Category Archives: Latest News

Korean community has accepted three local vocations as postulants

Sabah’s first three postulants for the Korean institute R-L: Chaistten James of Penampang, Walter Martin of Kiulu, and Jefson Richard of Sook pose for the camera, 8 Dec 2017, Pace Bene Purak.

KOTA KINABALU – The Korean religious institute Societas Sancti Trinitas (Clerical Society of the Most Holy Trinity) of Mirinae South Korea has accepted three local vocations as postulants.

The trio – Chaistten James of Penampang, 28; Walter Martin of Kiulu, 28; and Jefson Richard of Sook, 20 – left for South Korea for their formation on 10 Dec 2017.

Initial formation entails a two-year postulancy and a two-year novitiate before first profession, and three years of juniorate before final profession, after which the candidates will either opt to be ordained or remain as Brothers.

The institute runs Woori Jib (Tokou Hamin=Our Home), St Francis Xavier Home Potuki for children at Kg Patikar Jalan Papar-Penampang since 2016 under  Father Leo Choi Sangki.

The home, run and financed by the Clerical Society was the brainchild of Fr Leo Choi Sangki, who saw the need to build a home for needy orphans in the state after serving the Korean community here in the last ten years or so. He is the spiritual director, project consultant and architect of Hamin Tokou Sabah projects.

The home is named after St Francis Xavier, the patron of the missions, and Father Francis Xavier Tjeong, who founded the society in 1976.

Tawau carollers attend recollection

A section of the 200 carollers at the recollection, 3 Dec 2017, Holy Trinity Tawau.

TAWAU –  Some 200 carollers attended a short recollection on 3 Dec 2017 before the start of the six-day carolling to the families in the parish.

The carolling will be from Dec 10-15 and the carollers comprise 23 groups – 11 from the main parish and 12 from the BECs.

Julita Kantod facilitated the catechesis entitled “Prepare your heart to receive our Saviour and spread the Good News.”

Kantod encouraged the participants to prepare themselves well during Advent so as to welcome Christ when he comes again.

“With an honest and humble preparation, especially during this recollection, one will experience a conversion of the heart where Christ can make His room with us and in our family” she said.

The catechesis ended with some words of encouragement from Andrew Kiat, the Chairman of the Home Carolling Program, as well as the PPC Chairperson, followed by announcements and a closing prayer. – mario domingo, sandakan newsblog

New FSIC council pledges to fulfill responsibilities before Church and congregation

The General Councillors led by Superior General Sister Frances Mani (R) pledge to be servant-leaders before the members of the congregation, 8 Dec 2017, Pace Bene Purak.  The councillors are (R-L) Sister Lilian Unsoh (vicaress), Sister Calista Saliun, Sister Dariah Ajap, Sister Lucy Embayan, Sister Germaine Angkangon, and Sister Joan Michael.

PURAK, Papar – The new General Council of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) took the pledge to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to them before the Church and congregation on 8 Dec 2017.

They took the pledge after the homily during the Mass of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the congregational feast day, at Pace Bene here.

First, Superior General Sister Frances Mani  took the pledge before Archbishop John Wong.  Then the councillors – Sisters Lilian Unsoh (vicaress), Germaine Angkanon, Lucy Embayan,  Joan Michael, Calista Saliun, and Dariah Ajap pledged to obey and collaborate with Mani in the governance of the congregation.

This was followed by all the sisters present pledging their obedience to the government.  In turn, the general council pledged to serve the community to the best of their ability.

In her maiden speech after the Mass, Mani said her service would one of servant-leadership and asked for prayers from all those present.

She then announced the following appointments: Sister Terry Loukang the Vocation Directress; Sister Tina Basil the Postulant Formator; Sister Juanah Saliun the Novice Formator; Sister Appollonia Gumpu the formator of the Juniors while Sister Alice Lopez remains the procurator.

The councillors will take turns to be the secretary whenever there is a meeting.

Mani declared the 10th General Chapter closed with the chanting of the Te Deum.

In his turn, Abp Wong thanked Father Gerry Lobo ofm for being the retreat master, and congratulated the sisters for a relatively smooth election on Dec 7.

He exhorted the new council to remember that God is with them, to focus on their mission and charism with Mary as their model in the fulfillment of the tasks ahead in the next six years.

Concelebrating the Eucharist with Abp Wong were Abp Emeritus John Lee, Fr Lobo and Father Aloysius Fidelis.

The first council meeting will be held on 8 Jan 2018.

Franciscan Sisters elect Sister Frances Mani as Superior General

File photo: Gifts brought forward by immediate past Superior General Sister Grace Deosing (back L) and new Superior General Sister Frances Mani (back R) at the Presentation of Gifts during the 75th Founding Anniversary Mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing on 13 Aug 2011.

KOTA KINABALU – The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) elected Paparian Sister Frances Mani, 67, to head their congregation for the next six years.

They also elected Sister Lilian Unsoh as vicaress, Sister Calista Saliun, Sister Dariah Ajap, Sister Lucy Embayan, Sister Germaine Angkangon and Sister Joan Michael as general councillors.

The election on 7 Dec 2017 came at the end of the 10th General Chapter held at Pace Bene Formation Centre Papar, presided by Archbishop John Wong.

It was preceded by a retreat from Nov 27 through Dec 3.

After the retreat, 47 delegates (45 perpetual professed and two junior professed) remained behind for the General Chapter on  Dec 4-7.  However, all the perpetual professed sisters returned for the election of the new general government on Dec 7.

A General Chapter is a special meeting of prayer and planning held at specified times by religious congregations.  For the Franciscan Sisters, their General Chapters are held every six years since the Third General Chapter in 1975.

This meeting brings together representatives of the Sisters from all the areas where the Sisters minister and live in Malaysia.

The Chapter consists of two parts, the chapter of affairs and the chapter of election.  The chapter of affairs is a time to reflect upon the past six years and assess where the congregation has been and what have been accomplished for Christ and His Church.  Then they take time to plan where their efforts can best be directed for the next six years.    After they have a directional statement for their apostolic efforts for the next six years, they will then elect the General Government who will guide the members in their efforts.

The congregation based in Kota Kinabalu, was founded on 16 June 936. The sisters are involved in parish work, catechetics and education. They also manage a maternity home, homes for the elderly and for poor children, and hostels for poor students.

Philippine bishops’ conference declares 2018 Year of Clergy and Consecrated Persons

MANILA – The new head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in his first pastoral exhortation, declares 2018 as the year of the ‘clergy and consecrated persons.’

The year, he said, envisions that clergy and consecrated persons become “renewed” servant-leaders “who care most especially for the least, the lost and the last.”

Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao was elected as the new president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in July during their plenary assembly in Manila and has formally assumed his office on December 1.

The archbishop who now leads the 83 active, 5 diocesan administrators and 43 honorary members of the CBCP from 86 ecclesiastical jurisdictions said the activities throughout the year will be dedicated to the promotion and recognition of priestly and religious vocations.

Aiming at making the year, a year of integral renewal of values, behaviour and lifestyles of the clergy and consecrated persons, the Archbishop said it will be a year also of revisiting ways of seminary and religious formation.

The pastoral letter was read in all Masses on 3 December 2017, the first Sunday of Advent, when dioceses announced the opening of the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons (YCCP).

In 2013, the CBCP had launched a nine-year “spiritual journey towards the 500th Jubilee of Christianisation of the Philippines in 2021 with a different theme for each year. Accordingly, November 27 saw the end of the Year of the Parish and the beginning of the Year of Clergy and the Consecrated Persons. – CBCPNews

Papar hosts inaugural ecumenical carols by candlelight

Leaders of Inter-Church Papar with lighted candles singing ‘Silent Night’ with carollers and parishioners, 5 Dec 2017, Mother of Mercy Catechetical Centre Papar.

PAPAR – St Joseph Church here hosted the inaugural ecumenical carols by candlelight on 5 Dec 2017 at the Mother of Mercy Catechetical Centre.

It kicked off the Advent Family Visit in the parish and served as a sign of solidarity among the various Christian churches.

The theme for the event was God’s Love, Man’s Hope.

Member churches of Papar Inter-Church Council (Majlis Gereja-Gereja Daerah Papar or MGGDP) are St Joseph Papar, Holy Rosary Limbahau, Anglican Church, Basel Christian Church (BCCM), Sidang Injil Borneo, and Calvary Church.

The council has organised other joint activities such as Walk for Jesus, monthly prayer services, and Praise & Worship programmes.

In his welcoming remarks, MGGDP chairman Deacon Johnny Kunong of BCCM-BM gave thanks and praise to God for the presence of all those who came.

“The symbolic candles represent the light, enlightening the dark forces within.  May the light brighten our hearts, families, our lives, our solidarity, and this world with love from Jesus Christ.  Praise the Lord God Almighty,” he said.

Other leaders present were Anglican Pastor Habismadin Uloi, SIB Pastor Pendeta Tinggih Sulog, BCCM-BM Pastor Yaelan Gasah, BCCM Chinese Pastor Tan Ping Ping and Father Thomas Yip.

The celebration began with a child bringing a lighted candle up to the main stage to light the candles of the church representatives and parishioners.

Deacon Kunong proclaimed a reading from Isaiah 11:1-10 while Fr Yip shared a reflection how harmony, peace, and solidarity in life can only be achieved through the birth of Christ, the source of merciful love for mankind.

Thereafter the people were entertained by the performances of the various carolling groups followed by distribution of gifts to those present. – William Charles Mindus, SOCCOM Papar Limbahau


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

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

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