Category Archives: Feb 2018

SFA celebrates BEC Sunday

Newly opened Church of St Francis of Assisi (SFA) celebrated Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) Sunday on the last Sunday of ordinary time which was also the Feast of Christ the King.

The celebration was held during the 9.30am English Mass which was animated by the BEC Coordinators.

The Entrance Procession was led by representatives from each BEC walking in with a bunting of their BEC.

After communion, all BEC coodinators and their core team were commissioned by parish priest, Fr Andrew Manickam OFM Cap. Thereafter, the parish community was also asked to renew their commitment towards the BEC.

This was followed by the blessing of the buntings and the final procession by the BEC representatives to carry out the buntings as the final hymn is sung.

The buntings were displayed after Mass as light refreshment was served. Registration was also open for parishioners to give their contact information if they were not part of the BEC yet.

This will continue to be a regular exercise for the parish as a step to encourage the community to be part of the BEC. Currently SFA has 34 BECs, named after saints as a way of enouraging the community to follow the way of life of the saint.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Penang Diocese celebrates the Season of Creation

By Clare Westwood
The ecumenical Season of Creation (SoC)was celebrated across the world from September 1 to October 4.

The theme for this year was Walking Together. Over 650 events were organised in 68 countries over six continents as registered with the Global Catholic Climate Movement! The Diocese of Penang was part of this worldwide celebration with a number of activities to raise awareness of the need to protect Mother Earth and life on it from destruction. Below are some of the activities held:

Masses for the Season of Creation were celebrated in the churches of St Anne, Bukit Mertajam and Sacred Heart of Jesus, Kulim with the theme deforestation. Forests are home to 80 per cent of all animal life on land and 40 football fields of forest are destroyed every minute. Malaysia, in particular, has cut down thousands of hectares of precious tropical rainforests over the years.

Parishioners brought a leaf each and put it into baskets during the presentation of gifts with the pledge “I promise to respect all of God’s creation.” A video on deforestation was shown and penitential prayers and prayers of the faithful incorporated facts on deforestation.

Cycling and Clean Up
Twenty-two parishioners of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Penang, cycled to the Coastal Cycle Park at the beach front near the first Penang bridge to make a message about cutting down on fossil fuel. They then cleaned up their destination sites by picking up rubbish. They collected five big bags of plastic trash and three medium-sized bags of other rubbish, all weighing approximately 150 kg.

Retreat on Being One with Creation
On September 29, several people gathered for a half-day retreat at the Garden of Bethlehem, St. Anne’s Church, Bukit Mertajam. The retreat drew on indigenous people’s songs of being one with air, water, earth and fire, and led the participants to see and feel their oneness with all the elements and to listen with their hearts to creation. The Garden of Bethlehem is an ecological demonstration food garden which showcases some permaculture designs and principles. –Creation Justice Commission, Penang Diocese


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

LJCCC welcomes 27 new members on its 35th anniversary

The new associates, Underway, and full members pose for remembrance after the ceremony, Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, 5 Aug 2018.

KOTA KINABALU – The Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community (LJCCC) welcomed 27 new members in various stages on its 35th anniversary celebration on 5 Aug 2018 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here.

It did not just celebrate its establishment 35 years ago but also its Covenant Day Commitment.

Five (Nathaniel Funk, Jeremiah Michael, Janefher Bajagap, Sylvia Richard, Erma Fernandez) were received as full-fledged Covenant members while 11 signed up for Underway Commitment and another 11 become new associate members.

The 11 Underway commitment signees were Sarah Mae Funk, Frances Deanna Ramli, Emanuela Mojikon, Elijah Bajagap, Dony Mapat, Alvin Lai, Benjamin Liew, Chai Yee Siang, Monica Henry, Jenna Robert, and Julie Thadeus.

The new associates were Margaret Lim, Susie Taylor, Irene Lajanty, Francisca Malantin, Marianne Yong, Emmanuel Mojikon, Harold Wong, Joshua Liew, Brian Chin, Fenson Chin, and Genevieve Rajah.

The pledge-taking was witnessed by the Council of Elders headed by Anthony Lim who received the pledges.

To be noted was the fact that some of the new members were the children of existing community members.

This was seen as a sign of hope for the future of the community, a fact highlighted by Father Paul Lo who presided at the Thanksgiving Eucharist following the pledge-taking.  It was also emphasised by Anthony Lim in his welcoming address later at the dinner fellowship at the parish hall after Mass.


Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

Fr Raju celebrates 16 years of priesthood

Among guests celebrating the 16th sacerdotal anniversary of Fr Johnny Raju (standing 3rdfrom right) were: Archbishop John Wong (seated 4th from left); Msgr Nicholas Ong (seated 3rdfrom left); and Sr Carmen (seated 3rd from right), at his family residence in Kg Nosoob Baru, Penampang on  22 July 2018.

PENAMPANG – Keningau-born Father Johnny Raju, 53, celebrated the 16th anniversary of his priestly ordination with family members, friends and church officials at his home at Kg Nosoob Baru here on 22 July 2018.

Among those present were Archbishop John Wong, Msgr Nicholas Ong of Tawau, Vicar General of Sandakan Diocese, Father Jeffri Gumu, who was home in Sabah on holiday from his studies in Manila, and Sister Carmen Cordova fisc who teaches at St Francis Secondary School, Kota Kinabalu.

Fr Raju was ordained at the Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) in Kota Kinabalu by then Bishop John Lee on 20 July 2002.

He now serves as assistant parish priest at Stella Maris Church Tanjung Aru, St Thomas’s Church Kapayan, and Blessed Sacrament Church Labuan.

At the same time, he is chaplain for the sick at hospitals in Kota Kinabalu City, as well as being active in the Prison Service, visiting and giving a word of hope to male Christians at the central Prison in Kapayan on Thursdays.

He studied for priesthood at the Redemptoris Mater Diocesan Seminary in Rome and ordained as deacon at the Basilica of St John Lateran there in 2001.

Fr Raju previously served in St John Tuaran (2002-2006); St Joseph Papar (2006-2008); SHC in Kota Kinabalu (2008), and at the Holy Trinity Church in Tawau before being transferred to Tanjung Aru in the state capital.

The faithful in Kepayan marked the anniversary on July 26 while those in Labuan celebrated the event on July 29. – JL


Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

Young People, Faith and Vocation Discernment

In spite of the great and numerous advancements we have seen in all spheres of life today, the restlessness in the human heart has also increased proportionately. This growing sense of hopelessness and void is also felt among church goers and, particularly among young people. The development of faith in young people needs careful discernment and guidance in the area of life’s vocation. Over the centuries, the Church has been entrusted with the sacred deposit of faith, whereby it has never lost its vision of hope and joy even in the most difficult of times. This deposit of faith, passed down through Scripture and Tradition, is surprisingly even more relevant today, as it issues a clarion call to young people in this very challenging and urgent period of history.

Handing on the torch of faith, St Paul writing to Timothy recalls,

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and now I am sure dwells in you. (2 Timothy 1: 5)

Timothy, or any Christian child, with proper faith nurturing, possesses in the growing years, one of the greatest blessings in life. Godly Christian parents produce godly children in faith. This is achieved by transmitting a strong knowledge of faith. Timothy’s grandmother and mother were staunch believers who were faithful and devout. Sometimes, one parent may not even be a believer, like Timothy’s dad (cf. Acts 16:1). Yet Timothy received ample faith, primarily through the study of scriptures from his earliest days. “…and how from infancy you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ” (2 Tim 3: 15).

In this article, we wish to offer some suggestions which parents and teachers, on the one hand, and young people on the other, can take note of in the application of Scripture to the faith development of young people. It is hoped that these reflections will assist young people as they discern how God is leading them to a vocation as disciples who seek to follow Jesus more faithfully in their way of life.

Two areas where parents and teachers can apply scripture in the development of faith and discernment to their children

1. Starting them young for their ultimate future
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn away from it (Proverbs 22:6).

This faith training which leads to growth in discernment is crucial for developing the young person. It exposes the modern counterculture of death which is hardly any improvement for life and its future. The young people are faced with a superficial lifestyle without dealing seriously with the root problems of a narcissistic society. A culture where faith is not at its centre degenerates inevitably into chaos and crisis. Without a positive environment of faith and the teaching of scripture instilled upon the young, the backlash of a culture of death, will keep the young in a state of stupor and uncertainty.

The training of faith teaches the young how to endure difficulties and pain. This is especially rewarding when the crisis of life hits them. Faith that comes from suffering helps them to recognise the strength they need to endure the trials of life that must come. We rejoice greatly in our suffering because it produces endurance, and endurance produces character (Romans 5:3).

2. Rooting their children in faith
There is a godly wisdom that is handed down to a child by parents and by no other means. The child can never acquire this on its ownSubmission to an elder and to a life of faith is the foundation of all learning. Creating a teachable spirit upon the young is the quintessence of a successful parent. And how from infancy you have known the sacred scriptures that are able to instruct you and save you through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15)

Teaching faith is crucial because the so-called “logical world” cannot provide adequate answers about the true purpose of life. This aspect of faith comes from a proper explanation of the scriptures. To inspire and reinforce faith, repetition and focus are needed because of the godless existence of an environment of faithlessness. We live in a state that does not value prayer, faith, and reflection. Distraction is the order of the day. As the human mind receives thousands of stimuli, both positive and negative, the natural ability of the brain is enhanced when, with singleness of purpose, young people centre their attention upon a desired object of study. (Dr Richard J Forster, Celebration of Discipline. The discipline of study.) The task is to root the child with constant links to a life and teaching of faith.

Two areas young people can apply scripture to their development of faith and discernment of vocation

1. Rekindle the gift of God
For this reason, I remind you to rekindle, (fan into flame) the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6)

What is this gift of God? It refers to the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit to equip a young person in faith to be of service. Some may have the gift to teach catechism, another to be part of a choir and yet another to work among the poor.

St Paul uses the word “stir up” or “fan into flame,” it means to keep blazing and to keep the flame of fire burning. It could also mean to rekindle or to re-stir the flame, indicating that the flame could be dying out. Sometimes a young person needs to be re-stirred and rekindled. “Zeal is required to stir up the gift of God for it lies within our power to kindle or to quench grace. By laziness and carelessness, it is extinguished, and by attentiveness and diligence it is kept aflame” (St John Chrysostom, homilies on 2 Timothy 1).

The idea of “stirring up” is in the present tense, which means it is progressive and a continuous action. The young person is to keep stirring up his gifts, never letting its flame lose its intensity. Every young person anointed with the Holy Spirit at Confirmation possesses a very special grace. God has gifted him or her with a special vocation in faith. The young person must therefore do exactly what God has gifted them to do.

2. In the spirit of power, love, and self-control
“God has not given us a spirit of timidity but rather a spirit of power and of love and self-control.” (2 Tim 1:7)

Too often young people fear standing up for Jesus and his Church not because they do not love God but because they fear ridicule. One may feel the embarrassment of being called “holy.”  Mockery and criticism follow if a mistake occurs. Opposition from elders that “You are not mature enough” or being abused for standing up for justice reinforces these fears. Every young person at one time or another will experience such an obstacle when witnessing to their faith.

It is precisely for this reason the Holy Spirit infuses power into the heart of the young person to face the strain of difficulties and trials…power to take on a job and do it well; power to be confident in proclaiming Jesus both in deed and word; power to withstand the temptations of darkness and sin. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power in your inner being (Ephesians 3:16; Acts 1:8: 4:33)

Paul is quick to add love into any gift of the Holy Spirit so that it will be well executed in a wise and mature manner. “Follow the manner of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts” (1 Cor 14:1). The kind of love that Paul speaks about is “agape” love. (Greek: unconditional sacrificial love) Agape love is God’s love. God alone possesses it therefore only God alone can infuse it through the Holy Spirit, “…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).

To make it complete, the Holy Spirit infuses self-discipline meaning, a disciplined character (1 Tim 1::7) with self-control which is the final fruit of the spirit (cf. Gal 5:22) Self-control is the mastery over one’s mind, heart, and actions despite the opposition. Self-control makes a mockery of the superficiality of our age. It bares opens the immaturity and the curse of instant satisfaction which results in a vicious cycle of a hangover, shame, and destruction. It calls young people to move beyond surface living into what is genuine and meaningful.

For the many young people who are in bondage caused by pornography, fornication, drugs, and drinking; scripture has strong warnings on the condition of their soul. “They are blots and blemishes, reveling in the pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable, they are experts of greed – an accursed brood” (2 Peter 2: 13b- 14). Even for the lukewarm and self-confident, St Augustine cautions, “we are lost when we are satisfied with our condition.”

Self-control and spiritual disciplines are not simply for saints or sinners but rather are the ordinary means of seeking liberation. The church calls this abstinence or penance.

Therefore, if any young person like Timothy be guided by faith and is willing to respond to the stirring of the gifts, inevitably the young person will develop and progress in his capacity to discern what is true “agape” love and the mastery of self-control.

The testimony of hundreds of case studies has proven that the young can be victorious in their struggle against the dark world of sin and shameIt is to these young ones who are willing to plunge into sacred scriptures, whom none else can instruct better but one willing to keep the word of God in his heart. (cf Psalm 119:9-11)

Ultimately it is the young people that Pope Francis sees as the future of our humanity with the vision of faith enkindled in their hearts. Pope Francis, in his message for World Mission Day 2017 states, that young people are the hope of mission.

“The person of Jesus Christ and the Good News he proclaims continue to attract many young people to a vocation as disciples, following in the footsteps of their Divine Master. With courage and enthusiasm, they seek ways to put themselves at the service of humanity. “There are many young people who offer their solidarity in the face of the evils of the world and engage in various forms of militancy and volunteering … How beautiful it is to see that young people are street preachers, joyfully bringing Jesus to every street, every town square and every corner of the earth!” (Message of Pope Francis, for World Mission Day 2017- Mission at the heart of the Christian Faith-106)

Questions for reflection

1. Who are the elders, mentors, and heroes in your life that have shown you the beauty of faith and scripture?
2. What is the primary requirement for a young person embarking on the faith journey?
3. Do you agree that the discipline of self-control is essential to counter a culture of death? Why?
4. How can I pursue a life of joy, strength, and purpose as a young person?

Suggested books for further reading

1. Loyola, St. Ignatius. The Spiritual Exercises, ed. Robert Backhouse, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1989 (May). A programme of spiritual exercises, including examination of conscience, meditation and other methods of prayer with guidance on adaption to individual needs and difficulties.

2. Sales, St. Francis de, An Introduction to the Devout life, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1988. Much of this material is the result of counsel Francis gave to a single individual, Mdm. Louise Charmoisy, in the early seventeenth century. It covers a wide variety of spiritual matters for those seeking to deepen their devotional life.

3. Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, Life Together. Translated by John W. Doberstein. London. SCM Press. 1954. Powerful insights into the life of service, solitude and confession. 1. 2. 3. 4. Questions for reflection


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

‘Book of Ruth’ comes alive for SHC movie buffs

A section of the audience on movie night, 8 June 2018, held in conjunction with Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish Fiesta at the parish centre Karamunsing.  The movie screened was “The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith” – a 2009 American Biblical film directed by Stephen Patrick Walker.

KOTA KINABALU – The Book of Ruth came alive for Sacred Heart Cathedral parish movie buffs on 8 June 2018 with the screening of biblical movie The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faithat the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.

The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith is a 2oo9 American Christian film directed by Stephen Patrick Walker.

A biblical Cinderella story, it is seen through the eyes of a young widow Ruth as she leaves her homeland Moab to Israel in search of a better life. Upon reaching Israel, she is swept off her feet by a wealthy royal Boaz which ultimately leads to her destiny as the grandmother of King David.  Powerful themes of tolerance and acceptance gained through love and understanding shine in this production.

Bible movies are about as old as Hollywood itself. From black and white silent films all the way to present day, the Bible remains a popular source of material for movie producers to mine every few years. Their results of success are mixed. Some become cemented classics, while others drift into a well-deserved obscurity. Unsurprisingly, they’re also lightning rods for criticism and controversy, some drawing crowds and others getting banned outright.

Earlier, the Ten Commandments was screened: Part I on February 25 and Part II on March 4. Other future biblical movies to be screened are Jacob, Samson & Delilah, Jeremiah, Esther, and St Peter.

The event was organised by the parish social communications committee (SOCCOM) as part of the weeklong parish fiesta. The SOCCOM committee organises regular movie screenings as one of its activities.


Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

Growing in relationships with Jesus

In the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese, the Five Year Plan for BEC is Inculcating a sense of Belonging to the people, Enhancing Related Skills in the coordinators while Meeting the various needs of BECs today.

The newly revamped Archdiocesan BEC Animating Team (ABECAT) under the guidance of Ecclesiastical Assistant, Msgr Mitchel Anthony, was designed and formed to build relationships while nurturing the Coordinators of BEC Animating Teams (BECAT), BEC Coordinating Teams (BECCOT) and BECs. They are to continuously look into the needs of the communities through on-going formations, activities and programmes organised throughout 2017 to 2021.

The ABECAT started the year with a formation for all parish BECAT teams on the See-Judge-Act training module. This is a systematic analysis of society with action plans to bring change. It was intended for all groups and communities irrespective of their faith and belief. The aim is to address: individuals, organisations and groups within the Church who are responsible for guiding with reference to the Bible and teachings of the Church as the source of motivation for social change.

For this year, the ABECAT is focusing on a stay-in formation programme on Emotional Skills and a one-day Communitarian Spirituality Experience (CSE) which is offered to parishes and available in four languages.

The pilot stay-in will be from April 27-29 at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centte. (APC). It will be available in all four languages soon.

For the Communitarian Spirituality Experience (CSE), parishes have been encouraged to book the available dates given as soon as possible.

For more information, kindly email

Encourage… Inspire… Empower…

The Lord has many names, each expressing His nature for aspects of his attributes. We have witnessed Jesus highlighting emotional skills throughout His ministry enlightening remarkable ways in relating to people at his time. As coordinators, let us enrich our people skills in building communities and enhance relationships with the application of Emotional Skills for emulating Christ.


After the sessions, participants will be able to:

— unveil biblical examples for strengthening emotions
— unlock glitches in relationships & managing people
— administer positive emotions in community building
— identify anxiety & anger in unsettled relationships
— create resources for people in handling emotions


PART 1 — Discovering the real you 

Module 1: Knowing Me

— checking your real thoughts and belief system
— recognising your feelings and views
— looking at perceptions and mind patterns
— clustering your emotions appropriately

Activity 1 — Mapping Personal Emotions

Module 2: Knowing Me, Knowing You

discarding old maps for new ones looking into your blind spots developing tools and approaches seeing through the eyes of others

Activity 2 — Identify-Use- Understand-Manage

Module 3: Knowing Me — You —God

— neutralising common misconceptions
— fostering positive relationships
— extracting Jesus’ composure and stand
— addressing “pain-body” thru’ reconciliation

Activity 3 — Penning Your Journal

PART 2 — Exploring others by knowing me

Module 4: Hearing Others, Listening To Me

— exhibiting empathy in building bonds
–communicating with positive insights
–removing prejudices and judgement
–flourishing with values of Jesus

Activity 4 — Getting Alert To Other’s Needs

Module 5: Emptying Myself, Filling Others Up

— discerning for distinguishing God’s signals
— transporting to God’s time and space
— strengthening by building experiences
— pronouncing Christ like friendship

Activity 5 — Putting On Christ’s Lenses

Module 6: Unveiling the Inner Mystery

— allowing luminous pair of hands to work
— revitalising companionship and inward joy
— resonating God’s kingdom on earth
— culminating with Christ as the Model

Activity 6 — Registering A Selfless Checklist

Conducted in interactively and reflectively with:

— a group discussion and feedback sessions
— a exercises, role play and practical session
— discernment and scripture reflections

Communitarian Spirituality Experience: One Day in Parish Formation

The Communitarian Spirituality Experience (CSE) is a formation tailored for building communities especially for BECs In deepening their spiritual conversion in living as a community. The formation offers insights to building effective relationships with one another and discerning to bond with God. We want to be God’s people by being together and waiting to be present to God, not forgetting to personalise God’s call to self and others. Therefore, it is important to understand our relationship between persons and relationship with Father, Son and Spirit and distinguish the difference between working for Cod and doing God’s work. Finally, we must be able to compare and clarify personal issues m Parish concerns.

After the sessions. participants will be able to:

— Recognise communitarian as going from inviduality to Trinity
— Identify spirituality as a foundation for extending activity to ministry
— Apply experience for moving from Issues to persons


Session One 
Who Am I?

Session Two
–Who Is Jesus Christ To Me / Us?
— Knowing That God Has Chosen Me How Do I Feel His Presence Today

Session Three
–Communitarian Spirituality Exposes itself in Collaborative Ministry
— Challenges Of Our Journey

Session Four
— What Did I Sense? (Integration)

APPLICATION PLAN — Personal Journal

METHODOLOGY Conducted through dicernment, reflection and sharing sessions.


English, Bahasa Malaysia and Tamil:

(1st Sat)
May 5,
Jun 2,
Jul 7,
Aug 4,
Sep 1


(4th Sat)
May 26,
Jun 23,
Jul 28,
Aug 25,
Sep 22


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

AHDC organises training of trainers for migrant ministry

By William Charles Mindus

Sixty-six members of parish human development committees across the three arch/dioceses in Sabah participated in the training of trainers for migrant ministry on 2-3 Mar 2018.

The training, held at the retreat centre here, was organised by the KK Archdiocesan Human Development Commission (AHDC).

The programme began with the Bible Enthronement by Father Benedict Runsab and a recap on AMOS-3 and its action plan by Dominic Lim, coordinator of AHDC-KK.

In his homily on Mar 3,  Father Ambrose Atang, AHDC spiritual adviser, reminded the participants of the pastoral spiral SEE-JUDGE-ACT in all their dealings. Based on the Gospel reading on the parable of the prodigal son, he helped them to view migrants with the merciful eyes of the Father.

The main session began with the first presentation by magistrate Elsie Primus on the rights of migrant workers based on the East Malaysian Labour Ordinance. These include applicability of Employment Act 1955, Sabah Labour Ordinance [Cap.67 and 2004], Sarawak Labour Ordinance 1952 pertaining to among others; remuneration (salary and wages), leave, termination, women’s rights, children labour, complaint filing procedures, insurance coverage and other rights.

In addition, Primus also briefly explained the importance of understanding and adhering to the Minimum Salary Directives 2016 (Perintah Gaji Minimum 2016), the Employee Provident Act 1951 and Social Security Act (Perkeso), Employment Injury Scheme, Employment Insurance System, Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 and Industrial Relationship Act 1967.

The Q&A after her talk touched on many issues cited by the participants, especially on the rights and duties of both the employee/labourer and employer, as most are unaware of the legal protection laws covering migrant labour employment and its existence.

The second session focused on the topic of alternative approach to application of Birth Identification Documentation presented by Jellferlyne Joseph from Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd (PKGS).

Her talk was based on the Human Rights Declaration 1948 (Article 13: Rights for a Citizenship) and Convention of the Rights of Children (Article 7 and 8: Rights of children to have a Name and Citizenship) as enshrined by the United Nations and the steps taken by PKGS to assist migrant children (currently only available for Indonesian Migrants) in obtaining birth certificate through the assistance of the consulate office.

This will ensure that the children do not add towards the statistics of ‘stateless children’ and on the humanitarian perspective enable them to acquire proper education and necessary skills for their future endeavours in life.

Franciscan Sister Anita Lintanga touched on pastoral approaches towards migrants including visiting, organising and networking with them. She quoted from Erga migrantes caritas Christi (Love of Christ towards Migrants).  Citing Pope Francis’ message, the pastoral approach can be summed up in four words: welcoming, protecting, integrating and promoting the cause of migrants.

To drive across her point, a brief sketch role-play was presented by the Migrant Committee of AHDC. It highlighted the common real-case scenario of challenges encountered in migrant ministry.

Two participants, Imelda from Papar and Zilpah from Kota Kinabalu, shared their stories.  Both have high hopes that the local Church will continue to meet the pastoral needs of the migrants.

Before the training ended, Lim presented some of the follow-up actions which were identified, discussed and agreed upon in AMOS-3 and the 5th Triparte Pastoral Gathering at Ende, Flores last October.

Among them were data collection on Indonesian migrants, migrant serving migrant as catechists, MoU with Flores dioceses, and the care for the 3rd generation migrants. To carry out these, a team headed by Bishop Julius Gitom was set up on 22 February 2018 to spearhead and monitor the follow-up actions. The team comprises Human Development Commission members from the three arch/dioceses.

Fr Atang, in his concluding remarks, said that systematic approach to pastoral care for migrants in the local Church has seen incremental changes over the years. He personally found fulfilment in his priestly ministry when he began to be involved in migrant work. He encouraged the participants to work closely with their pastors.

In a way,  the migrant ministry is beginning to see its fruits in Sabah, beginning with AMOS-1 (Bundu Tuhan/Feb 2011), AMOS-2 (Keningau/Feb 2013) and AMOS-3 (Sandakan/Sept 2017).

The Triparte Pastoral Gatherings between the Sending Diocese of Flores, Transit Diocese of Tanjong Selor and the three arch/dioceses in Sabah as Receiving Church have enhanced greater cooperation and collaboration in the pastoral care for migrants.(SOCCOM Papar)



Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

Seminarians Russell and Gilbert accepted as candidates for ordination

KOTA KINABALU: Seminarians Russell Lawrine and Gilbert Marcus publically declared their intention to pursue Holy Orders and were officially accepted as candidates for ordination during the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders at the 6 am Friday Morning Mass celebrated by Archbishop John Wong at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here on 9 Mar 2018.

Both will be ordained deacons at the cathedral by Abp Wong on Sunday Mar 11 at 5 pm.

Assisting the prelate were Father Paul Lo (who called the candidates by name) and Father Joshua



Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

Spending time with the Lord

KUALA LUMPUR (Herald Malaysia): The Church offers us the Lenten practices of prayer, almsgiving and fasting which Pope Francis calls a “soothing remedy.” Prayer allows us to eradicate “secret lies” and “self-deception,” and we find “the consolation God offers,” he says. Almsgiving frees us from greed; it helps us regard others as brothers and sisters. “How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us!” he says. Fasting “weakens our tendency to violence,” reviving “our desire to obey God,” who alone can satisfy our hunger.

For the fifth straight year, our Holy Father invited dioceses, parishes and communities to join him in participating in the initiative entitled 24 Hours for the Lord. This programme, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, was aimed at placing the Sacrament of Reconciliation once again at the centre of the pastoral activity of the Church.

This year, inspired by the words of Psalm 130:4, “With you is forgiveness”, the 24 hours with the Lord took place from Friday, March 9 to Saturday, March 10.

The Pope reminds us that although the flame of charity may die in our hearts, it never dies in God’s. After “Eucharistic adoration and sacramental confession,” he says that the “new fire” of the Easter Vigil, the light of Christ will enable us to listen to God’s word and nourish ourselves on the Eucharist, making our hearts “more ardent in faith, hope and love.”

“In each diocese, at least one church remains open for twenty-four consecutive hours, offering an opportunity for both Eucharistic adoration and sacramental confession.” (Pope Francis, 2018 Lenten Message)

During this season of Lent, Pope Francis tells us, “Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life.”

In Rome, Pope Francis opened the initiative by presiding at a penitential celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica on Friday, March 9. Following the conclusion of this service, a number of churches throughout the City of Rome remained open for 24 hours, with confessors available and Eucharistic Adoration.

And this year for the first time, the initiative was also held in prisons in Italy.

It was the same for Malaysia too.

In Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese, the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist was open for prayer for the whole day.

Each week in March, some of our priests visit the prisons to preach the Word and hears confessions.

There are also some priests who bring the Sacrament of Reconciliation to the migrants.

In the Penang Diocese, the initiative took place at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. Bishop Sebastian Francis, in his letter to the clergy, religious and laity, had encouraged them to either join or organise one on their own.

In Malacca Johore Diocese, almost all the parishes organised the 24 hours for the Lord.

The Kuching Archdiocese organised the 24 hours for the Lord at the Cathedral of St Joseph. There was the Eucharistic Adoration with the Sacrament of Reconciliation

It was the same for the Diocese of Sibu, where it was held at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
In Miri Diocese, it will be held at the Carmelite Chapel from March 23 at 12.00 noon with Opening Mass and will end on Saturday, March 24 at 12.00 noon with Closing Mass.

In Sabah, the Diocese of Sandakan held it at the Cathedral of St Mary. The emphasis was on reconciliation, Stations of the Cross, various prayers and quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament.

For the Diocese of Keningau, as part of their preparation for their silver jubilee, confessions are held everyday and there is a 15-hour adoration every Wednesday at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Rumah Retret Keuskupan Keningau in Tatal.

Other than the confessions at parishes during the season of Lent, Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese did not organise the 24 hours for the Lord. However, confessions will be offered to parents with infants and senior citizens at Sacred Heart Cathedral from March 19-21 from 8.30 am – 10.00 am.



Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

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