Reflection for 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time C


First Reading
Sirach 35:12-14,16-18
God hears the prayer of the poor.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 34:2-3,17-18,19, 23
The Lord hears and answers the cry of the poor.

Second Reading
2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18
Paul perseveres in faith, confident that God will rescue him.

Gospel Reading
Luke 18:9-14
Jesus tells the parable of the proud Pharisee who prayed from his self-importance and the tax collector who prayed humbly.

Background on the Gospel Reading

The second parable that Jesus tells in Luke 18 addresses attitude in prayer. In contrasting the prayer of the Pharisee with the prayer of the tax collector, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray in humility before God. Jesus again surprises his listeners by showing the tax collector as the example of faith, rather than the Pharisee. Remember that Pharisees were members of a sect of Judaism active in Jesus’ time. They taught an oral interpretation of the Law of Moses as the basis for Jewish piety. If anyone would be a model for prayer, a Pharisee was a likely candidate. In contrast, Jesus offers the tax collector as a model for prayer. Tax collectors were collaborators with the Roman authorities in a system that allowed the tax collectors to line their own pockets by charging in excess of the defined taxes. Yet, in this parable, Jesus offers the humility of the tax collector as a model for the prayer of a disciple. The parable reminds us that when we pray, we must remember our need for God in our lives. If we are too full of ourselves, there is too little room for God’s grace to work in us.

World Mission Sunday

PrintA Global Day of Giving

World Mission Sunday is one of the most special days in the global Catholic Church. It unites Catholics all over the world in prayer, mutual friendship and support; both spiritual and material.

Annually, on the penultimate Sunday of October, Mission Sunday is celebrated in every parish around the world!

In 2016, to close Pope Francis’ ‘Year of Mercy,’  World Mission Sunday focuses attention on the work the Catholic Church is doing to bring healing and reconciliation to the people of Rwanda.

Over twenty years ago the Rwandan genocide shocked the world. Although physical wounds slowly heal, emotional scars remain. This is what makes the work of the Church so vitally important; helping survivors find the strength to forgive and delivering God’s love in the most difficult situations.

On Sunday 23 October, through World Mission Sunday, every Catholic church around the globe whatever its circumstances, will give what it can to help ‘Heal the Broken-Hearted’ in Rwanda and throughout the world. –    

Catechetical Sunday to be celebrated in January 2017


PAHANG – The Malaysian Catechetical Commission (MCC)  has decided to celebrate Catechetical Sunday in January 2017 instead of in September.

This was decided at the MCC Meeting on  10-13  October 2016  at the Father’s House  in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, Pahang.  This is done to coincide with the commencement of the Malaysian academic year.  The Order of Blessing for catechists may be done at this time.  In 2017 the observance will be on Sunday January 22.

Eighteen delegates from the Archdioceses of Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu, the Dioceses of Melaka-Johor, Penang, Miri, Sibu, Keningau, and Sandakan; and the Vicariate of Brunei Darussalam attended the meeting.

Present were seven clergy including Bishop Cornelius Piong of Keningau (Episcopal President), Jesuit Father Alvin Ho (chairperson), Religious and laity.

The meeting began with Eucharistic Celebration presided by Bishop Cornelius Piong. In his homily, the prelate encouraged and motivated all MCC members to face the challenges in the Catechetical Ministry.

The meeting deliberated on many issues and concerns. One of the deliberations was on how MCC could help to prepare an on-going systematic faith formation for catechists at arch/diocesan  and national level that would equip the catechists to face the challenges of today’s post-modern society.

Other areas of concerns deliberated at the meeting were the catechetical resources and teaching materials including the Malaysian Catechetical Series (MCS) that was developed and structured more than 20 years ago. To upgrade the quality and methodology of catechesis, a set of instruments has been prepared to conduct the survey by arch/diocesan  director and/or coordinator. This survey will involve the catechists, students in the faith formation programmes, and parents. This survey form will be distributed to all dioceses and will be conducted between January and June 2017.

The meeting also deliberated on the MCC Constitution with a few amendments. The theme for Catechetical Sunday 2017 was also deliberated. After a process of discernment on the challenges that affect the faith of our Catholics in today’s situations and circumstances, the meeting unanimously chose “Christ, Our Joy” (John 15:11) as the theme. Fr Mark Michael of Penang Diocese will prepare the reflection on the theme.


The next MCC meeting will be held on 9-13 October 2017 at Good Shepherd Seminary Melaka.

KK Archdiocese to close Year of Mercy


File photo: Archbishop Wong enters the holy door after opening it on 12 Dec 2015.

KOTA KINABALU – In union with the Diocese of Rome, the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese will formally close the Extraordinary Jubilee  of  Mercy on Sunday, 20 Nov 2016, at 5 PM, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here.

All the faithful are warmly invited to witness the event.  Archbishop John Wong will be the principal celebrant and homilist.

A video clip capturing the highlights of the Year of Mercy in the archdiocese will be screened at the end of Mass.

On 13 March 2015, Pope Francis called for an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.  Traditionally, every 25 years the pope proclaims a holy year, which features special celebrations and pilgrimages, strong calls for conversion and repentance, and the offer of special opportunities to experience God’s grace through the sacraments, especially confession.

Extraordinary holy years, like this Holy Year of Mercy, are less frequent, but offer the same opportunities for spiritual growth.  The last extraordinary holy year was in 1983.  Pope John Paul II (now St John Paul II) declared 1983 to be a holy year in commemoration of the 1950th anniversary of the Year of Redemption.

This Jubilee Year of Mercy began on 8 Dec 2015, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and will conclude on 20 Nov 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Throughout the year, the archdiocese has witnessed the outpouring of graces upon the church. Thousands went on pilgrimages to the four Holy Doors in the archdiocese as well as to the Holy Doors in Keningau and Sandakan Dioceses.  Some went to Rome.

Among the activities  held during the year were the “24 Hours for the Lord” on  March 04-05, Sabah Youth Day in Tawau June 06-10, Jubilee for Youth Sept 15-17, Jubilee for Catechists Sept 24, and the 3rd Sabah Women’s Conference in Sandakan Sept 19-23.

A special gift to the archdiocese was the priestly ordination of Deacon Joshua Liew on May 03, following the Archdiocesan Kaamatan Celebration May 02.

KK Cathedral turns 35 in November

File photo of SHC parishioners

File photo of SHC parishioners

KOTA KINABALU – Come Nov 21, the Sacred Heart Cathedral here will turn 35 years old.

The celebration will be held on 19 Nov 2016 at 6 pm.

In its 35 years of existence, the parish has grown by leaps and bounds.  Its population necessitated two subparishes: St Simon Likas in 1984 (it became an independent parish in 2000) and Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang in 1993.

Not only that, communities/groups/ministries (Chinese, English, BM) using its facilities have mushroomed – about 65 in all.

In its physical development, the Marian Grotto was built in 1986, the memorial plot where the tombs of Bishop Simon Fung and Fr Valentine Weber are located in front of the chapel was constructed in, the parish centre in 2000 and the outdoor Way of the Cross in 2003.

Vocations, though few, are a sign that God is faithful and walks with the his people in this parish.

In its devotional life, aside from the First Friday Mass and Saturday Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the devotion to the Divine Mercy has taken root in 2007.  The Divine Office (Liturgy of the Office) has been celebrated daily since 2012.

A weeklong celebration of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart (its principal patron) was introduced in 2010.

In 2000, the parish council was renamed parish pastoral council in line with the Diocesan Organisational Pastoral Plan (DOPP).  It looks into issues that affect the parish as a whole.  In the 2006 Parish Discernment Weekend, it picked as its three top pastoral priorities involving family, faith formation and outreach to nominal parishioners.

Among its milestones were the death of Bishop Fung (1985), two episcopal ordinations (1987 & 2010), launching of the DOPP (1997), centenary of the Sacred Heart Mission (2003), elevation of the diocese to archdiocese (2008), Abp Wong taking over as parish priest of the cathedral (2014) and recently, designation of the cathedral as one of the four Holy Doors in the archdiocese (2015-2016).

The cathedral was dedicated on 21 Nov 1981, the culmination of the yearlong commemoration of the arrival of the Mill Hill Missionaries from Europe in 1881.  They continued the work of evangelisation of Msgr Don Carlos Cuarteron, the first Apostolic Prefect of Borneo (1857-1879).

Bishop Simon Fung officiated the rite of dedication in the presence of Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila, Archbishop Renato Martino, Apostolic Delegate and several distinguished visitors.

A short video clip highlighting the above will be shown at the end of Mass.



GXC 2016 to organise 10km Night Run

gaya-xmas-runKOTA KINABALU – The organising committee for the 2016 Gaya Christmas Celebration (GXC) will organise a 10km Night Run on 10 Dec 2016.

This year’s event on Dec 13-16 will be organised by the Catholic Church, assisted by the Protestant Church of Sabah.  The venue will be at Padang Merdeka instead of along Jalan Gaya.

In its 12th year, aside from the usual hawkers stalls, the event will feature the 10km Night Run and noontime shows.

Proceeds from the Run goes to cover expenses of the GXC and donations to churches’ welfare groups.

Runners will run to promote the theme of the celebration: Peace and Mercy for All.  It will flag off at 8:00 pm at Padang Merdeka.

The route will be  from Padang Merdeka to Tg Lipat Highway till roundabout Blue Mosque and back to Padang Merdeka.

There are three categories: (1) Veteran (40 yrs & above) Men & Women; (2) Open (18-39 yrs) Men & Women; (3) Students (17 yrs & below) Boys & Girls.

Registration fees: RM 70 (Oct 16-31), RM50 (students).  Fee includes T-shirt, medal & bib.  Registration ends Oct 31.  For further inquiries please contact Igna (016-8798185), Linda (012-8302866), Sharon (019-8101212).

A sportsman himself, Archbishop John Wong will take part in the run.  He has also requested all the faithful in the archdiocese to support and take part in the celebration.

SFCSS building committee officials inspect building progress


BUKIT PADANG – St Francis Convent Secondary School Building Committee officials inspected the building progress recently.

The officials including Management Board Adviser Archbishop John Wong visited the building site in Bukit Padang to assess its construction progress on 19 Oct 2016.

Those present included Franciscan Sister Rita Chew, head of the Archdiocesan Education Commission, Leena Toyoi, Ivy Chang and Grace Chung of the Fundraising Committee.

Earlier on October 9, Mary Gomez, chairperson of the School Management Board, paid a courtesy call on Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai at the Trade Centre Kota Kinabalu.  Present also  was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong.  She handed over to Liow a copy of the school’s New Building Process.

The two ministers were in KK for the MCA Annual General Meeting.  Dr Pamela Yong, a former student,  and currently the MCA KK Women Divisional Chief, arranged for the meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to seek the minister’s assistance in the school board’s application to get GST exemption for the payments for construction works of the new school buildings.

The construction of the two school blocks is progressing but the board has managed to secure only enough funds for the completion of Phase 1A of the RM6.7 million construction.

A further sum of RM5 million is required for the completion of the external infrastructural works of the school including the construction of the drainage, roads, fence, sewerage, electrical and water connections, and the contributions to the relevant authorities.

With the GST exemption, the school board would be able to save around RM700,000 which can be used to purchase tables and chairs for the new school.

Tampayasa chapel near propsed Kaiduan Dam blessed


PENAMPANG – The new chapel in Kg Tampayasa Ulu Papar was blessed recently.

Archbishop John Wong officiated the blessing on 20 Oct 2016.  He was assisted by Fr Fundes Motiung, Fr Wiandigool Runsab and another priest.

The chapel, St Julius I, is about 20-minute drive by 4WD from Jalan Penampang, before Kg Buayan.  It is within the vicinity of the proposed controversial RM2.8 billion Kaiduan Dam Ulu Papar.

The dam construction was proposed in 2014 to ensure Sabah be spared from water crisis  in 2030.

However, if it proceeds, the new chapel, as well as 2,000 homes of Indigenous families in 11 villages will be under water.  These families will stand to lose their homes, livelihood, and history.  Moreover, it will destroy the last and largest forest in Papar District.

A year earlier,  Mary Giun of Kg Terian lamented, “Why do the lands of the natives, our lands, have to be the ones sacrificed?  Not only for dams but for other development projects including big scale oil plantations or sold off to big companies.  Why does it always have to be the lands of the natives?”

A representative of the Taskforce against Kaiduan Dam, she was taking part in the peaceful demonstration held in 2015.

New Jesuit superior general is ready to respond with joy


ROME – The new Superior General of the Jesuits says he is ready to respond to his new appointment with joy.

Fr Arturo Sosa expressed this at a press conference in the Jesuit Headquarters in Rome, on 18 Oct 2016  to discuss his election last week by Jesuits from around the world who are meeting in Rome for their 36th General Congregation.

This marks the 36th congregation since St Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus half a milennium ago. With at least 17,000 priests and brothers worldwide, the Jesuits are the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church, and they play many important roles throughout the Church and society, especially in education.

Jesuits take four vows, the first three being poverty, chastity and obedience, and the fourth being “obedience specifically in regard to worldwide mission.”

Speaking to the press, Fr Sosa was very friendly and humble as he responded to various questions about his election, plans, and opinions.

Right away, the 68-year-old Venezuelan acknowledged that all journalists were wondering how he was following the election, and noted, he is well, calm, surprised and joyful about being chosen for the responsibility.

When one journalist asked why he believed he was elected, he humbly responded, he didn’t know why, and to find out, one needs to ask those who voted.

The new Superior General of the Jesuits thanked his Spanish predecessor, Fr Adolfo Nicolas, who will return to the Philippines as a missionary, and will be serving as the East Asian Pastoral Institute’s Spiritual Director.


Responding about his plans for the Society of Jesus for the years to come, the new Jesuit leader said that some of the main priorities include tackling poverty, helping migrants and refugees, and interreligious dialogue. –


Christian leaders slam bill on increasing punishments for hudud crimes

hudud01KUALA LUMPUR –  Christian leaders of all denominations slammed a bill that would increase punishments for hudud crimes by the Islamic courts in accordance to Sharia (Islamic law).

The Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM), which includes Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans and Protestants, appealed to lawmakers in an open letter released on 15 Oct 2016 to reject the draft proposal.

Hudud crimes cover include robbery, apostasy, sexual crimes, drinking alcohol, and gambling. The bill before parliament would change the Sharia Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 335) of 1965, which regulates the jurisdiction of Islamic courts.

At present, these courts – which have jurisdiction only over Muslims, especially in family matters and inheritance – can impose prison terms of up to three years, corporal punishment (up to six lashes), and fines of up to 5,000 ringgits (US$ 1,200).

Under the proposed changes, all restrictions would be lifted in the case of hudud crimes, with the exception of those involving capital punishment. In addition, lawmakers would be able to decide new punishable crimes under Sharia.

In its letter, the CCM warns that “MPs should view with great concern, even alarm the proposed private member’s bill by Parti Islam Malaysia (PAS) president Abdul Hadi Awang [who wants] to enhance the criminal jurisdiction of Sharia courts. The MPs should not take the proposal lightly.”

Rev Hermen Shashtri says that the bill would “rewrite the Constitution in a radical way.”  He noted that lawmakers “were elected by the people to ensure the integrity of the Federal Constitution, which protects fundamental rights and freedoms”.

The Constitution, according to the Christian leader, is clear. It lays out the principle that religion concerns mainly personal and family issues, and that criminal law must be under federal legislation.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) also raised concerns over Act 355.

“There appears to be no historical document to contradict the fact that Malaysia was intended to be a secular state,” the MCCBCHST said in a letter published Oct 17. The latter too wants lawmakers to vote against the law bill as unconstitutional.- Asia News

SH young adult ministries to organise gathering for young women

KOTA KINABALU – The young adult ministries of Sacred Heart (Lifeline, EFATA, Sacred Heart Young Adults Prayer group and Sacred Heart Chinese Youth) will be organising a gathering for young women end of October.
This gathering known as “Elysian” will be held on Saturday, 29 October 2016, from 9 am to 9 pm at Gaya Centre Hotel, with the theme “Pursued by Love, Captured by Grace.”
Contribution at RM 120, includes tea breaks, Western Lunch and Dinner.
Please register early and for further enquiries, please contact Valerie at 0168158579.

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