Daily Archives:December 5th, 2017

CMI altar servers recollection draws 22 participants

The participants pose for shot with Fr Lo, CMI, 4 Dec 2017.

BUKIT PADANG – Twenty-two altar servers from the English and Chinese ministries joined the one-day recollection on 4 Dec 2017.

The event was held at the Church of Mary Immaculate here.

Pauline Sister Laura Anggie facilitated the team-building dynamics followed by a talk on the theme “I am the Handmaid of the Lord” by Father Paul Lo.  The theme was taken from 2019 World Youth Day theme.

After lunch, many of the participants went for confession and counselling.  The day closed with a Mass presided by Fr Lo.

Kelatuan organises inaugural children’s camp

PAPAR – St Kenneth Kelatuan here organised a two-day children’s camp on 25-26 Nov 2017 to mark the end of the Sunday School year.

Around 160 children aged 7-12 years joined the camp including those from Kimanis and Nagapas areas.

Father Rayner Bisius celebrated the opening Mass which was also attended by lay leaders, parents and the church community.

Instead of the usual homily, the pastor interviewed some of the participants with quizzes such as their feelings coming to this camp, on the importance of praying for the dead and the theme of the children camp – Christ, Our Joy!

Sister Juanah Saliun and team facilitated many workshop-based activities based on Sayang Yesus, Sayang Keluargaku!

A movie entitled Our Lady of Fatima was screened, and the day concluded with a bonfire singalong.

On the second and final day Sr Juanah facilitated another workshop followed by group sharing.

The rosary was recited before the closing Mass.

Some of the boys and girls shared their experiences of meeting new friends and hoped that the next camp would be much longer.

In his closing remarks, the pastor congratulated the organisers of the inaugural programme and expressed his hope that other similar programmes can be organised. – William Charles Mindus, SOCCOM Papar-Limbahau

Pope Francis releases message for 2018 Vocation Sunday

VATICAN CITY –   Pope Francis on Monday, 4 Dec 2017, released his message for the 2018 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, reflecting on the three aspects of every vocation: listening, discerning, and living.

The 55th Day for Vocations is to be commemorated next year on 22 April.

Listening, discerning, and living: these lie at the heart of Pope Francis’ message for next year’s World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

The Holy Father said 2018 is a special year for vocations, because the Synod of Bishops will reflect on young people, especially “the relationship between young people, faith, and vocation.”

Pope Francis reminded Christians that God never ceases to call men and women to follow Him.

“We are not victims of chance or swept up in a series of unconnected events; on the contrary, our life and our presence in this world are the fruit of a divine vocation,” he said.

He said the mystery of the Incarnation shows that God constantly “comes to encounter us,” even in troubled times.

“In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness,” he said.

A listening heart

Pope Francis made it clear that “God comes silently” and that, without a listening heart, His voice can be “drowned out” by the distractions of daily life.

“Nowadays listening is becoming more and more difficult, immersed as we are in a society full of noise, overstimulated and bombarded by information… This prevents us from pausing and enjoying the taste of contemplation, reflecting serenely on the events of our lives, going about our work with confidence in God’s loving plan, and making a fruitful discernment.”

He said Christians need “to listen carefully to his word and the story of his life, but also to be attentive to the details of our own daily lives”.


Turning to spiritual discernment, Pope Francis said this is “a process by which a person makes fundamental choices, in dialogue with the Lord and listening to the voice of the Spirit, starting with the choice of one’s state in life”.

He said the Christian vocation always has a prophetic dimension since current events in a person’s life and in the world must be examined “in the light of God’s promise.”

“Every Christian ought to grow in the ability to “read within” his or her life, and to understand where and to what he or she is being called by the Lord, in order to carry on his mission,” he said.

Living one’s vocation

Pope Francis then added a note of urgency.

“Vocation is today! The Christian mission is now,” he said.

“Each one of us is called – whether to the lay life in marriage, to the priestly life in the ordained ministry, or to a life of special consecration – in order to become a witness of the Lord, here and now.”

Everyone is called to live their vocation, the Pope said, and there is no reason to fear God’s call, even to a life consecrated to God’s kingdom.

“It is beautiful – and a great grace – to be completely and forever consecrated to God and the service of our brothers and sisters.” – vatican radio

Not just Rohingya: Pope Francis’ message to Myanmar and Bangladesh

Pope Francis meets Rohingya refugees from Myanmar during an interreligious and ecumenical meeting for peace in the garden of the archbishop’s residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1 Dec 2017. (CNS/Paul Haring)

ROME  – At the end of his trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh [27 Nov – 2 Dec 2017], Pope Francis said the fateful word: Rohingya. In saying it, he did not “slam the door shut ” or tear his clothes, rather he asked forgiveness for the world’s indifference and caressed the faces of men, women and children whose family members were killed, or who had to flee from the military onslaught. The Pope met 16 in Dhaka, and all of them prayed and cried with him. “God,” said Francis, ” is also Rohingya.”

The global media were waiting for this word in order to condemn the violence of the Burmese army, denounce the inanity of the leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to plunge Myanmar under the weight of sanctions. In some respects, it gave the impression that this journey’s significance hinged on that one word. But in this way, the media failed to show all the richness of the pontiff’s message and the impulse that he has given to this region of the world which is both so rich and so poor.

It is true that in Myanmar Francis did not use the word “Rohingya,” rather he spoke of all minorities (Kachin, Chin, Karen, Naga, Kaya, …) who suffer the same things as Rohingya without ever making headlines. And the pope said that citizenship is necessary for all, the distribution of wealth, the collaboration to build peace in Burmese society. The decades of military dictatorship have created almost incurable wounds, violence and wars, but the pope has asked everyone, especially the Christians, to forgive and work for reconciliation to ward off the spectre of a war in which everyone loses.

This is why Pope Francis did not court media praise or condemnation. Instead, he outlined constructive paths of hope. This is why in both countries, in Myanmar and Bangladesh, he spoke to young people to support their enthusiasm and propose a path of hope for the future. Young people who emigrate, who accept slave-like working conditions, or who take up arms, who risk living like the desperate. Francis asked young Christians to be catalysts of hope.

This means not burying oneself within the folds of one’s own ethnic or religious group, nurturing suspicion towards others, remaining inert and sceptical, but opening oneself to encounter, sustained by the common dignity of every person.

The collaboration between religions is the other pillar of this journey: with the Islamic majority in Bangladesh and with the Buddhist one in Myanmar it is important to work so that the economic development underway in these two countries is founded on the mystery of human dignity, and not only on profit, the exploitation of labour and child slaves. Francis has shown that by valuing the religious dimension, one can have the common good more easily at heart.

He wanted to meet with the leaders of the religions both in Myanmar and in Bangladesh and with them he condemned the violence and terrorism that manipulate the name of God, but above all he pushed them to work together for a society of which man is at the centre, whatever his ethnicity, because he is made in the image of God.

A final word on the Churches of these two countries, small minorities often in the cyclone of persecution. The pope praised the Christians who, despite being a “mustard seed,”  give sustenance to the population and the poor in Bangladesh and Myanmar. The esteem that Christians enjoy is primarily due to their service: schools, hospitals, agricultural and labour cooperatives. But in this service, people discover with wonder the reasons for the love of Christ. It is not by chance that in both Bangladesh and in Myanmar the Church grows every year, there are abundant vocations and these small communities already send missionaries to other lands.

It was perhaps one of the first times that all the Christian ethnic groups of Myanmar and the dozens of Bangladeshi ethnic groups gathered together, arousing the admiration of Buddhists and Muslims. A good promise for the future. – Bernardo Cervellera, asianews.it

KK prelate urges Catholic writers to serve needs of social media

The participants pose for remembrance with Archbishop Wong and the organisers, 2 Dec 2017, Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU –  Catholic writers in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu have been urged to look into ways of serving the needs of those actively engaged in the social media by supplying them with appropriate materials that would communicate the Gospel message in a subtle, appealing and yet effective manner.

Archbishop John Wong made the call in his address at the close of a two-day advanced journalism training workshop here on Saturday (2 Dec 2017) organised by the Social Communications Commission (SOCCOM) of the archdiocese.

“Now that you are better trained and equipped, I invite you to move beyond. Watch and see the needs of our people, especially our youth. Seek God’s inspiration to enter into new fields of communication,” he said.

He encouraged them to broaden their outlook and to expand the scope of their journalism work beyond the confine of merely writing news for the Catholic media, like the diocesan website and the official publication, the Catholic Sabah.

“For instance, reflect on how to make a wider use of graphics and video materials in the social media, the use of art and culture as vehicles to communicate the Gospel message,” he suggested.

He also stressed that  “It is our duty and responsibility to have eyes to see the needs of our time and to give these pressing needs a clear and definitive answer.”

The archbishop said he was confident the writers could rise to the new challenge of this so-called “New Information’ age.”

The advanced practical journalism workshop, held at the parish centre of the Sacred Heart Cathedral here, is a follow-up of the training course organised by SOCCOM in December last year on basic techniques and skills in news gathering and writing. – Joe Leong

New Catholic Centre will have facilities to produce formation programmes for rural parishes

Participants from Catholic Sabah Chinese section brainstorm during a workshop at the Journalism Training Workshop for Catholic Writers, 1-2 Dec 2017, SHPC.

KOTA KINABALU – The new Catholic Centre (CC) will have facilities to produce formation programmes for rural parishes.

This was disclosed by Anthony Lim of the CC Steering and Fundraising Committees during a practical writing workshop on indepth interviews on 2 Dec 2017.

There are abundant English faith formation programmes in Sabah, Lim said, but limited programmes in BM which is mainly spoken in the rural parishes.  So when the idea of constructing a new Catholic Centre took root in 1996, this was given priority.

The other panelist was Father Thomas Madanan who spoke on how his St Joseph Husband of Mary Parish is organising the fundraising activities for the CC building project.

The session on indepth interviews was one of the two practical workshops organised by the Archdiocesan Social Communications Commission (SOCCOM) on Dec 1-2 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.

The other practical workshop was on feature writing on the future of Catholic Sabah, the archdiocesan fortnightly, after 60 years of existence.  There was review of articles by participants after each workshop.

The 18 participants – many of whom took part in the first training workshop for Catholic Writers in 2016 – came from various parishes in both Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese and Keningau Diocese.

Aside from the two workshops there were sessions on photography (Eddie Angat and Vicky Matangang), Concise Writing & Advent of Social Media (Colin Forsythe), Covering Conferences and Youth Camps and Qualities of a Catholic Writer (Joseph Leong), Caption Writing (Ruben Sario), and Covering Homily/Speeches (Sr Anna Yap).

Father Thomas Madanan, spiritual adviser of SOCCOM, spoke on the missionary role of Catholic Writers.

In his address after the Mass, Archbishop John Wong touched on it as well.

“I invite you to move beyond.  Watch and see the needs of our people, especially our youth.  Seek God’s inspiration to enter into new fields of communication…It is our duty and responsibility to have eyes to see the needs of our time and to give those pressing needs a clear and definite answer,” the prelate said.

Later he unveiled the new official logo of the commission and presented the certificates of attendance to all the participants.

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