Category Archives: Latest News

70 attend workshop on ‘Amoris Laetitia’ in Sandakan

The participants pose for the camera after the Joy of Love workshop which took place on 18-19 May 2018, St Mary Sandakan.

SANDAKAN – Around 70 people attended a workshop on Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love) organised jointly by the Family Life Commission and Catechetical Commission at St Mary here on 18-19 May 2018.

In his address, Bishop Julius Gitom explained that the document by Pope Francis was the outcome of the two synods on family in 2014 and 2015.  The 325-word document has 9 chapters touching on the various challenges confronting the family.

The chapters were explained by the following priests and Eva Siruno, head of the Family Life Commission: Chapter 1 (Father Stanley Matakim); Chapter 2 (Father Simon Kontou); Chapter 3 (Father Sunny Chung); Chapter 4 (Father Phillip Muji); Chapter 5 (Father Christopher Ireneus); Chapter 6 (Father David Garaman); Chapter 7 (Father Thomas Makajil); Chapter 8 (Fr Garaman); Chapter 9 (Eva Siruno). – Sandakan Diocesan Blog

Parishioners mark assistant pastor’s anniversary with breakfast

A section of the parishioners standing solidly behind the honourees at the breakfast marking the fourth priestly anniversary of Father Max Hontor (front, 6th from L) and the 78th birthday of Sister Cecilia Liew fsic (on Fr Max’s right), Sacred Heart Cathedral parish canteen, 23 June 2018.

KOTA KINABALU – As customary, the Morning Massgoers of Sacred Heart Cathedral here marked their assistant pastor’s 4th priestly anniversary with breakfast on 23 June 2018.

Born in 1977, Father Maxmillianno Hontor (or Fr Max in short) was ordained priest on 15 June 2014.  After ordination he served in St John Tuaran before being sent to serve at the cathedral parish in 2016.

At the same time, the parishioners also celebrated the 78th birthday of Franciscan Sister Cecilia Liew, the head of the Morning Mass Choir, who was born in Tuaran on June 20.

Among those present were Archbishop John Wong, Father Paul Lo, and Father Jeffri Gumu (home for the semestral break).

Singapore to conduct online workshop on untangling fake news on June 28

SINGAPORE – In his 2018 World Communications Day message, Pope Francis focused on fake news and journalism for peace. In support of the Holy Father’s call to fight fake news and its pervasiveness, ArchComms held the 1st VERITAS Workshop: Untangling Fake News on 14 Apr 2018. The aim of the workshop was to highlight the different types of fake news, what is the truth, and how as individuals we can do our part to stop the spread of fake news.

Missed it? Fret not!

Due to the immense success of the inaugural workshop, we will be conducting a 2nd run of the VERITAS Workshop! 100% of the respondents concurred that the VERITAS workshop was beneficial and would highly recommend it to all members of the Church.

If you are in the eco-system of communication, be it at home, workplace or in the Church, this workshop is most definitely meant for you!

Thu 28 June 2018
7:30pm – 9:30pm
Level 3, Annex
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd

Click as it will have a livestream button that day.

Piling works start for Catholic Centre

Abp Wong (front right) leads the prayer after driving the first pile into the ground, Catholic Centre site Karamunsing, 21 May 2018.

KOTA KINABALU –  With the commencement of piling, the RM9.6 million Catholic Centre moved one step forward on 21 May 2018.

At the construction site on the grounds of the former Shan Tao Primary School at Jalan Sang Kancil Karamunsing,  Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu drove the first pile into the ground, symbolically signalling the beginning of piling works. After that, he led a prayer asking God to bless this new phase in the construction of the centre.

Present to witness the event were project priest-supervisor Father Cosmas Lee, members from the Steering Committee, Architect Daniel Koh, consultants from QS-CE Technical Services, piling contractor Colleen Sdn Bhd, engineering consultant from BSK Sdn Bhd, earthworks contractor JV Champion Sdn Bhd, main contractor Min Construction Sdn Bhd and project coordinator Johnny Liau.

Piling works are estimated to take about two months and targeted to complete on July 24.

Construction of the main building is expected to begin on August 1 and completed in October 2019.

At the same event, John Voo of JV Champion Sdn Bhd was presented with a letter of appreciation by Abp Wong for having successfully completed the demolition and earthworks.

The time frame for the earthworks went beyond the stipulated time by three months due to a requirement of the local authority to construct drainage and retention walls, works that had been planned to be carried out at the construction of the main building.

To date, donations received have reached over RM3 million, including a State Government grant of RM200,000.  The total cost of the New Catholic Centre is RM9.6 million. There is still a shortfall of RM5.7 million.

For details, please call 088-712297 (Angela Yen, Cecilia Funk, or Teresa Chin). – Herald Malaysia

Pope says no to women priests, yes to women in curial leadership

Pope Francis meets with a woman at the general audience in Paul VI Hall, 13 Jan 2016.  Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA

VATICAN CITY – In an interview with Reuters, Pope Francis said more space has to be created for women to take on leading roles in the Roman Curia, but that priestly ordination is not an option.

Responding to a question about women’s ordination to the priesthood, the pope said “there is the temptation to ‘functionalise’ the reflection on women in the Church, what they should do, what they should become.”

“We cannot functionalise women,” he said, explaining that while the Church is referred to as a woman, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is out of the question “because dogmatically it doesn’t work.”

“John Paul II was clear and closed the door, and I will not go back on this. It was something serious, not something capricious,” he said, adding, “it cannot be done.”

However, Francis stressed that while the priesthood is out, women do need to be given more opportunities for leadership in the Roman Curia – a view he said has at times been met with resistance.

“I had to fight to put a woman as the vice-director of the press office,” he said, referring to his decision in 2016 to name Spanish journalist Paloma Garica Ovejero as the Vatican’s deputy spokesperson.

He said he at one point offered a woman the job of heading the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, but she turned it down because “she already had other commitments.”

Women in the Curia “are few, we need to put more,” he said, adding that it can be either a religious sister or a laywoman, “it doesn’t matter,” but there is a need to move forward with an eye for quality and competency in the job.

“I don’t have any problem naming a woman as the head of a dicastery, if the dicastery doesn’t have jurisdiction,” he said, referring to the fact that some Vatican departments have specific functions in Church governance that require a bishop to do the job. Lay men are also ineligible to oversee offices that require the jurisdictional authority of a priest or bishop.

For example, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy has jurisdiction, so it has to be led by a bishop, but for others, such as the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, “I would not have a problem naming a competent woman,” Francis said.

Women must continue to be promoted, but without falling into “a feminist attitude,” the pope said, adding that “in the end it would be machismo with a skirt. We don’t want to fall into this.”

Pope Francis spoke during an interview with American journalist Phil Pullella of Reuters, which took place on 17 June 2018 at the pope’s Vatican residence, and was published June 20.

In the interview, the pope touched on a variety of topics, including a possible deal with China on the appointment of bishops, clerical abuse and the ongoing scandal in Chile, the reform of the Roman Curia, and criticism he’s faced.

On the topic of women, Francis said that in his experience, things are usually done better when there is a mixed group working on a task, rather than just men.

“Women have an ability to understand things, it’s another vision,” he said, noting that whenever he has visited prisons run by women, they “seemed to do better,” because women know how to be “mothers” and care for inmates and their needs in a unique way.

“Women know how to manage conflicts better. In these things, women are braver,” he said, adding, “I think it would be so also in the Curia if there were more women.”

Francis noted that some have said inviting more women into the mix might mean there is more gossip, however, he said he does not believe that would be the case, “because we men are also gossipers.” – Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

CMI-CWL presents RM10k donation for CC building fund

Jennifer Jinu (4th from R) presents two cheques amounting to RM10,000 to Abp John Wong at the fellowship marking the prelate’s 50th birthday, 17 June 2018.  The contribution is for the Catholic Centre Building Fund.

BUKIT PADANG – The Catholic Women’s League of Church of Mary Immaculate here presented two cheques amounting to RM10,000.00 to Archbishop John Wong at a fellowship marking the prelate’s 50th birthday.

The fellowship was held after the Sunday morning Mass on 17 June 2018.

Present at the fellowship was a group of four members from the Cebu Philippines Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals.

The contribution was for the RM9.6m Catholic Centre building fund.  The building project was launched in July 2017.  Demolition and earthworks began shortly after that.  The earthworks were completed in April 2018.  Piling works started on May 21 and are scheduled to be completed on July 24.  Construction of the main building is expected to begin on Aug 1 and to be completed by Oct 2019.

For those who wish to donate (donations are most welcome), kindly make donations/cheques payable to RTDKK-The Catholic Centre Building Fund, Maybank Berhad, Lintas Branch A/C No 510198683591. For details please call 088-712297 (Angela Yen, Cecilia Funk or Teresa Chin).

PAX Assembly refocuses on Diocesan Vision-Mission

The delegates pose for remembrance, 15 June 2018. The PAX Assembly took place 13-16 June 2018, Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre.

BUNDU TUHAN – Around 200 delegates across the archdiocese gathered to refocus on the Diocesan Vision-Mission on 13-16 June 2018 at the retreat centre here.

This was the second assembly convoked by Archbishop John Wong.  The first was in November 2015.

The PAX Assembly has been synonymous to the Church in Kota Kinabalu since 1971 when it was called by Bishop Peter Chung, then Apostolic Vicar.  The word PAX is an abbreviation of the Pastoral Council of the Catholic Church in Sabah.  In Latin it means PEACE.  Since its inception, it has been a forum to deliberate and study matters related to pastoral issues brought up by parishes and PAX commissions.  Since 1979, annual themes were introduced to regulate the assemblies.  However, in 1997, after the launching of the Diocesan Vision and Mission, the annual themes were no longer used.  Instead the assembly has become a forum for common discernment, with the Diocesan Vision and Mission as guide.The term “PAX Assembly” is retained to show continuity and for nostalgic reason.  It is now officially called in Malay, Perhimpunan Pastoral Keuskupan Agung.

The assembly has three objectives: (a) to share what has been done since PAX 2015; (b) to refocus on the Diocesan Vision-Mission; and (c) to carry on the Pastoral Thrust in the context of the Diocesan Vision-Mission.

It began with dinner fellowship on June 13 followed by a roll call/ice-breaker and opening remarks by Abp Wong.  The next day focused on listening to five cluster consolidated reports gathered from the pre-PAX gathering on May 1.

After lunch, the assembly listened to the reports from the nine commissions.  Each report session was followed by a plenary session (Q&A).

On the second full day, the morning was taken up by nine people – priests, religious, lay – sharing on how the vision-mission has touched their lives personally and in ministry.

In the afternoon, Father Wilfred Atin summarised the questions and recommendations brought up during the pre-PAX gathering under the following headings: 1) more in number & competent/proactive priests; 2) formation – regular programme of training in different fields; more and better trained pastoral and administrative agents; 3) visit and formation to the parishes; 4) media & IT facilities, physical amenities; 5) financial aid – and how to move forward in the context of the vision-mission.

All that was discussed was brought to the Lord in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament after dinner.  The participants had also the opportunity to go for confession.

Before the delegates returned home, Dominic Lim recapitulated the flow of the past days and they were invited to put on the mind of the Church through Pope Francis’ encyclical on the call to holiness in today’s world (Gaudete et exultate) presented by Abp Wong.

Before the dismissal of the closing Mass, Abp Wong and Father Nicholas Stephen unfurled the buntings depicting the Vision and Mission to mark their relaunching followed by the presentation of the two buntings to the representatives of the 19 parishes.

CWC organises birthday dinner for advisor

Abp Wong (with corsage) poses with his family members at the dinner marking his 5oth birthday, 12 June 2018, Putera Theatre Ballroom Bukit Padang.

KOTA KINABALU – The Catholc Women Commission of Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese organised a birthday dinner to mark its advisor’s 5oth birthday on 12 June 2018 at the Putera Theatre Ballroom Bukit Padang here.

In her welcoming remarks, Anita Tunggolou, head of the commission, said that the members felt it would not be right to let the occasion go quietly.

Born on 6 June 1968, Archbishop John Wong was ordained priest in 1999 and a bishop in 2010.  He succeeded Archbishop John Lee when Lee retired in 2012.  His installation as second Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu took place in 2013.

In his address, Abp Wong thanked the CWC for 0rganising the dinner and the people for turning up to support it.  He said he felt relatively old initially when he turned 50 but took comfort in the thought that Tun Dr Mahathir was 92 when he was sworn in as prime minister a second time on May 10.

The honouree was pleasantly surprised by the presence of his mother, Mdm Rose Chung, and five of his siblings and their families at the dinner.

Among the invited guests were Abp Emeritus Lee, Bishop Julius Gitom of Sandakan , and several priests and religious.

The 1,000-strong diners were entertained by the dance and song performances by various groups including some priests and religious.  A video clip of various youth groups and religious wishing the honoree on his birthday was screened.

SHC parish fiesta football friendly games draw five teams

Members of the winning Sacred Heart Cathedral Soccer Team pose for the camera after the games, 8 June 2018, Penampang Stadium A.

PENAMPANG  –  The Football  Friendly Games held on 8 June 2018 at the Penampang Stadium A drew five teams: SHC, Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI), Alto Kristus (clergy/seminarians), St Paul Dontozidon (SPD), and St John Kopungit (SJK).

It was a five -team games playing in a league of 15 minutes each.  The Alto Kristus (clergy) team captained  by Archbishop John Wong put up a formidable opposition.

At the end of the games, SHC team emerged as the champion with Dontozidon and Alto Kristus as the first and second runner-ups.

A few days earlier, 32 players took part in the Badminton games at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall Karamunsing on 29 May 2018.

Reno Yu won the Single Men Open with Samuel Simon as the runner up while Robert Gilung/Felix Chung won the Men Doubles with Wong Boon Kie/Stephen as the runner-ups.

Cynthia Migiu/Elizabeth Gonki won the Women Double with Ann Soo/Fiona Danny in the second place.

In the Mix Doubles, the champs were Robert Gilung and Prsy with Alex Ryeon and ann Soo in the second place.

In the Veteran category, the champions were Oswald Pawoh/Lui with John Ho/Thien as runner-ups.

The games were organised in conjunction with the cathedral parish fiesta 4-10 June 2018.

According to the Vatican’s new document on Sport, Giving the Best of Yourself (released 1 June 2018), Pope Francis has lauded the document: “Sport is a very rich source of values and virtues that help us to become better people… We need to deepen the close connection that exists between sport and life, which can enlighten one another.”

The 52-page document highlighted the Church’s positive view of the important values inherent to sport and blew the whistle on the growing threats in the sports world, including corruption, over-commercialisation, manipulation and abuse.

SHC organises bazaar in aid of new CC building fund

Albert Wong (sign language community) sketches the portrait of a customer at the bazaar organised in aid of the Catholic Centre building fund, Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing, 10 June 2018. The total amount raised from the bazaar was RM298,274.00 – above its target of RM250,000.00.

KOTA KINABALU – The Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish here organised its yearly bazaar (parish family day carnival) in aid of the new Catholic Centre building fund on 10 June 2018 at the parish centre.

Fifty-five booths were set up by the various communities, groups and ministries of the cathedral that use the centre’s facilities regularly.  Others included the Daughters of St Paul, Priests and Seminarians, Shan Tao Kindergarten, St Francis Kindergarten, SM St Francis Convent,  Maktab Nasional, Catholic Nurses Guild,  Secular Carmelites, and Secular Franciscans.

There were varieties of cakes, pies, burgers, ice-cream, ABC, drinks, crackers, pickles, barbeque, roasted pork and duck, and cooked food on sale.  Others included fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and plants, second-hand items (books, bags, clothes), coconut water, fresh eggs, sundries, toiletries.

There were games for children, bouncing castle (inflatable) for children to play on the stage, photo booth (with cosplayers), face and hand painting, caricature/portrait sketching,  song requests. Coupons were sold at several counters.

The parish pastors did their part too by singing their favourite karaoke hits toward the end of the bazaar when the amount reached Rm15,000.00.

At the same time, some of the parishioners also donated blood at the blood donation drive overseen by Queen Elizabeth Hospital in room G1.  This is carried out quarterly in the parish.

Out of the estimated RM9.6 million needed to build the Catholic Centre, the cathedral parish has to contribute RM2.5m.

Demolition and site preparation works began on 29 Nov 2018 and completed by May 2018.  At press time the workers are still doing the retaining wall facing Tzu Yu Kindergarten.

The building project is scheduled to be completed within 16 months, hopefully by Dec 2019.

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