KOTA KINABALU – Over a thousand came to celebrate Christmas with Archbishop John Wong at his open house at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here on 25 Dec 2015 afternoon. It was the second time the open house was held at the parish centre. The visitors came from all walks of life, from nearby parishes. More priests came too, including Fr Francis Tsen who will be celebrating 50 years of priestly ministry on January 9. The religious also came to greet the prelate.
The archbishop did not sit still but went around meeting and greeting as many people as he could in this one function of the year where he acts as host. Throughout the year, he is often entertained by those who invite him to this or that function.
The visitors were entertained by carol singers from various parish groups/communities, notably from the Sacred Heart Fliipino and Indonesian communities, the Chinese Choir, and from the seminarians. The food was prepared by the Women’s League, with ten food stations for the visitors – young and old alike.
The ‘Open House’ is a unique tradition found throughout Malaysia. Family, friends and even strangers are welcomed into homes or suitable venues with goodwill and camaraderie during the many varied festivities enjoyed in this country.
In the archdiocese the open house of the archbishop has been organised since 1992 for the faithful to share the Christmas joy with him through good food and carol singing by various groups.