confirming the impression I had from the photos. A short walk brought us to the bottom of the hill at 10:15am. Outside Fr Richard Khoos Prayer House, amidst plenty of people and familiar faces, we were happy to meet Fr Paul Chee. After we got the colourful booklets we began our ascend. When we reached the steps proper, somebody said that there are 100 steps to the Chapel, it suddenly dawned to me these were the Jacobs ladder that Fr Khoo mentioned about in our earlier conversations. So here we are, climbing Mount Hosanna on the dream ladder, surely the Lord is in this place!, and unlike Jacob, I was aware of it!. Mount Hosanna, that mountain for peace and healing I remembered Fr Khoos explanation on the meaning Hosanna in Chinese.
Looking at the fences, I was happy, happy that our company had contributed a little bit towards this holy mountain. And looking at the terrain that the fences had to fence, the original idea of stiff welded mesh running up and down the hill would be a nightmare to the builder. I was happy to see that flexible mesh was used instead, its a very unique fencing system as Fr Khoo wanted.
Felix, Lucy, Alice, Eileen and Michael
On reaching the submit, admiring the church and looking down the steps towards the prayer house and main road, I thought to myself, this is a special chapel indeed, a church without parish boundary and special mass will be offered for healing. Peace and healing to all those who are willing and want to receive. This must be one of the most wonderful chapels in the whole archdiocese of Kuching. It is located in the middle of nowhere, and the very act of going to the mountain is part of the total peace we will receive, part of the healing process. Surely the chapel is Gods will, otherwise the builders would have laboured in vain.
As the chapel was packed, we were only able to participate the mass standing outside under the scorching sun. Everybody was sweating and trying to catch a glimpse of whats going on inside. The weather was so hot that a lady fainted outside the church. She recovered with the help of certain faithful who knew what to do. I was told that another person also fainted. The Lord revived them. After the mass, we descended by the Jacobs stairway. Had a rest, then headed to Sri Aman town.
|Eileen had never been to the town before! After lunch we set up to look for the Church of Our Lady, Queen of Peace. Lucy had a rough idea where it was, after a few turn-backs we finally found the Church - another unique church with a statue of our Lady installed high up in the front facade.|
Church of Our Lady
After saying a few prayers, we started our journey back to Kuching at 2:40pm, reaching home safely by 5:30pm.
Give Me Oil In My Lamp
me oil in my lamp, keep me burning
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning
Keep me burning till the break of day
I will sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna
Sing Hosanna to the King of kings
And I will sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna
Sing Hosanna to the King
The pilgrimage to Mount Hosanna is a treasure in our memory, and we wish to share with you.
Michael Hii, 27 November 1997.
The Joys We Share . . .
Blessed Mother Welcome
4 July 1999