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KOTA KINABALU – Over 3000 people turned up to celebrate Christmas with Archbishop John Wong at his open house on the afternoon of 25 Dec 2017 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.
The visitors including priests and religious came from all walks of life, from nearby parishes. Gracing the function as well was 84-year-old Archbishop Emeritus John Lee who would be celebrating 53 years as priest on Dec 27.
Abp Wong 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 groups and individuals, notably from the Archdiocesan Social Communications Commission, the SHC-CMI pastoral councils, the Chinese, Filipino and Indonesian groups, and from the seminarians. The food was prepared by the Women’s League, with many 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.