Daily Archives:October 13th, 2017

Rosary and Mass mark the Pilgrim Virgin’s visit to Taman Sinar

A pose for remembrance after the Mass, Taman Sinar Luyang, 12 Oct 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – Rosary recitation and Mass marked the Pilgrim Virgin’s visit to Taman Sinar Luyang here on 12 Oct 2017.

In May and October, the Parish Family Pastoral Network (PFPN) of Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu organises daily block rosary and weekly Friday Mass in the different tamans or housing estates within the boundaries of Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish.

Another activity is the two-week Advent Family Visits in early December.

Being the centenary of the Fatima apparitions (1917-2017), the Pilgrim Virgin statue visits different families each night (except the weekends) in the different housing estates in October.

At each visit, the parishioners staying around that area gather in one house, praying the rosary for peace and conversion of sinners.  Sometimes, it culminates with a Mass by one of the pastors of the parish.

Father Joshua Liew presided at the Mass following the recitation of the rosary at the home of Agatha Yap in Taman Sinar.

Several parishioners staying within the vicinity as well as friends participated in the event and joined in the fellowship after Mass.

Indah Jaya BEC goes on pilgrimage to Manila

Members of the two BECs pose for remembrance after the signing of the MoU, Quezon City, Sept 2017.

SANDAKAN –  Thirty members of the St Teresa of Calcutta Taman Indah Jaya  Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC)  here went on a five-day pilgrimage to Manila Philippines on 20 – 24 Sept 2017 with Father Thomas Makajil as spiritual director.

The pilgrims prepared themselves spiritually through a nine-day novena prayer.

The BEC was formed in 2010 with some 30 active families. Since its inception, the members have made two pilgrimages: one to St Anne Bukit Mertajam and another to the Diocese of Keningau.

This time around, the BEC responded to the call of Bishop Julius Gitom to establish links with other BECs in the diocese or beyond in order to learn from one another. With that in mind, the BEC decided to make a pilgrimage to the Philippines and twin up with one of the local BECs in Quezon City. The committee got down to preparatory work in 2016.

Aleona Natalio, a formator at the Institute of Formation Fondacio, (IFFAsia) was on hand to greet and welcome the pilgrims at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Sept 20.  IFFAsia trains Asian Christian youth leaders who are willing to commit and participate in the revival of the Church and the civil society.

Upon arrival at the Institute, housed at Radio Veritas Asia in Fairview, Quezon City, the pilgrims feasted on a variety of traditional cuisines prepared by the students, including lechon the popular local roasted pig. We were briefed on the organisation structure of the Institute and were introduced to their formators as well as the students coming from the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China.

They were briefed on the organisational structure of the institute and were introduced to their formators as well as the students coming from the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China.

IFFAsia is well connected to the Diocese of Sandakan as four youths from Sandakan have graduated from the institute. In 2011, the Sandakan cathedral parish hosted their mission project comprising 23 participants: students and formators. A part of their exposure was an encounter with St Teresa of Calcutta BEC.

Apart from the warm welcome and good food, the pilgrims were also entertained with presentations from the students. The event was interactive providing a platform to get to know one another.  In support of their upcoming mission project in Thailand, the pilgrims bought souvenir items prepared by the students.

The pilgrims were housed at the Franciscan Sisters of St Elizabeth Retreat House across the road, opposite IFFAsia. Surprisingly, there were several Indonesian sisters in the congregation so they had no problem communicating in Bahasa Indonesia. The retreat house offered comfortable twin sharing air- conditioned rooms with toilet attached, serene setting and a beautiful chapel where Fr Thomas celebrated daily Mass at  6:00 am.

The pilgrims divided into three groups of 10 people.  They visited seven cathedrals and churches with significant historical and architectural values: St Agustin, Manila Cathedral, San Sebastian, Baclaran Church, Quiapo Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, Espirito Santo, and Good Shepherd Cathedral Shrine Fairview.

Fr Thomas was a good guide as he had done his master’s in pastoral theology at Santo Tomas University Manila.

One profound experience was the visit to Baclaran Church – the National Shrine of Our Mother Perpetual Help run by the Redemptorist Fathers. They were welcomed by a priest in charge of pilgrims. They were honoured to take the Cross in procession to the altar where the pilgrimage prayer was said at the sanctuary.

Another memorable visit was to the Daughters of St Paul Media Centre and their convent in Pasay City. Sister Rosalie Lojiu, the niece of Fr Thomas, briefed the pilgrims on the Pauline apostolate and provided light refreshments for them.

During the visit, Fr Thomas took time to visit the three surviving pioneers who started the congregation in Sabah in the 1960s. All of them are now in their mid-90s and have to depend on walking aids. These sisters used to visit Fr Thomas’ family when they were in Penampang, he was in primary school then.

It was rather nostalgic and emotional for them as they shared their fond memories of North Borneo/Sabah.  They surprised the pilgrims when some of them could still remember the popular Malay lullaby, Burung Kakak Tua.

The highlight of the pilgrimage was to enter into an understanding between BEC of St Teresa of Calcutta Indah Jaya Sandakan and the BEC of Cathedral Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd (CSPGS), Fairview Park, Quezon City, Philippines, with the following objectives:

  1. Share resources on the development, sustenance and advancement of BECs
  2. Share information regarding events happening in the BECs
  3. Share on similarities and differences
  4. Foster good relationship bond among members, especially the youth of the twinned BECs

On hand to welcome the BEC members were the parish priest Father Mario Sanchez and his two assistants, Father Bong and Father Sanders, together with the members of BEC-CSPGS.

In his welcoming address, Fr Sanchez encouraged the twinned BECs to propagate and promote BEC. He said that through sharing, it will prompt learning from each other and will bring growth in their relationship with the Lord. He said that BEC is one of the ways to reach out to more people and through BEC they will get closer to God and to others in the community.

The visit was important as it coincided with the Filipino year-long celebration of  2017 as the Year of the Parish as a “Communion of Communities, Participation and Mission” with emphasis on BECs.

In response, Fr Thomas expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome rendered and he said that the similarities of the guests and host made them feel at home. He said that the BECs in the Sandakan Diocese is in its infancy stage as the diocese is merely 10 years old and has much to learn from them.

Clarita Salvan, the team animator, briefed the visitors on their history while Francis Tan provided an insight into the BEC of St Teresa of Calcutta,  followed by a group discussion on the way forward for BECs.

After Sunset Mass at the cathedral, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was sealed between the two BECs by the respective chairpersons at the parish hall, witnessed by the priests.

Limbahau PPC chairman requests for residential pastor

LIMBAHAU – Limbahau Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) chairman requested for a residential pastor during the annual pastoral visit by the archbishop on 8 Oct 2017 to Holy Rosary Parish here.

In his speech after the Mass wherein 95 boys and girls were confirmed by Archbishop John Wong, Sylvester Joseph conveyed the longing of the parishioners for a residential pastor.  He also urged the parishioners to pray for this request to be granted.

He said that the proceeds from the day’s bazaar would be for the Catholic Centre building project fund as the parish has pledged to contribute RM220,000.00 towards it.  Other fundraisers have been initiated as well.

Joseph then touched on the parish’s two-year family programme which he hoped would be fruitful.

Earlier at 8 am, Abp Wong had a breakfast meeting with the two pastors, Father Thomas Yip and Father Rayner Bisius, and PPC members who presented reports under their various portfolios, present and future programmes such as KKG-ku (Keluarga [family], KKD [BEC], Gereja [church]), Belia Masuk Kampung (youth enter village), and altar servers camp, in response to the Archdiocesan Pastoral Thrust.

In his turn, Abp Wong encouraged the parishioners to deepen their faith, the confirmands to be active church members, and married couples to have more children despite various challenges.

He pointed out that small families mean reduction in the overall Catholic population and challenged the parishioners to have trust in God to provide for their needs.

After the speeches, the prelate launched the new parish logo.

After Mass, all went in procession to the Fr A Amandus Hall, accompanied by traditional toggungak music, for lunch, cake-cutting commemorating Abp Wong’s 7th episcopal anniversary, choral presentations, prize presentations for sports and recreational activities, and lucky draws.

The prelate, accompanied by parish leaders, toured all the stalls selling food, drinks, local produce, meeting the people where they were.

Later, the PPC presented Abp Wong with a mock cheque of RM40,000 as proceeds from the bazaar.

Representing the state government, Datuk Johnny Mositun presented several units of PA systems to Limbahau and  Papar parishes, and to some outstation chapels.

The evening before, Oct 7, Abp Wong celebrated Sunset Mass at St Sabina Titimbongon Papar, the first time the chapel was visited by a bishop. – William Charles Mindus

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