Thought for March: Lent, the shedding of the selfish me, for the greater Agape of He

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16427361-christ-carrying-the-cross--antique-relief-italyCome Mar 5, we shall enter into Lent with the traditional distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday.
Lent is a penitential time; a solemn season in which we participate in the salvific actions of our Lord through Liturgical celebrations (Mass), and personal sacrifices in abstinence, fasting, prayer, confession and spiritual and corporal works of mercy. In a sense, through the Wisdom and guidance of the Church, we are called to die with Christ in order that we may (more fully) participate in His Resurrection, and His fullness of Life, on Easter Sunday. In effect, we are given an abundance of grace to live out our baptismal calling in a most efficacious manner. Continue reading

Apr 06

Stella Maris Divine Mercy celebrates 5th anniversary

Divine Mercy Devotion Stella MarisopTANJUNG ARU – Stella Maris parish celebrated the 5th anniversary of the formation of the Devotion to the Divine Mercy with a Thanksgiving Mass presided by Fr Fundes Motiung Feb 12. The event was attended by members as well as representatives from the Apostolate of Divine Mercy Penampang headed by George Munang. Mass over, all adjourned for a fellowship meal at the Stella Maris Fellowship Centre, during which pioneers, Sr Cecilia Liew and Theresa William gave a brief history of the formation of the Divine Mercy Devotion at the parish.  Special tribute was given to Fr Fundes for his support and encouragement. Devotion to the Divine Mercy is now held weekly at Stella Maris on Wednesdays at 5.30 pm. – Theresa William

Apr 06

Becoming the “Elect” of God

DSC_1486opKOTA KINABALU (CS) – At the heart of our Christian life is the understanding that each of us is called by God. We recall the words of Christ who said “You did not choose me, no, I chose you”. Not only does Christ choose, he calls us and knows us by name. Both of these are encapsulated in the Rite of Election which is celebrated in Catholic cathedrals throughout our country at the beginning of Lent each year. 

The Rite of Election, the second step in the Christian initiation, is a significant step for those who want to be received into the Catholic Church – preparing to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist at Easter. After the candidates have completed their formation in the Catholic faith, the Rite of Election is celebrated by the local Bishop who chooses them and elects them in the name of the Lord and of the local Church to which they belong. 

At this second step on the basis of the testimony of godparents and catechists, and of the catechumens’ affirmation of their intention, the Church judges their state of readiness and decides on their advancement towards the Sacraments of Initiation.  Thus the Church makes its ”election”. 

Mar 9 saw 842 catechumens from 17 parishes in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu being accepted by Archbishop John Wong for the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) this Easter at the Rite of Election at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, while at the same time 66 were being accepted at Blessed Sacrament Labuan. 

At the Enrollment of Names each RCIA coordinator, together with their rector/assistant rector, presented the Book of Elect to the presider as “a pledge of fidelity” and a definitive commitment to proceed to the reception and celebration of the Easter sacraments. 

The whole rite climaxed when the presider proclaimed that the catechumens were now members of the elect  and bid them to be faithful to their undertaking  and to deepen their faith during the final, more intensive Stage of Purification and Enlightenment that lies ahead.

To the godparents, they were invited to lay their hand on the shoulder of the elect as a gesture indicating their commitment to the well-being of the elect.

In his homily, the prelate addressed to all who were present, and in particular to the elect, that the 40 days’ Lenten journey was their final preparation to receive Jesus as their Saviour, was in fact their path of grace to encounter with Christ.

He also recalled them to their whole year’s formation and hoped that after knowing Jesus and coming to accept Him, they have firmly decided to follow Him for the rest of their life.

The period of purification and enlightenment of the elect’s path of the paschal mystery, which takes place  over the 5 Sundays of Lent, would consist of scrutinies which are rites for self-searching and repentance, followed by the Church entrusting to them the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer in order to enlighten the elect.

This period concludes with the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.

 

 

Apr 06

Remembering Him through sacrifice

New Roman Missal CTSopSANDAKAN – More than 2,000 faithful thronged St Mary’s Cathedral to celebrate Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season Mar 5. 

The main Cathedral, both the left and right extended wings and the choir loft were fully occupied, with many more standing throughout the mass at the frontage. They came in full faith to celebrate Ash Wednesday, remembering Him through sacrifice. Continue reading

Apr 06

Bishop Pedro Arigo pays courtesy call on Archbishop John Wong

Bishop Pedro n AB John Wong (2)opKOTA KINABALU – Bishop Pedro Arigo of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines, accompanied by 7 priests, 3 sisters and 3 church volunteers arrived at Kota Kinabalu Feb 25, 2014 for a four-day study tour. During his stay in Kota Kinabalu, he paid a courtesy call on Archbishop John Wong. The visitors were also able to participate in the ordination ceremony of Fr Michelly Kiun on Feb 26 at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Karamunsing. Continue reading

Apr 06

St Catherine Laboure Church, Putatan, 25% completed

St Catherine of Laboure PutatanopKOTA KINABALU – Members of the Church building committee of St Catherine Laboure Church, Putatan (originally named as St Catherine of Sienna) made a courtesy call on Archbishop John Wong at his office Feb 19.  The group includes Fr Fundes Motiung, rector of Stella Maris Church, assistant rector, Fr Tony Mojiwat, chairman of the building committee, Stephen Sondoh, Dr Tan Jun Kwan and other church’s consultants, and the contractor. Continue reading

Apr 06

First Malaysian conferred knighthood by Pope Francis

ROME, Feb 27, 2014: The Holy Father today conferred the title Knight of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St Sylvester, Pope and Martyr, (one of the five Orders of Knighthood awarded directly by the Pope) on a Malaysian for his contributions to social communication.

Augustine Loorthusamy, the outgoing president of Signis (World Catholic Association for Communication), is the first Malaysian to receive this prestigious award from Pope Francis. Continue reading

Apr 06

International Women’s Day

IMG_8522opKOTA KINABALU (CS) – Over 700 Catholic women gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) for the first time in Kota Kinabalu Mar 8.

International Women’s Day, held globally on Mar 8 each year, celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past, present and future.  It is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.  The first IWD was held in 1911. Continue reading

Apr 06

The marriage game

Catholics are being rather deliberately prodded toward frenzy by media coverage of Pope Francis’ desire for more effective pastoral care of those who are divorced and remarried.  Here is an excerpt from Dr Jeff Mirus’ brief examination on the pastoral-doctrinal issue:

“A high-ranking Churchman has emphasized that the status of divorced and remarried Catholics ‘should be looked at with a merciful eye’, which means changing the pastoral practice which bars couples in this ‘status’ from receiving Communion. Continue reading

Mar 19

Brothers of St Gabriel to manage St Mary’s Youth Centre Sandakan

 

Mar 19

Whom shall I send? … Here am I, send me

Edward Yahan:   I come from a Catholic family of St Martin’s parish, Telupid.   I am the oldest of 6 siblings.

     My parents and other family members have always encouraged me to join vocation seminars, which I have from time to time.

     Looking back, I recalled the few occasions when Fr Marcellinus Pongking, Continue reading