Tag Archives: 2017-10

SHC-PPC organises BM conference for married men

KOTA KINABALU – The Parish Pastoral Council of Sacred Heart Cathedral organised a conference for married men in Bahasa Malaysia at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here on 27-28 Oct 2017.

This conference is designed specifically for married men to come together to share their joys and sorrows, and to learn how best to carry out their roles, guided by scriptures and the teachings of the Church.

It focuses on the crucial role of the father in the family.  The failure of families to fulfill the mandate of God is often attributed to the failure of fathers to live out their true roles.

There were four inputs: (1) God’s Plan for Fatherhood (Fr Joshua Liew); (2) A Father’s Response to a Fast and Changing World (Marc Majaing); (3) Redeeming Love (Petrus Maximus); and  (4) How Do I Love Thee? (Johnny Thien) with some surprise elements.

Thirty-eight men participated in the conference.

Pope Francis speaks with ISS commander and crew

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis spoke via satellite link with the crew of the International Space Station on 26 Oct 2017. Astronaut Randolph Bresnik of the US commands the current, 53rd ISS expedition, which has a complement of five mission specialists: Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli; Russian astronauts Sergey Ryanzansky and Alexander Misurkin; and US astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei.

The video link-up lasted about 20 minutes, with the pope speaking to the astronauts from the “auletta” of the Paul VI Hall, in the presence of the President of the Italian Space Agency (ASA), Roberto Battiston, and the Director of Earth Observation Programmes of the European Space Agency (ESA), Josef Aschbacher.

During the course of the virtual visit, Pope Francis asked questions of the astronauts, on topics ranging from the place of humanity in the universe, to the difference in perspective that living on the ISS brings, to the role of “That Love which moves the sun and the other stars,” in their work of understanding, to their reasons for desiring to explore space.

Francis is not the first pontiff to speak to the ISS. Benedict XVI had done so on 21 May 2011. In thanking the crew, the pope said, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts; this is the example you give us. Thank you for representing the whole human family in the great research project of this space station.” – vatican radio/asianews.it

Signs you might be a Zombie Catholic – and how to be cured!

Don’t chuckle. Zombies exist. They dwell in our midst.

If you doubt me, just head to your neighbourhood parish where on any given Sunday, you can see the parade of Zombie Catholics. I can spot ‘em from a mile away because I was once a Zombie Catholic.

After years, maybe decades of having a deadened look in my eye through the whole celebration of the Holy Mass, by the grace of God, the scales have fallen away. So, from someone who’s managed to escape the dreaded Zombie Zone, here’s how you can spot the signs and combat this haunting inclination. Beware!

Signs You’re a Zombie Catholic:

1) Your seating choice at Mass is decided by how best to make a subtle, late entrance and a discreet, speedy exit

You park in one of the last pews, a mere side-step and you’re swimming in the baptismal font. Back here, you keep a Jackie O-like-low profile. And if you nod off during a long homily, no big whoop. No one’s making eye contact this far back. You actually scoff at the poor saps who sit up front.

Why do you need to see anything? You’ve only been through the Mass 5 million-ga-jillion times! Nothing. New. Here.

2) The last time you willingly sang a church hymn with abandon, you were three

It’s probably been many years since you even cracked the music issue. If you do sing with gusto, per chance, it’s only because your Catholic auto pilot kicks in from time to time. “Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on Earth…” You have to admit it’s a catchy tune.

I used to cringe when people around me sang too loudly, probably because they were jarring me out of my self-involved day dream. “How dare she shake me from my own thoughts with her exuberant, joyful singing!”

3) You approach the Holy Eucharist in the same way you would waiting in line for a prescription at the pharmacy

No awe or reverence before the real presence. Just disengaged resignation. You’ve been told you need this, but you’re not exactly sure why. You appear spaced-out as you shuffle along in line. Your posture belies boredom, and impatience.

In your mind, this signifies the end of Mass, so let’s get this show on the road, already. I want my medicine so I can high-tail it outta here.

4) Your idea of fellowship after Mass is grudgingly giving the old lady in the parking lot the right of way as she totters through the cross walk

She nods and you nod back. Then you accelerate and get on with your Sunday plans. You’ve officially checked the duty box for the day.

If any of this sounds familiar, don’t lose heart. There’s hope for fighting off the march of the Zombies. Here are some tips that helped me battle my way out of it.

The Cure for Zombie Catholicism:

1) Make a trip to confession even before you attend Mass again

Do some serious soul searching to uncover the sin that may be creating a barrier to your intimacy with God. There’s nothing that will intensify your desire for the Eucharist and the Mass than an encounter with the loving embrace of God’s mercy.

It wasn’t until I finally got serious about confession that I started to dial into God’s voice during the Mass.

2) Take a quiet moment in your car even before entering church to say a quick prayer asking Christ to engage your mind and heart for Mass

Ask him to quiet the noise in your brain so you may hear Him. Ask the Lord to speak to you.

3) Turn off all media while at Mass

Don’t just silence them! Truly unplug for the hour you’re there. If your phone starts buzzing, it’s an invitation for your mind to wander. So-called smart phones can numb our brains, leading us quickly into the zombie trance.

4) Sit closer to the action

For those of you who’ve never done this, it can be daunting at first, but there’s no Q&A where you’ll be quizzed on the words to the Nicene Creed, so take a seat up front and follow along. It’s amazing how much more you notice. This even works with my kids. You might even sing a little.

Challenge yourself to truly pay attention especially during the consecration. You don’t need to understand it all, but get engaged in what’s going on. God will lead you. In Scott Hahn’s book, “The Lamb’s Supper,” which I highly recommend, he describes the supernatural drama that surrounds us during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He explains that St John Paul II described the Mass as “Heaven on Earth.”

Consider getting a book about the Mass. Knowledge is a powerful weapon in defeating the Zombie Catholic.

5) Consider offering up your Eucharist for the needs of a friend or loved one who is suffering

When you lose focus, consider that person’s trials. As you approach the Blessed Sacrament, remember you are offering up the graces received in Christ’s body, blood, soul and divinity for your friend or loved one. This can heighten the magnitude of Christ’s gift in the Eucharist and be a tangible reminder of the solemnity of the occasion.

And above all, keep at it! A Zombie Catholic has stopped trying and is just going through the motions. Once you exert a small bit of effort God will reciprocate in a big way.

You’ll soon banish that morbid, pasty-faced Zombie—and in its place a new creation in Christ. Praise God! Because it happened to this former Zombie Catholic. – mary jo gerd, catholic herald, 23.10.2017

La Salle Brother speaks on his detention under Ops Lalang 30 years ago

October 27 marks the 30th anniversary of  Operasi Lalang, where 106 people were detained without trial and the publishing licences of three newspapers were revoked. The episode remains a grim reminder of what can happen in the absence of check and balances, a deep scar in the Malaysian psyche. To mark this day, The Malaysian Insight speaks to La Salle Brother Anthony Rogers, one of the detainees.

WHAT does not break you, only makes you stronger.

He was not a prominent politician. He was not a champion of vernacular education. He did not make a living driving the wedge between Malaysians with fire-and-brimstone speeches yet this La Salle Brother was among the 106 individuals detained under Operasi Lalang.

What were Brother Anthony Rogers’ offences? Developing social programmes, providing aid to the poor and raising awareness on social and economic injustices.

He said that his detention gave him the opportunity to strike friendships with people of different faith. He also found solace in the Bible, which he read from cover to cover many times.

‎Recalling his arrest, he said: “I was told that the government wanted to know more about the growing involvement of the Catholic Church in human development and social justice work,”

He added: “The only thing we were told was that we were being investigated for being a threat to national security.”

Rogers was held for 60 days in solitary confinement at the police remand centre at Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, and then sent to the Kamunting detention camp on 28 December 1987 under a two-year detention order.

He was released after eight months.

Rogers’ passion for speaking out against poverty and corruption was born out of a belief that “concern for the poor and moral order is a permanent mission of the church.”

“I was seen as a threat to national security because it (the church) brought together people of all faiths who have a passion for God to have compassion for their brothers and sisters,”  said the 68-year-old, who is currently the brother director at Penang’s St Xavier’s Institution. ‎

“We were working towards helping Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. Not to convert them. It was to ensure they received just wages, proper education, good living conditions and a corruption-free government.”

Below are excerpts from the interview:

TMI: How did the ISA arrest affect your life?

Rogers: Most of us must have heard about the dreadful stories about the 60 days, solitary confinement; spartan food, irregular sleep and endless interrogation.

The plywood on a cement block, without pillow or blanket was not the most difficult aspect of life. It was “fear of isolation” and “falling into the trap of public shame.”

Before being incarcerated, I was brought to Petaling Jaya to collect some personal items. Besides grabbing a few items of clothing and toiletries, I had the foresight to take from my bedside the copy of my personal Bible.

I was surprised that when I asked my officers if I could take this into my cell and prayer room for the next 60 days and they said “yes”.

Later, I was told that mine was an unusual request and their gracious consent a gift few may have received. Many would not believe that I was able to read from cover to cover many times and spent hours reflecting on the words.

The privilege of having the Bible was my source of inspiration and strength.

TMI: Are you angry with the government for what they put you through?

Rogers: I’m not angry with the government, but sad. They could have come to our office and find out what we are doing instead of using the ISA (Internal Security Act).

If they wanted to investigate us, there are proper ways to do it. They shouldn’t have used the ISA because it drives more fear into people.  

Unless they could find some fault with what we were doing, then that’s a different story.

We were not stirring people up with anger. We were just asking them to care for the country, especially with the growing tensions, by doing campaigns to reconcile one another as Malaysians. Telling them how our differences can be resolved.

TMI: Who were some of the detainees with you at Kamunting?

Rogers: The 49 of us who were sent to Kamunting were placed in two kawasan (areas) which were 8 and 9.

Some of those in Kawasan 8 included DAP’s V. David, Karpal Singh, Lau Dak Kee and Lim Guan Eng, PAS Youth (chief) Mat Sabu, Mahfuz Omar, Haji Sulaiman and Khalid Samad. The academics and educators were Kua Kia Soong, Sim Mou You and others.

Our stay in Kamunting was not a holiday but we made full use of our time together to share our stories about out work and life and saw that the diversity of our gifts and talents based on our own faiths is the strength of Malaysia.

We became friends and continue to believe that Kamunting did not break us but allowed us rediscover new insights for a better Malaysia.

TMI: What was the support from your family members and friends like?

Rogers: The support from the family, church and international organisations was unbelievable. The church in Asia and Europe showed their contribution to persons who stood up for justice by sending us more than 10,000 cards and letters.

TMI: When you look back to the time before your arrest, what would you have done differently?

Rogers: If you do something good and get arrested, then how can you prevent it from happening? It was obvious in my writings and talks, they couldn’t identify anything that I did wrong.

It was just about how people neglect the poor. How can you not talk about justice and freedom?

TMI: What was your most painful experience being in Kamunting?

Rogers: The greatest pain is to see what all the families went through when they came to visit. It was especially sad to see the children coming to visit their parents in Kamunting.

They couldn’t understand why they had to come and see their fathers behind barbed-wire fences.

‎As for me, there was no bad experience. I became friends with people from different faiths and that was a great achievement.

TMI: Did your experience deter you from carrying out your social work after you were released?

Rogers: No, our lives are to serve the poor. Just because somebody tells us not to do good, we cannot just keep quiet. Doing good for the people is the essence of our religious faith. – 27 October 2017.

Vatican online survey for young people receives fewer response than expected

VATICAN CITY – Over four months ago the Vatican posted an online international poll for people 16-29 years of age. It was part of preparations for the Synod of Bishops’ ordinary assembly, which is focusing on “Young people, faith and vocational discernment” and is to take place in Rome in October 2018.

The direct consultation was unprecedented for the Vatican. It was meant to take place in parallel with the contributions from bishops’ conferences from each country around the world.

The survey was posted online on 14 June 2017 and was designed to be open to all young people irrespective of religion or geographic origin.

But a month after the survey closed, the Synod’s secretary-general, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, has revealed some interesting statistics.

While a total of 148,247 people visited the survey site, less than half of this number — a little more than 65,000 — actually answered all the questions.

However, some 3,000 respondents left their email addresses and said they wished to be kept informed of the survey’s outcome.

The Vatican’s daily newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, reported the figures in its October 25th edition. Cardinal Baldisseri had already unveiled them last week at a conference for Italian religious publishers in the Northern Italy city of Pordenone.

The figures are quite low for a worldwide survey, particularly if compared to the 2.5 million people who participated in the most recent World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland during the summer of 2016.

Observers who have closely followed the Synod assembly’s preparation have noted that communications were not very effective in some countries. The language barrier was a problem. For instance, the survey was not translated into German.

As a result, the German bishops made their own translation and distributed it locally. But the responses from young Germans are not included in the figures given by Cardinal Baldisseri’s office.

During his address in Pordenone, the cardinal also presented a summary of comments young people made on the survey itself. He cited several testimonies from French young people who expressed satisfaction with the way the survey was carried out.

On the other hand, he also noted various criticisms of the survey. For example, some respondents felt the questionnaire was too long, while others felt a number of important issues were hardly addressed or not tackled at all.

These include problems linked to alcohol, drug and medicine consumption; sexuality and relationship issues; or even links with other religions.

Young people who attended a September seminar the Vatican held in preparation for the synod had already expressed some of these same concerns.

Cardinal Baldisseri insisted last week that the contribution of young people “is essential for the conclusions to correspond to the reality of the Church and society”.

He warned that without this “there is a risk of building ‘castles in the air,’  which will remain uninhabited because young people do not identify with them.”

Now the questionnaire will remain online until November 30. Responses will be used to help draft the Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris (or the working document for the assembly on youth), which is expected to be published in the summer of 2018. – la croix international

Papar pre-marriage seminar draws 20 couples

PAPAR – A pre-marriage seminar organised by the parish Christian Family Committee here drew 20 couples.

The seminar was held on 20-21 Oct 2017 at Fr John Tsung Hall.

The programme began with a Bible Enthronement by Father Rayner Bisius, followed by his presentation entitled; Marriage in the Context of The Catholic Church, and Marriage in God’s Plan/Sacrament of Marriage.

The second day began with a session by Richard and Grace Lim on Communication in Marriage.

Dominic Lim presented Theology of the Body while Joseph Sipalan gave a talk on infectious diseases.

After tea break, Judith Sideh presented Economics in the Family in accordance with the Bible.

The afternoon session continued with a workshop session on Responsibilities of Christian Parents in a Family, moderated by the PPC Chairman, Johnny Sitamin.

The 40 participants were divided into two men and two women groups, where they discussed and presented the chosen topic on what are the responsibilities of husband/wife after marriage?

The final session dealt with Natural Family Planning Approach with a practicum on the process of charting.

After Sunset Mass, the participants returned for the summary and Q&A session handled by Jeffery Anjuman, chairman of the family life committee.

The seminar ended with a certificate presenting ceremony to the participants by Margaret Lee, coordinator of Christian Family Committee, and a group photo session. – William Charles Mindus

Two advocates explain the Catholic healing ministry

File Photo: Susy Vazquez prays before a shadow that has formed what many think is the silhouette of the Holy Family — Joseph and the Virgin Mary standing over the baby Jesus at St Brendan Catholic Church’s Adoration Chapel 21 September  2007 in Miami, Florida. Hundreds of people have been visiting to see the shadow when those that were praying in the chapel said there was a flash of light and they noticed what they say was a new shadow that was formed by the candle sitting on a white cloth draped over a table. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A new book says prayer for healing can complement the Sacrament of Penance.

Pope Francis has memorably described the Church as a “field hospital” for the wounded. The image resonated with me; I know several people, Catholic or otherwise, who are wounded in some way, emotionally and psychologically. Thus, when I read Healing Wounds in the Field Hospital of the Church, edited by Alan Guile and Father Jim McManus CSsR and published by Gracewing, I was immediately interested to discover more on the subject.

The book, the result of a Symposium that took place at Oscott in April 2015, which includes contributions by those involved in particular areas of healing, such as healing from abortion, childhood wounds, abusive relationships, addictions and spiritual oppression, is concerned with the ministry of inner healing. My initial response, “This is for charismatics, not for Catholics” shows how limited (and prejudiced) my understanding was. So I asked Alan Guile, the co-editor, what led him into this ministry.

He tells me that he and his wife began praying with individuals during days of renewal at a convent in Harrogate in 1973 and that “gradually a small number began to come to our home for prayer ministry for a variety of problems.” The numbers grew. How would he define “inner healing”? Alan explains that it “involves the actions of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit towards healing and restoring us to be able to live life in the fullness which Jesus suffered and died to bring us.”

Healing, he continues, has an important spiritual component, “the healing of sinfulness which includes our wounded reactions to what others have done to us. We need reconciliation not only with God and others, but within ourselves because frequently we do not sufficiently love and accept ourselves and carry burdens of guilt and shame.”

 It also has a psychological aspect: “We need healing of memories and buried painful emotions. People need help and encouragement about how they can cooperate prayerfully with Christ towards their healing.” There is also a ministry of deliverance which is “open to lay people as well as priests and is quite distinct from the rare cases of exorcism which may only be dealt with by a priest expressly authorised by the bishop.”

I am curious to know what this ministry can add to the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession? Fr Jim McManus clarifies this, explaining that “The penitent brings both the sin and the wound of sin to the Sacrament. Because there has been an almost exclusive emphasis on the forgiveness of sins over the centuries, the penitent may not even mention the wounds that those sins inflicted. Yet often the sin the penitent brings is the result of the wound. What a penitent needs is the healing of the wound of sin that caused his bad reaction.”

He makes it clear that “Lay ministers do not celebrate the Sacrament for those who confess to them; they minister the healing of the wound of sin. That is why we speak of an inner healing ministry.”

Alan Guile adds the reflection that “some people may go to Confession for many years and not receive the peace and healing that Christ wants to bring. Both Sacraments and prayer ministry are complementary means by which Christ can bring inner peace.”

If this is the case, why are bishops and priests generally reluctant to implement healing services as a regular part of parish and diocesan spiritual life? Alan tells me that although over the years he has been personally involved with six diocesan bishops to try to build up inner healing ministries, for various reasons they have as yet not borne fruit. He also believes that overwork on the part of priests, their increased average age, some demoralisation – particularly over the sex abuse scandals – and their lack of personal experience of their penitents’ wounds, are factors. “Many people”, he suggests, “feel unable to reveal their deepest hurts to priests.”

The editors both agree, as they write in their book, that “in most of our parishes we have…a high proportion of people who would describe themselves as practising Catholics who have been led to believe that all God and the Church expect of them is to attend Mass once a week and that they do not need to give any further time and effort.”

Fr McManus reminds me of their book’s title, adding “If bishops and priests begin to accept Pope Francis’s vision of the Church as a “field hospital after battle” in which our first task is “to heal the wounds,”  they will have taken the first step in exercising the healing ministry. They will be “thinking with the Church.” He states with conviction, “Once they begin to see the need for healing within the “field hospital” their pastoral practice will begin to change.”

Alan Guile is convinced that “the more parts of the Body of Christ that are praying with expectant faith in the power of the Holy Spirit for Jesus’s inner healing and peace, the more deeply greater numbers of people will be evangelised.” – francis phillips, catholic herald, 24 Oct 2017.

Francis Phillips reviews books for the Catholic Herald.

US bishops publish English-language translation of exorcism ritual

The covers of two publications related to exorcism from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops are seen in this composite photo. “Exorcisms and Related Supplications” is the first official English translation of the rite of exorcism and is available only to bishops and others designated by them. The booklet “Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness” contains specific prayers from the translation’s appendix and is being made available to anyone. (CNS)

The first official English-language translation of the ritual book “Exorcisms and Related Supplications” is available from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the CNS posted on its website on 25 Oct 2017.

Distribution of “Exorcisms and Related Supplications” is limited to bishops, though exorcists, other clergy, scholars and seminary professors also can obtain a copy with the permission of a bishop.

Having it available now in English “should make it easier for a bishop to find a priest who can help him with this ministry,” said Father Andrew Menke, executive director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Divine Worship.

“Given that there’s less facility in Latin than there used to be, even among priests, it opens the door to more priests to do this. Until now, not only did the priest have to be wise and holy, but he also had to have strong facility in Latin,” Fr Menke told Catholic News Service (CNS).

“It makes it easier for a priest who might otherwise be a good exorcist but who would be intimidated by a requirement to use a Latin text. Having it available in the vernacular means he can concentrate on prayer and on the ritual, without needing to worry about working in another language,” he explained.

The translation is from the rite that was revised following the Second Vatican Council. It was promulgated in Latin in 1999 and then slightly amended in 2004. The revised text draws from rituals used by the Catholic Church for centuries.

The USCCB approved the English translation at its 2014 fall general assembly. The Vatican gave its “recognitio,” or approval, of the translation earlier this year.

 Hearing prayers offered in English also can benefit the person seeking an exorcism, said Father Menke, who noted he is not an exorcist.

“The first and foremost reason for an exorcism is to rid the person of the demon. And whether the person understands what’s being said or not is irrelevant on one level. They just want to be free of this oppression,” he said.

“But at the same time, exorcists have told me that for some people it can be a big help to hear words that they understand, words that are consoling, words that remind them of the power of Christ over the demons. There’s a certain confidence that comes from hearing these words,” he said.

For others, hearing the exorcism rite carried out in Latin can be consoling in its own way, Fr Menke added, because the person “knows this is the prayer of the church.”

Ultimately, it is the exorcist who chooses which language to use during the rite.

The main part of the book is the rite of major exorcism, and it also includes an introduction outlining criteria for its use. The text affirms the reality of evil in the world and more so affirms the sovereignty of Jesus to overcome any and all evil.

Under canon law — Canon 1172 specifically — only those priests who receive permission from their bishops can perform an exorcism after proper training. Bishops automatically have the right to perform an exorcism and can share that authority with other priests.

While most of the book is for the use of exorcists, it also contains an appendix of prayers that anyone can use, offering familiar as well as little-known prayers, invocations and litanies. Titled “Supplications Which May Be Used by the Faithful Privately in Their Struggle Against the Powers of Darkness,” the collection of prayers will be particularly helpful for a person before or after an exorcism, as well as for family and friends who wish to pray for them.

But Fr Menke said the prayers in the appendix can bring comfort to anyone who prays them, whether or not an individual is undergoing an exorcism.

The appendix has been printed in a separate booklet, “Prayers Against the Powers of Darkness,” offered for sale by USCCB’s publishing arm.

“The book is meant to facilitate a very reflective kind of prayer,” he said. “It’s not something you read like prose. It’s meant to be a meditative, patient, trusting, quiet sort of prayer.”

Some sections of the booklet are arranged so that one prayer appears on a page, giving the user a chance to reflect on one thought or image of God’s healing power.

Repeatedly reflecting on the prayers can be part of the healing process for a person troubled by demons, Fr Menke said, because in many cases the rite must be performed several times “before the person finds definitive healing.” – catholic herald

Exorcist says there’s a demon that targets the family

ROME – There’s a demon that specialises in attacking the family, said exorcist César Truqui, a priest who participated in a 2015 course on exorcism held here, the CNA/EWTN News posted on its news portal on 25 Oct 2017.

Father Truqui warned that everything that is harming the family, including divorce, pleases the devil.

Speaking to the Italian weekly Tempi in 2015, the priest said that there is “a demon who specialises in the attack on the family, also cited in the story of Tobias, called ‘Asmodeus.’”

In the Old Testament book, the demon is known to have killed seven of Sarah’s husbands and was chained in the desert by the angel Raphael. The demon “is present” in many exorcisms, Fr Truqui said.

 The priest recalled encountering the demon “in exorcisms by Father Gabriele Amorth and Father Francisco Bamonte, whom I assisted.” The recently-deceased Fr Amorth was a renowned exorcist in Rome who has performed an estimated 70,000 exorcisms over the course of 29 years. Carrying out an exorcism can require multiple sessions and each time the rite is administered it is counted as one instance.

“I remember a young couple, very united, who wanted to get married, however, the woman had to undergo an exorcism to be set free,” Fr Truqi said.

During the exorcism “the demon was furious and threatened Fr Amorth in order to prevent the marriage, otherwise, he would kill the young woman. Obviously, it was a threat from the Liar which in fact did not happen.”

In that regard, the priest added that the devil also seeks to attack the family through ideologies and lifestyles, as well as individualistic thinking and the spread of divorce.

“They think ‘if I don’t like my husband anymore, I would be better off divorcing’ but they forget about the consequences to the children and society,” he said. “This mentality that works against the family pleases the devil – he knows that a man who is alone without any points of reference is manipulable and unstable.”

“Even today, and I’m more than 50 years old, just thinking that my mother and father love each other forever, I find comfort and courage. In contrast, the children of separated parents are more fragile and wavering,” he said.

 In 2014, Pope Francis gave an address to the Charismatic Renewal, in which he pointed out that the devil seeks to destroy families because that is where Jesus grows, in the midst of the love of the spouses and in the lives of their children.

“He grows in the love of the spouses, he grows in the lives of the children. And that’s why the enemy attacks the family so much. The devil does not love the family. He seeks to destroy it, he wants to eliminate love there,” he warned at Rome’s Olympic stadium before 52,000 people.

On that day Francis reminded that “families are these domestic churches. The spouses are sinners, like everyone, but they want to progress in the faith, in their fruitfulness, in the children and their children’s faith.”

And so he asked the Lord to “bless the family, make it strong, in this crisis in which the devil wants to destroy it.” – CNA/EWTN News

English class ends programme with trip to Serinsim Park

The group poses for the camera when they reach Serinsim Park Kota Marudu, 12 Oct 2017.

KOTA MARUDU – After a year of learning English, a group of learners from St Peter Claver Parish decided to celebrate the completion of their “English for Beginners” programme with a two-day trip to Serinsim Park here on 12-13 Oct 2017.

The group was accompanied by their tutors, the parish staff, SOCCOM members, Franciscan Sister Caroline Duli, and OFM Friar Aiden Peter Jr.

The trip was filled with laughter, jokes, splashes, barbeque, companionship, singing, hiking, prayer and sharing.

“We had a fantastic time. We all really enjoyed the event and everyone had great fun. The location was also excellent and it really suited us. The food was addictively delicious – all in all, it worked out very well and we were very happy with the thanksgiving event,” Sr Caroline said.

The parish organised the course from July 2016 to August 2017 for 40 participants.  However, only 12 were able to graduate from it.

Hilda Lajip, one of the participants, said she realised how fun writing can be in a different language.

“I’ve learned different writing techniques which are currently helping me. The writing techniques I have learned so far are how to organise and plan a paper which is comprehensible, related to subject matter and logical to the readers. I also have learned how to analyse, critique and evaluate resources, and finally how to express and translate the main idea of a subject matter. I strongly believe it is very beneficial for all of us. Because not only this course prepares you for your academic writing, but they also teach and prepare you well for your future. I would like to thank all my tutors for all their hard work, and making writing in a different language more fun for me and my classmates,” said Lajip.

Rayner Sausun also shared that it can be both easy and fun to learn English grammar if one goes about it with a positive attitude, an open mind and a clear goal for the learning experience.

For example, he said, what is the purpose of the student who wants to learn English grammar? Is it for school or to enhance work opportunities in the global economy? In order to succeed at work, it is almost a necessity to learn English grammar if one wants to be part of the greater global economy. In addition, if one wishes to attend school in an English-speaking country, one needs to understand the English language and learn English grammar in a way that will allow him or her to communicate with native English speakers both effectively and professionally.

Sausun added that a goal needs to be set as far as the time commitment that will be necessary to learn English grammar.

Friar Aiden Peter Jr  used the opportunity to reflect on the benefit of learning another language.

He said, “There are lots of good reasons to learn English, from the professional to the personal. It is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and more than 67 countries have English as their official or native language, more than any other language in the world. The majority of electronic communication is in English – being able to read and write emails is a big advantage. In addition, learning a language can give you a great sense of personal achievement and fulfilment. Some of the world’s best music, films, and TV shows are in English. Understanding the language will give you a better appreciation of these cultural highlights. Furthermore, speaking English will help you meet all kinds of people and make great friends especially with Ranau being a tourist spot. I hope that the English programme will continue to be a perfect jewel of an experience for all.”  – friar aiden peter jr ofm

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