MIRI: Personal prayers, family gatherings, online masses and simple acts of charity – that is how Catholics here in Miri are celebrating Easter in the absence of traditional church gatherings.
Mass to celebrate Easter, an important event for the Catholic Church, has been called off nationwide due to the movement control order (MCO).
The 90,000 Catholics here in the Miri Diocese are celebrating Easter in the confines of their homes and following online masses.
Instead of a colourful and song-filled atmosphere with the congregation, this year's Easter is a personal and family affair but there are no shortage of charitable acts.
Many Catholics, after the online mass, went out and to provide food for the needy.
Maureen Dau Ajeng, who is wheelchair-bound and lives in a low-cost resettlement site 15km from Miri, told The Star that this year's Easter was the quietest in her memory.
"I cannot go back to my longhouse in Ulu Baram and my family members cannot come to Miri to visit me.
"I spent Easter praying but am thankful that kind-hearted people bought me food and household items.
"Although they can only drop off the items and cannot stop to chat, their caring acts make me feel happy there are kind folks out there who think about disabled people like me," she said.
The Star ensured that Maureen – who is unemployed and surviving on welfare allowance of RM350 per month – will have enough food to last the week.
Miri Bishop Richard Ng, who conducted Easter mass in his private chapel, called on Catholics to help the less fortunate, the aged and those living alone.
He said the Easter message of love, hope, charity and salvation is for everyone regardless of race and religion.
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