Author Archives: AY

St Michael Penampang to be a pilgrimage centre

A section of the group photo taken at the foot of the statue after the blessing, 12 Nov 2017, St Michael Penampang.

PENAMPANG – St Michael’s Church here is set to become a pilgrimage centre with a gallery to exhibit the rich history of the beginning and stages of growth of the Catholic Church in Sabah.

Pastor Father Wilfred Atin said this when he officiated the blessing of the newly sculptured 15-ft gold-plated statue of St Michael the Archangel mounted on a raised cement base at the bottom of a slope in the Mission House compound on 12 Nov 2017.

“I have a vision of this parish as a pilgrimage centre where people from all over the world would flock to, not just to admire the beauty of the Church or be astounded by the statue of St Michael, but more so to be filled with incredible joy for those who find themselves in a sacred place,”  Fr Atin said.

Earlier on he expressed his gratitude to the fundraising project committee headed by Marcel Leiking for their undivided dedication, as well as for the generosity of all donors who had contributed to the statue project, for realising the initiative of the former pastor, the late Father Fundes Motiung.

About 100 people attended the ceremony including assistant pastor Father Wiandigool Runsab,  ex-students of St Michael Secondary School, former state secretary Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, retired senior government officials, donors, and representatives of the parish pastoral council and zone pastoral committees.

St Michael’s stone church was built as a permanent sign of the expansion of missionary work in Penampang in the early 1930s, and the progress of mission work of the parish has extended to the administration of the adjacent St Michael Secondary School.

The school has produced thousands of Catholic students, providing good citizenry and forming good leaders for the nation. The school is also known for keeping the Catholic tradition of emphasising spiritual values as core values for the students.  The school is well-known for garnering many awards for its achievements.  – Soccom Penampang

Over 50 participants complete Alpha Course

PENAMPANG – Over 50 new participants from Penampang have completed the Alpha Course recently.

In its fifth round, the course was organised by the Penampang Evangelisation Pastoral Committee from August to October 2017.

Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, typically run over eleven weeks. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone’s welcome. It runs in cafés, churches, universities, homes.  No two Alphas look the same, but generally they have three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation

Lewis Juit presented the certificates to the participants in a simple ceremony at St Michael Parish Hall on Nov 7.

Rose William described the course as very easy to understand, not boring and consistent in its time duration.

“Even though I did not complete the whole programme because I came in at the half-way point through the invitation of a friend, I felt as good as having completed it during the weekend programme,” she said.

Another participant, Callistus Majalang said the programme was interesting and flexible.  He said he did not really experience it in a spiritual way but looked forward to explore it further in the next round.

Agil Bajarai, organising chairman, said the follow-up course will be held early next year for those who have attended the basic course. – Soccom Penampang 

Tg Aru EAM marks 20th anniversary with yearlong activities

The members pose with Bishop Cornelius Piong at the Tatal Retreat Centre Keningau.

TANJUNG ARU – The Eucharistic Adoration Ministry (EAM) of Stella Maris Parish here marked its 2oth anniversary on 8 Dec 2017 with yearlong activities.

The programme began with a retreat on Jesus the Eucharistic Healer facilitated by Putri Karmel Sister Maximilliane Soon at Pace Bene on 10-12 March 2017 with 100 attendees.

On June 18, the members celebrated the anniversary Mass at the parish church during which they renewed their commitment to spend an hour a week before the Blessed Sacrament.  A Eucharistic procession was held after the Mass.

Over 200 members, families and friends attended the anniversary dinner on June 25 at a local restaurant.

The concluding activity was an overnight visit to the Holy Family Pilgrimage Centre Nulu Sosopon Keningau on July 29.  They had a guided tour of the church, Cross Tower, the statues of Mary and of the Holy Family.

They had fellowship with the Betania Komuniti Adorers who hosted a lunch for them and took them to visit Bishop Cornelius Piong at the Katedral St Francis Xavier.

The Keningau prelate celebrated Mass for the visitors, inspiring them with further insights of Eucharistic Adoration.  The day ended with a fellowship dinner where the visitors presented tokens of appreciation to the bishop and the Betania Komuniti Adorers.

The visit concluded the next day with a visit to the Gethsemane Garden in Tambunan.

The ministry was initiated by then pastor Father Francis Tsen.  It was officially launched by Bishop John Lee on 8 Dec 1997 with an exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Since then there has been a committed adorer every hour, Monday-Saturday, 5:00 am-10:00 pm. Members are committed to spend an hour a week to adore the Lord, but some are committed to more than an hour a week.  Some have been coming for 20 years.

For those who wish to commit themselves,  please contact Elizabeth Chia @ 012-828 0409 and Cindy Tsen @ 016-817 5169 for further details. – EAM Stella Maris

Telipok youth launches first book “Our Journey”

Helena Rimau, TPBP coordinator, presents a copy to Fr Sham at the launching, 21 Oct 2017, Telipok Parish Hall.

TELIPOK – The first publication of the  Youth Ministry Team of Holy Family Parish here was launched by Father David Sham on 21 Oct 2017 at the parish hall.

Entitled Our Journey, it records the journey of the parish youth starting with the arrival of the Sabah Youth Day cross in 2015 until the end of Year of Mercy in Nov 2016.

Some 200 guests attended the simple launching ceremony including Father Mitchelly Kiun, assistant pastor, Father Paul Lo, former assistant pastor, and Franciscan Sister Terry Loukang, coordinator of the Archdiocesan Youth and Pastoral Team.

Fr Sham said this is one of the good ways for the youth to share their faith journey through pictures and stories documented in the book. He encouraged every family to purchase a copy as a way to share the good news with their family members and communities.

The book is now on sale at RM30 and there are still about 60 copies left (at the time of printing) since the launching. Those who are interested to get a copy may contact Leo Chong at 016-8231993. Leo Chong


KK High School organises seminar for Catholic students

The participants pose with the speakers and organisers at the end of the seminar, KK High School, 27 Nov 2017

KOTA KINABALU – Kota Kinabalu High School (KK High School) ogranised a faith-deepening seminar for the Catholic students on 27 Nov 2017 at the school hall.

Sixty students – mostly Form Five – attended the seminar.

The main speakers were Franciscan Sister Dora Obod and Ms Imelda from the Archdiocesan Youth Commission and Father Paul Lo of Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing.

The objective of the seminar was to help soon-to-be school leavers to deepen their faith so that they will still attend Mass when they leave home.

Sr Dora and Imelda handled the first session on the meaning of Mass.  The sister led the students to reflect on their blessings and their purpose in life while Imelda shared her experiences as a student.

In his session, Fr Lo explained the important areas of Catholic Apologetics. This was followed by a question and answer session.

He urged the students to truly understand the faith they are embracing and to live it out. In that way, only then can they answer any questions with a strong conviction and firm belief. Grace Phan Yiing Ling

Change of directors formally announced at IY Closing

The 21 aspirants (standing) and eight IY seminarians (front) pose with the concelebrants after the Mass marking the end of the Academic Year, 14 Dec 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – The change of directors of both initiation formation houses was formally announced at the closing of the Academic Year of Aspirants and Initiation Year (IY) on 14 Dec 2017.

Archbishop John Wong announced this in his speech at the fellowship after the Mass at the IY Formation House here.

Father Mattheus Luta takes over from Father Rayner Bisius as IY Director while Father Joshua Liew replaces Father Wilfred Atin as Aspirants Director with effect from 1 January 2018.

In his speech, Abp Wong thanked those who had helped in one way or another in the formative journey of the aspirants and seminarians.

He exhorted the students to appreciate the formation they had received in the course of the year and hoped it will be useful as they go on their formative journey.

In his final address to the formands,  Fr Atin told them to entrust their lives to God as “they cannot do it alone.”

Fr Rayner gave a similar message and said he enjoyed his time with them.

Abp Wong presided at the Mass concelebrated with the incoming and outgoing directors, as well as with Father Paul Lo (lecturer), and Father Thomas Madanan (spiritual director).

Dinner followed at the square but due to the rainy weather, it was moved to the dining hall.

The event closed with the formands serenading the guests with Christmas carols after the presentation of tokens to the teachers, lecturers, and benefactors.

Vatican communications department will unveil new website soon

Msgr Dario Vigano, secretariat for communications, 5 Apr 2016. Credit: Daniel Ibanez, CNA

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis and his Council of Cardinals met at the Vatican here on 11-13 Dec 2017 to continue discussions on reform of the Roman Curia and unveiled a new communications system for the Secretariat for Communications.

All members were present for the meetings, apart from Cardinal George Pell. Pope Francis was present except for Wednesday morning during the general audience, as is ordinary.

Father Dario Edoardo Viganò, prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, presented the new communications system, including a new website and logos, during the 22nd round of meetings.

According to a Dec 13 statement, the “the Vatican media system adopts a new production model based on integration and unified management, in full harmony with the reform desired by Pope Francis.”

The center of the communications system will be new multimedia publishing centre, which will present a unified structure for the daily production of content, including audio, text, video, and graphics, in multiple languages.

This system is the result of consolidation on both an economic and technical level, and will be available soon (in a beta version) at, the press release stated. This replaces the previously used informational websites and aims to streamline the image and channels of communication.

Starting 1 Jan 2018, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s photo service, and the Vatican Typography will merge with the secretariat.

It will start with a team of 70 people divided into six language divisions – English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese – in four thematic areas: Pope, Vatican, Church, and world. It will all be overseen by an editorial directorate in coordination with other support groups.

The new system draws its inspiration from the words of Pope Francis to the Secretariat for Communication during their first plenary earlier this year: that “reform is not ‘whitewashing’ things: reform is to give another form to things, organise them in another way.”

Viganò also reported on the final stretch of the reform of Holy See communications, including the achievement of goals to reduce costs and consolidate personnel.

The meetings also included an update from Cardinal Kevin Farrell on the work of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, which is preparing for the 2018 synod on youth.

The cardinals also listened to presentations by Father Michael Czerny and Father Fabio Baggio, the under-secretaries of the Migrant and Refugee section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The section is developing a global strategy to implement in cooperation with the Secretariat of State, bishops’ conferences, NGOs, and religious congregations.

As usual, Cardinal Sean O’Malley also provided an update on the work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Members of the commission are appointed for a term of three years, which may be reconfirmed. The terms of the present 15 members of the commission end Dec 17. Pope Francis will decide whether to reconfirm current members and whom to appoint as new members.

Peter Saunders, founder and former Chief Executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood and a member of the commission since Dec 2014, told the Tablet Dec 13 he plans to step down from the commission at the end of the week. He has been on a leave of absence from the advisory body since early 2016.

Established by Pope Francis shortly after his pontificate began in 2013, the Council of Cardinals – also known as the “C9” – serves as an advisory body on Church governance and reform, with special emphasis on the reform of Pastor bonus, the apostolic constitution which governs the Roman Curia.

The council’s next round of meetings will take place Feb 27-29. – CNA/EWTN News

Groundbreaking ceremony marks commencement of new Catholic Centre construction

Archbishop John Wong (with stole), assisted by Fr Cosmas Lee, officiates the rite of blessing before the groundbreaking ceremony on site of new Catholic Centre Karamunsing, 13 Dec 2017, witnessed by representatives of the clergy, religious, parishes, consultants, building and fundraising committees.

KOTA KINABALU – The groundbreaking ceremony marking the commencement of the construction of the new Catholic Centre here took place on 13 Dec 2017.

Archbishop John Wong officiated the rite of blessing of the site, assisted by Father Cosmas Lee, the project supervisor.

After the blessing, the archbishop proceeded to do the groundbreaking by using an excavator, assisted by John Voo, the contractor for the demolition and site preparation works.

On hand to witness the ceremony were some 35 representatives from the clergy, religious, parishes, consultants, and the building and fundraising committees.

The demolition began on Nov 29 and is scheduled to be completed by 9 Jan 2018.

An open tender for the piling works has been called for and the piling will begin sometime in January 2018.

The building project is scheduled to be completed within 16 months, probably by mid-2019.

At the press conference held after the ceremony,  Fr Lee as well as Willie Wong, head of the fundraising committee, said funding for the project is from the Catholic Community organised into 21 parishes, from state and federal grants, and from generous individuals.

Reflection for Third Sunday of Advent B


First Reading
Isaiah 61:1-2a,10-11
The Lord’s salvation will be made known to the poor and the oppressed.

Responsorial Psalm
Luke 1:46-50,53-54
Mary sings praise to God.

Second Reading
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Paul encourages the Thessalonians to rejoice and pray always.

Gospel Reading
John 1:6-8,19-28
John gives testimony that he is preaching and baptising in order to prepare for the coming of another.

Background on the Gospel Reading

This Sunday’s Gospel invites us to continue our reflection on the person and mission of John the Baptist. Today we depart from the Gospel of Mark and read a selection from the Gospel of John.

The Gospel for today combines a brief passage from the prologue to John’s Gospel with a report about John the Baptist. As in Mark’s Gospel, the Gospel of John contains no birth narrative. Instead, John’s Gospel begins with a theological reflection that has come to be called the “prologue.” This prologue places the story of Jesus in its cosmological framework. It speaks of Jesus’ existence with God since the beginning of time. In John’s Gospel, Jesus is presented as the fulfillment of the Old Testament and the culmination of the Word, the light that is coming into the world’s darkness.

Following this prologue, John reports on the ministry of John the Baptist. We learn about the attention that John the Baptist received from the Jewish authorities. Messengers from the Jewish priests, the Levites and the Pharisees question John about his identity and the meaning of the baptisms that he is performing. John’s Gospel uses these questions to establish the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist. John the Baptist is not the Messiah, nor is he Elijah or the Prophet. In John’s denials, we hear echoes of the kind of messianic expectations that were common in first-century Palestine.

The only affirmative response that John the Baptist gives is when he quotes the prophet Isaiah. Upon answering the next question, John announces that the saviour they seek is already among them, but as yet unrecognised. John’s response highlights for us an important Advent theme: Jesus has already come into the world as our saviour. During Advent, we pray that we will be able to recognise Jesus’ presence in our midst. Advent also reminds us that Jesus will come again to fulfill the promise of salvation. We pray that we will continue to be watchful as we anticipate that great day.

The third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete SundayGaudete, a Latin word which means “rejoice,” is taken from the entrance antiphon for Sunday’s Mass. This theme is echoed in today’s second reading from the first Letter to the Thessalonians. It is a reminder that Advent is a season of joy because our salvation is already at hand. –

Analysis: What is the context of Pope Francis’ words on the Lord’s Prayer?

Pope Francis’ remarks on the “wrong” translation of the Lord’s Prayer in a TV show hosted by the Italian Bishops’ Conference’s TV2000 network are part of a wider debate that has taken place in Italy for over two decades.

The Pope said that the words “non ci indurre in tentazione” – “Do not lead us into temptation,” in the English version – are not correct, because, he said, God does not actively lead us into temptation.

The Pope also praised a new translation operated by the French Bishops’ conference.

The new French translation is “et ne nous laisse pas entrer in tentationI” – “let us not enter into temptation.” It replaces the previous translation “ne nous soumets pas à la tentation” – “do not submit us to temptation.”

It is worth noting that St. Thomas Aquinas considered the question of whether God leads men “into temptation” in a commentary he wrote on the Our Father. The saint, and Doctor of the Church, concluded that “God is said to lead a person into evil by permitting him to the extent that, because of his many sins, He withdraws His grace from man, and as a result of this withdrawal man does fall into sin.”

The Pope’s intent seems to be to emphasise that God’s active will does not “tempt” men, that, instead, the permissive will of God allows people to be tempted because of their sinfulness. This is the emphasis of the French translation. The theological context is complex, but certainly the Pope has not intended to deny the theological and scriptural sense in which God allows, or permits, temptation.

However, the Pope was talking in Italian, on an Italian television show, and his remarks dealt with the Italian translation of the Lord’s Prayer. It would be a mistake to assign his remarks significance beyond the Italian context, in which they would be well understood.

And, in fact, a new Italian translation of that very sentence of the Lord’s Prayer has already been done.

The new translation of the Bible issued by the Italian Bishops Conference says “do not abandon us to the temptation,” and the rephrasing of that sentence was the fruit of a long process, aimed at being more faithful to the Latin text of the prayer – the so-called editio typica – and at the same time more fit to the current language.

Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence and a well known scripture scholar, who has also served as undersecretary and secretary of the Italian Bishops Conference, recounted to the Italian newspaper Avvenire how the process for a new translation took place.

“The work,” he said, “dates back to 1988, when the decision was made to review the old 1971 translation of the Bible.”

At that time, a working group of 15 scripture scholars was established, coordinated by a bishop – the first was Bishop Giuseppe Costanzo, then Bishop Wilhelm Egger, and finally Bishop Franco Festorazzi.

This working group collected the opinions of 60 more experts on scripture. The group was overseen by the Bishops Commission for the Liturgy, and the Italian Bishops’ Conference Permanent Council, a group composed of the presidents of regional bishops conference, and the presidents of the commissions established within the Bishops’ Conference itself.

Cardinal Betori said that “within the Permanent Council, a restricted committee for the translation was established,” was composed of Cardinals Giacomo Biffi and Carlo Maria Martini, and of Archbishops Benigno Luigi Papa, Giovanni Saldarini and Andrea Magrassi.

“This committee,” Cardinal Betori said, “also received and considered the proposal for the new translation of the Our Father.”

The formula “do not abandon us to temptation” was adopted because it met the approval of both Cardinal Martini and Biffi, who “were not, as is known, from the same schools of thought,” Cardinal Betori explained.

Cardinal Betori said that the formula was chosen because it had a wider meaning, as “do not abandon us to temptation” can both mean “do not abandon us, so that we will not fall into temptation” and “do not abandon… when we are already facing temptation,” Cardinal Betori explained.

The new translation was approved by the Italian bishops in 2000. In 2001, the Congregation for Divine Worship issued Liturgiam Authenticam, a set of new provisions for the translation of liturgical texts.

After Liturgiam Authenticam, the whole work of translation was reviewed by a group of experts, led by bishops Adriano Caprioli, Luciano Monari and Mansueto Bianchi. Cardinal Betori was part of this group.

The revision, which suggested many amendments, was forwarded to the bishops. However, these amendments “did not change the proposal for the new translation of the Lord’s Prayer.”

The new translation of the Bible was finally approved during the 2002 General Assembly of the Italian Bishops Conference, with 202 out of 203 bishops voting favourably. The text of the Lord’s Prayer was approved separately, to be certain there were no doubts from bishops. The Holy See gave its recognitio in 2007, and the Italian Bishops Conference Bible was finally published in 2008 with the new translation.

The new translation of the Lord’s Prayer was ‘transferred’ to the Missal. However, the new translation, in order to be part of liturgical use, must be approved by the Holy See, and the text has not been approved because there are other issues of concern in the Missal’s translation.

This is the reason why the formula for the Lord’s Prayer in Italian is still “non ci indurre in tentazione.”

Ultimately, speaking about the translation of the Lord’s Prayer, Pope Francis did not say anything really new. Italian theologians and scripture scholars have already provided their solution for the translation.

However, there is another story to be told. There is a question regarding what will happen to translations that once needed a “recognitio” from the Holy See, which is now simply called to “confirm” the new translation.

Will this lead to a general change in translations in languages other than Italian? – CNA

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