Elation turned to disappointment as the proposal was turned down and shelved. Not dithered by this drawback, H.L. Bishop Francis Micallef O.C.D., Fr. John Chrysostom O.C.D., the clergy and the parishioners pursued the issue with perseverance, prayers and faith. Fr. John used all his influence and managed to revive the proposal. The waiting period was indeed very painful but this paid rich dividends when in August 2000, Fr. John was advised that the new hall had been sanctioned.
As is the case with all solemn occasions, the Inauguration began with the procession. H.L. Bishop Micallef, Msgr. Giuseppe De Andrea, Fr. John, Fr. Dominic, Fr. Gabriel, Fr. Melvyn, Deacon Sylvester concelebrated the Holy Mass. Prior to the Holy Mass, Fr. John welcomed the dignitaries, clergy, guests and the faithful. The bishop, in his opening address, compared this joyful occasion to the birth of a new child. He stated that the birth of a child is the greatest gift to the family and brings joy to all, similarly the addition of the new hall to the existing Church is a gift to all the faithful. He praised the efforts and perseverance of all and especially the active role Fr. John Chrysostom O.C.D. (parish priest) played to transform this vision into a reality. He thanked God, the Kuwait Oil Company Management, Fr. John, the parishioners and all who assisted in making this dream come true.
After the inauguration, cake and soft drinks were distributed to the whole congregation whilst the VIP dignitaries, which included Mr. Moh’d Ghulum Superintendent Projects & Mr. Fadel German Superintendent Relations from KOC, Pastor Steve from St. Paul’s Church, the Rosary & the Carmelite Sisters, Fr. Daniel, Fr. Francis, Fr. Derrick & Fr. Maroon proceded to the KOC’s -Ahmadi House- for dinner.
Msgr. Giuseppe De Andrea in his address to the dignitaries, on a lighter note, firstly displayed his alertness by commenting that the Ahmadi House was younger than the Church. On the serious side, he thanked the Kuwait Government & the KOC Management for giving the Christian community the opportunity and place to practice their faith and for the wonderful gift of the new hall. He praised and appreciated the contributions of H.L. Bishop Micallef and Fr. John Chyrsostom towards the community. He prayed to the Lord to bless and protect everyone. He raised his glass in a toast of tribute to all who were instrumental in the success of this gift from KOC and he wished everyone Bon Appetit.
Fr. John Chrysostom in his concluding address, thanked God the Almighty, the Government of Kuwait, the KOC Management, the dignitaries, the clergy and the faithful. It was a fitting end to the process which was initiated by him.
-- Vincent Semoes
© Photographs by Winston Alphonso & Vincent Semoes
[VICARIATE OF KUWAIT]
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