Category Archives: Latest News

Over 300 students participate in 19th Campus Students Day

KOTA KINABALU – Over 300 students participated in the 19th Archdiocesan Campus Students Day at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here on 7 Oct 2017.

Among the participants were three from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Sandakan Branch, five from Polytechnic Sandakan, and two from Education Institute of Teachers Tawau.  The rest were from campuses around Kota Kinabalu, Keningau and Sandakan.

The programme began with Mass, followed by an ice-breaking session and praise and worship.

Serena Wong presented the first session on faith, hope and love. She spoke about her life as a student and her experiences as a missionary in an institute of higher learning overseas.

The second session dealt with the Bishops Synod on Youth in 2018.  The participants learnt about the website – talk2francismy – wherein there is a survey questionnaire where Catholic and non-Catholic youth can share their experiences on how the Catholic Church can support the youth and help them choose their mission in life.

Wong also gave a session on living the Word of God.   She asked the participants to focus on daily readings of the Bible and told them that faith alone is not enough. She stressed that the students need to pray and practise “eating” the Word of God and asked the students to work with groups of friends who want to grow in Christ and to be thankful for everything.

Paulus facilitated the final session on “What do I need to do after this?”  He invited the participants to remember all they had learnt in Sessions I and II and to practise them every day to strengthen their faith and to become excellent Catholic students.

The highlight of the programme was Theatrical Night which featured an actor who delivered a special message based on the theme taken from the Gospel of St Luke 1:49 – For the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.  – herald malaysia.com

New Order of Celebrating Marriage comes into effect Dec 3

JOHOR BAHRU – The Episcopal Regional Liturgy Commission, at the service of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei (CBCMSB) has produced the new English translation of the Order of Celebrating Matrimony according to the Second Typical Edition 2013, of which, recognitio was granted by the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. (Prot 491/14 29 May 2015).

Our Conference, at its January 2017 meeting, has decided that this English translation will enter into use throughout all Arch/dioceses in our region from 3 December 2017 (1st Sunday of Advent). From that date forward, no other English translation of the order of celebrating matrimony may be used.- herald malaysia

East Malaysian Christian leaders decline Islamic council’s offer to translate Bible

A King James Bible from the year 1617 is on display in the newly built Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, USA. In Malaysia, an Islamic authority’s offer to prepare a Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible has outraged Christians, who hold the book to be the word of God. – EPA pic, 17 November 2017.

KUALA LUMPUR – A resounding “no.”

This was the response of Christian leaders in Sabah and Sarawak to the Selangor Islamic Religious Council’s (Mais) suggestion that Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) produce “an official Malay translation” of the Bible to correct the allegedly erroneous use of the word  “Allah” in the text, the Malaysian Insight posted on its news portal on 17 Nov 2017.

Mais lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla made the suggestion at the hearing of the suit brought by Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill against the Home Minister and government to uphold her constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in Christian publications.

Haniff claimed that the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak had wrongly used “Allah” to mean God in Bahasa Malaysia, arguing that they should instead use “Tuhan” and that this would not deprive them of their rights.

Sabah Council of Churches president Bishop Melter Jiki Tais found Haniff’s statement “very insulting” to Christians.

“We are indeed very much offended by his statement and demand an apology from him.  Let it be known to Mohamed Khatri Abdulla that his suggestion that Dewan Bahasa can prepare a Bahasa Malaysia Bible reflects his ignorance of theology and the true and proper interpretation of the original language of the Bible.  Let it also be known to him that we, the Christian community in Sabah, do not and will not accept any Bahasa Malaysia Bible prepared by Dewan Bahasa,” the bishop told The Malaysian Insight in a text message.

He added that as far as the Christians are concerned, no individual or party should dictate to them how they should express their faith in any language.

“We will continue to use the term ‘Allah’ for God verbally or in written form,” he added.

Mais is assisting the court in understanding the meaning and context of the word “Allah” in Islam.

Haniff had told the High Court that the government was also interested in allowing the publication of a Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible.

He had said that Dewan Bahasa would prepare the translation, to be approved by the Christian community, for the Bahasa Malaysia Bible, if the government approved the publication.

“We would then not have this issue for generations to come,” Haniff had said.

His statement also evoked a strong response from Sarawak Christian leaders.

Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Sarawak elder Liwan Lagang said the Bible was the word of God to the Christians, and therefore, it is not right for anyone to change the words or the meaning of the Bible. which the Christians held to be the truth.

“That is why we have a panel of experts, the elders, our own pastors doing the translation,” said Liwan, who is also the Sarawak Assistant Minister of Water Supply.

SIB is one of the churches in Sarawak that uses the Malay language Bible.

“No. We don’t need Mais to teach us our beliefs. Definitely not.  We don’t interfere in their (religious) affairs and definitely we don’t want that to happen to us. No religion should dictate their belief to another religion,” Liwan added.

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister James Masing asked if Mais or DBP understood the essence of Christianity.

“I have a PhD. I have many books on Islam and I have read all of them. Does that make me qualified to write what Islam should be? But more importantly, would they agree? Would they allow it?  I don’t think so. Neither would Mais. They may have people with PhDs and whatnot in religion but they are not qualified to rewrite the Bible,” Masing said.

Masing said it would be “the greatest mockery this country will ever make” if Mais was given the authority to translate the Bible.

Masing also brushed off Haniff’s claim that Christians in the two Borneo states had wrongly used “Allah” for God, saying it was polemics.

“So who gave them (Muslims in Malaysia) the right to be the only people who can use the word Allah.  The Arabs do not worry about it. Why should Muslims in Malaysia worry about it?” Masing said.

He said it was highly unfortunate that Malaysia allowed such polemics, which had created animosity between Muslims and Christians.

PKR Sarawak chief Baru Bian was also adamant that the Dewan Bahasa has no business translating the Bible.

“That’s fundamental. Those who translated our Bible were scholars,” said Baru, formerly an SIB church elder.

The Ba Kelalan assemblyman said there should be no dispute over Christian usage of Allah because the word predated Islam.

Deputy Chief Minister 1 Douglas Uggah tersely brushed aside questions on the matter, calling the argument over who could and could not use the word Allah a “non issue.”

“Don’t create an issue,” Uggah, who also chairs the state government’s Unit for Other Religion (Unifor) said.

He said in Sarawak, religious and racial harmony are strong and people should preserve them.

Education, Science and Technological Research Minister, Michael Manyin, however, is unperturbed by the events in court over in the peninsula.

“It is not going to affect us. We can still use the word here.  Sometimes I say ‘insyallah’ in my speeches and it offends no one,” Manyin said. – the malaysian insight

SHCWL coordinator calls for fresh blood to join the ministry

Maureen Lee presents the wine to Abp Wong at Mass, SHC chapel, 15 Nov 2017. The Sacred Heart Catholic Women’s League marks its 46th anniversary.

BUKIT PADANG – The coordinator of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) of Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu called for fresh blood to join the ministry at its 46th anniversary dinner on 15 Nov 2017.

“There is so much to do to help the parish and the church through the Catholic Women’s League and we really need more than just 150 members to help us.  With more hands we can do more and work will be lighter,” Anita Tunggolou said in her welcoming speech.

The CWL was formed on 16 Nov 1971 with seven members and currently, it has over 130 active members.

The dinner took place at the Putera Ballroom Bukit Padang with over 800 diners including Archbishop John Wong, Archbishop Emeritus John Lee, Msgr Primus Jouil, Father Max Hontor, Father Joshua Liew,  religious sisters, aspirants and Initiation Year (IY) seminarians.

In his speech, Abp Wong warned the diners not to be trapped by  the current “instant-maggie mentality.”  He was referring to the four years it took for the CWL to spread from Stella Maris Tanjung Aru (1967) to then Sacred Heart Church (1971).

He said it “was not slow” but “wise” because the “Spirit has His own timing.”

“Our task is to focus on watering and cultivating, to make sure that the roots are not dried up and the shoots are not infested.  Listen to the Word of God and put it into practice, and the group will stay longer,” the prelate concluded.

As in the past, the coordinator gave a summary of the activities carried out by the CWL members in the past year – from cooking to works of mercy.

She presented a mock cheque of RM70,000.00 to Abp Wong for the seminarians’ fund (same as last year’s) and several tokens of appreciation to all those who were involved in the CWL in one way or another.

The dinner was interspersed with lively stage entertainment by choral or solo singing as well as lucky draws.

Earlier, some CWL members and their spouses, religious sisters, aspirants and  IY seminarians attended the Thanksgiving Mass presided by Abp Wong and concelebrated with Fr Liew at the cathedral chapel.

In a brief address after the Mass, the prelate expressed his gratitude to the CWL for the services they have rendered to the parish for 46 years and hoped they will continue to do so in the future.

In Manila ASEAN commits itself to protecting migrant workers

(L to R) Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, Myanmar’s State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith join hands as they pose for a “family photo” during the opening cermeony at Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders’ summit in Manila on 29 April  2017.  AFP PHOTO / POOL / Mark R. CRISTINO

MANILA – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is committed to protecting and promoting the rights of migrant workers in the region.

The leaders of the ten-member association meeting in Manila for its 31st Summit on 13-14 Nov 2017 signed the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.

The deal calls for the fair treatment of migrant workers, granting visitation rights to family members, and a ban on seizing passports.

Other provisions include prohibiting overcharging on placement and recruitment fees, regulating recruiters, and respecting workers’ right to fair salary and benefits, as well as the right to join trade unions and organisations.

For Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the Commission on Migrants on Itinerant People of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the agreement is a “caring and helpful” initiative by ASEAN leaders. It shows “their concern and compassion for the plight of our migrant workers,” Santos said.

With a common and unified stand of the ASEAN leaders, the rights and privileges of all migrant workers will be “protected, promoted and respected”. Indeed, “Their decision is the best and very beneficial to all migrant workers regardless of their nationalities,” he added.

The Government of the Philippines earlier said that the signing of the deal was the “centrepiece” of its chairmanship of the ten-nation bloc.

Acting Filipino Foreign Affairs spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said one of the key features of the agreement is for the host country to afford the same level of protection to migrant workers as they do to their own citizens.

Intra-regional migration in ASEAN has increased significantly between 1995 and 2015, turning Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand into regional migration hubs with 6.5 million migrants – 96 per cent of the total number of migrant workers in ASEAN, this according to a World Bank report, entitled Migrating to Opportunity.

Approximately US$ 62 billion in remittances were sent to ASEAN countries in 2015. Remittances account for 10 per cent of GDP in the Philippines, 7 per cent in Vietnam, 5 per cent in Myanmar, and 3 per cent in Cambodia. – asianews.it

53 youngsters attend Youth Alpha Camp

KUNAK – Fifty-three youngsters attended the Youth Alpha Camp organised by the Silam Catholic Youth Apostolate (SCYA) on 6-8 Oct 2017 at Borneo Paradise Eco Farm Resort here.

The participants came from Our Lady of Pilar Silam and St Nicholas Tampenau.

The objective of the Youth Alpha is to bring youth closer to God, to build a relationship between them and Jesus, and to strengthen their faith.

The camp consisted of ten sessions: Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus die for us? How confident am I in my faith? How and why do I pray? Why and how do I read the Bible? Who is the Holy Spirit? What does the Holy Spirit do? How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit? How do I overcome evil?

There were also group sharing, praise and worship, healing sessions, Faith in Action (FIA), and Journey to Unity (Amazing Race).

Father Marcellinus Pongking gave a session on confession, examination of conscience and the meaning of the Sacrament of Reconciliation while Father Simon Kontou presided at the Mass.

In his homily, Fr Kontou said the camp has helped the youth to become better persons and stronger in their faith. – heraldmalaysia.com

Kuala Penyu’s winning entry to be Keningau silver jubilee theme song

KUALA PENYU –  The winning entry from the youth choir of St Peter Bundu here will be used as the theme song for the Silver Jubilee of the Keningau Diocese next year.

The choir, under the guidance of Batholomew Cornelius, defended their victory for three consecutive years at the Pesta Koir Belia on 14 Oct 2017 at St Peter Bundu here.

They won for Best Lyrics for their song Rayakan Jubli Keuskupan Keningau.

The song was composed by Batholomew and written by Michael Kimsin.

However, the overall champion of the choir competition was St Theresa Tambunan.

The first competition was held in Sook Keningau in 2013 while the second took place in 2015 in Toboh Tambunan.

heraldmalaysia.com/other sources

CMI-CLOW celebrates 19th anniversary with Mass and fellowship

The children and their facilitators pose with Abp Wong after the Mass, 12 Nov 2017, CMI Bukit Padang.

BUKIT PADANG – The Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLOW) ministry of the Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI) here celebrated its 19th anniversary on 12 Nov 2017.

The celebration has become the sub parish’s annual children’s Mass with children taking part in the choir and the Presentation of Gifts.

Archbishop John Wong presided at the Mass.  A simple fellowship took place at the canteen after the Mass.

CLOW managed to raise RM425.00 for the Catholic Centre building project through the sale of coffee, cakes, and pastries.

Entertaining the children, parents, and members of the Parish Pastoral Council were two young girls: 7-year-old Angelina Liew’s recital of the Parable of the Good Samaritan by heart while Caelan Sham, 9, sang and played two songs on her ukulele.

The ministry started on 22 Nov 1998, Solemnity of Christ the King, under Rose Chu with the consent of then-pastor Father Cosmas Lee.  The first facilitators were Janet Lee, Catherine Kung, Vera Kung, Stephanie Chin, Janet Ho, and Victoria Voon.

In 1973, the Congregation for Divine Worship promulgated the Directory for Masses with Children. This document offers principles and guidelines for adapting the liturgy for children so that they may gradually take a more active and conscious part in the full Eucharistic assembly. The Directory attempts to respect the nature of childhood and the age and abilities of the young.

The priest calls the children (pre-first communicants) forward, before the first reading, to listen to God’s word at an adapted Liturgy of the Word, blesses the leader and hands the Lectionary for Masses with Children to the leader, who processes with the children to a separate place (chapel). As the children are sent forth, the liturgical musicians lead the assembly in singing a suitable song.

The children and leader exit down the main aisle, singing in procession until they reach the chapel to continue the Liturgy of the Word with Children. The Liturgy of the Word continues as usual for the main assembly.  Children then return during the collection of the offering and participate with their parents and caregivers in the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

CLOW is a part of the entire parish’s worship, not a separate “children’s time”.  It is considered as an extension of the Mass itself.

Philippine Church observes day of prayer for victims of extrajudicial killings

Abp Socrates Villegas among the people

MANILA – The Church in the  Philippines observed “Lord Heal Our Land Sunday”  on 5 Nov 2017, to pray for victims of extrajudicial killings.

President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Archbishop Socrates Villegas participated in a march with thousands of worshippers in Manila and called on the police and troops to stop the violence.

Preaching during the  Mass held at the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace, also known as the Edsa Shrine in Quezon city,  the Archbishop urged the country’s military and police to stop the violence, drug-related killings, and adhere to the rule of law. He said both institutions must aim at justice rather than revenge in the battle against crime and lawlessness. He made them aware of their duty to serve their countrymen and to obey and return to God.

The “heal the nation” campaign brought many people at the Edsa Shrine on Sunday to pray for peace. Masses for the same intention were also held in the provinces for people who were not able to go to the Edsa Shrine.

The Lord Heal Our Land Sunday started another month-long period of praying for victims of extrajudicial killings.  The period will end on December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. – vatican radio

Malaysian wins song-writing competition

MACAU – Chow How Shen from Melaka, has won the Veritas Cup, a Chinese hymn-writing competition, with his hymn, “God is Love.”

Although the competition was judged in mid-July, the awards ceremony and Holy Music Festival was held in Macau 27-29 Oct 2017 at the Macau Diocesan Social Communication Centre.

A special Mass was celebrated and Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang of Macau presented the awards after Mass.

Judges of the Veritas Cup, a Chinese hymn-writing competition, have praised the marked improvement in the quality of this year’s entries.

So Kai-yi from Taiwan, the chairwoman of the jury, said that one criterion was how well the hymns reflected Christian faith.

Competition judge Wu Jiagong, principal of Guangqi Music School in Shanghai Diocese, noted that some entries were performed in an ancient Chinese chanting style.

However, Wu admitted that the bulk of mainland Chinese composers had yet to catch up with other entrants, including from Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

He added, however, that new Church music talent is emerging in China.

Judge Wu Ru-ran, a conductor from Taiwan, said traditional influences such as folk songs and operas should not be ignored.

“In addition to composing our works via our own experiences and emotions, we need to think more about the relationship between oneself with the earth and God,” he advised.

Wu noted that the treasure of Western Catholic music was accumulated over hundreds of years.

Themes of this year’s entries ranged from saints to family, children, religious orders and worship, as well as the sharing of faith.

The first contest in 2013 attracted 182 entries, with 16 per cent coming from overseas Chinese communities.  ucanews.com/heraldmalaysia online

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