Virgin Mary image: church to get window panel
No date has been set for the move.
Throngs of people have crowded around the hospital wing since the phenomenon came to light on Saturday, and as many as 2,000 went to see the image on Sunday, said Fr Simon Labrooy, parish priest of Subang Jaya.
He said he visited the hospital with church lay leaders on Monday to view the image and meet hospital authorities to discuss the phenomenon. The hospital had agreed to give the window glass pane to the church.
“I have been given the responsibility to make sure the image is handled with care and handed over to F Michael Chua (parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes),” he told Lydia Gomez of Yahoo News. “The image has to be treated with utmost respect because it may just be a real apparition. We don’t know.”
Asked about a second image which was said to have appeared two panels below, Fr Labrooy said: ‘I think if there is an image there, the hospital will help us with that too”.
In his statement to parishioners yesterday, he dismissed rumours about attempts being made to clean the window panel. He said the hospital had assured the church that “no attempt to clean the affected image … has ever been undertaken nor have they any intention of doing so”.
The hospital management is reported to have made arrangements to deal with the crowd, and Rela volunteers and traffic police have been on hand.
Citizen journalist Lynn D’Cruz said on Facebook yesterday that “…they are truly managing the situation as best as they can, which includes erecting a tent for the people, distributing water, quietly managing the traffic, also providing a place for people to light candles …it is those people who have brushes with life and death on a daily basis who understand what faith does to people”.
Fr Labrooy’s statement in full:
I have met with the Management of Sime Darby Medical Hospital (SDMC) to discuss this matter. The meeting was very productive. Contrary to rumors SDMC has assured us that no attempt to clean the affected image on the glass panel has ever been undertaken nor have they any intention of doing so. The Catholic Church would like to thank SDMC for its cooperation in managing this delicate matter and accommodating the inconveniences to its patients and staff.
The Catholic Church is in agreement with SDMC that the present situation cannot continue as we are concerned of the direct effect this may have on emergency services of SDMC
The Management of SDMC has graciously agreed to hand over the glass panel containing this image and give it to the Catholic Church. SDMC has assued us that professional services will be deployed to ensure that no damage comes to the glass panel on removal and transport. This operation will be closely and jointly supervised officials from the church of by St Thomas More, Subang Jaya.
We assure the community that the image will behandled in the most respectful and sensitive manner. This glass panel will be moved to the Marian Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Klang which will be more conducive for prayer and reflection. Dates for this movement will be announced shortly. I wish to reiterate that this by no means confirms the authenticity of the image as an apparition of Mary. The Catholic Church would withhold official comment until the image has been tested and verified by theologians and church authorities, a process that will take time.
In instances of authoentic appearances of our Blessed Virgin Mary she has always asked us to pray for peace and to seek out her son Jesus Christ.
Rev Simon Labrooy