Tag Archives: 2017-8

Familis FC wins friendly football match over diocesan aspirants

Friendly match between diocesan aspirants and families fc Inanam, 2 July 2017, Padang Wisma Wanita Jalan Tuaran.

KOTA KINABALU – On Sunday afternoon, 2 July 2017,  the diocesan aspirants were invited to a friendly football match with a team from Inanam, team Familis FC, held in Padang A, Padang Wisma Wanita Jalan Likas off Tuaran.

The friendly match was a part of the aspirants’ activities to promote vocation to the priesthood and as outreach to the public.

The team Familis FC comprised footballers with a few members from the State football team and some from St Catherine Inanam football club.

Both teams played well. It was a high-spirited game of skills and endurance as both teams employed their various skills and strategies to score the goals.

Familis FC proved to be stronger as they skillfully weaved through the aspirants’ defenses to score goals for their team. The aspirants fought valiantly and constantly strategised their attacks and defenses.

In the end, Familis FC won the match with the score 9-2 after a long battle.

After the friendly match, both teams exchanged gestures of good sportsmanship and goodwill as brothers-in-Christ.  Timothy G

Sibu Diocese holds inaugural Diocesan Youth Day

A presentation from one of the groups, Sibu Diocesan Youth Day, 6-10 June 2017.

SIBU, Sarawak – Over 200 youth from 12 parishes of Sibu Diocese joined the inaugural Sibu Diocesan Youth Day (SDYD) on 6-10 June 2017 at the Sibu Pastoral Centre Kemunyang here. The five days and four nights

The five-day-four-night programme was attended by youth from various races including Iban, Melanau, Kenyah, and others.

With the theme 4G+ (Green | Grass | Grace | God) “Perfect love drives out fear’’ (1 John 4:18), the youth were given the formation on the Theology of the Body, a session given by speaker Remy Martin Gunsalam of Splendour Project Kota Kinabalu

The programme focused on the original identity, body, sexuality, pure love and reflections on God’s original plan for us. Youths learned the need to go back to their origin, from solitude to unity in order to understand God’s original plan for the human body.

The youth have been called to break the barrier of language, the fear of understanding through various sessions, workshops, and sharing. Most importantly, they learned to let go of their phones and gadgets and all their worries, and learned to put their total trust on God’s original plan. They were also taught the various forms of prayers, participated in games,

They were also taught the various forms of prayers, participated in games, workshops and performances to boost their confidence in speaking. They also learned to share their hardships and weaknesses with one another.

Youths were reminded that humankind is God’s masterpiece, a unique creation, each with different purposes and a gift to one another. They are called to rejoice in their uniqueness in bad times and in good times, called to accept their imperfections, and to be united in their family, community, school and in the society.

Elijah, from Christ the King Church, Bintangor said, “I felt lonely to have only one colour in the 1st workshop, I couldn’t find my true self if I didn’t mingle with others.” For it is only through the sharing of colours and the initiative to ask that one can find oneself.

They also learned that ‘nakedness’ is freedom; free from any desire, free in communication, free in giving and acceptance. Though Adam and Eve were both naked yet they were not ashamed, because they were free; the body and the soul are in harmony with each other. It is sin that destroys the body and soul. Thus the first diabolical plan that Satan did was to create division in family, church community and society. Eventually it brings the culture of  ‘deaths’: D – ivorce, E – uthanasia, A – bortion, T – otal Populations Control, H – omosexuality and S – ex Education.

Youths were given time for reflection and sharing session with religious brothers and sisters. They felt relieved to have someone listen to their problems and struggles. Geraldine Anne from St Alphosus Julau said she thanked God for giving her a companion who helped her to fight her struggles and face it with faith.

Ashley Joyce of Sts Peter & Paul Church, Mukah shared, “This youth day has touched me in many ways that I couldn’t explain. During one-on-one sharing with a companion, I was scared to let someone know the troubles I’ve hidden for so long. But my companion was so accepting and loving so I didn’t hold anything back. I just let go and told her everything. When she prayed over me I could feel the Holy Spirit moving in me through her hands and through her prayers for me. I don’t say that my troubles would immediately disappear but I know I could do this through Him who strengthens me. This has made me feel like I want to be part of the SDYD committee, because I want to reach out and help others too.”

At the closing Mass, Bishop Joseph Hii Teck Kwong emphasised on what God has planted in each person.  He said humans desire unity with one another. Youths are green and pure and they should put on chastity, “Galau” (means preserve in Iban) sex for marriage. He added another two ‘G’ from the original theme ‘4G+’ which is the

He added another two ‘G’ from the original theme ‘4G+’ which is the ‘Galau’ and lastly ‘Go‘ –  to ‘Go’ and share the things they learned from SDYD to the world especially in their own parishes. The next SDYD will be in 2020! Anna Faustina

Kobusak HDC organises health screening and identity card check services

Health screening, Our Lady Queen of Peace Kobusak, 9 July 2017.

KOBUSAK, Penampang – Shortly after the celebration of Mass on 9 July 2017, the Human Development Committee of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church here organised health screening and MyKad (Identity Card) services for the Catholic community of Kg Kobusak.

The health screening was carried out by KOSPEN Nosoob Baru and KOSPEN Kobusak.

These social services were part of the activities carried out in conjunction with the blood donation campaign held in collaboration with Likas Hospital Blood Bank unit. An estimated crowd of 150 people participated in the various programmes.

Despite only nine pints of blood were collected from the campaign held for the first time within the church compound, the organising committee is determined to promote the blood donation drive by planning to provide this service semiannually.

A total of 74 men, women and children aged 12 years and above came forward to have their MyKad (Identity Card) checked. While the majority were relieved to find their basic individual details in correct order, some were surprised to find their Kadazan ethnicity identified as Sino-native.

In view of its objectives to promote a greater awareness and practical action to protect rivers particularly among local communities, CLEAR (Community-Led Environmental Awareness for our River) was hands-on with the community present by displaying skill activity in soap-making using natural products, an interest well taken by the women group.

A personal approach and close cooperation with communities at grass-root level and the Basic Ecclesiastical Communities (BEC) will continue to be among actions identified for future programmes by the organising committee.Jennifer Majalap

Dontozidon LOM organises recollection day on Marian theme

PENAMPANG – Our Lady Queen of All Saints Dontozidon praesidium organised a one-day recollection at Bamboo House in Kg Notoruss on 17 June 2017 with the theme “Sharing the Joy of Faith like Mary.”

The recollection, facilitated by Franciscan Sister Dora Obod, the praesidum’s Spiritual Director, was attended by 32 active and auxiliary legionaries from the praesidia of Our Lady Queen of All Saints Dontozidon, Our Lady of Grace Kg Kopungit and Our Lady of Sorrow Kg Kolopis.

The legionaries reflected on the ‘Magnificat,’ Mary’s song of praise, also known as the Canticle of Mary. They were encouraged to emulate Mary’s life, which is in full union and cooperation with the Holy Spirit, echoing her fiat “I am the servant of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy word’.

They were also invited to be open to God, not only to follow the rules, but to be able to love one another and to do the will of God with a clear conviction that God speaks to us.

A few members stepped forward to share their joys, sorrows, challenges and respective ways to remain loyal and to live up to their promise.

Praying with Mary especially in her daily rosary and faithful accomplishing of weekly assignment of works of mercy since 33 years ago, Angeline Hunggim from Our Lady of Sorrow Kg Kolopis testified to the presence and powerful intervention of God in her vocation, family and personal life. – Jennifer Majalap

Stella Maris hosts Mass for 27 Penang visiting clergy

Parishioners and visiting clergy pose for remembrance after Mass, 17 July 2017, Stella Maris Tg Aru.

TANJUNG ARU –  Twenty-five priests and two bishops from Penang Diocese visited Kota Kinabalu for three days for their bi-annual outing programme on 17-19 Jul7 2017. They were led by Bishop Sebastian Francis, The last two years they were in Kuching, Sarawak.

On their first day of arrival, Stella Maris Parish was chosen to be their venue for concelebrating the evening Mass. The ministries and groups of the parish were represented at the Mass and fellowship.

In his homily, presider Bishop Sebastian expressed his opinion on being one united Church in Malaysia.

“Working together towards the success of building God’s kingdom is important,”  the bishop said.

He also said that at the recent Malaysian Catholic Campus Students Day in Penang, there were 900 undergraduates who participated, of whom half were from Sabah.

He added that the nine bishops in Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak and Semenanjung) would meet for the Malaysian Bishops Conference in Sabah this November.

Bishop Sebastian also said that in July 2018, Johor Baru would host a first-ever conference for clergy in Malaysia.

A fellowship followed after Mass, in which parish priest Msgr Primus Jouil was able to join them on his return from his parish visit to Labuan. – Teresa Alberto

Fr Rhobby writes from Rome

Father Rhobby Mojolou, 31, has been sent by Archbishop John Wong to take up a licentiate course in Sacred Scriptures.  From Urbino Rome he writes:

As the parish was approaching the Solemnity of Pentecost, the readings on the last discourse of Jesus during the daily and weekend Masses accompanied me as I prepared to make my exit from parish life.

After three years in the priesthood, God gave me the blessed opportunity to embark on a new journey, which is to go and further my studies. This sounds daunting and people have often asked me how I felt? I could only say that I have mixed feelings – excited, worried and sad. Allow me to explain what I mean.

First of all, I am excited because I have been deemed worthy to undertake such a big task – to seize this once in a lifetime chance to immerse into the Sacred Scripture. To accomplish this, I am required to learn different languages, namely Greek, Hebrew, Italian, and Latin. Besides these, what other languages are there in store for me, I have yet to find out.

For now, I am in Urbino Italy to undergo a 3-month Italian language course. Just to apply for this course through the scholarship of Propaganda Fidei has not been easy. My sincerest gratitude to Archbishop John Wong for having the confidence in me to give it a shot.

Secondly, I am worried because I may disappoint the hopes of everyone, being fully aware of my weaknesses and limitations.

The archbishop has given me assurance during my last meeting with him, that he would continue to pray for me, and has encouraged me to just enjoy my studies and gain as much experience as I could. In short, I am to try my best and God will do the rest.

Having journeyed for the past five years in the parishes of Sacred Heart Cathedral and St Paul Dontozidon, I am confident that all of you will continue to journey with me in prayer and in spirit during my four years’ of studies, as you have always done during my time in the parishes.

Lastly, I am sad because ‘every good thing must come to an end’. With a heavy heart, I have to leave everything behind and embark on this new journey. You may not be with me but we are never apart. I may lose you for now but you are not lost to me. You may be gone but never missing from my heart.

Having been with all of you in these past five years, we have forged a close bond with each other that has given me a keen sense of belonging. There have been ups and downs but they were there so that we could learn to manage them and put our differences aside for the glory of God. Yes, there were arguments and misunderstandings but that is how families are. We “fight” but we reconcile and continue to experience God’s love and mercy.

During the last priests’ recollection in preparation for the Day of Sanctification for Priests, our recollection master quoted Pope Francis being asked about what he enjoyed most before being a pope. He answered that he actually enjoyed being a parish priest, doing parish work.

I reflected on it, ‘what do I enjoy about being a priest?’ Well, I enjoyed having the greatest opportunity to experience God’s love in the people I serve. A priest may not be married but he is not alone. Well, he is practically alone but he is not lonely. As I I have experienced, it has been a joy to serve each and every one of you.

Many say that the Cathedral parish is not an easy parish; that it is a demanding parish. But I was not walking alone; I always have someone to walk with me along the way; someone to always push, encourage and affirm me of my identity as priest; even at my lowest point when I felt I did not prepare well for my homilies, and when I was stressed. God always sent someone to just say, “You are doing well” or “Thank you for the good homily” or “Thank you for being a priest” or “Don’t give up”. These may seem simple but I do appreciate these gestures and I am sure all the other priests also experience these same wonderful moments.

As I penned my thoughts, I have already spent a week or so in Italy. It has been difficult because many priests from all walks of life and from many different countries are also here to study. It is a joy to meet all of them, but also a challenge to communicate with them because of our different languages. Not all could speak English. Some could only speak French, or Chinese, or Spanish, or Italian, or in their own native language. But everyone is eager to learn Italian so that we could really share our thoughts and experience.

Now that I am in Urbino, the place for my intensive Italian course, I am looking forward to experience more of God’s love through my studies. This place is truly amazing. The atmosphere, scenery, architecture, and culture – there is so much to take in for the moment. Words could not express what my senses perceive. Seeing is truly believing.

Someone once shared with me “We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere”.  As I bid “arrivederci” (“goodbye” in Italian) to all, once again I say ‘thank you,’  and please continue to pray for me. Be assured of my prayers for all of you. (7 July 2017)

Veteran EMC shares his experience in the Eucharistic ministry

KOTA KINABALU – Fresh from the re-commissioning of the extraordinary ministers of communion (EMC) during the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ at Sacred Heart Cathedral here on 18 June 2017, Francis Liew, from among the longer serving EMCs (more than 30 years), shared with Catholic Sabah what it means to be a minister of Holy Communion.

There is no more intimate moment in our lives than when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, and in return, with love and gratitude, we offer Him ourselves to serve Him present in the assembly by ministering His Body and Blood to our brothers and sisters, Liew said.

In a nutshell, Liew said, our willingness to serve as an ECM not only means our response in living out our baptismal call to serve God by serving His people, but also a commitment to Christ in sharing the teachings and traditions of the Church.

“We also serve by taking Communion to those members who are prevented by sickness, old age, or other causes from taking part in the gathering for Mass, thereby contributing to the unity of the entire worshipping community,” he added.

Recalling his days in the seminary, the EMC felt perhaps his seminary background has provided a familiarity with the liturgical aspects, which led to a better understanding and the required discipline. His days as an altar server too served a purpose.

Notwithstanding that, Liew opined that the periodic reflection, yearly re-commissioning, and reminders of expectations and standards required by the diocese go a long way to enable the ECMs to maintain their faithfulness and commitment in fulfilling their role.

Serving in this role entails the discipline of preparation by prayer and meditation so that “we are able to fulfill the role with reverence that is due to the Lord,”  said Liew.

He fervently believes that the practice of ‘silence’ predisposes the minister to first acknowledge who it is that he is serving, and that “handling the Communion” is not out of the ordinary things he does. – CS

Family Life Commission organises inaugural consultation

Discussion in progress, Family Life Consultation, 7-9 July 2017 BTRC.

BUNDU TUHAN – For the first time, the Archdiocesan Commission of Family Life organised a consultation with all Parish Family Life Committees (PFLCs) in the archdiocese on 7-9 July 2017 at Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre. They were joined by the Keningau and Sandakan PFLCs.

The consultation was held with three objectives:  1) To identify and update the role and function of Family Life Commission and parish Family Life Committee; 2) To update and standardise contents and implementation methods of the Pre-Marriage Course; and 3) To respond to the call of Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis.

It was attended by 132 delegates.

At the Apr 23-26 Episcopal Regional Commission for Family Life meeting in Majodi Centre, Johor Bahru, Pauline Pinso, from the KK Commission said, the challenges identified that are affecting Christian family life are secularisation, Islamisation, including converting to other denominations, and an increasing number of divorces in marriages less than seven years old.

Main facilitator Father Charles Chiew of Keningau diocese said that the focus of the consultation in achieving the three objectives would contribute to the realisation of a proper service structure for family life.

Based on the methodology ‘Experience-Reflection-Action,’ the committee members discussed their role and function based on their current activities. From the discussions, they discovered that the function of the PFLC is geared more towards implementing pre-marriage courses.

In line with the archdiocesan service to families, with emphasis on the pastoral approach as a way to solve issues affecting families, the committee members suggested a number of additional activities to broaden their role and function, servicing not only couples who are getting married, but also offering pastoral care for single mothers, young families, senior citizens, divorced couples, and troubled families.

On the Pre-Marriage Course, the consultation revealed that although all parishes are referring to the same Pre-Nuptial Course book, there are differences in terms of contents and methods of implementation in each parish.

The cause for these differences is pinned down to a lack of specific objectives in each topic (10 topics) of the course, which opens to a variety of interpretation, and ultimately leading to diverse decisions by the committees, including the parish priests.

In response to the finding, the commission would process the combined reports to provide the objectives for each pre-nuptial topic, as well as to improve its contents and methods of implementation. There is also a suggestion to standardise the course to enable it to be used in all three arch/dioceses.

Responding to the question by the committee members about the time frame for the whole process, Sister Suzan Guntabid fsic, head of KK Family Life Commission asked for a lead time of a year or more as she acknowledged that the process would require a longer time frame.

“After taking into consideration your opinions and inputs, the commission will combine the reports. We will sit again to fine-tune the documents, and for this, we propose that all heads of Family Life Committees sit down with us. After that, the commission will make recommendations to the archbishop,” said Sr Suzan.

Sr Suzan also said that this will not be the last consultation, but that communication will be continued. All PLFCs can still voice their opinions and suggestions through the WhatsApp application fronted by the Commission. Linda Edward

India to host next Asian Youth Day in 2020

Card Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, together with Indian Church officials and some of the Indian youth delegation receive the simple bamboo AYD cross from their Indonesian counterparts for the next AYD to take place in three years’ time.

The next Asian Youth Day will take place in India in 2020, the second time the South Asian nation will be hosting the continental-level Catholic Church event since 2003, the Vatican Radio announced on 7 Aug 2017.

Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias made the announcement on Aug 6 at the end of the concluding Mass of the 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD7)which he presided over in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

The venue of the AYD8 will be discussed and decided upon by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

Among those who flanked Card Gracias, the main celebrant, at the altar were Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila and Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta, who delivered the homily in Bahasa Indonesia.

“We do realise our differences: We are of different nationalities, different languages, different cultures, and so on,” noted the archbishop who is president of Indonesia’s bishops’ conference (KWI).  “However, in this event, we do realise and experience that those differences cannot separate us, but the differences show the richness of the united humanity instead. It proves that the power of faith, hope and love unites us.”

Abp Suharyo wished that the AYD7 help the young people to “diligently and faithfully live out the Gospel so that we may be filled with the joy of the Gospel.”

Thus, he added,  “our life could mirror the glory of the Lord, which changes our lives.”

The Asian Youth Day in Indonesia, on the theme, “Joyful Asian Youth! Living The Gospel in Multicultural Asia,” was divided into three phases.

It began with over 2000 participants  from 21 Asian countries living with local families in the country’s 11 dioceses, July 30-August 2.  The delegates then converged in Yogyakarta, Indonesia’s cultural and intellectual heartland, for the main event, Aug 2-6, which concluded on Sunday with a Mass, marked by a rich display of cultural diversity that both Indonesia and Asia are famous for.

This was evident in the flags, including of the Vatican, traditional and ethnic costumes, decoration, singing, music, and dancing accompanied by traditional musical and percussion instruments, both during and after the final Mass.

While the young people headed back home, the youth animators and ministers remained behind for the final phase of the AYD7 – the Asian Youth Ministers’ Meeting (AYMM) in Yogyakarta, Aug 6-9.

The AYD featured talks and workshops on aimed at building mutual respect in Asia’s diverse, multicultural population, caring for the environment and learning how to be missionaries in a digital world.   As part of the multicultural aspect and in an effort to address growing fundamentalism in the area, the event hosted several encounters between Christian, Islamic and other religious leaders.

Among the participants in the AYD7 were 52 bishops, 6 cardinals, 158 priests and 41 men and women religious. Among Asia’s prominent Catholic leaders at the meet were Cardinal Gracias, the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) and member of the Pope’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers, Bangladeshi Card Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka, the chairman of FABC’s Office of Laity and Family, under which comes the Youth Desk that organises the AYDs in collaboration with the host bishops’ conference, and Card Tagle, the president of Caritas Internationalis, the federation of national Catholic charity organisations worldwide.

Among several Indonesian government authorities at the closing Mass were Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and Governor Sultan Hamengku Buwono X of Yogyakarta.

Held for the first time in Hua Hin, Thailand, in 1999, AYDs have been held in intervals of two, three ‎and five years.   Taipei, Taiwan hosted it in 2001, followed by Bangalore, India in 2003, Hong Kong in 2006,  Imus, the Philippines in 2009 and Daejeon, South Korea, in 2014, which Pope Francis attended. – Vatican Radio

Obediently listening

I just wish I knew God more,” she said matter-of-factly. “I mean, I just want to feel God.”

While this particular congregant’s woes are distinct to her story, her desire is something that is often echoed throughout Scripture, as well as in many current conversations in the church. There’s a deep longing to connect with God, for our desires to be fulfilled through God. And from what it seems like in our current reality, there are a lot of people who want to experience some sort of deep rest with God.

But ask anyone, and it seems like rest is the last thing possible in the relentless schedules of our days, weeks, months, and years. It would seem that we have grown up with a “go, go, go” mentality in which we have been measured by productivity for as long as we can remember.

In school, we are measured with tests, in family, we are compared with other family members, in friend groups, we’re measured on whether we’re good enough, and in society, we are met with an endless list of standards and expectations.

It seems like we can’t escape these expectations and unrealistic ideals anywhere we turn. Some of us turn to the church, hoping for refuge and maybe even a dose of peace. But we find, as from the passage today, that we are confronted with the jargon of “obey” and “diligently observe.”

In taking a look at the original language to gain some clarity, we find that the word translated as “obedience” is “shama.” Shama, while sometimes translated as “obedience,” is also translated “to hear,” “to listen,” and “to understand.”

Could it be that obedience might also mean that hearing, listening, and understanding are involved? Is it possible that to be obedient, or “to obey,” would include stopping, breathing slower, and becoming aware of what is before you? Could this passage mean that obedience might require us to be still? That to “obey the Lord your God” might mean listening or hearing God?

Listening to God could mean a whole host of things.   What does it mean to listen to God? What does that look like (or sound like)?

I think that every person can listen to God in various ways. However, I do think that a key aspect of listening to God, to truly hearing God, begins with the invitation to silence. An invitation to quiet your surroundings, to release your inner critic, to give yourself a break from strategising, and to simply be. To simply be with the one who has created you, who has been with you since your first breath, and has called you “Beloved” at every moment.

Obedience might begin with a deep inhale of rest and an exhale of “Here I am.” As you lean in, listen, and open yourself up to the one who was, is, and always is open to you, “…all these blessings shall be upon you and overtake you…” (v 2a). – Inallthings.org

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