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Stella Maris Parish launches its vision and mission

The Boys Brigade (11th Stella Maris KK Company) carries the statue of Mary Star of the Sea during the entrance procession, 28 Oct 2017, Stella Maris Tg Aru.  Photo: Ben Wong

TANJUNG ARU – Stella Maris Parish here launched its vision and mission statements on 28 Oct 2017 during the Sunset Mass.

The day was held with prayers and talks by Father Peter Abas, and sharings about the Vision and Mission by Arthur Asai, Sister Carmen Cardova FSIC, and Comeswell Egol, followed by the rosary prayer led by the Legion of Mary and a procession of the statue of Mary, Star of the Sea carried by the Boys Brigade. It was a simple, beautiful and meaningful launching of the Vision and Mission.

The next step would be the drawing up of objectives sometime in November.

In August 2017, Fr Abas, assistant pastor, called for a meeting to brainstorm to “create a vision that is being inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

The objective of the first workshop on Aug 26 was to work on the Vision. Seventy-six parishioners representing 25 ministries, groups and families came to brainstorm. The workshop was guided by Dominic Lim. He gave the guidelines on 1) how to go about it, 2) what is the meaning when we create a vision, and 3) how do we put across our ideas and what is/and is not important.

After some debate, the group came out with the following statement:

A Christ Centred Parish Family journeying together – strengthened by the Holy Spirit and empowered by the Word of God in creating an evangelising community.

The Mission Statement stated below came out during a meeting on Sept 30:
“We, the Parish Family commit ourselves to a life of:
1)    Ongoing personal and communal renewal
2)    Proclaiming Christ, empowered by the Word of God, and guided by the teachings of the Church
3)    Nurturing the parish family life through prayers and Sacraments
4)    Evangelising missionary spirit, promoting unity in communities, and respecting the values of other faiths

Below are some comments by those involved:

Sr Carmen Cordova: The Vision and Mission challenge us to achieve unity, and be a better Catholic.

Arthur Asai: We will know our direction with this parish Vision and Mission.

Comeswel Egol: As a parish family, we will be stronger with the Vision and Mission, and as a youth leader, it will help me to guide the youth and to show them the direction to go. – Teresa Alberto/Jeremy Chin

 

140 attend talk on family by Redemptorist priest

A section of the participants at the talk on family, Stella Maris Tg Aru, 9 Sept 2017.

TANJUNG ARU – One hundred and forty people attended a talk on the family by Redemptorist priest Fr Patrick Massang on 9 Sept 2017 at the Stella Maris parish hall here.

The attendees came from Sacred Heart Cathedral KK,  St Simon Likas, St Thomas Kepayan, Stella Maris Tg Aru, and Holy Family Terawi.

A nursery for young children was organised so that the parents could focus on the sessions based on the theme Legacy of the Holy Family.

Fr Massang covered topics related to the archdiocesan pastoral thrust of “Go Inward, Go Smaller, Go Outward” as a way to tackle the challenges generally faced by the parishes in the archdiocese.

Fr Massang spoke about himself, the “Go Inward” to know his talents particularly on art and music, and how they had helped him to recognise God’s call to the priestly vocation.

He then spoke about “Go Smaller” related to stories from “small beginnings,” about his own family and his own experiences as a son, a brother and a servant of God, and how he journeyed through life being supported by a loving mother. He was the 13th in a brood of 15 brothers and sisters.

“Go Outward” relates to how all these events and experiences are connected to his passion of being called by God to serve as His priest, and how God used him to reach out to people through his skills and talents.

He advised parents to be anchors for their children, while at the same time to know when to let go. He also cautioned that what they wish for their children may not be what the children aspire for their own lives. He encouraged parents to recognise the talents of their children, and to develop these talents by helping and walking them through the journey of growing up.

Fr Massang also emphasised family values such as remembering birthdays, Mothers’ day, learning to appreciate, expressions of love, praying together, making family prayers  a priority in the family agenda.

In just six hours, Fr Massang managed to cover topics on bullying, youths being the foundation of a parish, being Christ-centred parishioners, and how to pray communally and personally.

Since 2016, Stella Maris Parish has organised faith formation talks, beginning with the Women Faith Formation, and followed by one for men. – Teresa Alberto

Stella Maris holds inaugural assembly to formulate parish vision and mission

The delegates listen intently to Dominic Lim as he explains the need for a parish vision and mission, Stella Maris Tg Aru, 26 Aug 2017.

TANJUNG ARU – Stella Maris parish here held an inaugural assembly to formulate the vision and mission for the parish on 26 Aug 2017.

The assembly consisted of 72 delegates representing 30 parish ministries and groups.

The assembly began with Bible enthronement by Father Peter Abas.

Dominic Lim enlightened the parishioners on the importance of a parish vision.  He emphasised that the process of formulation among the parishioners is important.  The ‘why and how’ that would arise from the formulation would give a clearer direction for the parish and her future leaders.

This was followed by ten small discussion groups who came up with a first draft which later was clustered by five main groups to further crystalise the vision.

With the intervention of the Holy Spirit, the main groups consented unanimously to the proposed Vision.

Fr Abas was confident that the parishioners of Stella Maris could formulate a well-defined vision led by the Holy Spirit. He said the next move is to work on the mission once the vision is approved by the parish priest.  The mission session would be held on  30 Sept 2017.

Fidelity highlighted at FSIC combined jubilee celebration

The jubilarians (with bouquets and corsages) L-R Sr Regina, Sr Imelda, Sr Ignatia (on wheelchair), Sr Stella (on wheelchair), Sr Martha, Sr Rita, Sr Rosalind – pose with the concelebrants and Mother General Sr Grace Deosing (extreme L) after Mass, 7 Oct 2017, Stella Maris Tg Aru.

TANJUNG ARU – The virtue of fidelity was highlighted at the combined jubilee celebration of seven Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) on 7 Oct 2017, memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, at the Stella Maris Church here.

Archbishop John Wong stressed this quality – divine (God’s faithfulness) and human (jubilarians’ response) in his homily and reiterated it in his speech after the Mass.

He added that the more important part was the spiritual preparation (personal retreat) of the jubilarians prior to the event for it is in silence that God reveals Himself.

The celebrators were ruby jubilarian Sister Martha Jonik, golden jubilarians Sisters Rita Chew and Imelda Angang, and the four diamond jubilarians Sisters Stella Chin, Regina Majakil, Rosalind Thien and Ignatia Gomes.

Joining Abp Wong at the altar were Archbishop Emeritus John Lee, Bishop Emeritus Joseph Nacua OFMCap of Iligan Isabela Philippines, OFM Custodios Friar John Wong, Msgr Primus Jouil, Father Boniface Kimsin and Father Thomas Madanan.

Over 400 turned up for the event including guests from the Philippines, Singapore, Sarawak, and the three Sabah dioceses as well as members of the congregation, family members, and relatives of the jubilarians.

After the Mass all adjourned to the parish hall for the cake-cutting ceremony, lunch and stage presentations by various groups.

Born on 23 Apr 1956 in Kinuta, Margaretha Jonik joined the congregation in 1975 and took the religious name of Sister Martha of St Mary of the Angels.  She made her first profession in 1977 and took her final vows in 1982.  She is currently assigned in Tawau.

Rose Chew, born on 20 Oct 1946 in Kuala Penyu, entered the congregation in 1965.  Taking as her religious name Sr Rita of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she took her first vows in 1967 and made her final profession in 1972.  Presently she is in charge of the Stella Maris Retirement Home Tg Aru as well as head of the Archdiocesan Education Commission.

Her co-jubilarian, Sister Imelda of the Blessed Sacrament, was born as Angeline George Angang on 8 Aug 1948 in Kuala Penyu.  She also joined the FSICs in 1965, made her first profession in 1967 and took her final vows in 1972.  She is assigned in Penampang and is currently the assistant of Sister Dariah Ajap in the Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission.

Of the four diamond jubilarians, Sister Stella Chin was born in Jamaica on 6 Sept 1936 as Pamela Evadne Chin Siew Chin.  She entered the congregation in 1954, took her first vows on 11 Feb 1957 and made her final profession on 11 Feb 1962.

Sister Regina of the Blessed Trinity was born as Noemi Majakil on 15 Nov 1935 in Limbahau.  She also joined the Franciscan Sisters in 1954, made her first profession on 11 Feb 1957, and took her final vows on 15 Aug 1962.

The third diamond jubilarian, Sister Rosalind of St Dominic, was born in Tenom on 17 Apr 1938 as Mary Thien Siew Yun.  She entered the congregation in 1955, took her first vows on 4 Oct 1957, and made her perpetual profession on 20 Dec 1962.

Sister Ignatia Gomes of St Therese of the Child Jesus was born as Olive Marian on 29 Jan 1935 in Kg Kambau Penampang.  She joined the Sisters in 1955, made her first profession on 4 Oct 1957, and took her final vows on 25 Aug 1963.

Together the seven jubilarians have served the local Church for 380 years – a witness of the human response to God’s mercy and faithfulness.

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

SMC Pastoral Care Ministry visits Bondulu Children’s Home

TAMBUNAN – The Pastoral Care Ministry of Stella Maris Church Tg Aru visited the Bondulu Children’s Home Toboh here on 25 Feb 2017.

Led by Marian Majin, ministry coordinator, the group included Bible Class students, their teachers and some others with their families.

The children were entertained with games, after which the visitors had a fellowship lunch with the residents. Rice, other essential items and some cash donations were contributed to the home.

Currently, there are around 67 children in the Home, who come from hardcore poor families, orphans or broken families.

One way of helping these children is through donations in kind or cash. Marian Razia

 

Youth ministry organises blood donation drive as first activity for Lent

TANJUNG ARU – The new youth ministry organised a blood donation drive at the Stella Maris Parish Hall here on 12 Mar 2017 as its first Lenten activity since its formation in January.

The Service Team Ministry started this programme seven years ago.  It saw many parishioners coming forward to offer this almsgiving.

The youth took over the running of the programme this year. It is not just to fulfill their calendar activities but through it, they learn teamwork, help each other, and understand the purpose of life. More youth are encouraged to come forward to join them in this activity and the door is open to all.

A total of 21 pints of blood was collected and all collections were handled by the staff of Papar Hospital.

The next blood donation drive is scheduled for August and the last one for the year will be during the Advent Season. – Jeremy Chin, photo by Jane Lajami

ADM Stella Maris continues mercy mission in Nabawan

The members prepare the gifts for the children prior to the trip.

NABAWAN – Twenty members of the Apostolate of Divine Mercy, Stella Maris Tanjung Aru Parish, continued their mission of mercy at St Bede Nabawan on 4-5 Mar 2017.

The mission trip was headed by Divine Mercy Coordinator, Datin Theresa William.

The group arrived in Nabawan at about 3:30 pm, to a warm welcome by the Franciscan Sisters, CWL members, and the youth.

Nabawan is a small district with few shops, with nothing much to do and no major tourist places of interest to visit. The lack of distractions, plus the lack of water, made one appreciate life better and provided a good reflection for Lent.

Though the trip was long and tedious, it was worthwhile. The group donated rice, food, goodies and other necessities. The Rotary club of Kinabalu Sutera donated stationeries for the children. These donations delighted the receivers, especially the children.

The group gave out of mercy, but it stemmed from a yearning to share the love of Christ. The group also prayed and shared the Divine Mercy with the parishioners.

At St Bede, the sisters have opened a three-classroom kindergarten for Christian children.  However, the bare classrooms need a dash of paint, more educational books, and other teaching facilities. – Teresa Alberto 

72 receive Sacrament of Confirmation

TANJUNG ARU – Seventy-two confirmands received the sacrament of confirmation at the BM Mass in Stella Maris Parish here on 22 Jan 2017.

The Mass was presided by Archbishop John Wong who was making his pastoral visit to the parish.  He was assisted by Msgr Primus Jouil and Father Tony Mojiwat.

In his address to his confirmands at the fellowship lunch in the parish hall, he challenged them to change the world as the 12 Apostles did after Pentecost.

He urged them to seriously consider changing themselves according to the Catholic faith.  He also exhorted them to see whether they are called to the priestly or consecrated life.

Then he addressed the parents and expressed his hope that they and their children would be present at Sunday Mass to build up the parish together.

To the godparents/sponsors, he reminded them to guide their godchildren in facing challenges.

The prelate then encouraged all confirmands to sign up for Bible Class which begins Feb 5 at St Peter Room as a follow-up in faith development.

Two Bible class graduates, Jillian Simon (2014) and Dana Dumpangol (2016) shared their experiences with the confirmands and encouraged them to join the class.

That day was also Catechetical Sunday with the theme Christ our Joy.

Sister Dominic Thien fsic, Sunday School Coordinator, gave a speech at the fellowship.

She said the Catechetical Sunday celebration is a time of grace for all catechists and she thanked all catechists who have journeyed with the 72 confirmands throughout the whole year of 2016.  Linda Edward

 

Stella Maris Parish starts catechetical academic year with excitement and enthusiasm

Upholding the classes to  the Lord at the start of the catechetical year, Stella Maris Tg Aru, 15 Jan 2017.

TANJUNG ARU –  Stella Maris Parish started “Our Joy in Christ” Catechetical Academic Year with excitement and enthusiasm on 15 Jan 2017.

At 7:30 am the church was jammed to the brim. It was packed with excited children and busy parents registering, meetings, and attending assembly.  It was a promising start of another year of renewing faith and joyful learning.

This year Stella Maris Joyful Weekend Gathering has 270 students and 20 teachers for Higher Level and 410 students and 22 teachers for Lower Level. – Teresa Alberto

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