KOTA KINABALU – The Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish here celebrated the golden jubilee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in the universal Church in style on 1-4 June 2017.
It began with a triduum of talks (June 1-3) in different languages and ended with a rally on the day of Pentecost June 4.
The talks covered God’s Salvific Love, Inner Healing, The Father’s Gift: Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit Reconciles and Heals and The Holy Spirit Empowers.
The English sessions were handled by Jude Antoine of Kuala Lumpur (June 1-2) and Bishop Bernard Paul of Melaka-Johor (June 3) at the Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang. Around 400 people attended the sessions.
The BM and Mandarin sessions took place at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre. Around 200 people attended the Mandarin sessions handled by Father Anthony Heng CDD of Melaka while over 700 participated in the BM sessions facilitated by Joseph Masri of Indonesia and Maurice Awit of Kota Kinabalu.
On Pentecost Sunday afternoon, all the participants converged at the parish centre for the combined rally graced by Archbishop John Wong and Archbishop Joseph Marino, apostolic nuncio. It was held in communion with that of Rome where over a million people gathered with Pope Francis for the celebration.
After an hour of exuberant praise and worship (shofar blowing, flag and tambourine dancers) in three languages led by the different youth groups, Daniel Kong presented a powerpoint presentation on the growth of the CCR in Sabah (since 1974) while Joseph Chee shared how the CCR has touched millions of lives worldwide through the Catholic fraternity of covenant communities and renewal groups.
In his address, Abp Marino called on those in the CCR to be spirit-filled evangelisers and missionary disciples of Jesus. He based his address on Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel).
In turn, organising chairperson Pauline Wong thanked all those involved in helping to get the event off the ground – all the parish CCR groups from the three language groups.
“I am very happy that we all can work together as a Sacred Heart family,” she said.
Wong also thanked the nuncio for his message that “to be an evangeliser is to be a disciple and to be a disciple is to be an evangeliser. We can only evangelise if we know this person called Jesus in a very personal way.”
The event concluded with Holy Mass presided by Abp Wong. Joining him at the altar were Abp Marino, Abp Emeritus John Lee, Fathers Mitchelly Kiun, Max Hontor and Joshua Liew.
In his homily, the prelate touched on how the Spirit changed the apostles from being terror-stricken disciples to faith-filled and courageous witnesses of the risen Christ. He said the Spirit would do the same today provided one is open to grace.