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Remembering Msgr Anthony Thomas

SEPT 24, 2020: Monsignor Anthony Thomas passed away three years ago on this day. He was less than a month away from his 80th birthday. He was born in Kuantan on Oct 22, 1937 and he joined the seminary in the late 50s and was ordained a priest in 1965. He had served in numerous parishes. Here is a tribute video produced by Neubert Ambrose, who is a parishioner from St Joseph’s Church in Sentul and who knew the late priest. Msgr Anthony spent a total of 22 years at this parish.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2427118060923808&extid=PY0D0SgRmzVzc5LD

This is what Neubert Ambrose says as he remembers the late Msgr Anthony on the third anniversary of his death.

Ever since I was a young boy, I was fascinated by this priest. His hard work, commitment, dedication and perseverance to his vocation. Many labels have been placed on him. Builder, musician, liturgist, linguist.

I saw him with great admiration in his vocation. And his obedience to go wherever he was sent. Monsignor Thomas was always looking for ways to build the faith of his people be it a small parish or a larger congregation. Having served more than 50 years as a priest his last years were spent at LSP in Cheras where an able and steady man was reduced to frailty.

This is the price he and many other priests and religious who served the people pay in their retirement. Their total submission to God in serving their flock. But his work especially in Sentul where he spent a total of 22 years was well remembered when the St Joseph’s Community Centre the first of several he built, was renamed Dewan Monsignor Anthony Thomas, a fitting tribute to a priest who gave his all.

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Msgr Anthony was the parish priest at Visitation Church in Seremban and he was the one who solemnised our marriage. The ceremony was held at the newly built community hall because the church was undergoing repairs.

In his homily he said that we would see miracles in our lives like the miracle at the wedding in Cana. True enough, we did. On that very day. We had a reception later that day at a hotel and due to budget constraints we opted for a medium-priced menu. But we were instead served the food in the high-priced menu and there were extra tables set up which was good because we had many more people unexpectedly turning up for the reception. At the end of the reception, we were expecting the hotel to bill us for the extras but they did not. We truly had a Cana wedding experience.

The other miracle, or rather miracles, are our three children. Two doctors had said that I would not be able to conceive but I did. We continue to see many more miracles happening in our lives. And we will always remember Msgr Anthony Thomas. May his soul rest in peace. – Vanitha Nadaraj