Category Archives: July 2018

Over 100 turn up for choir workshop

Over 100 members from parish choirs across Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese turned up for the choir workshop on 27-29 July 2018 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.

The English choir workshop was organised by the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission under Father Cosmas Lee.

The workshop was conducted by the Singapore Liturgical Music Team: Father John Joseph Fenelon, Jennifer Anthoney, and Julian Soh.

The 105 participants were key choir conductors, key leaders and musicians from Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang, St Simon Likas, Stella Maris Tanjung Aru, St Catherine Inanam, Good Shepherd Manggatal, Holy Family Telipok, St Paul Dontozidon, Holy Family Terawi, Holy Trinity Inobong, St Joseph Papar, and Holy Rosary Limbahau.

Also present were Father Paul Lo (short while) and Father Thomas Madanan.

In his introduction, Fr Fenelon affirmed the centrality of the Mass in the liturgical life of the Church and explained what sacred music or music in the liturgy means: “a humble handmaid of the liturgy.”

Quoting from the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, Fr Fenelon said:

“Sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is more closely connected with the liturgical action” (SC #112), a “humble handmaid” of liturgy (TLS 23) for its value in the liturgy is located in its ability to enhance the ecclesiastical ceremonies, to highlight the liturgical text, and to inspire the faithful.

In relation to this, the participants were introduced to the plainchant and the pipe organ.

For the practical sessions, the participants were divided into two groups: one composed of cantors (chants, choral) and the other of  musicians (keyboardists, organists, guitarists, etc).

Plainchant is a form of medieval church music (CE 100) that involves chanting or words that are sung without any instrumental accompaniment. It is also called plainsong.  It was the only type of music allowed in Christian churches early on.    Gregorian chant is a variety of plainchant.

It was believed that music should make a listener receptive to spiritual thoughts and reflections.  This was why the melody was kept pure and unaccompanied.  In fact, the same melody would be repeatedly used throughout the plainsong. There are no harmonies or chords that embellish the melody.

In the early centuries, there were many different kinds of plainchant without standardisation. Around the year 600, Pope Gregory the Great wanted to compile all the different types of chants into one collection. Named after him, this compilation was known as Gregorian Chant, which later became a term used to describe this variety of music in general.

As opposed to modern music notation, plainchant is written on 4 lines instead of 5 lines. Also, a symbol called “neumes” was used to indicate pitch and syllable phrasing. There is no record of notation for the earlier forms of plainchant.

The pipe organ  is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendour to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up the human mind to God and to higher things.

The participants were led through the experience of using the plainchant in the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) and in the concluding Mass at St Simon Likas on July 29.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

A prayer for our nation

Let us proclaim the name of the Lord;
And ascribe greatness to our God!
Lord, your work is perfect.
And all your ways are just.
Let Your voice be heard today by all the nations!

O God, Judge of the nations,
Put fear into our hearts
So that we may know that we are only human.
Father, the whole of creation groans
and labours to be delivered from the bondage of corruption,
into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Lord Jesus, send forth Your Spirit of Truth
and let this Spirit prove to ‘the powers that be’ how wrong
they are about sin, righteousness and judgment.

O Lord, declare the power of your works toYour peoples and
let us be filled with the knowledge of Your glory as
the waters cover the sea.

Gather us, O Lord, in Your Name and
may all worship the One True God. Amen.
(A prayer composed from various Scripture verses of the Bible)


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

KK clergy study day focuses on priestly holiness

PURAK: Twenty-three catechists made it to level two of the ongoing formation course for catechists organised by the Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission at Pace Bene Formation Centre here on 8-26 July 2018.

They had participated in the first level last year.

Among the topics given were Bioethics, Vatican II Documents (Fr Michael Modoit), Canon Law (Fr Rudolp Joannis), Joy of the Gospel (Fr Nicholas Stephen), Catechism of the Catholic Church (Sr Patsy Limun fsic), Ecclesiology, Church Social Teaching (Dominic Lim), Evangelisation (Sr Grace Deosing fsic), Salvation History, Pastoral Applications (Fr Paul Lo).

Aside from the inputs, the participants were also sent to help out at the outstation chapels of Papar and Limbahau during the weekends.

Archbishop John Wong presided at the concluding Mass followed by the certificate presentation to the participants on July 26.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

May they be one Jesus’ prayer reverberates!

JOHOR BAHRU: ‘Hari Ini Dalam sejarah.’ That is how Archbishop Julian Leow (Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese) began his welcoming address at the 1st Malaysian Catholic Clergy Assembly (MCCA) in Majodi Centre July 16-21. It was truly a historical moment for the Malaysian Catholic Church, where 278 clergy, comprising of Arch/bishops, priests and deacons from the nine Arch/Dioceses in Malaysia gathered together in discernment, prayer and fellowship.

May they be one (John 17:21) i.e, the high priestly prayer of Jesus in the Gospel of John was the theme of the assembly. In his address at the opening Mass, Archbishop Joseph Marino, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, highlighted the call to follow Jesus in our humanity as priests and to be conscious of the struggles of the people of God. He added the Malaysian Church must continue to be a welcoming church and a sign of love after the heart of Jesus.

Archbishop Emeritus John Ha led the assembly into a recollection the following day. He emphasised that the Church as a community of Christ’s disciples is called to be a beacon of unity in Malaysia. In response to this call, the first Malaysian Catholic Clergy Assembly was convened in the belief and conviction that deeper communion among the clergy will lead to a greater unity amidst our diversity among the dioceses in Malaysia.

Thus, the first day of the assembly was a time for building new friendships among the clergy and rekindling old ones among brother priests. Many who were classmates in the seminary years ago had the pleasure of strengthening their bonds of friendship. In addition, the clergy were brought to visit South Johor Vicariate parishes to experience and witness first-hand, the reality of Catholics from Sabah, Sarawak and Semenanjung living together in communion and mission. They were welcomed by the parishioners dressed in their traditional attire and treated with food and drinks prepared by the various ethnic groups who were part of the parish community. This reinforces the notion of unity in diversity which is a distinct character of the Malaysian church.

The second day was a time of learning the history and journey of the Catholic faith in each of the dioceses in Malaysia. This was done through multimedia presentation of interviews and sharing from clergy and laity on the culture and time in which the seed of the Catholic faith was sown and later grew into the Malaysian church as we see and experience today in the respective dioceses of Malaysia. The clergy were also given the opportunity to meet in small groups to share on their inspirations to the faith and towards serving God as deacons, priests and bishops. They also shared on their hopes and aspiration for the future of the Malaysian Church.

The third day was a time of addressing the challenges they face together as Malaysian Catholic clergy. Issues on the family, youth, vocation, secularisation, faith formation, evangelisation and mission witnessing were among some of the topics that were addressed in the hope of greater collaboration towards living the mission entrusted to us by our Lord Jesus in Malaysia.

Archbishop Simon Poh in his talk on Pastor after Heart of the Shepherd spoke on the crisis in the church. He cautioned them against clericalism and urged them to be accountable and transparent in all their dealings.

At the close of the assembly, the three cochairs namely, Bishop Bernard Paul (Malacca- Johore Diocese), Bishop Richard Ng (Miri Diocese) and Bishop Julius Gitom (Sandakan Diocese) spoke on the history and growth of the Malaysian Church. This MCCA is the first step taken to achieve the desire first voiced during the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Convention IV in 2016 that is, to have the 1st Pan Malaysian Pastoral Convention in 2026. The next step would be an assembly for all the religious — sisters, brothers and priests.

During the Mass on the last day of the assembly, Bishop Sebastian Francis, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei in his homily said, “The Holy Spirit is asking us, as the Malaysian clergy, to make a commitment to strive for unity, so that the world and Malaysia will believe that the Father has sent us. We do not want an elite church. We want a church for the masses — the People of God.”

Towards the end of the Mass and as a sign of new growth, each member of the assembly was given a palm oil seed as a sign that something did take place. “It is a reminder to connect with your ground — the history, situation and culture wherever you are planted,” explained Bishop Bernard.

“Befriend your situation, befriend your history, befriend your culture and befriend your people. Learn from one another’s stories, embrace your challenges as they are also your opportunity,” he added.

Then the members of the organising committee lit their candles from the paschal candle and handed them over to their respective arch/bishops. These candles signify the light of Christ. The Arch/Bishops who are the shepherds of their Arch/Dioceses are a symbol of unity who care for their priests, religious and laity.

The assembly came to an end with the clergy praying the MCCA prayer.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

US Ambassador visits NTA Refugee School in Penang

A day after US Independence Day, the US Ambassador to Malaysia, Her Excellency Kamala Lakhdir, took time from her busy schedule to visit the NTA Refugee School at The Lighthouse, Penang.

Present during the Ambassador’s visit to the school was the Bishop of Penang, Rt Rev Sebastian Francis, the New Thessalonian Apostolate (NTA) Executive Committee, members of the board of the Penang Office of Human Development (POHD) and The LightHouse administration.

The Ambassador viewed the classrooms, canteen, training centre and facilities provided by LightHouse for the NTA School as well as other Lighthouse facilities which include the Feeding Centre for the poor and homeless. She was also briefed on the various other programmes that were available at the LightHouse.

The students were delighted when the ambassador took the time to chat with them on topics which included school life and sports.

Marianne See, NTA’s Director of Internal Affairs, who led the tour, explained to Ambassador Lakhdir that the idea for the school was conceived when a group of refugee parents approached NTA and informed them that over 70 children in Penang had no access to education. This plea prompted NTA to look into ways to address this plight and resulted in their collaboration with The LightHouse.

This is the second time that the ambassador has visited NTA-run facilities. Her Excellency had, in January this year, visited the NTA School for Refugee Children and the NTA PieceWorks Training Centre in Alor Setar, Kedah.

The tour ended with lunch during which the ambassador discussed extensively with Bishop Sebastian and the NTA and POHD teams on the plight of the refugees and the many possibilities of future collaborations. This was the first time that Ambassador Lakhdir and Bishop Sebastian had met.

The ambassador thanked NTA and the Catholic Church for opening their second refugee school. She was happy to see that NTA was growing and that their good work to serve the refugee communities was being supported. She also expressed her gratitude and thanked Bishop Sebastian for his continuous support towards addressing the plight of the refugees in northern Malaysia.

Speaking about the ambassador’s visit, NTA’s Director of External Affairs, Sherril Netto said, “NTA has had a good working relationship with the US Embassy and Ambassador Lakhdir ever since we won the Julia Taft Award from the US State Department in 2016 for our work in Alor Setar.”

Echoing similar sentiments was NTA Director-General, Dave J. Kameron, “We are grateful and honoured that our work is recognised and supported at an international level. We look forward to continuing working with Ambassador Lakhdir and her team.”


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Perlis Raja Muda invites non-Muslims to visit mosques to understand Islam better

KANGAR: The Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail invited non- Muslims to visit mosques in the state to get a better understanding of Islam.

He said the doors of the mosques in Perlis were open to all and that included non-Muslims.

“The mosque is a harmonious, safe and comfortable place for all visitors and its role is wider and more practical than what the community understands.

“It is not just a place of worship but also a place for the community to socialise and hold activities,” he said after launching the “Ziarah Masjid” campaign for the non-Muslim community at Masjid Alwi, July 19. The Raja Muda said all mosques in Perlis should welcome the initiative and take the opportunity to spread the message of Islam.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Assumption Church parishioners participate at Masjid Jamek Hari Raya do

If “7” is meant to be an auspicious number for Christians, then July 7 was another milestone for interreligious dialogue by the Assumption Church. The goodwill and rapport established during Ramadhan at the Iftar events hosted by both Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Aziz and the Assumption Church, Petaling Jaya on June 4 and 7 June respectively continued when the Masjid extended an invitation to parish priest Fr Gregory Chan and his parishioners to participate in a Majlis Silaturahim dan Jamuan Aidilfitri on the night of July 7.

The early comers were welcomed to the library as the function would commence at 9.00pm after Isyak prayers.

Later, the hosts invited all Assumption parishioners to the front row VIP tables giving us a perfect view of the stage. A mosque attendant assigned to the tables where we were seated brought us platters of traditional Malay cuisine.

We were inspired by an 11-year old Muslim girl who could recite the Al-Quran fluently. As July 8 was Bible Sunday, Fr Chan also called upon the congregation to emulate the example of the pre-teen by reading Scriptures in the Bible.

The well-organised event saw mosque officials distributing aid to underprivileged children, awards for top scorers and the much awaited duit raya.

Both holy houses having stood along Jalan Templer, Petaling Jaya for decades but we never became acquainted with each other. It just took a simple inter-faith buka puasa and the ice was broken.

Is our faith weakened by participating in interreligious events at either place of worship? On the contrary, no. We have more respect for one another, while deepening our own personal creed.

There are proposals to reciprocate the invitation to the Masjid to welcome them for the Assumption Feast Day celebrations or Christmas. Considering the generosity, warmth and hospitality extended to us by the Masjid hosts, Assumption parishioners have big shoes to fill to reciprocate our Muslim brothers and sisters in return.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Couples experience transformational weekend

The July 6 to 8 weekend will remain very special and memorable for the 16 couples who attended the Marriage Encounter (ME) Weekend #169, facilitated by three exceptional couples: Chris and Monica, Paul and Frances and Andrey and Noelani, with Fr Patrick Boudville. The couples experienced a transformational weekend filled with soul searching, open sharing of thoughts and feelings, with the love and grace of God at the core.

One couple commented, “Before ME, our marriage was like driving without a road map for the past 35 years. ME has enabled us to find a map, discover street lights and enabled us to read the road signs better.”

Another couple felt that they were “living in the fast lane” and that ME helped them to “slow down, pray and listen to each other more” and to discover a path to healing in their relationship, knowing that the Lord is present in their marriage.”

The weekend allowed the couples to immerse in themselves, rekindle their love and learn that sharing, in a safe environment, without judging, can be the hardest but the most beautiful part of a successful marriage.

“The programme was so well set out that we felt, as the weekend unfolded, that there was much more we could experience from our marriage than what we thought we already had,” said a couple, accentuating the fact that the ME weekend enables couples to appreciate each other more and look forward to a much more meaningful and blissful marriage in the years to come.

The next ME weekends are on Aug 24-26 (Mandarin) and Oct 5-7 (English) – contact your ME parish reps to register.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Sacred Heart Parish holds dinner and dance

The Sacred Heart of Jesus (SHJ) Church ME group held their 3rd annual Couples’ Nite dinner and dance on Saturday, June 23.

The SHJ ME core team, led by the Chair couple, Jacob and Shirley Chiam, organised their annual dinner and dance at Shuang Xi Lou Restaurant, Kajang. The programme started with the ME theme song. This fantastic evening was filled with fun, games, lucky draws and a sumptuous nine course Chinese dinner. It was indeed a very lively and joyful evening for everyone. Couples enjoyed the karaoke, singing their favourite oldies.

Special appreciation to Anthony Moo for his well-selected karaoke session.

Couples felt blessed with their loving spouses and all are looking forward to the next meet up.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Holy Spirit Cathedral holds Family Day

The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit celebrated Family Day on July 14. Families and individuals came together sportingly to participate in activities, with lots of fun and laughter, during the half day event. It was a unique way to remind the parishioners of the importance of family and friends and help foster closer ties. It also portrayed the unity in diversity of the parish.

The celebrations kicked off with an opening prayer by Fr Francis Anthony at the Dewan Holy Spirit.

Individuals and families were placed under 5 groups. The first game was the Ice Breaker. Then they broke up to go to different stations around the church compound and classrooms to participate in all the games.

There were 14 games in all. Some were traditional games which brought back childhood memories. Others challenged the participants’ creativity. Some activities were based on Bible Knowledge and others on artistic ability.

The participants were from diverse backgrounds, ages and language groups yet they all enjoyed the games and had so much fun together. Older members kept steady with the aid of walking sticks. Mothers helped their little ones.

The event was filled with a variety of people, games and food. The highlight was the breaking of the pot game towards the end.

Fr Joachim Robert, the Parish Priest, brought the celebration to a close with a short speech and prayer. Individual participants were given a rosary each, while families were given a candle to take home. All were reminded to pray for the success of the One Year Journey Towards the Golden Jubilee of the Parish, which will be celebrated on Pentecost Day in 2019.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online
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