Daily Archives:August 25th, 2017

Cathedral parish celebrates Mass for exam classes

The students come forward to receive Holy Communion, SHC, 25 Aug 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish here celebrated its annual Mass for students in examination classes on 25 August 2017.

Exams are a massive moment in the lives of young people and their families and so they present an opportunity for the parish community to reach out to students and their families.

Archbishop John Wong presided at the noon Mass for students taking their Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) or Primary School Achievement Test; Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3) or Lower Secondary Evaluation; Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) or Malaysian Certificate of Education; and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) or Malaysian Higher School Certificate examinations.

The UPSR (Primary 6) exams will be on Sept 11-14 & 18; the PT3 (Form 3) on Oct 9-12; the SPM (Form 5) on Nov 6-Dec 4 while STPM (Form 6) will be on Nov 15-21.

In his address to the students before dismissing them, Abp Wong encouraged them to prepare themselves well for their exams through diligent study.

AHDC organises free checking errors in ICs

One of the volunteers checking the IC of one parishioner after Mass, Carmel, 13 Aug 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – The Archdiocesan Human Development Commission (AHDC) in collaboration with the parish committee has organised free checking errors in Identity Cards (ICs) service in all parishes in the archdiocese in July and August 2017.

This service is offered to all parishioners (young and old).  Booths are set up in front of the church before and after all Masses on Saturdays and Sundays.

The team only scan errors without keeping any personal data.

The common errors are found in two categories: a) race – “Bajau” or “Malay” instead of “Chinese” or “Kadazandusun”; and b) religion – “Buddha” or “Sikhism” or “tiada maklumat” (no information) instead of “Kristian.”

The team will compile the list of names of the faithful with errors in their ICs and forward this list to the AHDC at the end of August.  The AHDC will then send this list to the Registration Department for rectification.

 

Malaysian bishops call on all to build bridges in Merdeka/Malaysia Day Message

 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As Christians, we are called to be good people, for we have a shared humanity, with one another and with God himself in the person of Jesus Christ. It is this shared humanity that underpins our responsibility for the good of our neighbour, of society, and of the world. This is our Christian hope – that in being good people we will show that God is good because “God has no hands except ours” (St Teresa). So, it is that we must build bridges of peace, unity, and harmony between people of all races and religions.

And nowhere is the call to goodness more urgent than in societies like our own, made up of diverse races and religious affiliations. Our Malaysia will only ever be ours if we love it into being. Today we celebrate 60 years of independence. For many of us, the first exuberant cries of merdeka are something we have only seen in history books and documentaries. The joyful hope of the people of a new nation risks becoming nothing but a relic of the past, as our collective memory fades from generation to generation, and our freedom becomes detached from that first hope. On this auspicious day, it is timely that we reignite the aspirations of our nation’s founding fathers and examine our use of the freedom we have been given. It is ultimately a freedom to love, and together to build a nation through which the love of God flows, to unite all in regard for each person’s God-given dignity, to care for the least among us, and to work in service of each other for the common good. How far have we come these last six decades as a nation and a people?

It is a love that sacrifices self for the good of the other, which prompts us to set aside our personal agendas and the temptation to prioritise selfish desires, in order to build a just society, a nation that favours all over the interests of a few. It is a love that acts first, emboldening us to seek out dialogue and common ground upon which we may build the foundations of national peace, stability, and growth. It is a love that teaches by example, so that future generations, seeing the way we work for good, will never lose sight of our aspirations, and will be equipped with the skills and conviction to continue our work. It is a love that is benevolent, which replaces utilitarian sentiments with those of genuine care, especially for our migrant workers who have joined their hopes to ours and work in often unappreciated ways to help achieve our aspirations. It is a love generous in its giving to those most in need, ensuring that the rewards of growth and development are felt all the way to the margins of society. It is a love that is blind to anything that would tempt us to love less, and recognises the inherent dignity of each individual regardless of race, religion, political affiliation, status, or any of the weak human distinctions by which we divide rather than unite.

As we celebrate the commemoration of these great events in our shared history, Hari Merdeka and Hari Malaysia, let us take the opportunity for a personal examination of conscience: how far do my values and attitudes towards my country and all the people in society reflect the good news of God’s love for me and all mankind? In the words of His Holiness, Pope Francis, to the US Congress in 2015, “Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility.” Independence means little if we remain enslaved by pride, jealousy, anger, greed, and apathy, which feed the polarisations that are so injurious to unity. Let us look first at the communities that make up our own churches. Do we divide ourselves along lines of race, language, and social and economic background, which are ultimately invisible in God’s eyes? In remedying our own divisions, in love and humility, so that Christ’s prayer may be fulfilled, “that they may all be one” (John 17:21), let us also never forget our mission to our nation, to adopt a multi-pronged approach to building-up society beginning with a change in our own mind-set and attitudes that will effect a change in our behaviour. We must then educate others from the youngest to the eldest in our society and promote efforts that seek unity in the diversity of races and religions that make us uniquely Malaysians.

And may God’s blessings be poured out upon us, that our celebrations may extend well beyond the parades, parties, and public holidays, and become a lived reality that sees us berganding bahu (standing united) in love to build an even greater and more prosperous Malaysia.

SELAMAT MENYAMBUT HARI MERDEKA DAN HARI MALAYSIA!

Most Reverend Julian Leow Beng Kim DD
Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, on behalf of:

Most Reverend Simon Poh
Archbishop of Kuching

Most Reverend John Wong
Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu

Rt Reverend Cornelius Piong
Bishop of Keningau

Rt Reverend Julius Dusin Gitom
Bishop of Sandakan

Rt Reverend Richard Ng
Bishop of Miri

Rt Reverend Joseph Hii
Bishop of Sibu

Rt Reverend Datuk Sebastian Francis
Bishop of Penang

Rt Reverend Bernard Paul
Bishop of Melaka – Johor

Sabah seminarian shares his experiences at Penang College General

Minsun (2nd L) with some companions at the Divine Mercy Church, Sungai Arah, Penang.

Seminarian Ziffyon Minsun of Telipok, first-year philosophy, shares his experiences at Penang College General. 

It is a privilege as well as a challenge for me to share my personal testimony as a seminarian.

In 2015, three of us were sent to Penang College General:  I, from the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu (Holy Family Telipok) and one each from the Dioceses of Sandakan and Keningau.

After completing two years of English Enrichment, I am now in my first-year Philosophy (2017).

How does one survive?  The world has become more and more advanced, people are learning at a faster speed in a fast-changing environment.  There is a need for priests to be more critical in their thinking, in their formation, and more open-minded in this multi-culture and multi-tradition environment of the seminary.

My first experience in Penang College was a steep learning curve of being independent.  Leaving my comfort zone – studying and living far from home – was for me a challenging step to look after myself and having to sort out my own affairs.  At this stage, I find changes in the way I think and begin to see things differently which I have previously taken for granted.

Entering the college was like entering into a new culture, and embracing this new culture has a tremendous impact on me.  Living in the rather small community, but consisting of many people from different background, has helped me to develop social skills which I know I would need later in my life, for example, self-esteem in communication, self-knowledge, and solving of conflicts.

The openness to be immersed in the new culture is important as it helps to create unity in the community.  It helps us to be transparent, to respect each other, and to be free to offer and embrace new ideas.

Coming from a traditional Dusun background which is typically less exposed, I find difficulty in breaking away from it, and in understanding the English Language and its slangs.  By the grace of God, the openness to face the challenges has enabled me to face the fear of changes.

The daily struggle was like planting small seeds, and after a while, a tree emerged.  After overcoming the fears through daily commitment, positive changes began to happen, which motivated me to keep moving forward.  This, I believe, is the work of God.  He has prepared for me the ways that I should walk during these formative years.

Despite the challenges of changes in a new environment, there are advantages of having peers from West Malaysia. It gives me the opportunity to understand their cultures and languages, and thereby enhances the quality of my learning by having a wider spectrum of opinion and expertise.

I believe in building a network across the different dioceses, which helps to build a stronger relationship among the dioceses, for today as for the future, to sustain the faith of the Church in the face of challenging issues.

In hindsight, living in a culture different from my own is both an exciting adventure and a challenging process.  Regardless of which state one comes from, it is common for all students to go through a period of cultural adjustment.  Understanding this adjustment process and getting support during the transition will help one to have a more fulfilling experience, spiritually, academically and personally.

 

Organisers get together at Pre-PYD6

PENAMPANG – The organising team of the Penampang Youth Day – 6 (PYS-6) gathered for a half-day pre-PYD-6 on 23 July 2017 at Tinopikon Notorus here.

PYD-6 is scheduled for Aug 31 – Sept 3.

Pre-PYD6 brought both main and local organising teams together for a session of get-to-know each other closely.

The session was held in a friendly and relaxed surrounding where they also deliberated on the PYD6 themes ‘Do Not Be Afraid’ and ‘I Want To Serve’ for better understanding.

One of the games prepared for PYD6 is treasure hunting. The organisers took the opportunity to test it out at Notorus for a better management of the games during the actual event. Approximately 500 youths are expected to join PYD6.

The participants of the youth day are expected to share with their fellow parish youths after PYD-6.

For more update, check out their official Instagram account – penampangyouthday2017 and Facebook page – Penampang YOUTH’s Day 6 “2017” – PYD6 – @pyd6.2017 with hashtag #donotbeafraid  and #iwanttoserve. Wilson Stephen

MCYMC representatives share their learnings from laudato si’ workshop

Jiran

Alex Jiran and Dwana Andrew shared what they have learnt from the Laudato Si in Action Workshop in Bangalore India on 21-25 May 2017.

“The programme has made me realise and become caring towards issues of politics, economy, education, culture and social especially in Malaysia and their importance in relation to taking care of our common home,” said Jiran while admitting that this was his most valuable experience in IMCS.

“As youth of Asia Pacific, we were taught to always voice out justice and world peace as written in the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church,” he continued.

He added, “We were exposed to using Sample Web, a methodology to find causes of complex climate change and how to find ways to solve them.”

He committed himself to do three things: not to waste food, eating less meat and to act now.

Jiran said that on going back to KK, he decided to do research in the local context on the three critical issues discussed in the 2015 PAX Assembly but first he has to “be close to God’s Word and the church social teaching before taking any practical steps.”

He realised the need to change from Ego to Eco in order to understand one’s relationship with the environment. For that change to happen, one needs to be closer to Jesus and to learn who He is.

“Through a close relationship with Jesus, I’m confident that I’m able to continue to be caring towards all issues affecting the environment,” he said.

Jiran also expressed his hope to learn and adopt Laudato Si’ In Action and Docat because these two books “help me to see the world’s environment while taking into consideration all current happenings and issues.”

Andrew

For Dwana Andrew, she wants to start with small actions such as reading up on materials related to the environment and the Laudato Si’ document for reflection.

She said that the representatives  have their chance to share on the environmental condition of their country and it turns out that climate change is inevitable and has become more critical.

Andrew cited Laudato Si’ 22: “Our earth is ‘crying in pain’ while we, humans, act like we know nothing and pay no attention to the cries. Human ego which wants more things than are needed causes waste. With the surpluses, it leads to throwaway culture.”

She said one has to make “conscious effort to start thinking critically and to take interest and care.”

Andrew said that Mark Rasquinha, a young lecturer at the University of India, told the participants that the usage of social media is the most effective approach to start.

“We were taught to start with ‘small voice’ in the social media. We have the opportunity to learn to explain, in depth, about a picture with maximum 160 words,” she said.

She committed herself to five acts: to save energy, to finish food on her plate, to avoid unnecessary printing such as minutes, agenda, working paper, and to minimise the usage of plastic bags in shopping and to bring her own container when buying food.

Two MCYMC members attend Laudato Si’ workshop in India

Representatives from Malaysia, Thailand and China pose for remembrance, Laudato Si Workshop, India, 21-25 May 2017.

BANGALORE, India – Malaysia Catholic Youth Ministers’ Committee (MCYMC) sent two of its members to attend the Laudato Si’ In Action Workshop on 21-25 May 2017.

The workshop was held at the Indian Social Institute (ISI) Benson Town here, with the objective to create awareness among the young people on active responsibility towards the environment within Asia Pacific communities.

The workshop is addressing the ecological crisis in Asia Pacific with the aim to build capacity in Asia’s students to be critical and analytical educators as well as advocates of environmental justice. It was organised by Asia Pacific Council (APC) of International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) Pax Romana, together with the local organiser All India Catholic University Federation (AICUF).

Laudato Si’ in Action is a programme inspired by Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ and Special Pastoral of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference on climate change, food sovereignty, global warming and ecology.

Youth participants were given an in-depth explanation on the encyclical, exposed to climate change issues and food sovereignty in Asia Pacific, brought to assess its causes through exposure and suggestions of strategy to solve.

Among the talks given at the workshop were Laudato Si’ In Action (Fr Jojo Fung SJ ), Climate Change Research in Asia (Dr Noelyn Dano), Climate Change and Food Sovereignty (Ms Myrna Dominguez), Global Warming (Fr Rayappa Kasi), Environment Conservation Strategies (Mr Leo Saldanha), Citizen Journalism (Prof Mark Rasquinha), Exposure and Eco Spirituality (Fr Robert Arthical SJ).

In the five-day workshop, topics of creation were discussed in relation to its Creator, and Science and Technology in a theological context where at the end, participants were invited to make a Declaration of Commitment as their own personal way to “care for our common home.”

The Malaysian representatives were Alexander Paulus Jiran and Dwana Andrew.  Both are in the youth campus ministry serving in institutes of higher learning as well as at parish and archdiocesan level.

Other representatives were from Indonesia, India, China, Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Togo, Africa. Alexander / Dwana

Kuching prelate urges faithful to reach out to the poor more extensively

Abp Poh officiates the rite of blessing at the Catholic Services Centre Kuching, 16 July 2017.

KUCHING – Archbishop Simon Poh urged the laity to reach out more extensively to help the poor and the needy in society.

He said this at a blessing ceremony held on 16 July 2017 at the Catholic Services Centre here that functions as a rest centre for rural visitors, a food bank and soup kitchen.

The prelate told those present to look to Mother Teresa of Calcutta as their model and emulate the example of Pope Francis in being genuinely charitable and loving towards others, especially those who are suffering.

He also encouraged more Catholics to volunteer their time, effort, material or financial resources to help those in poverty, those who are suffering physical illnesses or handicaps, and those who are unable to fend for themselves.

“This centre has volunteers who prepare daily food packs for distribution to some 244 poor and needy families and individuals.  The centre is working with St Vincent De Paul Society and Society for Kuching Urban Poor in food distribution,” he added.

Catholics, he said, must play a role to bring God’s mercy and kindness to those in need.

About RM1 mil is needed by the Catholic church to run charitable projects in the Kuching Catholic Archdiocese every year.

The archdiocese also has homes for the elderly.

The St Vincent De Paul Society helps poor students with school items and school bus fare as well as tuition.

Abp Poh said a fundraising run will be organised on Sept 9 by the Catholic Welfare to try to raise RM2.5 mil for future charity causes. – STAR

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