Category Archives: Dec 2018

Unity in Diversity, Holy Spirit Cathedral’s 2019 theme

On November 11, the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit (CHS) held the Parish Pastoral Assembly 2018 at the Dewan Holy Spirit. The Assembly was preceded by the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in church.

The CHS Parish has come a long way since the Synod at Bukit Mertajam and the PMPC IV at Plentong in 2016. Study days and formation programmes were held before and after the CHS Parish Pastoral Assembly 2017 to keep track of the pulse of the parish and to discern what the Holy Spirit was saying to the Church. More parishioners have come to understand the Vision and Mission of CHS as well as the Diocese.

During the 2018 Parish Assembly, Fr Francis Anthony, the Assistant parish priest, spoke of the Missionary Journey, saying that we are an Exodus Church on the move, all the time developing and expanding. Her direction depends on each one of us. We walk together, in whatever roles we play in our ministries, as we proclaim Jesus and carry out His mission. Our community living is based on the teaching, fellowship, breaking of the bread and prayer. We seek to be disciples of hope. We have to discern and be a creative, inclusive and bridge-building church that is visionary and missionary. The joys, anxieties and hopes of this world are the joys, anxieties and hopes of the church.

Formation leads to transformation and we become the transformers. We make Christ present in the world. We look into the past, reflect and then set the direction ahead. We are gifted with talents. We offer our 5 loaves and 2 fish and God multiplies them. Though we are diverse in age, race and habits, we are united in Christ. Our mission is to offer bread to others. In conclusion, Fr Francis said that the year 2019 is an Extraordinary Mission Year and we have to be outward looking, as the salt and light of the earth.

The address and report by the PPC Chairman, Pedro Geronimo, who was away, was read by Marcel Augustin, the PPC Vice Chairman. Acknowledging God’s faithful presence throughout the year, Pedro welcomed everyone to come onboard and take ownership of CHS, ensuring that there will be many opportunities to participate in various programmes during the Journey Towards the Golden Jubilee to draw everyone towards Jesus. Pedro traced the events during the last one year, month by month.

Following this, Iruthaya Das, the PAT Chairman, read out the evaluations by the relevant ministries that had been carried out immediately after each event had been celebrated.

Referring to the reports from the PPC and the PAT, Fr Joachim Robert, the Parish Priest, said that there was indication that we are moving in the right direction. We are getting close to the CHS Golden Jubilee.

In the life of the church, as well as in the Scripture, a jubilee year has a deep history and significance. It is a time to restore equality among the children of Israel, offering new possibilities to families that had lost property and personal freedom. It is an opportunity for us also to look at our own journey of striving towards unity in diversity. We see Jesus walking together with us in our journey, just as he walked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. We then ask God to enable us to recognise the vision he has for us.

Then let us move back to Jerusalem and be revitalised.

We must also look at different ways of doing things. This will challenge us to move out of our comfort zone to where God wants us to go. As we strive towards unity in diversity, we need to look with a renewed vision, enthusiasm and perspective of life.

A few of the major events planned till 2019 end are:

— Outreach programme in conjunction with the World Day of the Poor in November 2018, to be followed by a Christmas party in December
— In March 2019 there will be 50 outreach activities, whereby we share Christ with others
— CHS Golden Jubilee will be celebrated during Pentecost, the Parish Feast Day, in 2019
— There will be another Harmony Walk at the close of the Golden Jubilee celebrations
— Since the Pope has declared a Year of Mission starting from October 2018, pilgrimages will be organised to St Francis Xavier’s Church and Assumption Church in Petaling Jaya.

Fr Joachim concluded by saying that the vision of CHS Parish and that of the Penang Diocese appeared to be going in the same direction. The Parish will continue into 2019 with the same theme, Unity in Diversity, striving to be creative, inclusive and bridge-building during the Year of Mission.

The last session of the Assembly was devoted to questions and answers. The main issue of contention was the absence of youth in most BEC activities, while they are active at the parish and diocesan levels.

Today’s youth face many challenges and they are often misunderstood. Some of them are working and studying and they are occupied most of the time. Thus there has to be dialogue among the relevant quarters. Currently some steps are being considered to address the issue, replied Fr Joachim.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Diocese of Penang appointments


Vicar General: Msgr Henry Rajoo
Vicar General: Msgr Stephen Liew
Vicar General: Msgr Aloysius Tan
Chancellor: Rev Victor Louis
Vice Chancellor: Rev Dominic Santhiyagu
Episcopal Vicar for Consecrated Men & Women: Rev Joseph Stephen, CSsR
Episcopal Vicar for Permanent Deacons: Msgr Henry Rajoo
Coordinator of Senior & Retired Priests : Rev Francis Anthony
Diocesan Pastoral Animating Team
Diocesan Representative for
Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Team
PAN Malaysia Pastoral Team


Bishop’s Delegate: : Rev Nelson Chitty



President: Rt Rev Sebastian Francis, DD
Members: Msgr Henry Rajoo
: Msgr Stephen Liew
: Msgr Aloysius Tan
: Rev Victor Louis
: Rev Dominic Santhiyagu
: Rev Joseph Stephen, CSsR
: Rev Francis Anthony
: Rev Jude Miranda


President: Rt Rev Sebastian Francis, DD
Members: Rev Victor Louis
: Rev Joseph Stephen, CSsR
: Rev Francis Anthony
Northern Deanery (Kelantan,: Msgr Henry Rajoo, Dean 1
Perlis, Kedah, Seberang Perai): Rev Dominic Santhiyagu, Dean 2
Perak Deanery: Msgr Stephen Liew, Dean 1
: Rev Edmund Woon, Dean 2
Penang Island Deanery: Msgr Aloysius Tan, Dean 1
: Rev Jude Miranda, Dean 2


President: Rt Rev Sebastian Francis, DD
Vicar General: Msgr Henry Rajoo
: Msgr Stephen Liew
: Msgr Aloysius Tan
: Rev Michael Cheah


President: Rt Rev Sebastian Francis, DD
Members: Rev Michael Cheah
: Rev Dominic Santhiyagu
: Rev Edmund Woon
: Rev Jude Miranda


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Preparing Catholic leaders for the Extraordinary Missionary Month

The Institute for New Evangelisation (INE) conducted the Catholic Leaders Evangelisation Conference (CLEC) from November 14 to 18 at MAJODI Centre, Plentong. Graced by Bishops Sebastian Francis of Penang and Bernard Paul of Malacca Johore, the conference was organised in conjunction with the Extraordinary Missionary Month (EMM) in October 2019 called by Pope Francis. Fifty-six church leaders from the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur and the Dioceses of Penang and Malacca Johore attended.

The EMM celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV in 1919 with the theme: Baptised and sent out: the Church of Christ on a mission in the world. The aim is to foster an increased awareness of the missio ad gentes and taking up again, with renewed fervour, the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity.

The Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis in 2017 called for transcending national boundaries and bearing witness, with prophetic spirit and evangelical boldness, to God’s saving will through the Church’s universal mission.

Bishop Sebastian Francis, Bishop of the Diocese of Penang and the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, announced at the conference that the Bishops of Malaysia have decided to set the Solemnity of Epiphany as the starting point of the Extraordinary Year of Mission and this will end in October 2019.

Fr Victor Louis from the Penang Diocese, who was in 2017 appointed the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Society by the Conference of Malaysian Bishops, was the guest speaker and spoke about the coming EMM.

He highlighted Pope Francis’ rational for this celebration:

1) Evangelisation is a response to Jesus’ perennial command to “go out into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature (Mk 16:15)

2) Obeying this mandate of the Lord is not an option for the Church: in the words of the Second Vatican Council, it is her essential task.

3) The Church is missionary by nature; she exists in order to evangelise.

4) Evangelisation is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church.

5) The Church must walk the same path Christ walked: a path of poverty and obedience of service and self-sacrifice.

As part of the five-day session, a para-liturgy called Baptised and Sent was animated by Bishop Bernard to help participants recall their baptism and to remind them of their call to evangelisation.

After input sessions, participants were divided into pairs and sent into the field. They went to the nearby hospital, mall and home for the aged to experience “street” evangelisation. Many shared that they were apprehensive initially about approaching a stranger but took up the challenge. This was the result of feedback from the last seminar in July for the need of an outreach – to cement the practical to the theory.

Participants were also given a chance to express themselves creatively on Social Evening, where in groups according to Dioceses, they presented their evangelisation efforts based on their parish and ministry experience. The evening was made even more meaningful with powerful personal testimonies from two of the participants.

Sharon Fong from the KL Archdiocese who came to the Conference as a member of the INE team had this to say, “As a participant of the first seminar (in July), I was made to understand that evangelisation is not just about doing good but also to share the Good News. It made me see that evangelisation is about sharing, planting the seed and not converting.”

She went on, “Back to Majodi, the second time with a different role felt familiar but with apprehension as I was working with team members that were unfamiliar and I was unsure if I could really contribute. Things changed after I agreed to lead in one of the Praise & Worship sessions. Praise God the session went well.

Then, I realised that this is similar to evangelisation. It sounds scary and uncomfortable but all we need is just to say YES — just like Mother Mary. Coming back as a team member has made me discover that no one is ever too small to do God’s work. All are given the authority to evangelise!”

In the Commissioning Mass, Fr Louis acknowledged the fears that the participants may face when they go home. However, he reminded them to be “Christ to the people we meet and bring the love of Christ with faith, love and without fear, for Christ has conquered everything.”

In 2019, INE will be conducting its first seminar in Mandarin in May, followed by the BM session in August. The sessions will also be held at St Anne’s Bukit Martajam, Penang and KL respectively, before returning to Majodi in November.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Receiving the Eucharist unites us with Jesus Christ

KUALA LUMPUR: Sixteen communicants, dressed in white, arrived at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Nov 3. The church was filled with family, relatives and friends who have been lifting these children in prayer and journeying with them in faith.

As they received Jesus for the very first time through His Body and Blood, smiles of happiness lit each communicant’s face. These little ones then presented a liturgical dance as thanksgiving, followed by the presentation of certificates to the communicants by Fr Edwin Peter and Fr Simon Lau.

Earlier, on October 13, the children from the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Chapel of Our Lady of Good Health attended their First Holy Communion (FHC) Camp at Serenity Sanctuary, Bentong.

The Camp was organised by the FHC Parents’ Committee. They kept in mind the importance of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ for the very first time and instilling in the children that this sacrament is a profound way of uniting with Jesus.

The activity “Gift of God” taught the children to appreciate mother nature. Then the communicants were introduced to their theme song, My God Loves Me which they performed on Communion day.

The next activity ‘Ingenious’, was a fun session which required them to put pieces of Lego together to make a rosary. They also learned that little ideas can be achieved through patience and perseverance.

The last activity, ‘Imaginative’ tapped into the children’s artistic talents as they wrote notes of love and gratitude to their teachers and parish priests.

The children, together with their parents and godparents, received the Sacrament of Reconciliation on October 19. The presence of four priests in attendance, Fr Edwin Peter, Fr Simon Lau, Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakiam and Fr Phillip Chua, highlighted the importance of this sacrament — to be fully in communion with Jesus through His grace and mercy.

As these children receive the Body and Blood of Christ for the very first time, let us, as parents, teachers and guardians, continue to instill in them the essence of this sacrament. We should also remind ourselves that this is not merely a rite of passage for us, Catholics. Every time we receive Holy Communion, it should be just as special as the first.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Heeding the needs of those in the peripheries

On November 18, in conjunction with World Day of the Poor, the BEC of St Anthony from Good Shepherd Church organised on outreach programme to migrants living on the fringes of society, more than 100km away from the city.

This outreach was also part of the annual Advent almsgiving that the BEC has been practising.

Advent is a time of giving and sharing with the less fortunate. And that sharing is not limited to those we know. It is also for the person whom we have never met and those who need a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on.

The BEC members, along with other well-wishers, responded to the needs of the migrant community of more than 60 families living and working in farms in Banting. These migrants fled their native land for an uncertain future, here in Malaysia.

Hundreds of bags of rice, bottles of cooking oil, trays of eggs, cartons of chocolate malt drinks and more were purchased to support the migrants in the spirit of Christ’s love for the poor and marginalised. Soft toys were also presented to the kids.

Children and adults alike who visited the farm were humbled and in awe of the simplistic living conditions of these migrants. A sense of thankfulness for what we have and gratitude for life’s blessings that we take for granted emerged at a discussion over dinner later that night.

Oh, that today you would listen to His voice, harden not your hearts!


“Seeing the migrants in the farm, with the animals all around, reminded me of Jesus being born in the manger. This Christmas will be special for me as I was able to share my toys and books with the poor children.” — Sophia Joyce Raymond, 8 

“It was a very humbling experience that has made me reflect more on gratitude, especially with the upcoming advent season.” — Jessica Anne Doss, 16 

“Words cannot describe the joy I felt when I saw the faces of gratitude and happiness amongst the migrants. Connecting with them and creating a sense of belonging with the community at large proved that our outreach effort is worth the while.”


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Coming together for BEC Sunday in St Thomas More parish

SUBANG JAYA: The Church of St Thomas More (STM) dedicated November 25, the Feast of Christ The King, for the celebration of BEC Sunday during its 11.45am Mass.

The celebration began with a procession of forty-two BECs, with their coordinators and representatives carrying banners with the names and pictures of the patron saints of their respective BECs, together with STM’s BEC Vision Statement.

The Church was filled to capacity. There was an atmosphere of excitement as the congregation witnessed the procession of the banners of their BECs. STM Parish Priest, Fr Raymond Pereira, thanked the BEC coordinators and called upon the parishioners to support and be part of their respective BECs. He added that we should not look for BEC support only when the need arises but participate in the prayers, activities and reach out to others, especially the inactive ones. He added that he helped gather the people by celebrating Home Masses at almost all the BECs of STM parish and was very impressed with the good turnout and well prepared liturgy.

In his homily, Fr Raymond stressed on the 4Ps. If we allow Jesus to be the King of our hearts, He longs to give us the Power of the Holy Spirit; the Privilege to be called God’s children, the Position that comes with the promise of a permanent place in His Kingdom and Possession of a relationship with Him.

The BECCOT chairman, Gevanantham Marimuthu, thanked the BEC coordinators for making this celebration a meaningful one. He then emphasised on the STM BEC Vision: “To create smaller communities of about 20 families in our parish community of STM where Christ-centred relationships can be deepened and where everybody knows each other’s families on a first name basis.”

Having mentioned the STM Vision, Geva urged parishioners who are yet to join as members of their BECs to get in touch with their leaders. He stressed that the BEC is a core need among all other needs of the Catholic Church. Geva then invited everyone for a potluck fellowship at the Church terrace.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

BECCOT and Family Day at Holy Redeemer, Klang

KLANG: In conjunction with the feast of Christ the King on 25 November, parishioners of the Holy Redeemer Church (HRC) celebrated BEC Sunday with a funfilled family day. The event, initiated by the newly elected BECCOT members, is in-line with the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocesan’s 5-Year Plan (2017-2021) in strengthening Basic Ecclesial Communities.

The day began with a multilingual Mass at 9.00am celebrated by parish priest, Fr Clement Lim. During the homily, Fr Lim stressed that “BECs developed as an extension of the Church by virtue of their faith that establishes communion with God and communion with others.” He further emphasised that “it is important for every Catholic family or individual to be part of the BEC in your neighbourhood.” After the final blessing, all the BECs’ coordinators and core teams were commissioned.

After Mass, the BECs prepared booths for children and adults to collect stamps to redeem gifts sponsored by the Family Life Ministry. They also organised “The Family Amazing Race.” The Family Day offered a bouncy castle, food and carnival games.

One of the parishioners said, “It was my first time joining a HRC event, and I had loads of fun myself! It’s a good experience seeing people having fun with their friends and family. Everyone was welcoming and pleasant to each other.” The day ended with the giving of prizes to the winners.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

MCCBHST denounces attack on rescue worker

An inter-religious organisation condemned the unprovoked attack on an emergency services worker outside a Hindu temple in Subang Jaya.

Ahead of a planned visit to the injured Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) expressed grave concern over the violence.

An unidentified person pulled the Emergency Medical Rescue Service (EMRS) worker from his vehicle and assaulted him, leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

“It is disgraceful and unacceptable behaviour that a man protecting others was unfairly taunted. The MCCBCHST strongly condemns the use of force and cause of harm on any member of the public.

“Malaysians must come together to uphold peace and harmony. Mutual respect and compassion are fundamental virtues to maintain stability,” the group said.

A delegation from the interfaith group was due to visit the injured rescue worker at the National Heart Institute (IJN) later on Nov 28, after he was transferred there from a private hospital in Subang last night.
Doctors at IJN have placed Muhammad Adib on life support and said he is now stable and showing signs of recovery.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Fr Huan returns to the Lord

JOHOR BAHRU: Fr Ignatius Huan Kin Kwang, 77, returned to the Lord at 3.28am on Monday Dec 3, 2018 the Feast of St Francis Xavier.

The wake was held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) with Mass at 8.00pm on Monday (Dec 3) and Tuesday (Dec 4).

The funeral Mass was held on Wednesday, Dec 5 at 10.00am at SHC, presided by Bishop Bernard Paul and from thence for burial at the Ulu Tiram Catholic Cemetery.

With a deep passion in spiritual formation, Fr Huan has helped many people – young, old, lay people, seminarians and religious – in their journey to discover Christ and mould their lives through the retreats he conducted in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.

Trained in the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius while studying for his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in Rome, Fr Huan made learning about spirituality, simple and easy to understand.

Fr Huan is also the author of The Mass: We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

How cultural diversity contributes towards nation building

BANGI: Cultural diversity has always been part and parcel of the Malaysian identity, and inter-cultural engagement and dialogue between various communities fosters a sense of unity that is significant in creating a sense of nationhood.

This was why the Catholic Research Centre (CRC), in collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), decided to organise a symposium on Cultural Diversity, Identity and Nationhood: Malaysian Perspective on Saturday, November 24, at UKM’s Dewan Perdana, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. The symposium commenced with a welcoming address by chairperson of the steering committee, Dr Shanthini Pillai, who is an Associate Professor at UKM’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities and Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA).

The keynote address was delivered by Distinguished Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Founding Director of KITA, who spoke about two major frameworks in managing diversity in decolonised countries such as Malaysia.

The symposium was enhanced by the presence of Most Rev Julian Leow, Archbishop of the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese.

The morning session saw scholars and arts practitioners sharing with the audience their perspectives on Cultural Diversity, Identity and Nationhood in the Malaysian Arts. Independent filmmaker Brenda Danker spoke about films, while Dr Keith Tan from the School of Architecture, Building and Design, Taylor’s University discussed architecture in Malaysia. Independent arts curator Tan Sei Hon and Dr Adil Johan, a research fellow with KITA, highlighted how visual artists and musicians depicted Malaysia’s cultural diversity, identity and nationhood in their creative works.

The afternoon session focused on Interfaith Perspectives on Malaysian Cultural Diversity. The four panelists at the forum were Dr Jaffary Awang, Associate Professor from UKM’s Faculty of Islamic Studies;
Fr Dr Clarence Devadass, director of the CRC; Mrs Gowri P.S. Thangaya, National Malaysia Hindu Sangam Women Leader; and Dr Jeslyn Sharnita Amarasekera, senior lecturer at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.

All panelists spoke about how cultural diversity is embraced and incorporated in their respective faiths and contributes towards fostering a sense of nationhood among Malaysians.

The symposium was attended by about 100 people comprising of students, academics and members of the public including parishioners from churches in the KL Archdiocese.

The perspectives shared in the symposium provided a truly educational, eye-opening and enlightening experience to all attendees.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online
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