Category Archives: Sept 2017

FSICs bid final farewell to Sr Alphonsus on her birth anniversary

The Franciscan Sisters, led by Sr Grace Deosing, sing their song of farewell to the late Sr Alphonsus Low at the Stella Maris Church Tg Aru before her body was brought to the Mile 4.5 Catholic Cemetery Jalan Penampang Lama for burial, 29 Sept 2017.  Near the coffin are the three nieces and one nephew who flew in from Singapore and Perth Sept 28.

TANJUNG ARU – Over 60 Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) led by Superior General Sister Grace Deosing bade final farewell to Sister Alphonsus Low, at the Stella Maris Church here on 29 Sept 2017, her 79th birth anniversary.

Singapore-born Low died peacefully on Sept 26 at KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital Likas.  The wake was held at Stella Maris Hostel Tg Aru where she had been taking care of the boarders.

Archbishop John Wong presided at the funeral Mass at the parish church.  Concelebrating with him were Msgr Primus Jouil, Father Johnny Raju, Father Tony Mojiwat, Father Wiandigool Runsab and two Korean priests.

In his homily, Abp Wong paid tribute to the deceased’s lifelong fidelity to her vocation as a religious and as a teacher.  Her first posting in 1958 was at Stella Maris Primary School before she joined the Franciscan Sisters in 1961.  Her last posting was at Stella Maris Secondary School as principal (1981-1989).  After her retirement from teaching,  she took charge of the hostel for students.

Over 300 people turned up for the funeral Mass, among whom were several of her former students.  Three nieces, two nephews, and a nephew-in-law flew in from Perth and Singapore on Sept 28 even though one of the nephews had to leave early on the day of the funeral.

Fr Mojiwat officiated the rite of burial at Mile 4.5 Catholic Cemetery Jalan Penampang Lama.


Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu


Chancery Notice: The passing of Msgr Anthony Thomas

Monsignor Anthony Thomas
Date of Birth: 22nd Oct 1937
Date of Ordination: 2nd Feb 1965
Date of Demise: 24th Sept 2017

Monsignor Anthony Thomas (aged 80), who served in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur from 1965 till his retirement in June 2013, passed away peacefully on 24th September at 2.30pm at the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, Cheras, where he had been residing since his retirement.

Monsignor Thomas was a gifted and proficient musician who had contributed greatly to the repertoire of hymns, responsorial psalm musical settings and mass ordinaries widely used in the local Church and beyond. He is also fondly remembered as a ‘great builder of community centres’.

The late Monsignor Thomas served as parish priest in the following parishes in the archdiocese:

1. Church of St Joseph, Sentul (1971 to 1972; 1976 to 1982 and from 1982 to 1991)
2. Church of the Visitation, Seremban (1991 to 1998)
3. Church of the Sacred Heart, Jln Peel (1998 to 2008)
4. Church of St Aloysius, Mantin (2008 to May 2013)

To honour his many years of faithful service to the Church, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI conferred him the ‘Honorary Prelate’ in December 2010, which carries with it the privilege to use the honorific ‘Monsignor.’ The official investiture ceremony was held on Jan 9, 2011 at the Cathedral of St John, Kuala Lumpur.

The details of the funeral and the wake of the late Monsignor Anthony Thomas are as follows:

The body is lying in state at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Jln Peel, Kuala Lumpur.

Wake and Vigil Mass will be held on Mon, 25th Sept and Tues, 26th Sept at 8.00pm. The funeral will be held on Wed, 27th Sept at 11.00am at the Church of the Sacred Heart, and thereafter for burial at Kajang Catholic cemetery.

His Grace, Most Rev Julian Leow, the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur and the clergy of the Archdiocese, extend condolences to the family of Monsignor Anthony Thomas in this time of loss and assures them of our fraternal prayers and support.

Father Michael Chua
Acting Chancellor
Archdiocesan Chancery


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

FORMED is now available in the KL Archdiocese

FORMED, a digital platform of Catholic Resources by the Augustine Institute, is now available in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur.

In July 2017, a team of lay Catholics from various parishes in the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese embarked on a journey using the ‘New Roman Road.’ Each one had been using this Netflix-like VOD and digital content service from the Augustine Institute called FORMED over the last one to two years.

Having experienced the fruits of using this huge library of resources, they started promoting this resource to several parishes in the KL Archdiocese and beyond, to Perak and Penang. The team met with Archbishop Julian Leow and a number of priests. Apart from sharing tips on how to effectively use FORMED, the team members also shared their life testimonies during our sessions.

With the Archdiocesan Pastoral Institute under the directorship of Msgr Mitchel Joseph, the team collaborated to work at the grassroots’ level to share their faith experiences.

FORMED is still in its infancy for the Church in Malaysia and many have not heard of it yet. However, in the US where the digital platform originated, there are more than a quarter of a million users to-date in over 2,000 parishes.

The support from the Parish Care of the Augustine Institute helps subscribers to be on the look-out for new and suitable programmes for the various ministries in the parish.

Taking its cue from the liturgical calendar of the Universal Church, the Parish Care specialists also provide tips on when, and/or how, to initiate a particular programme.

For example, in preparation for the Feast of Pentecost, they would highlight a programme called WILD GOOSE.

Then, there is a 12-session video based programme entitled BELOVED that ‘uncovers the mystery and the meaning of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.’

The widely popular Catechetical video series of SYMBOLON has earned the thumbs up from many who have gone through this programme.

Even the little ones can learn from Brother Francis: The Barefoot Saint of Assisi, in a 10-part animated drama which is about the life of St Francis of Assisi, the fun-loving son from a wealthy family who gave up everything for the love of Jesus. In total, there are currently more than 300 titles of videos, audios, e-books and movies but this is not exhaustive, as more are added from time to time.

To learn more about FORMED, pick a FORMED promo-card from your parish bulletin rack or visit We can also be contacted via formedmy@


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Farewell to our ‘Psalmist’ and ‘Great Builder of Community Centres’

Monsignor Anthony Thomas, known fondly as a ‘Psalmist’ and ‘Great Builder of Community Centres,’ passed away on September 24, 2017 at the age of 80. He will be memorialised through his music and the parish community centres which he built during his tenure as parish priest in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur.

Psalm 104:33 – “I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live” probably best describes the passion which the late Msgr Thomas had and which resulted in him painstakingly composing the Psalter with musical notes for the Church’s three-year liturgical cycle. The compilation which covered all Sundays, Solemnities and Major Feasts of the Liturgical Year (Years A, B and C), was a result of more than 10 years of labour and love.

In an interview with HERALD in 2000, the late monsignor had explained how the Book of Psalms has always held a special interest for him. “The Psalms, which can be found in the Old Testament and recalled in the New Testament, hold a significant and very important role in the history of the Church. The Psalms were the prayers of Israel in the Old Testament, in which God inspired the feeling that His children ought to have towards Him and the words they ought to use when speaking to Him.

The Psalms are the official prayer of Israel. It is also the prayer of Jesus. They were recited by Jesus Himself, by the Virgin Mary, the apostles and the early martyrs. Psalms form the foundation of Christian liturgical prayer used by countless religious, priests and deacons, as well as an increasing number of laity. It is our prayer. It is the prayer of the Church.

“What actually pushed me to try and find my own way of composing something was that I was motivated by Vatican Council II. In the process of Liturgical restoration, Vatican Council II has highlighted the Responsorial Psalms in the Liturgy as an “integral part of the Word of God” (cf General Instruction on the Roman Missal No 36 S.C.)

“It re-emphasises the place and role of the Responsorial Psalms in the liturgy. The Responsorial Psalms are strictly the people’s response to God Who speaks to them. The emphasis that the Responsorial Psalms are an integral part of the Word of God means that the Psalms cannot be omitted. They have to find a place to be proclaimed.

“The people’s response can be in the form of a chant. Chanting is a common feature in our Asian culture. This form of meditation impresses me a lot and I am proud of it because I am an Asian. It then became my desire to put these ‘chants’ into music.

“Over the years, as a priest, I have been noticing that not much justice has been done in respecting the proper role of chanting the Psalms in parishes. It is not anybody’s fault, but no ideal guide or book had been made available in their hands.

“When I sit to compose my music for the Psalms, it is not directed to any particular group. My audience or target group is the general gathering of God’s people on Sundays. This includes everyone — old, young, youths and little children. This is where the Church meets.

“My musical compositions are an expression of my feelings and my understanding of the Psalms. I do not deny other ways of expressing the Psalms because any composition is the expression of an individual. The way I understand, the way I feel about it, whether in song or music, or even in dramas, is the expression of an individual. It is my way of saying, ‘This is how I look at it, this is how I understand it’.”

Today, many parishes continue to use Msgr Thomas’ notes which have also been translated into Tamil and Mandarin.

Msgr Thomas was also a firm believer that every church should have its own parish hall/centre and he set out to build multi-purpose parish community centres which earned him the title of ‘Great Builder of Community Centres’. His legacies still stand tall at the Churches of St Joseph Sentul, Visitation, Seremban and Sacred Heart of Jesus, Jalan Peel. The parish community of St Aloysius, Mantin, where he served prior to his retirement, have him to thank for giving their church building a much-needed refurbishment. Born in the East Coast town of Kuantan on October 22, 1937, Msgr Thomas was the eldest son in a family of 5 boys and 6 girls. Described as quiet and shy, he displayed a musical inclination, picking up the harmonica and guitar. His affinity for music continued over the years and he soon mastered the organ, piano and violin.

As a young boy, Msgr Thomas was fortunate to encounter several priests in his life — all of whom inspired him in one way or another to contemplate the priesthood. He joined the minor seminary in Singapore in the late 1950s and was later sent to College General major seminary in Penang to complete his studies. On February 2, 1965, he was ordained to the priesthood, together with Fr Daniel Lim (who also went on to become a monsignor) at the Cathedral of St John in Kuala Lumpur.

Not long after his ordination, the young Fr Thomas was sent to India by Archbishop Dominic Vendargon to study Tamil. Upon his return after nearly a year, he was assigned to the Church of St Joseph, Sentul, as assistant priest. During this time, he began to promote the new Tamil hymns, which he had brought from India, to the predominantly Tamilspeaking community in Sentul. He also tried his hand at composing music for the liturgy, starting with the Tamil version of ‘Lord Have Mercy.’ This was used in the estates and soon incorporated in the Sunday morning Tamil Mass at the Church of St Joseph. In 1969, the first Tamil Liturgical Hymn book entitled Poosai Padalgal was published and made available to parishes throughout Peninsular Malaysia.

In 1973, Msgr Thomas was sent to Rome for studies where he obtained his Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy. He was later appointed as Chairman of the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission where he organised formation programmes at archdiocesan level. Apart from that, he continued to compose music for use during the Liturgy.

Having spent a number of years at the parish of St Joseph, Msgr Thomas was posted to the Church of the Visitation in Seremban in 1991, where he served as parish priest until 1998. This was followed by a seven- year tenure at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Peel Road before his final posting to the Church of St Aloysius, Mantin in 2008.

To honour his many years of faithful service to the Church, His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI conferred on him the ‘Honorary Prelate’ in December 2010, which carries with it the privilege to use the honorific ‘Monsignor.’

Due to his failing health, Msgr Thomas retired in June 2013 and took up residence at the Little Sisters of the Poor, Cheras.

Wherever he served, Msgr Thomas was much loved by the parish community because of his simplicity, generosity and dedication to his work as a priest. He has certainly left an indelible mark in the lives of many and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Celebrating Fr Robin Andrews’ 80th birthday

IPOH (Herald Malaysia): St Michael’s Church parishioners marked the 80th birthday celebration of their much-loved priest-in-residence, Fr Robin Andrews, with a grand Eucharistic celebration on Sept 17, followed by a sit-down lunch at a Chinese restaurant with 490 parishioners.

The event was organised by SMC parish priest Fr Stephen Liew and a small committee comprising parish chairman James Lau and his wife Theresa, Jude Quah, Josephine Lim, Steven KK Ng, Paul Cheok and Agnes Wong.

Fr Robin, a gentle and soft-spoken priest, has grown dear to many parishioners with his approachable ways, offering wise and practical advice on working and caring for relationships with others, especially in family life.

Fr Robin, whose actual birthday falls on Sept 19, wished his twin brother Colin a Happy Birthday at the start of the Mass. Colin, and his sister Shirley, were unable to attend the celebration but were represented by their extended family members.

Fr Robin celebrated the joyful morning Mass at SMC. Concelebrating with him were Fr Rudy Wong CssR, Fr Steven Ng CDD, and Fr Moses Lui.

His homily was on forgiveness, in line with the day’s Scripture readings. It dealt with how to nurture and grow in our relationships with God, others and self, through forgiving others when they hurt us.

“God wants us to forgive others like in the parable of the Unforgiving Servant,” he said.

He added that if we don’t forgive others, our prayers will not be heard and our spiritual life will collapse.

If we are open to forgiving others, we are showered with blessings from God.

Generally, people tend to respond with a “No” to forgive another person for hurting us, and this is a terrible thing to hear, since it can only bring about more hurt.

Otherwise, we say we want to forgive but are unable to. While this may be true, we cannot remain silent and unresponsive. Instead, we should bring it to Jesus in prayer, asking Him for the grace to forgive.

“Jesus prayed for those who hurt and crucified Him, while on the cross,” said Fr Robin.

“Another more common response is there is nothing to forgive as we have not wronged others. This is erroneous and always destructive. So instead, ask God to show us those persons we have offended.

“We must continue to forgive as much as possible, and set no limits as God doesn’t limit forgiving us. Forgiveness is only complete if we do something to be reconciled with the person.

“The Lord’s prayer speaks of forgiveness so we must forgive others as God forgives us. By refusing to forgive, we are asking God not to forgive us,” he said.

At the lunch, Fr Robin thanked Archbishop Emeritus Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, Bishop Emeritus Antony Selvanayagam, St Michael’s church parish priest Fr Stephen Liew, Fr Jude Miranda, Fr Michael Dass, Fr Edmund Woon, Fr Rudy Wong, Fr Moses Lui and Fr Steven Ng for attending the celebration. Many other religious brothers and sisters also attended.

Fr Lui blessed the food. He also made a short speech highlighting Fr Robin’s contributions at College General, when College General was expanding and required fund raising since he was very good at accounts.

Fr Robin thanked SMC parish priest Fr Liew, all those who came, including his former parishioners of St Joseph’s in Batu Gajah, St Michael’s Church and neighbouring parishes, and especially the Lord Jesus for bringing him to 80 years of age.

“I always wanted to be a simple, humble and happy priest, and as I know you all have problems, if I am happy, I won’t add to your problems.

“I retired four years ago, but I want to encourage the retirees who are here. Don’t look upon yourself as retired, but Re-fired! Retired seems to describe a decrepit and weak person, but re-fired depicts an energised, vigorous new you with ooomph. So live with new vigour and oomph in your lives and praise the Lord,” he said.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Family Day brings parishioners together

In conjunction with Malaysia Day and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, a Family Day was organised by City Parish on September 16.
There was a sense of eagerness and excitement as parishioners turned up for the fun-filled day at the Church of St Francis Xavier (SFX).

The participants reflected the cultural diversity of the parish, with the various language groups and migrants coming together for the parish event of the year.

Parish priest Fr Nelson Chitty and assistant parish priest Fr Maiccal Sinnappan were also present.

In his opening remarks, Fr Nelson said that individual family units, in coming together as one church, form a larger community that is united by love for Christ.

“I hope that through today’s activities, all of us will enjoy fellowship together and that we continue to be united as a parish,” he said.

Many activities were held, with parishioners taking part in programmes that encourage healthier lifestyles.

The morning got off to an energetic start with a zumba exercise by professional trainers. Parishioners sweated it out with swift moves and upbeat music.

There were booths for glucose and blood pressure tests, as well as face painting. The children took part in a colouring contest and each one received a goodie bag.

Community and station games were organised by the youths, with the tug-of-war being the highlight.

Parishioners were also treated to meals with ice-cream and Sun-quick fruit drinks. Each participant was given a keychain bearing the logo of City Parish as a souvenir.

Youth member Nimrita Joanne said that the activities of Family Day managed to bring everyone closer as a family of Christ.

“It was an amazing morning and the zumba session was great. It is good to exercise in the morning,” said Joanne Francis.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Interfaith Merdeka walkathon in Kepong

KUALA LUMPUR: As Malaysia celebrated its 60th Independence Day on August 31, thousands of Malaysians turned up to take part in the 3rd Inter-Faith Merdeka Walkathon at Metropolitan Park, Kepong to celebrate both the country’s independence and unity amongst its fellow citizens.

The event was organised by the various religious groups in the Kepong-Selayang area, with the Parish Ministry of Interreligious and Ecumenical Affairs (PMEIA) of Gereja Kristus Cahaya spearheading the occasion. The Merdeka Walkathon brought together hundreds of participants, young and old, who walked together to forge new friendships. It successfully achieved the aim of the event to encourage unity and dialogue amongst the various races and religions around Kepong and Selayang.

Representatives from each religious group, i.e. Tn. Hj. Bakri Dahlan (Deputy Administrator of Al Faizin mosque, Desa Jaya), Mr. Kumara Pillai (Chairman of Thirumurugan Alayam Hindhu Temple, Desa Jaya), Mr. Chong Tiam (President of Taoism Temple, Ban Sin, Desa Jaya), Mr. Gurmit Singh (President of Gudwara Sahib Temple, Selayang), Rev Fr Stanislaus (Parish Priest of Christ The Light Church, Desa Jaya) and Rev. Ven. Hemaloka of Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple, Brickfields, were present to show their support and foster harmony and comradeship amongst their members. It was a sight to behold as the participants and organisers stood shoulder to shoulder to sing the National Anthem as the Malaysian flag was raised.

In his speech, the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Albert Anthony reminisced about the good old days where neighbours and friends mingled freely without prejudice and forged long-lasting friendships. He hoped that through the walkathon, we will take the time to have conversations and create new bonds of friendship. This was seen at the finish line where participants encouraged one another, cheering on the winners and lending helping hands to those in need.

The day ended on a high with prize giving and lucky draws, with new friendships and a better understanding amongst the various religious


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

In Memoriam : He was … ‘A Jack of All Trades and Master of All’

By Ms Christina Raj
Simple, quiet and unpretentious
A man of few words he was.
An ambitous personality
But a fancy dresser he was not!
He was a stickler for perfection
and a gentle character by profession.

Never underestimate his demure demeanour…
a ‘Jack of All Trades and the Master of All.’

He was…
An ingenious composer,
An eloquent writer,
A nifty musician,
A nightingale,
An evangelist, A liturgist…

He was God’s gift to all of us!
He mesmerised us, both young and old through his versatility…
Tenacious, without ambiguity,
A visionary with passion —
He saw things differently.

He knew the unknown, heard the unheard,
He brought the best out of nothing.
He left footprints in the sand
for others to follow.

It was certainly an experiential journey,
A journey that was rather rough
filled with ups and downs,
A journey with no returns.

This journey would certainly have been less fun without ‘us’
his most favourite people —
the ‘adrenaline boosters.’

He was neither an architect nor a financial controller
Yet he built the blocks and collected the stocks.

He challenged us
He opened up new horizons
He closed the conventional doors
He revolutionised the systems
He broke the norms without any qualms!

We embraced new cultures optimistically
We accepted views critically
We have become a better people.
Facing changes was much easier
We worked hand in hand and helped
make his Mission a success.

Msgr Anthony Thomas,
You have been our inspiration, although we seemed like rebels,
You guided us towards the right path
and we will cherish all that you have taught us.

We may have unintentionally given you a rough time because we were young and impressionable.

We, the Kampung Pandan Youths love you and will keep you in our prayers always.



Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online

Carmelite nun celebrates 90 years of life

KOTA KINABALU: A Carmelite nun celebrated 90 years of life with a solemn Mass on 26 Sept 2017 at the Carmelite Monastery here.

Archbishop John Wong presided at the thanksgiving Mass for Mother Consuelo of Jesus.  Joining him at the altar were Archbishop Emeritus John Lee, Father Felix Chung, Father David Sham, Father Michael Modoit, Father Rayner Bisius, Father Mattheus Luta, Father Max Hontor, and two Korean priests.

Over 100 people turned up for the celebration.

In his homily, Abp Wong touched on the many meanings of a birthday celebration in the light of the liturgical readings for votive Mass of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  Basically, it is to thank God for the gift of life and the graces received by the celebrator that are shared with those around.

After the homily, Mother Consuelo renewed her baptismal promises.

After Mass, Celestina Jinu OCDS thanked the concelebrants for marking the occasion with them and paid a tribute to Mother Consuelo for her prayerful ministry inside.

A surprised tribute was paid by Joseph Carlos Leong, a dentist by profession from Selangor.  He and his family came to Sabah in 2004 and got acquainted with Mother Consuelo in 2005.  Last month, he went to Spain and was able to meet the relatives of Mother Consuelo, and brought back their greetings to her.

After the speeches, all adjourned outside for a simple breakfast prepared by the Carmelite Seculars.  Abp Wong also cut the commemorative cake in Mother Consuelo’s stead.

Born on 26 Sept 1927 in Spain, Mother Consuelo entered Carmel there. She made her first profession on 30 Oct 1954 and her solemn profession three years later.  She arrived in North Borneo (now Sabah) on 12 Apr 1960.  She served as prioress for many terms.

At 90, she has been a cloistered nun for 63 years, serving in Sabah for 57 years.  She celebrated her diamond jubilee (60 years) of religious profession on 30 Oct 2014.


Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online



Keningau Diocese organises day of reparation

KENINGAU – A day of reparation was held simultaneously in all parishes, churches, and chapels in Keningau Diocese on 15 Sept 2017, memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Activities included fasting, rosary recitation, Mass and Holy Hour.

Around 200 faithful attended the event at Katedral St Francis Xavier here presided by Bishop Cornelius Piong.

As indicated by the bishop’s pastoral letter issued for the occasion, the intention was to make reparation for all the sins committed at personal and communal levels against God and neighbour in the past 24 years as a diocese.  It was also to make peace with God and one another.

In his homily, the bishop emphasised the sin of unfaithfulness against one’s commitment whether as priest, religious or married couple.

He gave praise to God for people who still come to Mass despite their busy schedule.  He said it indicates the importance they place on the spiritual life.

The prelate said that redemption is not something one can do for oneself.  Quoting Hebrews 9:28, he said it has been done by Christ once and for all.

Why then the need to make reparation?  The bishop said it was because of human weakness and living in this world, one needs to experience God’s mercy in oneself, one’s family and in society. One needs also to let go of those attitudes that run contrary to God’s will through self-surrender to God each day.


Article reproduced from Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu
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