Category Archives: Nov 2018

Family Life Commission organises Team Convention in Port Dickson

Noting that ‘The family is the life of the Church,’ the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) organised a Team Convention November 2-4 at the Port Dickson Golf & Country Club. All parish representatives and those involved in the Family Life Ministry were invited to forge acquaintances and unite all who are working towards the goals of the AFLC five-year pastoral plan.

The AFLC Team Convention was participated by 24 couples who came from the Church of the Holy Rosary, the Church of St Joseph, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Church of St Francis of Assisi, the Church of the Good Shepherd, the Church of Jesus Caritas, the Chapel of Kristus Aman, the Church of the Assumption, the Church of Our Lady Of Guadalupe, the Church of St Ignatius, the Church of St Anne and the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Acknowledging that the age of the Millennials has dawned upon us, Dr Valerie Jacques, a Child Psychologist, presented the sessions themed Understanding the Millennials, to deepen the participants’ understanding of the Millennials and how to work towards reaching out to them.

Fr Edwin Peter, the Ecclesial Assistant for the Family Life Commission, came to support the participants. He was extremely pleased with the representation of all the language groups — English, Mandarin, Tamil and Bahasa Malaysia at the Team Convention.

The Celebration of the Eucharist was presided by Fr Kenneth Gopal, OCD who revealed that he is also a Millennial. In his homily, Fr Kenneth emphasised that in building the kingdom of God, we need to share God’s love with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength.

The Chair Couple of the Family Life Commission, Joseph and Anita Pragasam, facilitated the wrapping up session by asking the participants to discuss in their respective groups how they can help promote the understanding of the Millennials in their respective Family Life Ministry and in the BEC of their parishes. The different responses will be compiled and distributed to the various parishes to be implemented.
Just before the Team Convention concluded, Archbishop Julian Leow arrived to give a closing address.

Archbishop Leow acknowledged that it is not easy raising Millennial children through no fault of theirs and that it is important for parents and even grandparents to understand how to handle their children or grandchildren and prepare them for the real world.

Emphasising that every child is unique, Archbishop Leow called on all parents and grandparents to be sensitive to the needs of their children and grandchildren so as to pick up on what they are saying or not saying, to understand them, to try to ‘read their minds’ and know what they are thinking. He also stressed on the importance of good communication in the family and on journeying with these children to assure them that the family is supporting them through their struggles in life, that they need not suffer alone in silence.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Sentul’s community in interreligious dialogue

KUALA LUMPUR: Her Excellency Kamala Shirin Lakhdir, the US ambassador to Malaysia, paid a courtesy call on the Church of St Joseph on Thursday, Nov 8, in conjunction with a Harmony Walk to several places of worship in Sentul.

This is a yearly programme on her agenda and is close to her heart. She was accompanied by YB Senator Waythamoorty, the Minister of Welfare and Social Wellbeing, representatives of various religions in Sentul and staff of the Embassy.

On hand to welcome her were Gabriel Moses, the Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, Eleanor Tennakoon, Coordinator of the Parish Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, as well as several senior members of the parish.

Her Excellency was scheduled to spend 15 minutes here but ended up being here for a good half hour. She had earlier been to the Hindu and Buddhist temples in Sentul, enroute to the Taoist temple and Masjid Al Hidayah in Sentul Pasar.

She listened attentively when Gabriel, the PPC Chairman, gave an account of the history of the church, which celebrates is 110th anniversary this year.

The church was founded to serve the people who worked in the Railway Department. Today, the parishioners come from various communities.

There are programmes for the poor and the migrants, especially those from Myanmar. Madam Kamala inquired about the problems encountered by the migrants in Malaysia. Gabriel spoke about the Sunday Catechism classes for the Tamil, the English speaking and Myanmar communities.

When the ambassador asked about the current biggest challenge, Gabriel replied that it was the lack of participation by the youth due to other priorities of the world. However, there are on-going programmes for the youth.

After that, the visitors were ushered into the church. The group left about 9.30am, after an encouraging inter-religious dialogue.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Collaboration for both to continue, says joint statemnt

The Second Christian-Taoist Colloquium has issued a seven-point statement which, among others, recognises that the present day’s crisis of ethics requires a rediscovery of universal values based on social justice, integral ecology, as well as the dignity of human life at every stage and circumstance.

It affirmed that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) “remains a shared fundamental expression of human conscience for our times and offers a solid basis for promoting a more just world”.

The other points in the joint statement acknowledged that the Colloquium has helped to strengthen their bonds of friendship and nurture their desire for further collaboration. Participants shared their concerns and hopes for the future.

They affirmed that because of the fundamental ethical teachings of the Christian and Taoist traditions to do good and avoid evil, “no one can escape the moral responsibility of transforming unjust socio-economic, political, cultural, religious and legal structures”.

They also believe in the capacity of the two religious traditions to inspire a multi-faceted response to the current challenges. Therefore, together they identified the need to improve the methods of communication of their traditions and stories in a language that is easily understood.

They also believe that families, educational institutions, and religious communities are places of spiritual and moral formation where today’s youth can learn to shape tomorrow’s world into a better place.

They noted that the interpersonal and scholarly exchanges have enabled them to work together to shape the ethical framework needed for the common good of this and future generations.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Experiencing Jesus for the first time through the Eucharist

The Parish of St Anthony celebrated First Holy Communion for ten children on Sunday, November 11, during the 8.30am Mass concelebrated by Fr Vincent Paul and Fr Francis Xavier.

“Every time we participate and witness ceremonies like this, we should examine ourselves: How did we feel when receiving Jesus for the first time through Holy Communion? Have our lives changed for the better with each passing year? We should imitate the Poor Widow in the day’s Gospel who gave everything she had, even the last coin. Can we do it?” asked Fr Vincent.

“Like the Poor Widow who gave everything, God also did the same by giving us his only Son to be born among us at Christmas, who suffered, was crucified, died and rose from the dead to save us from Hell. Jesus comes to us freely and without cost. Have we given him the best environment to live inside us, free from sins? Think and reflect on this,” said Fr Vincent.

The communicants thanked Fr Francis Xavier, our former Parish Priest who came from Kangar, Perlis, to concelebrate Mass and share the joy and plant the seed of faith in them.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Ministry’s visit to Don Bosco Children’s Home

Seventeen members of the Pastoral Care for the Sick, Aged and Needy Ministry of the Church of St Simon made a maiden visit to the Don Bosco Children’s Home at Bundu Tuhan on Oct 13.

Some of the members were there for the first time, even though the centre had existed for not less than 50 years!

Before the visit, we had found out from Sister-in-Charge, Sr Anne Marie, that there are 60 children whose ages range from seven to 17 years old — 13 of whom are 12 years old and below while 47 are in secondary school.

The parish convoy reached the centre at 10.15am. Sr Anne Marie was most delighted to see us and the children welcomed us with songs and dance. After receiving our gifts of fresh fruit and other basic necessities, Sr Anne Marie said she depends on donations “especially at the beginning of the school term when the children need to buy books and pay for school fees.” The children attend primary and seconday schools nearby. Many of these children have lived away from their parents’ most of the time. Most of them come from broken families that are affected by divorce, single parenting and some are also victims of abuse.

These families are mostly located in rural kampongs (villages) around the area of Kiau District, Papar, Tamparuli, Kota Belud, Keningau, Ranau. One girl, whose father died when she was very young, was abandoned by her mother and relatives. Brother Ben found her and brought her to the centre six years ago. She is now in her teens and needs love and peace of mind.

The centre has limited grounds for expansion. The construction of the hall and hostel was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu some 30 years ago. Maintenance and upkeep of the building are challenging.

The person that Sister and the children never forget is the founder of the centre, Brother Martinus JA Snoeren, affectionately known by all as Brother Ben, born on Oct 8, 1929. He was called to the Lord on Feb 13 this year.

His Christian mission started in 1953 and he retired in 2014. He spent almost all his 61 years servicing in Don Bosco. A photograph of Brother Ben is placed on a table at the side of the hostel hall.

He was “Papa” to the children of the centre. He will be fondly remembered by all the people who have known him. The children prayerfully remember his love, comfort and the hope he showered on them.

Sr Anne Marie and the five helpers have their hands full looking after the children. Aaron, who was personally trained by Brother Ben, is one of the key assistants in the work force.

Mary Ann Chew gave a motivational talk entitled, Don’t Be Controlled By These Five Things:

— Your past
— Other people’s opinions and judgements
— Limited beliefs you project on yourself
— Relationship – love and connection
— Money – Do not allow your decisions to be controlled by money

We left the centre with mixed feelings. These children are “lucky” to have a place to stay, food to eat and education to prepare them for life. However, one cannot help but feel they lack the genuine happiness of family support and love.

We are looking forward to seeing the children again in the near future.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Some sharings from the participants

Annie Ling, BECCOT Coordinator of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, found that the sessions on understanding the Millennials within our community brought about great awareness. She said, “We need to recognise the important roles of the Millennials in shaping the future Church by encouraging and empowering them to participate, contribute new and fresh ideas and supporting them to take their place in their community as young leaders rooted in Christ.”

For CMPC Parish Representatives John and Francisca from the Church of St Joseph, the topic presented by Dr Valerie was an enlightening experience. They are now able to understand the mindset of the Millennials better when encountering them in Church circles or even among family members. John and Francisca also firmly believe that society at large ought to be less judgemental of the ‘gadget-culture’ which the Millennials are so accustomed to as they strive to survive in the competitive world they live in. They also strongly believe that it is necessary to adapt accordingly to reach out to these young people.

Eugene and Micole, a Millennial Couple representing the Mandarin Apostolate, discovered a different approach in discovering how Millennials think and react. The many case examples shared by Dr Valerie allowed them to look at issues and challenges surrounding today’s Millennials from their own standpoint. They also learnt the importance of the six basic needs of a person from a psychological point of view.

Eugene and Micole are also convinced that it is crucial to empower the millennials in each ministry within the Church by implementing mentoring programmes for the “younger” millennials so that they can see ‘eye to eye’ with their Mentor Couple, who are “older” Millennials. It is also hoped that the millennials will feel competent and motivated to play a more active role in the Church activities and ministries.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Understanding millennials

In her presentation, Dr Valerie Jacques began by explaining that the Millennials, those born between 1980-2000, are the first generation to grow up surrounded by the modern “instant gratification” technology of social media and the life-defining events that shaped their young lives.

She further described how Millennials can be identified by their extremes, their overall strengths and weaknesses. Dr Valerie illustrated how Millennials grow up being catered to, micromanaged from one activity to another and pampered by “helicopter” parents – fathers and mothers who closely hover over their children’s every move and personally intercede in their affairs.

In recognising the traits of the Millennials, the participants were able to understand the expectations of the Millennials better and why they are connected 24/7, with the line dividing work from social life blurred and faded.

Taking everything into account, Dr Valerie stressed that moderation in everything is the key to parenting the Millennial child and reminded the participants to learn to see these Millennials differently, to listen and to enjoy their uniqueness with no expectations.

Life would then not be so stressful. At the end of it all, there is still hope with faith as our foundation, believing that God carries us through all our challenges in life and that ‘Everything God created is good.’

Dr Valerie also got the participants to break up into groups of six to take part in a workshop creating a collage on the question, “What are your experiences with millennials?” This was an exciting part of the programme as the participants, who are mostly parents, enthusiastically took part in collage building.

These beautifully crafted collages were then displayed, with the leaders from each group explaining their meaning.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Achieve transformative leadership in BECs

“What is the image of a leader servingas BEC?” was the question asked by Msgr Manuel G. Gabriel, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines BEC Executive Secretary to the BEC members before he discussed the challenges in achieving transformative leadership.

The 10th Renewed Servant Leader ship Forum Series of the Diocese of Novaliches Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC Nova)was held at St Peter Parish Shrine of Leaders last October 18, 2018.

The priest calledon community leaders to focus on their rolesin parish transformation as servant leaders and disciples. The author of many books on BECs then delved on cultural and biblical servant hood and cited several models of the Church that define some roles BEC plays in the community. Importantly, he put emphasis on two models that define the breadth and depth ofa BEC member.The Church as Servant, he said, translates to “a redeemed people who have them and ate to establish in this world Christ’s king ship of peace, justice, love and reconciliation.”He added that the Church as a School of Discipleship, on the other hand, means “theprocess of learning (disciple means learner),the ‘job description’ of the Church.”

At one point, he urged his audience to read with him an excerpt of Pope Francis’ Angelus Address in February last year thataccentuated the roles of servant and disciple according to Jesus himself, as “salt of the earth,” and “light of the world.” “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one an other’s feet,” he quoted and added that the servant is not greater than his master and vice versa as he highlighted Bible passages on the Washing Of The Feet Of  The Apostles and the Good Samaritan, amongmany others.

The parable of the Good Samaritan, he continued, shows us “the Church’s accompaniment of the wounded and lost.”“It is accompanying people, just like the Good Samaritan,” he said, reiterating that BEC is “not an activity but accompaniment,helping people start on their own.”

“Ang sagot sa mga napapalayo sa atin ayang BEC,” he said. “BEC makes the Churchpresent to those hurting; it is the answeramong the excluded and makes the Church present to those who are hurting.”

“The BEC is involved in ecological preservation. It heeds the cry of Mother Earthand the poor,” he said.

The BEC Nova Renewed Servant Leadership Forum was launched this January in line with the theme of the Year of the Clergyand Consecrated Life.

At the end of everyforum, participants are requested to assessthe talk they had just heard and its effect orrelevance to them as BEC members.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Uniting to clean up public park

Catholics and Muslims joined hands to clean up a forest reserve park in Cherok Tokun, Bukit Mertajam on Nov 3. This ‘gotong royong’ was initiated by Msgr Henry Rajoo, parish priest of St Anne’s Church, who approached PAS Malaysia and Yayasan Amal Malaysia to hold the joint project with St Anne’s.

The event Gotong Royong Muhibbah: Sayangilah Alam Sekitar was officially launched by Bishop Sebastian Francis. In his opening address, Bishop Sebastian said, “When our environment is clean, when Mother Earth is clean, when the air and water are clean, then our hearts are also clean. We have been commissioned by God to go and clean God’s creation.”

The park begins at the base of the hill (Bukit Mertajam) and is frequented by visitors and regular joggers. The volunteers were shocked that there was so much rubbish and it was always most where people congregated, for example, by the car parks and picnicking spots even deep into the park. They found plastic bags embedded in the soil, used diapers, slippers, shoes, cigarette butts and boxes, styrofoam boxes, clothing and a host of other items.

The volunteers were mostly parishioners from St. Anne’s and Sacred Heart of Jesus (SHJ) Church in Kulim with a few from Penang Island parishes, Muslim residents from the area and members of AMAL. St Anne’s provided tongs to pick up rubbish and garbage bags. The Creation Justice Ministry members of St Anne’s and SHJ, Kulim, handled the registration and gave out face towels and a bookmark on ecological commitments. AMAL provided water and buns. The Majlis Perbandaran of Seberang Perai provided wheelbarrows, hoes, and a dumpster to collect the many bags of rubbish

There was good camaraderie amongst all the participants and an important reminder to visitors present that morning to keep the place clean and not treat the forest like a rubbish dump. The forest is a critical eco-system which is home to 80% of land animals and is the best carbon sink to help stem global warming.

In the closing, all the partners of the project thanked one another and pledged to protect Mother Earth. The event strengthened the rapport between the Church and our Muslim brothers and sisters. It showed that saving Mother Earth is an ideal platform to build inter-religious and inter-racial solidarity.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

KL Archdiocese donates more than RM260k for Peter’s Pence collection

KUALA LUMPUR: The parishes in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur have donated RM260,557.03 for the Peter’s Pence collection for 2018

“I wish to thank you sincerely for this donation, which represents the concrete expression of communion between the faithful of your ecclesiastical jurisdiction with the Holy Father himself, whose solicitude for the entire Church is supported by this collection which takes place throughout the world each year,” said Archbishop Joseph Marino, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, in a letter dated Oct 31.

“With this financial assistance, Pope Francis, who has made mercy a centrepiece of his teaching, can give tangible witness to the Gospel of charity,” added the Nuncio.



Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online
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