October 26, 2011

5 kg of stones in plastic bags waiting for you!!

This is not a rubbish tip!!

These plastic bags contain 5 kg of stones for Roman Catholic pilgrims and other well wishers to carry up to the top of Mt. Singai.

And that was my introduction to this fantastic place called MCPC - a place managed by the Roman Catholic Church of Kuching.

It was a wet and misty Sunday morning. Against our better judgment we trudged ahead. My friend Hoo Neo had come all the way from Malacca to see this place and we did not want to disappoint her.

It took us about an hour to find the place because the signboard was a little obscure and the statue of Jesus Christ was not what and where we expected. So we missed them at first and had to retracked back when we almost reached Bau. A waste of good time. It is actually more or less about 12KM from Batu Kawah.

Before climbing the stairs I also took a proactive step to book a Bidayuh lunch for our part of four (yes I did insist on local pork if they have)after parking a little too far away. We could have driven in but there was not indication we could do so.

Next to a gurgling stream where reflections on the water jumped around caused by the leaves trembling in the wind were steps up the mountain. We knew we were in some kind of Garden of Eden. Father Westerwoudt who initiated this place could not have chosen better. The Dutch Catholic priest lived in this place for 12 years and died from typhoid at the young age of 37. The Roman Catholic Mission built a school for the local Bidayuhs converting many. Their initial work was not in vain for in 1981  - 94 years after the work of the Dutch priest  - Mt. Singgai was renewed and revived as a place of worship and a centre for pilgrimage.

God worked in mysterious ways and funds flooded in. The local people helped and a massive transformation too place. A stair way to the peak was built with 14 stops each bearing a Station of the Cross. (Chairman is Vincent Eddy). Today it is a place for many to pay their homage and also a very healthy and spiritual nature's garden.

This is from a Catholic Bulletin.

Hoo Neo meeting a local(Daniel) who served in the Army in Malacca!!  They shared some moments together.
The banner prepared by the committee led by Vincent Eddy calling for support.
Young Catholics carrying the plastic bags of stones up the stair case to the top.
A Sibu relative carrying 40 kg as his "offering" to the Centre. He makes  two or three trips each week. Yes indeed he is a Foochow from Sibu.....ask him why he is doing this!!
One of the Stations of the Cross. God miraculously "repaired" my left knee and the horrible poor muscles of my right thigh on two occasions. For that I am eternally grateful. "Fall upon your knees!!" a hymn resounded in my mind...Indeed we should fall upon our knees and pray for healing.
Our lunch. God's providence is sufficient for us!! Look at the bamboo strips  fashioned into a table.
Indeed it was an unexpected lunch of local vegetables and meat prepared by a lovely Bidayuh Catholic.  Catering is available. I forgot all about the pain I was suffering because I had slipped and fell on my butt. Did I break my tail bone? It did not matter because the fellowship was good and the morning had been a truly spiritual outing.

It was a beautiful morning...in my next trip I promise myself I will carry 10 kg of stones up to the top.

 May God bless all those who come here and all who help to maintain this place as a holy and pilgrimage centre. There will certainly be times for me to do my reflections and pay my homage.


sarawaklens said...

It's been a while since I last visited Mt. Singai. Did you walk all the way to the summit?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Sarawaklens
I spent more time chatting with the other pilgrims at the different stations. I reached Station 9 and my sister who had gone up to the summit (church) had come down and it was time to go for our lunch. My fall later also indicated that I must go up to the summit in my next trip.

It is a beautiful place. How blessed are the Bidayuhs!!

Bengbeng said...

It must have been a beautiful experience not to be forgotten. Fast forward another twenty yrs, the possibilities are tremendous for this place.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes Bengbeng. Many people I met there told me about their prayers at each of the Stations of the Cross and how they prayed at the church at the summit (there is a good jungle trekking beyond the summit). They bring candles for lighting too.
I believe really that many of their prayers were answered. Never cease to pray..and God will answer your prayers!!
Possibilities in the future are great!! If ever I live in Kuching I can go there to do some voluntary work e.g. sweep the leaves etc..
May your health get better and better every day!!

Ann said...

the photo looks like a quilt.

BTW, a Paul Chee who is a RC priest, is he in Miri? Was my flatmate.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann..now that you mentioned it..yes it does ..doesn't it?

Nope I don't know him..may be I will ask around. Many of my friends are RC. Cheers.

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