Category Archives: Latest News

Pope Francis’ November 2019 Intention

Dialogue and Reconciliation in the Near East
That a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Near East, where diverse religious communities share their lives together.

Far too many wars, political divisions, conflicts and hostilities between the diverse religious communities within the Near East have left populations scared and crippled in moral, financial and spiritual ways. This race to dominate has led to vicious murders that have little regard or respect for one’s neighbor.

Local leaders have manifested horrendous attitudes of greed and thirst for power leading to domination and autocratic decision-making, manifesting little interest in what is the best for their people and for humanity as a whole.

May enough people in the Near East be sufficiently open and committed to practice repentance or “teshuvah,” working towards a change of attitude in order to encounter “the other” who is different. This will require greater efforts to engage in healthy dialogue. Such action will remove the possibility of losing hope. We remember the words of Pope John Paul II, how we “must not abandon ourselves to despair.” We pray with Pope Francis for a spirit of openness, for compassion and respect towards those we see as different; may this lead to eventual peace between different communities and diverse religions.- http://popesprayerusa.net

Liturgical Feasts/ Anniversaries/ Observances

(Legend: Ab=Abbot  Ap=Apostle  Pp=Pope  Bp=Bishop  Ch=Children  De=Deacon  Dr=Doctor  Kg=King Ma=Married  Mt=Martyr  Pr=Priest  Qu=Queen Re=Religious Vg=Virgin Fd=Founder, Hm=Hermit)

Nov 01: ALL SAINTS

Nov 02: ALL SOULS

Nov 03: 31st SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

Nov 04: CHARLES BORROMEO* (Bp)

Nov 08: Elizabeth of the Trinity

Nov 09: DEDICATION OF LATERAN BASILICA**

Nov 10: 32nd SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

Nov 11: MARTIN OF TOURS* (Bp)

Nov 12: JOSAPHAT* (Bp, Mt)

Nov 15: Albert the Great (Bp, Dr)

Nov 16: Margaret of Scotland/Gertrude (Vg)

Nov 16: 34th Anniversary Demise of the late Bishop Rt Rev Dtk Simon Fung

Nov 17: 33rd SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

Nov 22: CECILIA (Vg, Mt)

Nov 18: Dedication of Ss Peter & Paul

Nov 21: PRESENTATION OF MARY*

Nov 23: Clement I (Pp, Mt)/Columban (Ab)

Nov 24: CHRIST THE KING

Nov 24: 38th ANNIVERSARY DEDICATION OF SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL

Nov 25: Catherine of Alexandria (Vg, Mt)

Nov 30: ANDREW** (Ap)

Lawyer elected to head congregation of media sisters

new fsp superior general 2019
Sr Anna poses in front of the enlarged portrait of Venerable Sr Thecla Merlo, co-foundress and first superior general of the Daughters of St Paul, after her election, 2 Oct 2019, Ariccia Italy.

ARICCIA, Italy: A lawyer among the Daughters of St Paul was elected to head the congregation of media sisters recently.

On 2 October 2019, Sr Anna Caiazza was elected Superior General of the Daughters of St. Paul during their 11th General Chapter (5 Sept – 5 Oct 2019)

A little over 100 years after the Institute’s foundation (15 June 1915), the 60 Chapter delegates from over 50 countries on all the continents reflected on the theme chosen for this event: Arise and set out on your journey (Dt. 10:11), trusting in the Promise. 

Their multicultural and inter-ethnic presence, the challenges of the world of communications, the cultural turning points they are living and the epochal change underway that crosses every latitude of the planet are all elements that Sr Anna must allow to interpellate (question) her in guiding the Institute for the next six years (2019-2025).

Sr Anna was born on 24 July 1952 in Casavatore (Naples), Italy. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Law from Frederick II University, Naples, followed by a License in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.

She has held roles of responsibility within the Congregation such as that of provincial councilor in Italy, and General Councilor for two terms of office.  

The new Superior General and her council, together with the Chapter delegates, will have an audience with Pope Francis on 4 October–an event that, occurring as it does at the beginning of the Extraordinary Missionary Month 2019, urges the new General Government of the Daughters of St Paul to launch out on the new paths that the Spirit is opening for announcing the Word – (FSP website).

‘New hope for the media to enjoy press freedom,’ SOCCOM head

KOTA KINABALU: There is new hope for the media in Malaysia to enjoy a higher level of press freedom.

Leong (left) giving his talk on role of the press and press freedom at seminar organised by the Institute for Development Studies (Sabah), in Kota Kinabalu on Sept 12, 2019.

This was the opinion of Joseph Leong, head of the Social Communications Commission (SOCCOM) of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, who spoke on the role of the press and on press freedom at a recent seminar here.

He noted that since the 14th general elections (GE14) top national and state leaders had pledged that the government would uphold the principle of freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

“This is well and good. As for the media, we hope that these good intentions shall be reflected by the way members of the press are being treated,” he said.

According to him, the government has to be seen to take positive actions that allow openess and free access to information.

Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of of Local Government and Housing, represented the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, as guest of honour at the opening ceremony.

Leong said that there had been times in the past when Malaysia was seen as a fine example of a nation where peoples of diverse beliefs and cultural background could live in peace and harmony.

However, from time to time racial and religious polarisation rise to alarming heights.

“Instead of being actively engaged in seeking common ground and creating harmony despite the many ethnic walls that separate the peoples, there are those who seem determined to fortify such walls.”

He said the press have been there, faithfully reporting and recounting these good, bad and ugly deeds and events in Malaysia.

Joe Leong said that since he was invited to give the talk in the name of the Catholic Church, he recalled the so-called “Allah” issue that raged through the nation for months in 2013-14.

He viewed it as “a sad episode” in Malaysia’s history. He had written on the matter then saying that it was totally improper and unwise to try and give a name to God.

“When the creator of heaven and earth spoke to Moses at the burning bush, he had clearly said that it is pointless for man to ask him for a name, declaring that ‘I am, who I am‘.”

Touching on freedom of the press and freedom of expression, Leong highlighted some of the existing laws seen to be stiffling press freedom in the country.

He said one of the key Malaysian legislations often cited as curtailing freedom of expression is the Printing Press and Publications Act.

Under that Act, the Minister of Home Affairs reserves the right to impose a list of conditions in the licence and/or permits of publications. He reserves the right “to revoke or suspend such licence for any period he considers desireable”.

Such conditions of publications, Leong pointed out, apply not only to daily newspapers, but to other publictions, like the Catholic Sabah, a fornightly tabloid.

From time to time, the editor of this official publication of the Catholic Church in the state would receive notices from officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs questioning why they had printed certain prohibited words.

In his half-hour presentation at the seminar organised by the Institute for Development Studies (Sabah), Leong spoke on how the press and freedom of the press could enhance the check and balance of democracy in Malaysia.

“Indeed, the press is playing an active role in enhancing check and balance to ensure that the human rights and democratic rights of the peoples in Malaysia are sustained.”

He said nation building is a long and hard journey and saying that the Federation of Malaysia has only entered into her 56th year of existence.

“Looking at recent events across the country, the road ahead shall not be an easy one,” he added.

A panel of nine speakers presented papers and spoke on how to strengthen and restructure the critical and core institutions of democary in Malaysia from the Sabah perspective.

Group photo of speakers and participants of the IDS seminar with: Jaujan Sambakong (6th from left, front row), Simon Sipaun on his left and Leong (2nd from right) shortly after the opening of the seminar on Sept 12, 2019.

In his opening remarks, Leong paid tribute to Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, chairman of IDS (Sabah) as “one of the post powerful advocates of human rights and democratic rights in Malaysia”.

SOCCOM is grateful to Juliana Ringgingon, a Senior Research Associate of IDS and the organising chaiman of the seminar, for making it possible for the Commission to give its views on the role of the press in Malaysia.

Among Catholic officials who present were: Dominic Lim, Executive Secretary at the office of the Archdiocese; and Patricia Regis, a long-serving member of SOCCOM. – kkdiocese.net

Bishop Sim on devotion of Sacred Heart of Jesus


Bishop Cornelius Sim (3rd left) after his final talk on June 26, 2019, is seen renewing friendship with some young parishioners of SHC whom he had met during his previous visits to the parish, together with Fr Paul Lo ((2nd right), the parish priest.

KOTA KINABALU: Parishioners of Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) here were given an opportunity to know and understand the deeper meaning and purpose of their devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in preparation for their parish feast day celebration on June 27.

This came in the form of a series of three talks presented by Bishop Cornelius Sim of Brunei, on three consecutive nights prior to the feast day at the Cathedral attended by a steady crowd of around 300 each night.

He told Catholics at the SHC on the final night of the talk (June 26) that he was very impressed by their presence in following the talks and expressed the hope that by doing so they had gained an experience of the love of God and a deeper desire to love him in return.

The talks were conducted after a Gospel reading in the midst of a Holy Hour each night, with adoration of the Holy Sacrament and Benediction. They were richly interlaced with biblical and magisterium quotations and teachings.

At the end of the final day of the SHC Triduum, Fr Paul Lo, the parish priest, expressed his thanks and appreciation to Bishop Sim for his talks which he said were very enlightening.

Bishop Sim told the Sacred Heart devotees said the human heart is the most powerful sign of the love of God shown to us through human communication.

“The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the centre of who he is and reveals who God is. The heart of Jesus is the heart of God.”

Throughout his talks, Bishop Sim made references to the experience St Margaret Mary Alacoque of Burgundy, France, who over one-and-a-half years starting from Dec 27, 1673 had visions of Christ and his Sacred Heart.

Jesus Christ had chosen her as an instrument to spread the devotion of his Sacred Heart and (through her) had asked that the feast of the Sacred Heart be established.

In his first talk, Bishop Sim spoke of how the heart of Jesus reaches out to us, has a deep desire to draw us nearer to God and is attracting us towards him.

He explained in his second talk the deeper meaning of the four signs appearing in the image of the Sacred Heart as seen by St Margaret Mary (see picture) – the flame, the wound, the thorns around the heart and the cross above it.

He said the flame represents the warmth, strong power and energy of Christ in attracting his disciples, like the experience of the apostles on Pentecost day when tongues of fire appeared on their heads.

The wound was caused on Jesus on the Cross by the lance pierced by the soldier through his heart bringing out blood and water, symbols of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist.

Touching on the devotion of the Sacred Heart, Bishop Sim said Jesus had come to the world as one who comes wounded and in pain.

As for the thorns around the image of the heart, he said these depict our sins. “Each time we sin, we push the thorns deeper into the Heart of Jesus.”

He said that in the visions experienced by St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus had emphasised on sins and the sin of ingratitude, which we never thought was a sin.

“Every sin is a sign of our disobedience, our rejection of God’s plan for us. Conversion of sinners and by staying more and more away from sin, the Heart of Jesus shall experience a lessening of the pain.”

He appealed to Catholics to be actively engaged in calling sinners back to the Lord thus removing the thorns from the Sacred Heart. He called on them to firstly be committed in an on-going way.

This could be done through prayer and study that are necessary for growth.

The Bishop of Brunei also reminded them of the call of Jesus to his followers to carry their personal cross daily.

He said the way to consecreation to the Sacred Heart is by committing ourselves, to let the Lord be the king of our life and to see and obey his will.

Bishop Sim, in his final talk, offered four “prayerful practices” that would help SHC parishioners commit themselves to the Sacred Heart: frequently receive the Holy Communion; attend Mass for nine consecutive First Fridays; attend Holy Hour on Thursday nights for the devotion of the Sacred Heart; and create the liturgical feast of the Sacred Heart.

He said the liturgical Feast of the Sacred Heart was established by Pope Pius IX in 1856 as obligatory for the whole Church, so today as Catholics we can observe it with special reverence.

He also spoke about the need for an exchange of heart with Christ, saying that Jesus yearns to give us his heart and by doing so, bringing us back to God, for, we all belong to him. – Joe Leong

Malaysian novices make first religious professions

malaysian novices make first professions

L-R: Srs Laura Anggie, Sr Laurin Kowal, Sr Aemy Soo, and Sr Mary Sualeh pose for remembrance after the ceremony at the novitiate chapel in Lipa on 24 June 2019.

LIPA, Philippines – Malaysian Novices Aemy Soo, 29, of Sabah and Laurin Kowal, 28, of  Perak made their first religious professions in the presence of Sr. Delia Abian, Provincial Superior of the Daughters of St Paul, during the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr Rollin Flores, Provincial Superior of the Society of St Paul with several concelebrating priests from the Society of St Paul, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, and the Oblates of St Joseph on 24 June 2019, Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist at the novitiate chapel here.

Among those present to witness the event were the neo-professed’s family members, relatives, friends and fellow Daughters of St. Paul.  The Mass servers were seminarians from the Oblates of St Joseph Lipa.

This is the second time the congregation witnessed the joint first profession of novices from both East and West Malaysia, 19 years after that of Novices Jennifer Han (Sabah) and Elizabeth (Perak) in 2000.

Simple lunch was served after the Eucharistic celebration.

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