Daily Archives:June 22nd, 2017

PYD6 coordinator says preparation will be more organised this year

PENAMPANG – The coordinator of the Penampang Youth Day-6 (PYD6), John Moinjil, said that this year’s preparation will be more organised in terms of logistics, safety, and cleanliness.

He said this at the organising committee meeting here in Penampang on 23 May 2017.

The bi-annual PYD  with the theme, ‘Do Not Be Afraid (Jeremiah 1:8), I Want To Serve’, is fully geared for the four-day event which is expected to draw over 500 youths from seven zones within the parish, as well as invited delegations from neighbouring parishes of Dontozidon, Inobong and Terawi. The event is to be held from Aug 31 to Sept 4  at St Michael Parish Hall.

The programmes are planned with youth trends in mind so as to help them to live their Christian life in the ways according to the teachings of the Church by engaging in the digital.

The first activity will be the 10km PYD6 Charity Run which will be flagged off on June 18.  So far more participants have registered compared to last year because of the greater awareness campaign being carried out by the committee through the social media. – SOCCOM Penampang

MYTC holds annual graduation ceremony for 73

One of the graduates receives his certificate from the guest of honour, MYTC Kinarut, 27 May 2017.

KINARUT – Montfort Youth Training Centre (MYTC) held its annual graduation ceremony for 73 successful trainees who made it through their tough two-year training programme with much resilience and perseverance.

The Batch 17 Graduation Ceremony held on 27 May 2017 was officiated by YBhg Datuk Chin Chee Kee, JP who is the Chairman of the Yayasan Kinabalu Berhad.

The happy occasion was witnessed by proud parents who came from as far as Kuching, Sarawak .

Joining the graduates in this joyful moment were the teachers, instructors, and staff together with the Brothers of St Gabriel, Board of Governors, Management, Heads of various Government Department, donors, benefactors and friends of Montfort.

Datuk Chin, in his address, urged the graduates to use the skills and training they had received from Montfort to start their careers. He encouraged them to aim higher for the future, and strive to become their own boss one day. He urged them to go the extra mile in their work, and not to look for an easy way out.

Earlier, in his welcoming address, Brother Francis Xavier Gasper, MYTC Director, said that when these graduates first came to Montfort, there were 88 of them. A majority of the graduates did not complete their formal education having dropped out of school as young as primary school. Yet, despite this disadvantage, 73 of them stuck it through their two-year journey and passed their Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM).

A total of 10 graduates achieved a “Trampil Cemerlang” or Distinction in their final SKM examination which included six from Welding Department and two each from Carpentry and RAMD (Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Mechanics – Domestic) Departments.

Nine of the welding graduates also passed their 6G Welders’ Certification while another seven passed their 3G Certification from The Welding Institute (TWI). Most of the graduates had not completed their formal education while some of them had only gone through primary schooling, prior to joining the Montfort’s two-year programme.

Despite the current poor economic trend, a good number of the graduates managed to secure employment with established companies based in Sabah, Labuan, Kuala Lumpur and Penang under Montfort Job Placement Scheme while some had expressed their intention to further their study to SKM Level 3 and Diploma.

Some expressed their confidence to look for jobs themselves, including Jonathan Chua who shared in his testimony that Montfort had trained him to be independent and helped him to grow in confidence in himself and for himself.

Another graduate, Fredoline Soukin, who was only schooled up to Primary Six, said that it is in Montfort that he learned how to speak, read and write in English. Starting with only two English words of “Yes” and “No,”  Fredoline went up to the stage and delivered his testimony in English.

On the other hand, Nicklonero Nasum, who is a Form One dropout, said that it was while staying at home seeing his friends going to school that he regretted not completing his schooling. While working with Bukit Harapan, he realised that he wanted to learn some skills in order to face the world confidently and to help his family.

These three graduates have received the Most Improved Trainee Award for showing tremendous progress in their personal growth development and in their skills.

Among the graduates were  18 automotive mechanics, 20 welders, 16 carpenters and 19 air-conditioning technicians. Montfort PAD

Pope Francis offers 7 tips for being a better father

Pope Francis dedicated an excellent reflection to the beauty of fatherhood and the danger of absent fathers.
Here are 7 tips from Pope Francis for being better fathers and for growing along with your children:

1. A father doesn’t want children just like himself, but wise and free ones:
I will be happy every time I see you act with wisdom, and I will be moved every time that I hear you speak with rectitude.  And that you might be like this, [wise,] I taught you the things you didn’t know, I corrected the errors you didn’t see. I made you feel a profound and at the same time discrete affection.

2. Rigor and steadfastness, rather than complicity and protection. Better to be a misunderstood father than a weak one.
I gave you a testimony of rigour and steadfastness that perhaps you didn’t understand when you would have liked only complicity and protection.  A father knows all too well what it costs to hand down this heritage: how close, how gentle and how firm to be. But what consolation and what recompense he receives when the children honour this legacy! It is a joy that rewards all the toil, that overcomes every misunderstanding and heals every wound.

3. A father who is present in the family, is close to his wife and children.
A father who is present in the family should be “close to his wife, to share everything, joy and sorrow, hope and hardship. And … he [should] be close to his children as they grow…”  A father who is always present: “when they play and when they strive, when they are carefree and when they are distressed, when they are talkative and when they are silent, when they are daring and when they are afraid, when they take a wrong step and when they find their path again.

4. A father who is present is not necessarily a controlling father.
To say ‘present’ is not to say ‘controlling’! Fathers who are too controlling cancel out their children, they don’t let them develop.

5. A good father is a patient father.
What dignity and what tenderness there is in the expectation of that father, who stands at the door of the house waiting for his son to return! Fathers must be patient. Often there is nothing else to do but wait; pray and wait with patience, gentleness, magnanimity, and mercy.” (‘prodigal son’ or better yet ‘merciful father’ Lk 15:11-32)

6. Know how to forgive and not humiliate, but without being weak or complacent.
A good father knows how to wait and knows how to forgive from the depths of his heart. Certainly, he also knows how to correct with firmness: he is not a weak father, submissive and sentimental. The father who knows how to correct without humiliating is the one who knows how to protect without sparing himself.

7. The Our Father is brought to life in fatherhood that is forgiving of failure.
Without the grace that comes from the Father who is in Heaven, fathers lose courage and abandon camp. But children need to find a father waiting for them when they come home after failing. They will do everything not to admit it, not to show it, but they need it; and not to find it opens wounds in them that are difficult to heal. – aleteia

Fathers and daughters – Is this a missing key to modesty today?

We often speak today of the terrible toll that fatherless homes have on young boys. And this is true. Without a reasonably good (even though not sinless) model of manhood and responsibility, many boys lose their way. Fathers also play a large role in disciplining boys, especially as they grow older and become stronger than their mothers.

But missing fathers also bring forth terrible effects on many girls. Women, even young girls, certainly do seek and desire the love and appreciation of men and have a desire to be thought of as precious, beautiful, and lovable. Ideally, a father is able to model for his daughter that a man can appreciate and love her for her own sake, apart from merely her physical charms and “curves.”

Learning this seems critical for a young girl, who is then able to discern the difference between this and the love of other men who may desire her in a more sexual way. That they have sexual desire for her is not wrong per se, but neither is it wrong for her to know that she is lovable for her own sake. Simply loving her for her physical charms is lust. True love is loving her for her own sake. And even if sexual attraction is part of the picture, it is only part and she can know the difference. Having recognised that a man (in the first case her father) can love her in this fuller way, she is able to insist on it and discern when a young man’s “love” is too narrow.

However, when a young girl does not learn this from her father, she likely still craves the approval of men. But not having learned from her father how to discern the attention of men and not having experienced that she is lovable for her own sake beyond mere physical beauty, she will often confuse the attention that is lust with the love and approval she really seeks.

While I am no professional sociologist, it seems to me that there is a rather strong correlation between the decline of fathers in the home and the rise of immodesty among women. As a man, I find this rise odd and ponder why immodesty is so widespread among women. Why do so many women like to wear short skirts and tight clothes (which seem so uncomfortable) and walk about beaches in a state of almost complete nudity (bikinis)? Something is amiss and way out of balance.

At one level, I have come to discover (through discussions with women on the issue of modesty) that many (especially younger) women really don’t have any idea the effect that they have on men. I have confirmed this in discussion with our Sunday school teenagers. In discussions moderated by women, many young girls just haven’t figured it all out yet. When asked, “Why do you dress that (provocative) way?” they often say, “I don’t know, it’s … like … y’know … comfortable??? … It’s like … cool???”

While some of them may be fibbing, and really do know why, I don’t doubt that, to some degree, there is an innocence about what they do that needs to be schooled. In the past, fathers could help in this regard. Some years ago I remember a remarkable little passage by John Eldridge, in the Book, Wild at Heart that decoded something I have noticed even in the youngest girls:

And finally, every woman wants to have a beauty to unveil. Not to conjure, but to unveil. Most women feel the pressure to be beautiful from very young, but that is not what I speak of. There is also a deep desire to simply and truly be the beauty, and be delighted in. Most little girls will remember playing dress up, or wedding day, or twirling skirts, those flowing dresses that were perfect for spinning around in. She’ll put her pretty dress on, come into the living room and twirl. What she longs for is to capture her daddy’s delight. My wife remembers standing on top of the coffee table as a girl of five or six, and singing her heart out. Do you see me? asks the heart of every girl. And are you captivated by what you see? (Kindle edition Loc 367-83)

Perhaps it is this innocence that has gone somehow wrong, has been untutored, causing some young girls to dress immodestly. And many of them bring that into adulthood.

But even if their intentions are innocent, it is not wrong to teach girls that not everyone views their display so innocently and further that some boys/men are deeply troubled by the temptation it brings, especially as these girls get a bit older.

There is surely a time to provoke and celebrate a sexual appeal and joy: in the marriage bed. But outside this context, women ought to be seen more richly as wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, teachers, and scientists, indeed as whole persons with interests, needs, concerns, and richly varied lives. Fathers can have a critical role in teaching this to both their sons and their daughters.

In the past when I saw an immodestly attired young woman I would ask, “Where is her mother?” Increasingly I also ask, “Where is her father?” She doesn’t seem to understand men. She wants the attention of men but in a way that presses all the wrong buttons. Maybe she’s never considered that a man can and should love her for her own sake, beyond her physical attributes. Maybe she never had the chance to twirl her skirts before a father who delighted in her but without sexual motives, who could tell her she was beautiful and wonderful without the desire to exploit. Maybe she’s still craving this delight but is now twirling her skirts and revealing her beauty to men who cannot, or will not, admire her with such pure motives. And maybe she can’t tell the difference between lust (exploitative desire) and love (desire of her for her own sake) because she never had a father, a good father, there to model the difference.

Anyway, I know women are complicated and that I’m probably going to get killed by both women and men for this post. But before you lay me out, consider for your comment why you think immodesty is so widespread in our culture? I would appreciate it if we could avoid the “men are pigs” or “these young girls dress like sluts” types of comments. I’m looking for understanding more than venting. I know we all have strong opinions about this topic and that some don’t believe there is, in fact, any immodesty at all (even in a tiny bikini – a view I think that requires real denial or serious blindness). But the point I’d like to ponder is why. – Msgr Charles Pope

Stella Maris remembers blessings with simple celebration

The parishioners in their traditional attire, 14 May 2017, tg aru.

TANJUNG ARU – Over the weekend of 13-14 May 2017, Stella Maris Parish (SMP) here remembered God’s blessings with a simple thanksgiving celebration.

SMP celebrated a 4-in-1: the 100th anniversary of the Apparitions of Mary to three shepherd children at Fatima, Mother’s day, Msgr Primus Jouil’s 37th priestly anniversary, and Kaamatan Festival.

To commemorate the centenary feast, assistant pastor Father Peter Abas gave a talk on Mary, before celebrating the sunset Eucharist May 13. The statue of Our Lady was carried in procession into the Church before Mass, and blessed by Fr Abas after the crowning, which was done by a little girl after the homily.

Parish priest Msgr Primus Jouil blessed all mothers at the Sunday BM Mass in conjunction with Mother’s Day May 14.

He paid tribute to all mothers who have been graced to balance their life as a working mother and at the same time contributing positively to family, church, and society. He acknowledged, “Women play an important role in any community and contribute positively and extensively.”

In his sharing during the opening of the parish Kaamatan, Msgr Primus extended his gratitude to the organisers and parishioners for celebrating his 37th priestly anniversary.

He shared that life is fragile and called on the people to treasure the gift of life each day.

Msgr Jouil then cut the padi stalks to launch the festivities symbolically. Most parishioners came in their traditional attire.

The families came together bringing a dish each, which included the traditional tuhau, hinava and other local delicacies. – Jeremy Chin/Teresa Alberto

Protect and preserve your culture, says KK prelate

Abp Wong beats the gong to launch the harvest festival, 14 May 2017, Limbanak.

PENAMPANG – Archbishop John Wong urged the people to protect and preserve their beautiful culture through the generations in his speech when launching the 20th Penampang Parish-level Kaamatan Festival on 14 May 2017.

“Maintain your culture. Be guided by the Holy Spirit so that your culture may be preserved not only for this celebration but that it may be protected from one generation to the next,” he said at the launching after the Mass at St Aloysius Limbanak.

The prelate also marvelled at how the colourful season of thanksgiving has enabled people of various ethnicity to celebrate together the month-long festivities in May each year.

Parish pastoral chairman Lawrence Bisuil highlighted the theme chosen for the celebration “Memurnikan Budaya Melalui Kuasa Roh Kudus” and echoed the prelate’s call to depend on the Holy Spirit to sanctify the culture.

In turn, assistant pastor Father Wiandigool Runsab stressed on the importance of the mother tongue by quoting the popular saying ‘When the language dies, so does the culture.’

Fr Runsab urged the parents to take pride in teaching their children and to be effective in passing on the dialects of their forefathers.

Among the various programs organised during the week-long celebration hosted by Limbanak zone were the Kadazan Language Gospel reading for school children for multiple age groups, composition of hymns, choral singing, and traditional sports activities.

The highlights of the celebration were the gong beating and the traditional food competitions.  – SOCCOM Penampang

Trump and Francis

PRESIDENT Donald J Trump’s audience at the Vatican with Pope Francis was the first meeting between the two men. Speculation was wild about what would occur at this meeting.  Contrary to some reports, it was not tense. It was simply another visit of a head of state to the Vatican.

The New York Times, among other news agencies, reported that Rome was inaccessible and the area around the Vatican was “shut down,” due to the president’s visit. In fact, this was not the case at all. One local priest reported to us that it was just another day around the area of St Peter’s Basilica. There was no more visible security than there would be for any other regular Wednesday audience.

The meeting between the Holy Father and the president was not cut short. The 30 minutes allotted is the usual amount of time given by the Holy See for such a meeting.

The focus by many in the media was on everything except what was really happening.

Perhaps the most egregious article was in a New York Magazine article (May 24) by Sarah Spellings, entitled “The Pope Mercilessly Dragged Donald Trump.” This article is so biased that it is amazing that it could actually be published.

Ms Spellings makes three bold statements, the first of which claims that “The Pope (jokingly) body shames the President to his wife.” The Holy Father, in fact, was engaging in playful repartee with the First Lady and the whole statement is taken out of context, attributing a certain meanness and unprofessionalism to our Holy Father.

The second statement that “The Pope gives a very subtle gift,” meaning that the gift of the writings of the Holy Father, including “Laudato Si’,” was specially chosen to “shame” the president. Wrong! It is customary for leaders of nations to be given a copy of the writings of the Pontiff as a gift. No such subtle message intended!

Finally, Ms Spellings claims “The Pope falls silent,” meaning that he did not have a big grin on his face in the photo taken with the First Family, as did the president. There are thousands of photos of the Holy Father taken in the course of his lifetime and, in many of those photos, he’s not grinning from ear to ear.

The real takeaway from this encounter was a successful dialogue on “their joint commitment in favour of life, and freedom of worship and conscience” and “the hope for serene collaboration between the State and the Catholic Church in the United States, engaged in service to the people in the fields of health care, education and assistance for immigrants,”  as well as the promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation and interreligious dialogue.   Instead, many in the media chose to use it as another opportunity to slam. – Tablet


Miri embarks on Wisma St Joseph fundraising campaign

MIRI – Miri has embarked on a massive fundraising campaign entitled  Wisma St Joseph since 2016.

Wisma St Joseph project comprises a new Cathedral, a Pastoral Centre at its current location, Holy Spirit Chapel in Permyjaya, and the bishop’s residence at Tanjong Lobang.

The old cathedral built in 1973 could only cater for 500 people. It was enough in those days but now due to the rural-urban migration, many Catholics are living in the city and thus the cathedral is very congested.

Facilities available in the new cathedral would include a seating capacity for 2,000 worshippers, gallery, day chapel, adoration room, columbarium on ground and first floors, funeral parlour, basement car park, offices, meeting rooms, multi-purpose hall, gift shop and canteen, grotto, garden and priests’ residence.

Diocesan Bishop Richard Ng said the new cathedral alone is estimated to cost RM20 – RM25 million with construction to start in 2019 when at least RM15 million or 70 per cent of the total cost is raised.

The first fundraising dinner held in Bintulu in 2016 garnered around RM3.4 million.  The second fundraiser in Miri raised RM1.5 million.

The bishop said they need to raise RM5 million each year from 2016-2019.  Various activities to be held include lump sum donation, monthly pledges, monthly second collection in church, sponsoring of building materials, sponsoring of specific items like pews, meeting rooms, sound system, grotto and garden, fundraising dinners, food fairs and sales of items, jogathons, concert and spiritual support.

The bishop expressed his hope that Wisma St Joseph would be ready by 2021.

He said the proposed Wisma St Joseph is in tandem with the development of Miri City, the rapid rural-urban migration and also one that befits Miri as a diocesan centre.

Miri Diocese forms 53 per cent of Sarawak – stretching from Belaga District in Kapit Division to Bintulu, Miri and Limbang Divisions with a population of 97,000 Miri alone has 12,000 Catholics.

Those wanting to donate can write a cheque in favour of: ‘The Bishop of Miri – Wisma St Joseph’ to Public Bank account No 3199675833. For enquiries call +60142778308 or email to wismastjoseph@outlook.com. – various sources

Penampang lass takes final vows as Augustinian sister

The neo professed poses with her family members after the Mass, Cumbria, 4 June 2017.

CUMBRIA, England – Penampang lass Sister Florence Suimin took her solemn vows as a member of the Order of St Augustine of Hippo on Pentecost Sunday 4 June 2017.

The event took place at Boarbank Hall chapel, Allithwaite Grange-over-sands Cumbria England in the presence of her religious family as well as her family members.

In his homily, Bishop Michael G Campbell OSA of Lancaster said,

Sister Florence, by offering yourself to the Lord today through final religious profession, you are responding to a particular gift of grace, to a charism from the Holy Spirit, given to you for your own personal sanctification and for the benefit of the whole Church. Congratulations on responding so generously to Christ’s call to follow him as an Augustinian sister, though as St Augustine himself would remind us, we first need God’s grace to respond to God’s grace!

By your profession of vows today you are witnessing eloquently to the primacy of charity, for your life as a religious will be in the service of others, especially the sick, the frail, and those burdened in any way. A ministry of this kind, we are told, is a ministry offered to the Master himself. You will have been taught, Sister Florence, of the importance of the community as an Augustinian sister, and the central place of the common life. St Augustine notes in his rule that when we put the interests of others first, then we can be sure that we are making progress in the spiritual life. A religious community is a powerful witness to the ideal of the Christian life, and your contribution to that cannot be underestimated.

Born on 4 Sept 1957 in Kg Totoikon Ramayah Penampang, Sister Florence entered the Augustinian Order in England on 4 May 2011.  She made her first profession on 11 Feb 2014.  Currently, her community has 12 Augustinian Sisters and two Benedictines.

Infant Jesus Sister Eugenie called to eternal life

KOTA KINABALU – Infant Jesus Sister Eugenie Fernandez was called to eternal life on 20 June 2017 in Cheras Kuala Lumpur.  She was 73.  The funeral will be held on Friday June 23 at 10 am at Cheras Convent, Kuala Lumpur.

Sister Eugenie belonged to a congregation dedicated to education and the training of underprivileged schoolchildren.  It was founded in Rouen France in 1666 by Blessed Nicolas Barre (1621-1686) who had gathered some young women for the free instruction of the poor in 1662.

Today, the Infant Jesus Sisters and their lay volunteers have a presence worldwide through social projects and schools. They are also known as Dames of St Maur, from the address of their major house in Paris.

The congregation spread its wings to then Malaya in 1852 and to Sook in Keningau Diocese in 2002.  Sister Eugenie was one of the two pioneer sisters who established the house in Sook.  She served there for nine years (2002-2011).


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