Some 150 people turned up at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Pulau Tikus for an Abolish ISA Mass, which could be the first in a series of Wednesday night Masses in Penang to express solidarity with and pray for ISA detainees.
The main celebrant tonight was parish priest Fr Marshall Fernandez, looking almost like an Old Testament figure with his flowing white beard and long white hair tied neatly in a pony-tail. The Mass was concelebrated with Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez, College General Rector Fr Edwin Paul and College General acting Dean of Studies Fr Simon Labrooy.
A ring of flickering candles on the edge of the floor of the raised altar added a mystical touch to the proceedings.
Several in the congregation were seen wearing Abolish ISA T-shirts and badges and after the Mass, even the priests and seminarians had the badges on.
In his homily, Marshall urged the congregation to put themselves in the shoes of the ISA detainees’ close relatives and loved ones and to imagine what it would be like for them.
At the end of the Mass, he asked the congregation not to speak to one another until they had gone outside the church building as a sign of solidarity with the ISA detainees, who are unable to speak to their families, loved ones and fellow Malaysians.
No police personnel were seen outside the church this time.