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The sick are not forgotten in SHC parish fiesta

Joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit, Fellowship after Mass for the Sick, SHC, 23 June 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – The sick were not forgotten in the weeklong observance (June 19-25) of the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish fiesta here.

The parish organised a Mass for them on 23 June 2017, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.

Almost 500 parishioners turned up for the celebration presided by Archbishop John Wong, concelebrated with his four assistants Fathers Rhobby Mojolou, Mitchelly Kiun, Maxmillianno Hontor and Joshua Liew.

In his homily based on the liturgical readings, Abp Wong reiterated the invitation extended to all to rest in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The anointing of the sick by the concelebrants took place immediately after the Mass.  This was followed by refreshments at the parish centre prepared by the Women’s League.

The parish organises the Mass for the Sick twice a year: on February 11 – Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes/World Day of Prayer for the Sick – and on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart (movable feast).

Cathedral parish marks assistant pastor’s anniversary with a simple dinner

Family members join Fr Max to pose for the camera, SH canteen, 18 June 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish marked its assistant pastor’s priestly anniversary with a simple dinner per request of the honouree on 18 June 2017.

Over 200 people turned up for Father Maxmillianno Hontor’s third priestly anniversary dinner at the parish canteen including members of his family.

It was organised by the social committee of the parish pastoral council.

In his welcoming remarks, Jason Joenoi, PPC chairman, explained that the event was held at the canteen at the request of Fr Max himself.

The occasion was graced by Archbishop John Wong, the other three assistant pastors – Fathers Rhobby Mojolou, Mitchelly Kiun and Joshua Liew – and Msgr Nicholas Ong of Sandakan Diocese.

In his brief speech, Fr Max thanked the organising committee and all those present for commemorating his anniversary.  He asked them to continue praying for him as they journey together as a parish family.

Born in 1977, the honouree was ordained priest on 15 June 2014 in Inanam by Abp Wong.  He is the second priest from Inanam; the first is Fr Patrick Erik Jerome who is serving at St Peter’s College Kuching.  In September this year, another son of Inanam, Deacon Leslie Bingkasan will be ordained a Jesuit priest at St Catherine Inanam.


SHC celebrates Corpus Christi with candlelight procession

Fr Mojolou carries the monstrance as the procession moves from the cathedral to the parish centre, Corpus Christi, 17 June 2017, SHC.

KOTA KINABALU –  Sacred Heart Cathedral here celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) with a candlelight procession on 17 June 2017.

The procession started after the post-Communion prayer from the cathedral to the parish centre via the back lane through the two kindergartens.  Benediction was given by Father Rhobby Mojolou after a period of silent adoration.

Joining Fr Mojolou were Father Max Hontor, the extraordinary ministers of holy Communion (EMCs) who have just renewed their commitment to serve for another year after the homily, the LJCCC choir, and all the faithful present for the Sunset Mass.

Of the 32 EMCs, 13 serve during the cathedral’s Sunset Mass, 13 the Sunday Morning Mass, and six at the Morning Mass at the Carmelite Chapel.  Those serving in the Chinese and BM Masses would renew their commitment the next day at the 7 am Chinese Mass and 10:45 am BM Mass respectively.  Those serving in Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang would renew their commitment at the 9 am Mass.

Before Second World War (1939-1945), the Corpus Christi Procession was a grand annual affair and an open witness of the faith in many mission stations.  Everyone took part in it.  The religious, nurses, boy scouts and girl guides, students, groups, each dressed in their uniforms, would take part in the solemn procession.  This was replicated in the 1950s and 1960s.

Now in most churches, the procession is confined only to church premises.

SH Chinese pre-Confirmation class organises LSS camp

PAPAR – The Chinese Sunday School pre-Confirmation class of Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu  organised a Life in the Spirit (LSS) Camp for the students on 29 Apr – 1 May 2017 at Pace Bene Retreat Centre here.

The participants included 32 students, seven teachers and teacher-helpers. The camp was facilitated by the cathedral’s Young Adults Prayer Group. At the camp, the students learnt about God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Although it was a Chinese pre-confirmation class, the camp was conducted in English, with translations where needed. It was a great experience and opportunity for the students to encounter other youths outside their normal activities.

At first, it was slightly worrying whether the students would be able to understand English. But after a game called Captain Ball where they learned teamwork, the relationship between the facilitators and the participants took off and progressed.

The ministry session (praying over) was a new and different experience for many of the participants since they have no experience of it before. Many were confused at first, but as it continued, they soon learnt what it was.

They learned about God’s love, and experienced it, as well as His mercy and forgiveness, which moved them to tears. Many were amazed at how the Word of God spoke Truth to them.

The sessions helped the participants to connect from within, such as the parable of the  Prodigal Son, a short video clip When God Ran, and topics such as Who is God?, Who is Jesus? and Sin and Salvation. This led many to recognise their unhappiness, bondage, grief and a need for forgiveness.

The participants also learnt about the Holy Spirit according to the Bible. They were given the opportunities to ask questions, such as, How does Holy Spirit look like?, Is Holy Spirit a guy or a girl?   After the talk, the participants were led to an experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit in which they once more experienced the warm love of God.

Aside from the talks, ministry time and Captain Ball, there were also other dynamics such as group sharing, praise and worship, morning and night prayer and Eucharistic Mass. There were games that tested their creativity, alertness, awareness, strategy and planning skills. These different dynamics were important to help the growing of relationships among all, especially among the students themselves.

This was also the first experience for the Young Adult Prayer Group to facilitate such a camp for the Chinese-speaking group. Many admitted that they are being called out of their comfort zone and to be more flexible. Language was the main barrier but it did not stop them from loving and nurturing the young participants. Despite the language barrier, they have experienced the joy of being led by God to walk in deeper trust in Him. Natasha Jaya Kumar

Cathedral parish celebrates CCR golden jubilee worldwide in style

A section of the crowd present at the Pentecost Rally, SHPC, 4 June 2017.

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.

Family seminar draws 67 participants

A section of the participants listening intently to the talk on self-development process by Arita Pijulin, SHPC, 10 May 2017.

KOTA KINABALU –  A seminar on family life drew 67 participants held at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here on 10 May 2017.

The seminar was a joint collaborative project of the Family Issues, Catechetical and Youth Committees of the cathedral parish.

Themed My Family and I, the target group was the Sunday School students and their families.  Its objectives were in response to the issues brought up at the 2015 PAX Assembly, to cultivate better relationships among family members, and to build Christ-centred families.

Five sessions were given: (1) Communication and its Role in Family Relationships (parents) – Daria Joseph / The Meaning of Family (children) – Carmella E Ading; (2) Understanding and Forming Closer Ties with Our Children (parents) / Understanding the Process of Self-Development (children) – Arita Pijulin; (3) Challenges in My Family – sharing of present-day challenges faced by families and youth in their faith, and coping as a youth in this present day; (4) Family Healing Prayer – Wendy Chin; and (5) Hopes for My Family – BG Chin.

As this is an ongoing activity, the organisers expressed their hope that more children above 10 years old and their parents will take advantage of it so as to grow in their understanding and love for each other.

SH fiesta programme has something for everyone

KOTA KINABALU – The Sacred Heart Cathedral Fiesta programme has something for everyone.

The weeklong programme is scheduled for 19-25 June 2017.  Preparing for it will be the block rosary in the homes and taman Masses on all Fridays starting May 5 (1 taman), May 12 (4 tamans), May 19 (5 tamans), May 26 (5 tamans), June 9 (5 tamans) and June 16 (5 tamans).

In its fourth year now, the parish fiesta is aimed to help all parishioners to grow in oneness in mind and spirit as a parish family.  To this end, a special prayer has been composed for it.

A triduum of prayers will be held on the first three days  – Mon-Wed, June 19-21 – at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel from 7 am – 12 noon.  Parish groups (by language) will take turns to adore the Lord in the exposed Blessed Sacrament: Mon (BM); Tue (CH); and Wed (EN).  Benediction will be held at 11:45 am followed by Mass at 12:15 pm.  Talks related to the Feast of the Sacred Heart will be held in the evening at 7:30 pm: Mon (EN), Tue (CH) and Wed (BM).  The 6 am morning Mass will be on as usual.

Friendly soccer matches will be held on Wed June 21 at Penampang Stadium A, 4 pm – 5 pm.  Each team (SHC, CMI, St Paul Dontozidon, OLQP Kobusak, Aspirants/IY, Clergy) will play for 10 minutes (5 minutes in first half and 5 minutes in second half).

Another event for sports buffs is friendly badminton matches for all: veterans (ages 45-50), youth (12-17), others (18-45) in the following categories: individual, team, mixed double.  Registration begins on Apr 23.  Preliminary rounds are held every Sunday starting Apr 23.  The final rounds are held on Friday, June 23 from 2 pm to 5 pm.  All matches are held at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre.

The trilingual Eucharistic celebration at 7:30 pm on Thursday, June 22, will be the highlight of the weeklong celebration as it is the liturgical celebration of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, titular feast of the cathedral.  The clergy will prepare themselves for this celebration with a recollection in the morning.

The sick and the elderly of the parish will have their own Mass on Friday, June 23, at 10 am at the cathedral.  It will be followed by the anointing of the sick and concluded with a fellowship at the parish centre.

For movie buffs, a movie night will be held on Friday, June 23, at 7:30 pm at the parish centre.  A movie on family life will be screened.

The youths are not forgotten – they will organise the family night and dinner on Saturday, June 24 – based on the theme The Mighty One has done great things for me and holy is his Name (Lk 1:49). It will be a night to remember with cultural dances,  songs, and testimonies in different languages by the different parish groups and communities.  There will also be a surprise number.

The culmination of the weeklong celebration will be the parish family carnival on Sunday, June 25.  Parishioners are encouraged not just to enjoy the day but also to give back something in return in the form of a blood donation drive in front of G1, parish centre foyer after the 7 am Mass.

In addition, parishioners will get the opportunity to sample international dishes – Kadazandusun, Indonesian, Filipino, Korean, Western and others.  Not only that, there will also be a acultural show displaying the various types of cultural attire and explanation of their significance.

Moreover, parishioners can avail of the free professional advice/services of lawyers, doctors, and nurses at the different booths set up for them.  There will also be a special children booth.

Senior parishioners (60 years above) will have a designated coffee corner for them in gratitude for their past services and contributions to the parish.

Children will not only be performing on stage, but they will also take part in a bible quiz.  Younger ones will get the opportunity to play with inflatables.

Events on carnival day will intersperse with lucky draws.

Indeed, the organisers hope that parishioners will benefit from all the events drawn up and move towards becoming a parish family in heart and spirit.

Parish-level Women’s Day celebrated in a low-key manner

Members of the Archdiocesan Women Commission wait for Mass to begin, 3 Mar 2017, SHC.

KOTA KINABALU – The Catholic Women’s League of Sacred Heart Cathedral here and Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang celebrated a low-keyed International Women’s Day (IWD) on 3 March 2017 at the cathedral.

The IWD falls on March 8 every year.

Since the liturgical celebration that day was for the First Sunday of Lent, and the send-off of the catechumens to the Rite of Election the next day, the women’s celebration was only mentioned at the end of the Mass by Archbishop John Wong.  Concelebrating with him were Abp Emeritus John Lee and Father Rhobby Mojolou.

Representatives took part as gift-presenters during the Mass.

However, the women celebrators made it up at the dinner held at a local restaurant after the Mass.

SHC holds combined opening trilingual Way of the Cross outdoors

Abp Wong animates the faithful before the way of the cross begins, 3 March 2017, SHC compound.

KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) and Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI) parishioners of the three language groups turned up in drove for the combined opening of the weekly Way of the Cross at its outdoor Centenary Way of the Cross Monuments here on 3 March 2017.

The Way of the Cross is a traditional devotional practice during Lent worldwide.

Archbishop John Wong animated those present before the 14 stations were read out alternately in English, Bahasa Malaysia, and Mandarin.

After the opening event, SHC will hold it every Friday in the cathedral during Lent at 6 pm (English), 7 pm (BM) and 8 pm (Mandarin).  CMI will have it at 7 pm in English and Mandarin.

There will be a combined closing Way of the Cross at the monuments on Good Friday Apr 14 at 7 am with Passion Play.

SHC holds briefing for parish group leaders and representatives

A section of those present at the parish briefing, 2 March 2017, Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – As part of its journeying together, Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish here held a briefing for all group leaders and representatives on 2 March 2017 at its parish centre.

Around 150 representatives from the 70-odd groups/ministries/communities turned up for the briefing.

Those present were briefed by Monica Kong of the Parish Finance & Property Council on the proceeds collected during the fundraiser held on July 31 last year, the ongoing major renovations of the parish centre, and plan to acquire a new generator for the cathedral parish complex.  She asked for cooperation and understanding from all present.

In his turn, Jason Joenoi, chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, reminded all present about the upcoming weeklong parish fiesta (June 19-25).  A parish-level Pentecost rally will be held earlier on June 1-4 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal worldwide.

In its fourth year, the parish fiesta will continue with its theme Oneness in Heart and Spirit for the Parish Family.  As in the past, it will highlight the spiritual (triduum, Masses), physical (sports such as football and badminton matches), infotainment (movie night), with focus on special groups such as the clergy (Solemnity of Sacred Heart is also World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests), the sick (Mass for the sick with anointing), and families (family night, family carnival).  There will also be a blood donation drive (love of neighbour).

Archbishop John Wong, as pastor of the cathedral parish, stressed to those present to see the church as a home.  As such, they should take care of the premises and facilities as they would their own homes.  He admonished them to observe the guidelines in the use of facilities, to ask permission from the pastors before inviting outside speakers for seminars/talks, and to contribute to and promote Sabah’s only Catholic paper.

Both Joenoi and Abp Wong stressed on the need for all to cooperate and collaborate in the journey ahead as did Father Rhobby Mojolou the emcee.

The briefing concluded with a videoclip on Jesuit Father James Martin’s “Be Kind” mediation for the Lenten season before the final prayer-blessing by the prelate.

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