Thought for March

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Pope_Francis_greets_the_ill_and_disabled_during_his_General_Audience_Nov_13_2014_Credit_Elise_Harris_CNA_CNAFor Lent, Pope Francis wants parishes to be ‘islands of mercy

VATICAN CITY, Jan 28 – Msgr Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the office which handles the pope’s charitable giving, presented the Lenten message at a Vatican news conference. (see page 6)

He said indifference – where everything becomes the same or equally valid – results in an eradication of values, meaning, and any distinction between good and evil, true and false. Continue reading

Mar 19

Seeing God in crowds

Rose RagaiRose Tagal:  My friends and I were expecting to see Pope Francis during his closing Mass at Luneta, Rizal Park. We got up as early as 2 am with high hope that we would get a good place to see the Pope. I was not feeling well that morning as I was down with flu and sore throat, nevertheless with this hope, I joined my tour group for the walk to Rizal Park. From afar, I was amazed to see so many people already queuing to enter the park. It looked like what we had planned yesterday was just mere planning because the reality is beyond expectation. Continue reading

Mar 19

Focus on Year of Consecrated Life

La Salle Bros in SabahWho are we- Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools – La Salle

Saint John Baptist de La Salle was born in France in 1651.  He belonged to one of the more important families in the city of Rheims.  At the age of 27 he was ordained a priest.

Attentive to God’s voice, a voice calling him to place all his trust in Him, John Baptist stripped himself of everything:  first of his title as canon, then of his patrimony which he distributed to the poor during a famine that desolated France in 1683 and 1684, thereby becoming completely poor himself just as the young people who came to his schools, and just like the teachers whom he encouraged to place their faith in God. Continue reading

Mar 19

Regional Migrant Ministers Retreat in Penang

DSC00067PENANG – EMI, the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, organized the 4th edition of the Exodus Retreat, themed The Mission of Jesus Unto Me, at the idyllic Stella Maris Retreat Centre in Penang Jan 29-Feb 1.  Fifty participants came from various parishes and lay organisations of Malaysia as well as from ACMI, the Migrant Commission from Singapore. Continue reading

Mar 19

Sandakan Family Life studies Relatio Synodi document

grup fotoSANDAKAN – The Sandakan Diocesan Family Life Commission for the new term of 2015-17 held its first meeting cum Study Session on the Relatio Synodi document at the Diocesan Retreat Center, Ulu Dusun Feb 6-7.

13 members coming from across the diocese attended the meeting. Bishop Julius Gitom, who is also the Spiritual Director for Family Life Commission, was present to guide them through the document. Continue reading

Mar 19

Friends of St John Vianney a boon to priest formation

IMG_7654KOTA KINABALU – The 2nd fundraising dinner of 122 tables organized by Friends of St John Vianney (FSJV) at Putera Theatre Ballroom Feb 1 saw a successful gathering of priests, religious, seminarians and aspirants, benefactors, supporters and parishioners of Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese.  Archbishop Emeritus John Lee and Archbishop John Wong graced the occasion. Continue reading

Mar 19

53 confirmed at Stella Maris

DSC02709 (1)TANJUNG ARU – Feb 1 saw 53 JWG students from the parish of Stella Maris Church being conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation by Archbishop John Wong.

JWG, Joyful Weekend Gathering is the Sunday School program of the parish to form and prepare students for Confirmation, ranging from 13-18 years of age.

Speaking to the parishioners at the parish hall after the Mass, the Archbishop  encouraged all to know their new parish priest well. Msgr Primus Jouil was transferred to the parish in the recent reshuffle of clergy in the archdiocese last October. Continue reading

Mar 19

St Catherine Laboure launches RM1-a-brick fundraising project

St Catherine Fund RaisingTANJUNG ARU – Stella Maris Parish launched the St Catherine Laboure RM1-a-brick fundraising project at the church parish hall in conjunction with the Carols by Candlelight, followed by a fully-sponsored dinner at the Fellowship Centre Dec 21 last year.

The idea of the RM1-a-brick was to enable any and every one to take up the challenge to be fully involved as a Church by their willingness to support no matter their financial standing.  Your least contribution would cost you RM1 for a brick.  With the completion of the Church, each one could literally say that their “bricks” have contributed to build up the Church! Continue reading

Mar 19

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul updates on activities

Bishop Julius pembangunan insan TawauSANDAKAN – The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) of Holy Trinity Church, Tawau paid a courtesy call on Bishop Julius Gitom Feb 5 at the Diocesan Pastoral Office to brief him on the Society’s activities in the parish since its inception February last year.

Angela Teo, who heads the Society in Tawau, briefed Bishop Julius that it has 25 active members, who are diligently working to serve people in need. Members live out the Gospel message by serving Christ in the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed with compassion and respect. Continue reading

Mar 19

St Mary’s Cathedral celebrates WDFCL

consecrated life of religious  (7)The Diocese of Sandakan celebrated World Day for Consecrated Life with Mass Feb 8 at St Mary’s Cathedral, which was presided by Fr Sunny Chung, and attended by religious Sisters and Brothers of FSIC, Good Shepherds, and Brothers of St Gabriel, and the local faithful.

In his homily, Fr Sunny Chung explained that consecrated life is defined by men and women who set out to follow Christ more closely, and lead lives dedicated to God by practising the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They become a sign in the Church of a more exacting way of Christian living in their strife for the perfection of charity in the service of the kingdom of God. Continue reading