The parish of Mary Immaculate Queen of the Universe (MIQU) Bourg Mulatresse, celebrated its patronal feast day Wednesday, August 22 with a Mass in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the parish, the 35th anniversary of the church building, and 20th anniversary of the construction of the parish hall.
In preparation for the celebration of this magnificent feast, Fr Gerard Tang Choon O Carm celebrated Mass on Monday and Tuesday evening. Before Mass on Monday, the congregation was blessed with a relic of the Holy Cross and on Tuesday, the blessing was with the relic of St Pope Pius X. Following Tuesday’s Mass, the congregation was invited to touch the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament and pray for healing. The prayer group assisted with this exercise.
On Feast Day, the celebration began with the recitation of the rosary in the grotto led by the Legionaries, followed by a procession around the Church compound and then into the church. When the congregation was seated, Fr Tang Choon recognised those present: Bishop Malcolm Galt CSSp; former parish priests, Frs Arnold Francis, Eugene Rodney and Garfield Rochard; our neighbouring parish priests, Fr Hasely King O Carm and Fr Cornelius Philip FMI as well as Deacons Mike Smith and Jeffrey Supersad.
Before a packed church, Bishop Galt made two presentations to Fr Tang Choon. The first was the ‘Apostolic Blessing on the 60th Anniversary of the foundation of MIQU’ conferred by His Holiness Pope Francis. The second was the ‘Beatissima Pater’ through which His Holy Father conferred Indulgences on the parish. This means that all who visit the church to pray during the celebration year and onwards will receive an indulgence.
During the homily, Bishop Galt reminded the congregation of the attributes of Mary. He said she gave her “yes” to God when she proclaimed, “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to Thy word.” At that point the word was made flesh. “This was the feast of the Incarnation. All the feasts of Mary hinge on this feast. Mary is the Mother of God, because Jesus is God,” explained Bishop Galt.
At the foot of the cross, Jesus gave His mother to John—John represented the Church i.e. all of us. Mary then became Mother of the Church. This feast was introduced by Pope Francis this year, 2018, and was celebrated on the day after Pentecost Sunday.
At the end of her life on earth, she was taken up, body and soul, to heaven. She was exalted over all the universe, and as such became Mary Queen of the Universe. “Mary is our advocate. An advocate is one who begs for you and she is therefore interceding for us all the time,” Bishop Galt said.
As the Mass continued, the four combined choirs truly did as the psalmist had proclaimed to make a joyful noise to the Lord. They sang beautifully throughout the Mass which greatly enhanced the proceedings. At the end of the Mass, refreshments were served in the parish hall.–Aurea Honore