Category Archives: Dec 2017

Papar’s Christmas theme relates to archdiocesan pastoral thrust

PAPAR – This year’s Christmas theme for St Joseph Parish here related well with the parish’s present pastoral activities in delivering the Archdiocesan Pastoral Thrust: ‘My Family, My BECs and My Church’ (Keluarga, KKD dan Gereja Ku) with acronym KKG Ku.

In his Christmas Eve message, Father Thomas Yip invited the parishioners to emulate the humble and holy family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, always obedience to God in accordance to His Will and not their own.

“May the peace and humility in their lives and the word of God inspired us and open the path towards repentance and forgiveness towards one another in our family and communities,” he said.

In his homily on Christmas Day, Father Rayner Bisius said that the crib of baby Jesus brings forth hope, joy, happiness, peace and mercy to all.  He invited the parishioners to bring joy and peace to those who cannot celebrate Christmas in one way or another.

He said that the migrant parishioners in one of the outstation chapels in Kogopon were not afraid to risk their lives in attending the Christmas Eve Mass so as to bear witness to the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Likewise, he continued, we, too, must not be afraid to walk the path and to bear witness to Christ in our lives and church ministry no matter how big the challenges are.

After the Mass, the priest, children and parishioners together had a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate the birth of our Lord. – William Charles Mindus, SOCCOM Papar


Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu


Telupid: Pada 16 Disember 2017, Pesta Koir telah dianjurkan oleh Kerasulan Wanita Katolik Paroki St. Martin. Pesta ini merupakan salah satu Takwim tahunan bagi KWK Paroki St. Martin. Tuan Rumah Pesta Koir kali ini bertempat di Zon Jalan Tongod, St. Patrick Entilibon. Tema untuk acara ini masih dikekalkan iaitu “SUKACITA KRISMAS”.

KWK Zon Pekan sebagai Tuan Rumah Pesta Koir 2017

Acara dimulakan dengan misa pembukaan oleh Rev. Fr. Jasery G. Emmanuel selaku paderi paroki Gereja St. Martin Telupid. Dalam homilinya, Fr.  Jasery mengatakan bahawa pesta koir dianjurkan pada musim Adven bertujuan agar umat dapat mempersiapkan jalan bagi Tuhan iaitu dengan cara pertobatan dan perdamaian di antara sesama keluarga kristian khasnya.

KWK Zon Jalan Nangoh

KWK Zon Jalan Ranau

Pengerusi pelaksana Pesta Koir pada tahun ini ialah Puan Julia Bahari. Dalam ucapan, beliau menyatakan rasa syukur kepada Tuhan dan terima kasih khasnya untuk Fr Jasery kerana telah membuat misa kudus khas untuk takwim tahunan KWK ini. Beliau juga berpesan bahawa kalah atau menang itu adalah perkara biasa tetapi yang paling utama ialah berjalan bersama melayani dengan kasih Allah di antara satu dengan yang lain.

KWK Zon Jalan Sandakan

KWK Zon Jalan Tongod

Sebanyak lima zon telah menyertai pertandingan ini iaitu Zon Pekan, Zon Jalan Sandakan, Zon Jalan Nangoh, Zon Jalan Ranau dan Zon Jalan Tongod.  Puan Victoria Salati selaku Penyelaras Kerasulan Wanita Katolik Paroki Telupid telah menyatakan tujuan sebenar penganjuran pesta koir ini adalah untuk mengeratkan lagi ikatan kekeluargaan di kalangan ahli seterusnya di dalam pelayanan dan khasnya untuk semua umat agar dapat merasai persiapan menyambut kelahiran Kristus ke dunia.

KWK Zon Pekan

KWK Zon Pekan menerima hadiah Johan

Johan bagi pertandingan Pesta Koir tahun 2017 ini telah disandang oleh Kerasulan Wanita Katolik Zon Pekan dengan tajuk lagu “SABDA KEDATANGAN KRISTUS”, Naib Johan – KWK Zon Jalan Nangoh dan Tempat Ketiga – KWK Zon Jalan Ranau.




Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

Two friars ordained transitional deacons in Johor

Two recently ordained deacons say they look forward to serving people and growing in holiness.

Friars Claurence Motoyou, OFM and David Au, OFM were ordained deacons at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Dec 5.

The diaconate period marks a step closer towards priestly ordination for them.

Friar Claurence, 46, who comes from a family of six children and completed his seminary studies at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary, Singapore, said his ordination theme was, Vine and Branches. Friar Claurence said, “Christ calls everyone and His call is for us to be rooted in Him, the true Master.”

Friar David, 44, comes from a family of three children and he is the youngest. He too completed his seminary studies at the St Francis Major Seminary, Singapore.

Friar David too, chose his ordination theme as Vine and Branches, adding that “My entire vocation and, indeed, my Christian life depends on me surrendering more and more to Christ, so that He may continue to mould me into the person He wants me to be. I draw life from Christ, the True Vine.”

After his ordination, Friar David said he felt humbled and unworthy, yet very graced by God, to spread the Good News.

He said, “He makes use of me in my inadequacies and calls me to lean on Him every day.”

Friar Claurence said, “It is only by God’s grace that all things are possible. I know that I am far from perfect.”

Some 700 people packed the Cathedral for the ceremony, presided over by Bishop Bernard Paul. Concelebrating were Msgr Peter Ng, VG and Michael Mannayagam, VG, Fr Christopher Lee, Chancellor and Friar John Wong, OFM, Custos of St Anthony for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Some 25 priests were also present.

In his homily, Bishop Bernard said the Scriptures indicate who deacons are. The Book of Numbers refers to them as the Levites assigned to assist priests and serve the community.

St Paul mentions the kind of character deacons must have, what their role is and their qualities.

“A deacon has to read, meditate and even break the word. He also assists the priest in the celebration of the Eucharist in the preparation of the altar,” he said.

He said deacons also minister to the families.

“They are to be a good reflection of God’s servants serving only one Master,” he added.

The ordination rite saw Bishop Bernard laying hands on the two, investing them with the stole and dalmatic (an outer liturgical vestment) and presenting them with the Book of Gospels.

“My formation in the seminary has certainly equipped me to serve the people,” said Deacon Claurence. “However, formation is an on-going life long process and I continue to grow.”

Deacon Claurence has been serving at the Sacred Heart Cathedral since Easter this year. Prior to that he was attached to St Theresa’s Church, Masai.

Meanwhile, Deacon David said he got to know the friars during his university days and had the notion that he wanted to serve God beyond the parish boundaries, hence a religious vocation seemed a good fit.

Deacon David, who is currently serving at St Anne’s Church, Kota Padawan, Kuching, said he drew inspiration from St Francis who led a very radical life of intimate friendship with God, denouncing his wealth and status. He said, “I reconnected with the Franciscans and attended a retreat with them,” adding that after much discernment, he began his journey as a postulant at the age of 37.

Deacon David looks forward to gaining more actual pastoral experience in his diaconate posting, while Deacon Claurence will continue at the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Deacon Claurence said he realised his call after he joined the Franciscan Sisters of Immaculate Conception (FSIC), Sabah, and the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS) in their activities, especially in their monthly mission outreach programmes to share the love of God.

He explained that under the spiritual guidance of Sr Frances Mani, FSIC, he gradually realised his call to a religious vocation.

When asked about his vocation story, Deacon David said he was attracted to prayer in his late teens and spoke to his spiritual director about his priestly vocation.

Deacon David said, “He asked me to discern further because I was deemed too young, hence I returned to Malaysia after graduating as a mechanical engineer and later worked for ten years in Kuching, and then in Miri.”

He went on to say that he was very much inspired by the community as they were very spirit-led and serious about their faith, adding that “this rekindled my interest in pursuing a religious vocation.”

Both deacons thanked the Bishop, their spiritual directors, formators, Franciscan Brothers, and the clergy of the diocese for their support, advice, guidance and encouragement throughout their formation process to become servants in Christ’s vineyard — sharing in Christ’s mission and grace in a special way.

They also expressed their gratitude to their families for their encouragement, love and sacrifice in seeing them embark on the Lord’s call, first as friars, and now as his deacons.


Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu


Christians singing in the rain at Borneo Christmas celebration

MIRI: Around 45,000 Christians marched through the city of Miri on Saturday, December 9 for the tenth annual Miri Christmas March. Christians from 20 different churches — Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Evangelicals and others, processed to the Miri City Fan, an outdoor venue with seating arranged around four sides of a square stage, where they worshipped despite heavy rainfall.

The Deputy Chief Minister of the State of Sarawak, which covers the north-western corner of Borneo, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, and the Mayor of Miri, Adam Yii, were amongst the VIPs who took part in the event.

Saturday’s event, with the theme Glory to God, was the biggest since the annual event began. It was a true ecumenical affair with Christmas carols from members of the Anglican churches kicking off proceedings, before a “lively” praise and worship session led by a Roman Catholic church band, traditional dances by a group from the Borneo Evangelical Mission, a Seventh Day Adventist Choir and a contribution by the Sarawak Baptist Church.

The Anglican Bishop of Kuching, Donald Jute, preached. The Assistant Anglican Bishop of Kuching, Solomon Cheong Sung Voon, chaired the organising committee on behalf of the Association of Churches in Sarawak.

At the end of the speech, Uggah announced an allocation of RM50,000 from himself for the Miri City Parade Committee. Also contributing to the committee for the parade were Lee (RM20,000), Gerawat (RM20,000), Ting (RM10,000), Dennis (RM10,000) and Anyi (RM10,000), making the total allocation received by the committee for the evening at RM120,000.

Meanwhile, Yii, who spoke earlier, said the increased number of participants in this year’s parade proved that Christians in this city recognised the importance of the event.

“It is not just a parade but a union of all the denominations of Christians in Miri,” he said.

The first Miri Christmas Parade started with 5,000 participants from seven churches in 2008 and was hosted by the Methodist Church.



Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

God is the heartbeat and foundation of hope

Be Disciples of Hope was the main theme for this year’s feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, celebrated from December 7 to 12, at the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Different priests preached during the six-day celebrations, with the daily sub-themes revolving around ‘hope’.

The highlight of the celebration was a candlelight procession in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Some 1,400 faithful, from far and near, converged on December 9 evening for the Novena Chaplet to Our Lady and Mass. After Mass, the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe was placed on a beautifully decorated 4WD, followed by the assembly and priests along several roads surrounding the parish. The Rosary was recited during the procession.

Fr Charles Chin from Kedah was the preacher on December 9, with concelebrants parish priest, Fr Albet Arockiasamy and Fr Alan Pereira.

In his homily, Fr Chin reiterated that, biblically and theologically, God is the heartbeat of hope, and Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) are the instruments to foster this hope.

Fr Chin quoted Scripture texts to emphasise that we are made in the image of God.

He posed the question: Why heartbeat of hope? He quoted Genesis 3:1-13, saying we are not perfect but are being perfected. Though we are sinners, God still loves us. Just like your child, if he/ she has done wrong, he/she will be forgiven and will still be loved. Fr Chin quoted John 4:10, saying that God still loves us because He sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us. This is the foundation of hope.

He gave the example of Peter, a fisherman, a sinner who denied Jesus three times, who was forgiven by Jesus and became the first pope. Fr Chin called on the assembly to reach out to save those who erred because they need to be forgiven.

“If you were born into a family filled with tender loving care, you will have these qualities. But if you were born into a family where parents always fight, you might grow up to be morose and even violent. But there is hope, for God is hope and He can transform us.”

Fr Chin said there is hope in a BEC, when love is practised. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, I am there.” But, Fr Chin cautioned, we must gather only in Jesus’ Name and not others. He mentioned that he has seen certain BECs gather for business purposes or food (Amway, Cosway and Subway), and this is not right. He asked the faithful to check in whose name they have gathered in the BEC gatherings. He quoted John 13:34: “A new Commandment I give unto you: to love one another, just as I have loved you.” This is the only law to guide the BECs, otherwise they will not function well.

In conclusion, Fr Chin said we need to live a life of prayer, sharing the Word and praising God. “If you are a good organist, you must use your talent to praise God. Otherwise, we become too proud. Just like St Augustine of Hippo who said, ‘Our hearts are made for You, O Lord, and our hearts will be restless unless they rest in You.’ For God is love. Thus, our BECs must be the heartbeat of His love.”

After Mass, Fr Albet thanked Fr Chin for presiding and preaching and Fr Alan for his presence. He also commended all who were involved in the feastday preparations. After the procession, all adjourned to the Church grounds for a dinner fellowship.



Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

90 pastoral workers attend annual pre-Christmas gathering

A section of the pastoral workers at the annual pre-Christmas gathering, 23 Dec 2017, Catholic Archdiocesan Centre Penampang.

PENAMPANG – Around 90 pastoral workers of Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese attended the annual pre-Christmas gathering at the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre (CAC) here on 23 Dec 2017.

The workers came from the CAC, Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish Office Karamunsing, Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang, and St Paul Dontozidon.

In attendance also were Archbishop John Wong, Archbishop Emeritus John Lee, Father Paul Lo, Father Joshua Liew, Father Max Hontor, Father Charles Chiew of Keningau.

Activities included carol singing by groups (8 groups), a Christmas skit, a sharing based on the theme Agape  (or unconditional love) by Anne Lasimbang, exchange of gifts, a reflection on the theme by Abp Wong, cake-cutting by the clergy, and lunch.

The objective of the gathering is for the workers to get to know each other and to have fellowship together twice a year – Christmas and Easter.



Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

Over 3000 turn up to celebrate Christmas with KK prelate at his open house

Archbishop Wong greets one of those present at the Christmas open house at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre on 25 Dec 2017.

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.



Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

Christmas Midnight Masses draw overflowing crowds

Archbishop Wong and Father Liew pause in prayer after the rite of blessing of the nativity scene, 24 Dec 2017, Sacred Heart Parish Centre foyer Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – The Christmas Midnight Mass is one of two times in the year when overflowing crowds are seen in churches across the archdiocese.  The Sacred Heart Cathedral here has two Masses on Christmas Eve in order to accommodate the faithful: 6 pm BM Mass and 9:30 pm English Mass.  The overflowing crowds were accommodated on the square and at the parish centre.

The English Mass on 24 Dec 2017 was preceded by a cantata performed by the Sacred Heart Cathedral English Choir and Friends themed Our Lord Emmanuel Has Come under the direction of choirmaster Frederick Wong and organist Nicholas Lee.

The term ‘cantata,’ invented in Italy in the 17th century, refers to a piece of music written for voice or voices and instruments. It applies broadly to works for solo voice, multiple soloists, vocal ensemble, and with instrumental accompaniment of keyboard or instrumental ensemble. It can be a single movement work or consist of multiple movements, and the text can be either sacred or secular.

Archbishop John Wong presided at the Mass, concelebrated with Father Joshua Liew.

In his homily, he stressed that Christmas is actually about “our identity as sons and daughters of God in Jesus.”

The rite of blessing of the manger was done after the Mass. After the final blessing the clergy and faithful processed to the foyer of the parish centre for the blessing.

After a short prayer, the prelate blessed the manger with holy water and incensed it.  At the end of the blessing, he greeted all those present a blessed Christmas.

This year’s nativity scene was done by the Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community (LJCCC).  The life-size statues were shipped from Vietnam last year.



Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

Cathedral carollers culminate activity with Carols by Candlelight

A section of the crowd at the Carols by Candlelight, Sacred Heart Parish Centre foyer, 17 Dec 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – After two weeks of carolling home-to-home, the carolling teams of Sacred Heart Cathedral and Church of Mary Immaculate culminated it with the annual Carols by Candlelight at the parish centre foyer on 17 Dec 2017.

Thirteen groups in four languages – English, Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia, Kadazan – took part in the choral performances.

As usual, the event began with an opening prayer and  Gospel proclamation by Father Max Hontor and a short welcome address by Archbishop John Wong.

After the fourth narration and eighth carol sung, Abp Wong lit the candle symbolising the light of Christ while the medley “Glory/Let There be Peace” was sung.

The candles of those present were then lighted up by the flame of the Christ-candle.

After the 12th narration and 27th carol sung, all the groups gathered on stage to sing Feliz Navidad, wishing all present a blessed Christmas and New Year in the four languages.

All adjourned to the left side of the foyer for light refreshments after the closing prayer-blessing by Abp Wong.

Among those present were Archbishop Emeritus John Lee, Father Paul Lo, Father Joshua Liew, the religious, and members of the Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Finance Council.

The backdrop and theme “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14) were done by the BM Prayer Group while the Nativity Scene (right side of foyer) was prepared by the Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community (LJCCC).


Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

CMI organises annual children’s party

Children and organisers pose for a shot with Fr Lo (seated with child on lap), Santa Claus and Santarina at the children’s party, 17 Dec 2017, CMI canteen, Bukit Padang.

BUKIT PADANG – The subparish children’s party was organised jointly by the social committee and the Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLOW) of the Church of Mary Immaculate here on 17 Dec 2017.

Held at the canteen, the annual pre-Christmas event attracted 47 children who came with their families despite the inclement weather.

After lunch, a group comprising Cayla, Zoey, Cameron, Jewel, Nigel and keyboardist  Christian sang two carols in English while another group – Janice and Janelle Chang, Crystel and Amber Lee – sang in Chinese.

Two siblings Jonathan and Angel gave a dance performance.

Chubby the Clown and his partner Bryan the Clown gave out balloons to the children and organised two games while Santa Claus and Santarina gave out gifts to them.

Father Paul Lo was on hand to open the event, bless the food, and close it with a prayer-blessing.


Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu
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