Tag Archives: pastoral letter

Keningau Diocese to begin last lap of preparation for diocesan silver jubilee with a day of reparation

File picture: Bishop Cornelius Piong receives the pastoral staff from Archbishop Peter Chung of Kuching at his episcopal ordination on 6 May 1993, Katedral St Francis Xavier Keningau.  Co-consecrators were Archbishop Soter Fernandez of Kuala Lumpur and Bishop John Lee of Kota Kinabalu.

PENAMPANG – Keningau Diocese will begin the last lap of preparation for its diocesan silver jubilee with a day of reparation on 15 Sept 2017.

In his pastoral letter issued for the forthcoming celebration, Bishop Cornelius Piong writes: I would like to invite all the faithful …the entire diocesan community to have a day of reparation or sogit as our expression of peace with our Lord Jesus whom we have hurt and our fellow believers.

The day scheduled, the bishop adds,  is Sept 15 in conjunction with the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, at 6 pm, and “we can fill it with fasting, praying the Rosary, Mass and moments of silence.”

This is because, he continues, “For over 24 years walking together as the People of God in Keningau Diocese, we realise and admit that we, as individuals and as a community, have done wrong to God and our neighbours.”

The prelate explains further: We, as priests, religious, wives and husbands, are aware of our sins against God, to whom we have made our promises of loyalty.  These sins have also affected adversely our community.

The letter, posted Sept 6 on the diocesan website, reminds the faithful of the silver jubilee theme: The Family centred on Christ with a culture of worshipping God, strong faith and social responsibility.

It points out the need to be alert and aware of the tricks of the devil in that “societal values that emphasise success, efficiency, status and power” can be used by the devil to influence “our leadership and service styles without our awareness.”

The bishop says that the spirit of humility can only be inculcated through time spent with Jesus in the Eucharist, adoration and prayer, in listening and reflecting on His Word and in sensitivity to His Presence in the family and community.  “Only our union with Jesus will enable us to carry out our commitment – whether as married couples, religious, clergy – with joy (cf Jn 15:11),” he exhorts.

The Keninagu Diocese was erected on 6 May 1993 with Msgr Cornelius Piong as bishop.  The silver jubilee celebration of the diocese, as well as the bishop’s 25 years of episcopal ministry, is scheduled for 5 May 2018.  The year-long preparation for the double celebration was launched by Bishop Piong on May 6 this year in Toboh Tambunan.

Archdiocesan head urges pastoral leaders to reach the grassroots in countering identified issues

word from pastorKOTA KINABALU – In his Pastoral Letter released on 7 Jan 2016, Archbishop John Wong urged all pastoral leaders – clergy, religious, lay – to “turun padang” or reach the faithful at grassroots level in countering the three identified issues presented at the 2015 PAX Assembly.

The full text:

I am writing this letter to you at a special time: Christmastide, when we rejoice and celebrate the Incarnation of God.  It reminds us of the love to us sinners.  This time is also the beginning of a new year when new resolutions are made.  I pray that each of you will start afresh in Christ as you start the year 2016.  But above all, as Catholics, this is also a time when the Jubilee Year of Mercy has just started.  So, this is really a God-given moment for us, the kairos.

We have just concluded an important event in our Archdiocese, namely the 2015 PAX Assembly.  More than 200 delegates were there at Pace Bene from 8-11 November 2015 and about half of them for the first time.  The Assembly has three specific objectives: (a) to strengthen togetherness as a diocesan community, (b) to heighten awareness on the critical issues of secularisation, apathy and Islamisation affecting the local Church, and (c) to present the Pastoral Thrust as our way to help our communities to face the identified issues.

You might remember that prior to the Assembly, all parishes were requested to organise Parish Consultations at various levels, where views and opinions were gathered with the aim to gauge the awareness of our people regarding issues affecting us in our country and our communities.  Reports of the consultations were presented to the Assembly and it was clear that the three critical issues were quite prevalent throughout our Archdiocese.

However, the reports also revealed that many of our people were unable to give a satisfactory answer to who we are in this country and what is our mission.  There seems to be an identity crisis.  This may be one of the causes why we are vulnerable to the phenomena of secularisation, Islamisation and apathy.

As a way to address this, the Archdiocese has come up with a Pastoral Thrust.  The Thrust is not something totally new.  It derives from our DOPP, especially the various elements in our Diocesan Vision and Mission.  It offers a three-fold movement of (a) Go Inward, (b) Go Smaller, and (c) Go Outward.

At the end of the PAX Assembly, I have urged all delegates to continue the process.  We need to help our communities to systematically counter the issues of secularisation, Islamisation and apathy.  We can begin with the following steps:

(a) Choose a suitable time to hold Mini-PAXes or Parish Pastoral Assemblies (PPAs).  This has to be done latest by end of August 2016.
(b) Open them to as many people as possible. For bigger parishes, this can be done in various places.
(c) The content of sharing and talks in the Mini-PAXes/PPAs should be based on local situations and not entirely from the PAX Assembly. I would suggest you study, digest and share your parish consultation report and come up with concrete actions to address the issues.
(d) The Organising Committee should comprise the priests and Parish Pastoral Councillors.
(e) Try to blend your programme within the spirit and aim of the Jubilee of Mercy.
(f) The importance of the role of the Family in dealing with the issues is to be emphasised.
(g) Parishes may wish to seek help from the three Archdiocesan Resource Teams whenever necessary.
(h) After organising the Mini-PAXes or PPAs, parishes are to send in their reports to the Archdiocese on how they have organised them and what their outcome is.

In our Diocesan Vision, the element of “journeying together” is an important feature of our life in this Archdiocese.  I hope you will realise that all our activities are part and parcel of our journeying together, providing pastoral care to our people and help them to deal with issues that could undermine their faith.  Please encourage initiatives from among parishioners to begin the Pastoral Thrust at individual and group levels.

In our effort to pastor those under our care, may we learn to be “merciful like the Father.”  May Mary our Mother intercede for us as we learn to be more Christ-like in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.  Let us do this because “the love of God urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14).

God bless you all.

Yours in Christ,
Most Rev John Wong
Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord
3 January 2016


Copyright © 2018. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.