Category Archives: Latest News

Over 500 people attend Magatang Christmas-New Year Open House

The people pose with Bishop Cornelius Piong at the open house, St Blasius Magatang, 7 Jan 2018.

KENINGAU – Over 500 people from Keningau Parish and St Blasius Magatang attended the Christmas- New Year Open House on 7 Jan 2018 at Magatang.

It was organised jointly by the Kelompok Inti Pembaharuan Karismatic Katolik (KiPKK or Catholic Charismatic Renewal Group) and St Blasius Magatang BEC.

In his homily, Bishop Cornelius Piong reminded the faithful that Christmas is God’s love for his people expressed through Jesus who came to save them.

In his turn, Jikah Guka, Keningau Parish KiPKK chairman, expressed his hope that other outstation churches would take turns to host the celebration.

On his part, Luis Yonolon, chairman of the Diocesan Charismatic Renewal Team, thanked the bishop for giving the team to serve the whole diocese.

After Mass, all adjourned to the open hall for a fellowship meal, and were entertained by a variety of stage performances.  Paul Zeno Labun

St John the Apostle Bomboi hosts parish-level Holy Family Festival

Bishop Cornelius Piong officiates the rite of blessing, Bomboi church hall, 31 Dec 2017.

KENINGAU – The Catholic community of St John the Apostle Bomboi under Minawo Zone here hosted the annual parish-level Holy Family Festival on 31 Dec 2017.

In conjunction with it, the newly constructed church hall was blessed by Bishop Cornelius Piong.

Earlier before Christmas, the hall was declared open by YB Datuk Ellron Alfred Angin of Sook Constituency.

In his address, the bishop stressed on the marriage and family vocation, calling on the people to emulate the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

The next Holy Family Festival will be at the  Holy Family Pilgrimage Centre Nulu Sosopon in conjunction with the diocesan silver jubilee.

After Mass, the bishop and the politician signed the commemorative plaque witnessed by those present followed by some stage performances by various groups.

It ended with a closing prayer by catecchist Severinus Jaitin.  – Tadius Kilip

Emmaus Youth Camp draws 33 participants

The participants pose in front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral after being sent off (to exposure site in Kg Lubok Kiulu) by Father Max Hontor at the morning Mass, 12 Jan 2018.

KOTA KINABALU – This year’s Emmaus Youth Camp drew 33 participants from 17 parishes in the archdiocese.

The camp, held 7-20 Jan 2018, is for school leavers around 17-19 years old, with 11 boys and 22 girls.

It is organised by the Parish Youth Ministry Team in collaboration with the Archdiocesan Youth Commission with 16 volunteers from the previous year.

The base camp is at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing while the exposure site is at Kg Lubok under St Joseph Husband of Mary Parish Kiulu.

The objective of the annual event is threefold: to strengthen the identity of the participants as Catholic youths, to help them live out their Catholic faith in today’s world, and to heighten their awareness and sense of responsibility towards society.

Talks include self-discovery (Roney Alfred of Keningau), Salvation History (Roselinah Francis of Keningau), Gift of Life (Rudian Sinangkuhan), Youth Spirituality & Nationalism (Sr Anita James fsic), Local Church History (Neil Mah), Personal Grooming & Resume Writing (Suzane Dennis), Social Teaching of the Church (Sr Dora Obod fsic), and KITA (Campus Ministry Team & Anne Baltazar).

The talks are held in the morning with reflection, sharing, and creative activity in the afternoons.

The exposure on Jan 12-13 is to help the participants to get to know the local culture and lifestyle of the people there as well as its youth ministry.

Apart from the sessions and exposure, the young people have also to take part in doing household chores like cleaning the toilets, meal preparation, washing the dishes, sweeping and cleaning the surroundings and composting.

Other activities include daily Mass attendance, day of recollection, recreation and physical exercise.

The highlight of the camp will be the Emmaus Family Night on Jan 19 where the parents of the participants, representatives from the exposure site, the alumni, respective parish TPBP and benefactors are invited to join in the fellowship.

CAC staff attend fire drill

The staff listening to the speaker on the causes of fire in the home or workplace, 10 Jan 2018, CAC Penampang.

KOTA KINABALU – Over 20 staff members of the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre (CAC) Penampang attended a fire drill and demo on 10 Jan 2018 at their premises.

Three staff of the Penampang Fire Brigade came to enlighten the attendees on the common causes of fire breakouts in the home or in any building and what to do in case of a breakout.

They were also taught the importance of having arrow marks on the walls leading to an emergency exit in case of fire breakouts.

After the talk, they went outside for the demonstration on how to use the fire extinguisher – each attendee had a turn in using it.

Pauline Family gathers for Christmas and New Year celebration

The attendees pose for the camera at the end of the celebration, 8 Jan 2018, Daughters of St Paul Convent Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – Some 38 members and collaborators of the Pauline Family gathered for a simple Christmas and New Year celebration on 8 Jan 2018 at the Daughters of St Paul Convent here.

It was an evening of a simple potluck fellowship, games, and exchange of gifts.

It was also a way of expressing thanks to all those who have helped and collaborated in the Pauline Mission in the past year.

Currently, three out of the ten institutes founded by Blessed James Alberione between 1914 and 1960 are present in the KK Archdiocese – Daughters of St Paul, Association of Pauline Cooperators, and the Institute of Our Lady of the Annunciation.

Five Sandakan priests have new assignments

PENAMPANG – The following priests have new pastoral assignments effective 1 Jan 2018 given by Bishop Julius Gitom:

Father David Garaman has been appointed rector of St Mary’s Cathedral Sandakan with Father Christopher Ireneus as his assistant.

Father Stanley Matakim has been assigned as assistant pastor at St Martin Telupid while Father Sunny Chung goes to Holy Trinity Tawau to assist Msgr Nicholas Ong.

Father Phillip Muji has been appointed rector at the youngest parish of Our Lady of Fatima in Beluran.

Keningau secular institute expands with new members

ISKB members pose with Bishop Cornelius Piong after the Mass, 6 Dec 2017, Tatal Keningau.

KENINGAU – The Secular Institute of Komuniti Betania (ISKB) expands with new members.

Janet Leong made her first commitment while Sabius Gatail Luis pronounced his final commitment.  Three others – John Ambi, Winnah Jude, and Melita Petrus renewed their commitment as members of the secular institute.

The commitments were made before Bishop Cornelius Piong on 6 Dec 2017 after the homily at the Tatal Retreat Centre here in the presence of around 100 people including fellow members of the institute and family members and relatives of the neo-professed and renewalists.

After Mass, all adjourned for the reception at the hall.

ISKB was founded by Bishop Cornelius piong 20 years ago for men and women who want to live a life of consecration in the world with the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.

Currently, it has 20 members with 16 full-fledged members, four juniors, and five observers. – An Richard, keningau website

Keningau prelate blesses new Kilugus chapel

The people pose with Bishop Cornelius Piong in front of the chapel after the Mass, 9 Dec 2017.

KENINGAU – Keningau prelate blessed new Kilugus chapel on 9 Dec 2017.

Renamed Our Lady of Fatima, the chapel was formerly known as St Mark Kilugus.

Around 150 people were present to witness the rite of blessing before the Mass presided by Bishop Cornelius Piong.

Among those present were Datuk Ellron Angin,  Charles Ikang, Keningau PPC chairperson Stella Kinsik, and representatives from the different zones and BECs.

After the Mass, there was a symbolic planting of the Pinang tree by the prelate witnessed by those present.  The village is named after Kilugus, a Dusun term for Pinang. – Tadius Kilip, keningau website






KK prelate blesses new Pamaladan chapel

Abp Wong signs the commemorative plaque witnessed by those present, 5 Jan 2018, Palamadan Bongawan Papar.

PAPAR – Kota Kinabalu prelate blessed the newly-built Pamaladan chapel in Bongawan on 5 Jan 2018.

Bongawan is a small town located between Beaufort and Kimanis, and 70 KM away from Kota Kinabalu. The main attraction here lies in the pre-war and post-war British-colony wooden shophouses built in 1922 and 1950 respectively.

In his first visit to the outstation there, Archbishop John Wong officiated the rite of blessing before presiding at the Mass, concelebrated with Father Thomas Yip and Father Rayner Bisius.

Among those present were seminarians Gilbert Marcus and Freddy (former catechist of Ulu Lumagar), Franciscan Sisters and novices, and representatives from Papar, Limbahau, Bongawan and Kimanis.

In his welcoming speech, Adrian Willy, community chairman, thanked Fr Yip for his efforts in encouraging the community to build the chapel.

On his part, Abp Wong expressed his hope that the community will continue to build itself up into a living community.

The blessing of the grotto took place after the Mass outside the chapel followed by a simple fellowship meal for all.

The construction of the first chapel was mooted by Adrian Willy Lobinting of St Michael Mandahan in 1994.  With the approval of Martin Guti, community chairman,  and the advice of Fr Thomas Makajil, the chapel was completed and blessed by Fr Makajil in June 1995.

On 19 June 2016, it was proposed to build a more sustainable building as the community has grown by leaps and bounds.

The construction of the new 25 ft by 45 ft chapel began on 14 Aug 2017 and completed on 25 Nov 2017 at the cost of RM60,000.00 sponsored by a generous donor from Kota Kinabalu.

The old chapel was closed and the first Mass in the new chapel was celebrated by Fr Bisius on 26 Nov 2017.

The chapel is about 40-minute drive from Papar town.  It has a thriving community and has been a venue for many activities such as RCIA classes, Marriage blessings, recollection for youth from Bongawan Zone (Sept 2001), and the youth outreach programme Belia Masuk Kampung (BMK) in Nov 2001 led by Father Bruno Yasun. – William Charles Mindus, SOCCOM Papar/other sources

2018 marks 50th anniversary of ‘Humanae Vitae’

Pope Paul VI is seen in an undated official portrait. Pope Francis beatified Pope Paul on 19 Oct 2014 during the closing Mass of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. The miracle needed for Pope Paul’s beatification involved the birth of a healthy baby to a mother in California after doctors had said both lives were at risk. (CNS photo/Felici, Catholic Press Photo)

This July will bring the 50th anniversary of one of the most controversial Church documents in modern times — Humanae Vitae (“On Human Life”), Blessed Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical reaffirming the Church’s condemnation of contraception. Its defenders see its issuance as an act of courage by the pope in the face of rampant sexual permissiveness. Pope Francis three years ago designated Paul VI “Blessed,” a step toward his possible future recognition as a saint. Critics dismiss the encyclical as a relic of outdated morality that Catholics can safely ignore. According to the polls, a large majority of US Catholics do exactly that where contraception is concerned.

One thing the defenders and the critics agree on: Humanae Vitae was a turning point, a watershed event in the life of the Church. To understand why, it’s necessary to understand some of the background that led up to its issuance.

Traditional teaching

Pope Paul’s encyclical was by no means the first time a pope had spoken against artificial birth control. Particularly noteworthy was Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Casti Connubii (“On Christian Marriage”), dated 31 Dec 1930. The document is a comprehensive presentation of Church teaching on marriage, but what it says about contraception was widely seen as an implicit response to a high-level Anglican Church statement from earlier that year giving limited approval to birth control.

Pius XI said: “Any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.” In the years that followed, Pope Pius XII repeated the condemnation of contraception a number of times. In an address in 1951, he said the teaching “is in full force today, as it was in the past, as it will be in the future also and always, because it is not a simple human whim but the expression of a natural and divine law.”

Catholic theologians also uniformly upheld the teaching. There was no visible dissent within the Church. In his 1979 book “The Battle for the American Church,” Msgr George A Kelly quotes a report prepared in 1965 for the US bishops saying Catholic theologians in the United States “have unanimously condemned contraception.”

“Now it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ; but this must always be joined with tolerance and charity, as Christ Himself showed in His conversations and dealings with men. For when He came, not to judge, but to save the world, was He not bitterly severe toward sin, but patient and abounding in mercy toward sinners?

“Husbands and wives, therefore, when deeply distressed by reason of the difficulties of their life, must find stamped in the heart and voice of their priest the likeness of the voice and the love of our Redeemer.

“Nor is there any tendency in their published writings to defend the idea that the Church will or can change her substantial teaching on birth control,” added this document, which had been prepared in response to a Vatican inquiry.

By the early 1960s, nonetheless, pressure for change was gradually growing, fed by widespread acceptance of birth control, a shift in government policy that saw public funds starting to flow to birth control at home and abroad, propaganda about an alleged “population explosion” and the appearance on the scene of oral contraception — the pill. Now, too, some influential Catholic moralists, including the German Jesuit Father Josef Fuchs and American Jesuit Father Richard McCormick and Father Charles Curran, were publicly floating arguments that opposed the traditional teaching.

The birth control commission

Pope St John XXIII established a papal commission to study population issues. Pope Paul expanded its membership and placed the question of oral contraception on its agenda. Suddenly change began to seem like a real possibility.

Msgr Kelly says in his book that the creation and management of the papal birth control commission “was an example of how not to organise a scientific study group.” But the mere existence of such a body encouraged a mindset favouring change — especially when a document called “the majority report,” leaked to some Catholic publications and quickly publicised by secular media, showed a majority of members in favour.

As all this was happening, Pope Paul reflected and prayed. The delay by the pope, whose hesitation in making hard decisions had caused some people to liken him to Shakespeare’s tragic hero Hamlet, increased the expectation that change was on its way.

Then, on 25 July 1968, the pope issued Humanae Vitae. Citing the “inseparable connection” between the “unitive” (love-giving) and “procreative” (life-giving) means of the conjugal act, Paul VI said: “Each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life.” He added: “Similarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible.”

Coming amid the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the heady days of the immediate post-Vatican II period in the Church and the widespread expectation that the pope would change the teaching, this reaffirmation of traditional teaching received a firestorm of angry criticism led by theological dissenters, which spread by blanket coverage in the media. Paul VI was the target of much of it. Although an exodus from the priesthood and religious life had in fact begun several years before, now the pope was blamed for it. Defenders of the encyclical were either ignored or vilified. The mood of dissent spread and became entrenched.

Ongoing ramifications

Since then, the teaching of Humanae Vitae has been endorsed by Pope St John Paul II (who is said to have had a hand in drafting the encyclical), Pope Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis. In his own document on marriage, Familiaris Consortio, published in 1981, Pope John Paul II expressed sympathetic understanding for married couples who have difficulty living the teaching on contraception, and quoted Paul VI: “To diminish in no way the saving teaching of Christ constitutes an eminent form of charity for souls.”

Pope Francis echoed his predecessors last year in his marriage document, Amoris Laetitia: “From the outset, love refuses every impulse to turn in on itself; it is open to a fruitfulness that draws it beyond itself. Hence no genital act of husband and wife can refuse this meaning.” The passage carries a footnote reference to Humanae Vitae.

Francis also recommends that the teaching of Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio now be “taken up anew” with the aim of countering “a mentality that is often hostile to life.” The 50th anniversary of Pope Paul’s courageous but much-maligned encyclical might be a good time for doing that. – Russell Shaw, OSV Newsweekly

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