Monthly Archives: July, 2017

Region’s bishops briefed on MoU between Mission Authorities and Education Ministry

File photo: group photo taken at the MoU presentation between the Mission Authorities and Education Ministry, Putrajaya, 10 April 2017.

JOHOR BAHRU – Archbishop Julian Leow, President of the Malaysian Catholic Education Council (MCEC), and Kenneth Wong, Executive Secretary General, briefed the arch/bishops and bishops on the Meeting with the Minister of Education on 10 April 2017 at Putrajaya.

The objective of the meeting was to present the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Education between the Mission Authorities and the Ministry of Education Malaysia. At the conclusion of the meeting, it was decided to form a Joint Working Committee comprising representatives from both the Mission Authorities and the Ministry of Education to deliberate on the MOU. It is hoped that this concerted effort will promote better understanding and greater cooperation between the Mission Authorities and the Ministry of Education for the betterment of the Mission Schools in Malaysia.

ERLC updates bishops on the Order of Christian Marriage and SYPG

L-R: Fr Chin, Bp Sebastian Francis, Fr Miranda, Neil Mah at the presentation of ERLC report to the bishops at the Bishops’ Conference on 10-14 July 2017, Johor.

JOHOR BAHRU – Father Vincent Chin reported on behalf of the Episcopal Regional Liturgy Commission (ERLC). He informed the arch/bishops on the completed printing of the Order of Christian Marriages. Most of the arch/dioceses have ordered the books. A suggested date to officially implement this is the First Sunday of Advent.

Fr Chin then gave a short history of the Missal in Chinese which was produced by Carlo Catholic Society. He said the ERLC is only responsible for proof reading the Missal produced by Carlo.

Also with him were members of the Liturgical Music Committee comprising appointed members from the arch/dioceses in the Conference with expertise and knowledge in areas of Liturgy and Music, to report on the progress of the updating of the Sing Your Praise to God (SYPG).

This was the first time that the arch/bishops are meeting the team which was formed in 2014. The bishops were receptive to the report though there were some concerns with projection — the usual book vs projection argument but Bishop Cornelius Sim gave a resounding extempore on the sanctity of a hymnal compared to an electronic device that contains all manner of stuff unrelated to church matters.

The hymnal is to last for a period of ten years before it is revised again.

A list of the selected hymns was also given to the arch/bishops.

Father Jude Miranda informed the arch/bishops that the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese, Melaka-Johor Diocese and Penang Diocese will be the hosts of the Asian Liturgy Forum which will be held in Penang October 2-6. He invited the other arch/dioceses to the Forum.

The reports were given at the Bishops’ Conference on 10-14 July 2017. –

Indonesian ambassador highlights AYD importance

VATICAN CITY –  The 7th Asian Youth Day(AYD) kicked off in Indonesia on 30 July 2017 with the preliminary event “Days in Dioceses,” where over 2000 Catholic youth from 21 Asian countries will be hosted in 11 Indonesian dioceses from  July 30 to Aug 2.  They will then converge in Yogyakarta city, in Semarang Archdiocese, for the main AYD event, August 2-6.

Each of the AYDs held since 1999 in intervals of 2, 3 or 5 years, in various cities of Asia, had a specific theme.   The theme this time –Joyful Asian Youth: Living the Gospel ‎in Multicultural Asia‎!‎ – intends to underscore the need for Asian youth to follow Christ amidst the immense variety of Asia’s cultural and natural diversity of which Indonesia is a prime model.

With some 17,000 islands dotting its vast expanse of some 1.9 million sq km., Indonesia is the ‎largest ‎archipelagic nation in the world.  It is home to over 300 ethnic groups and more than 700 languages. With more than 85 percent of its of 250 million population professing Islam, it is home to the world’s largest Muslim population and is the 4th most populous country.  Yet officially it is a secular state with the Indonesian Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion, although the state officially recognises only six ‎ religions (Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and ‎Confucianism).In an interview

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Indonesia’s ambassador to the Holy See, Antonius Agus Sriyono‎, noted that by hosting the 7th AYD, his country wanted to emphasise the need for young people of Asia and Indonesia to promote and respect unity amidst diversity.  Vatican Radio Stefano Lesczynski who interviewed Sriyono, first asked him about the expectations of the Catholic and Christian communities from the AYD in Indonesia.

Ambassador Sriyono said that young people are very important for Indonesia in the coming decade.  It is important for young Indonesian Catholics to promote and respect the ideal of Indonesia’s unity.   In all Asian countries too, he said, there is the need to maintain unity amidst their diversity and variety.  “Let us together respect diversity,” he said.

By hosting the 7th AYD, Sriyono continued,  Indonesia wanted to emphasise the first principle of the Pancasila, which is respect for other faiths; and the second principle – respect for differences based on humanity.

The Indonesian ambassador to the Holy See also spoke about the need for inter-faith dialogue in order to curb the growth of radicalism in his country.  He said inter-religious dialogue creates understanding amidst differences.  “Dialogue is important to bridging differences,” he said.   – Vatican Radio

Child protection committee presents report to region’s shepherds

JOHOR BAHRU – The committee for child protection of the Professional Standards Office (PSO) of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur presented their report to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei (CBCMSB).

The conference held its meeting on 10-14 July 2017 at the Majodi Centre here.

The PSO headed by Father William Michael gave an introduction to Child Protection and the Different Forms of Abuse.

The first speaker was Raymond Jegan from Kuala Lumpur who spoke on Introduction to Child Protection and the Different Forms of Abuse.

The second speaker, Fr William Michael, spoke on Sexual Abuse of Minors and the implications as presented in the code of canon law.

Finally, Datin Elsie Das from Kuala Lumpur, who is also a member of the PSO, presented the Child Protection Manual and the Code of Conduct to the arch/ bishops. – heraldmalaysiaonline

Outgoing PMS director calls for regional missionary council to be set up

JOHOR BAHRU – The outgoing regional director of the Pontifical Mission Society (PMS) of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei called for a regional missionary council to be set up in his final meeting with the region’s arch/bishops who were having their biannual meet on 10-14 July meeting here.

Father VA Michael said he has served the office for ten and a half years.

In his final report to the CBCMSB, he said the very nature of the church is to be missionary.  Hence, there is a need for a regional missionary council as well as at diocesan and parish level.

On the area of evangelisation, he said,  we need to reach out to all, especially to those outside the Church. “We need to be in touch with the people at the grass-root level.”

Fr Michael also thanked the Nuncio, CBCMSB and all Mission Directors of each diocese for their support and contribution in the last 10 ½ years. He said the new PMS Regional Director is Father Victor Louis of Penang Diocese. – heraldmalaysiaonline 

Apostolic Nuncio briefs region’s bishops on CFM talk

PLENTONG – The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Joseph Marino, briefed the arch/bishops at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei (CBCMSB) on a talk in which he delivered to the Christian Federation of Malaysia on 26 April 2017.

The conference was held at the Majodi Centre here on July 10-14.

The primary theme, the nuncio said, arising from the teaching of Pope Francis, is our obligation to build a culture of encounter and represents an extension of the talk held in January this year.

The nuncio informed the CBC that the audience with Pope Francis on the occasion of their ad limina visit is scheduled for February 8 next year.

He said, “During your time in Rome, it is usual to call upon the different Roman Dicasteries, including the Secretariat of State,” adding the Nunciature in Malaysia can assist in setting up the appointments.

Abp Marino also reminded the arch/bishops that invitations to events in their respective dioceses should be addressed to the Nuncio and signed by the arch/bishop. He said the new Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life has written to the president of the CBCMSB indicating that a set of guidelines will be formulated about the formation of the laity.

He said that the dicastery asks whether the bishops’ conference has already an office or committee which is committed exclusively to the study, promotion and mission of the lay faithful and for information on it.

He noted that the dicastery requests a response to its inquiry by the end of October 2017.

He urged the arch/bishops to send in the response in three copies to the nunciature for transmission.

“The role of the laity is essential to the life of the Church and their relative formation must be a priority in the various dioceses,” he added.

The next day the CBCMSB proceeded according to the agenda that included matters to do with Regional Liturgical Commission, Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs, Christian Federation of Malaysia, Catechetics, Malaysian Catholic Education Council and Lay Apostolate.

The next CBCMSB will be in January next year from 8 – 12. As usual, there will be a joint meeting with the Conference of Religious Major Superiors of Malaysia- Singapore-Brunei. –heraldmalaysiaonline

Taman Mass is part of parish’s effort to go smaller

Group photo taken after the Mass, 28 July 2017, Liew Residence Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – One of the ways to realise the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese’s pastoral thrust to “go smaller” is through Taman Masses wherein families living in a particular taman (housing estate) gather for the Eucharist and fellowship.

The Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish here usually holds the Taman Masses on Fridays.

There are approximately 2000 families spread out in 149 tamans under the cathedral parish and 33 tamans under the sub-parish of Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang.

The families, including the religious communities of the Daughters of St Paul and the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, living along Jalan Kebajikan and Jalan Sang Kancil Karamunsing had the privilege of having Archbishop John Wong (pastor of the cathedral) presiding over their Taman Mass on Friday 28 July 2017.

It was hosted by Bernard Liew, a member of the cathedral’s parish pastoral council,  at his residence on Jalan Sang Kancil Satu Karamunsing.  A potluck fellowship meal followed the Mass.

Putatan church holds fundraising bazaar

A section of the people who patronise the bazaar in aid of the Putatan church building fund, SHPC, 23 July 2017.

KOTA KINABALU –  St Catherine Laboure Putatan held its fundraising bazaar at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here on 23 July 2017.

From 7 am to 3 pm throngs of people came to patronise over 80 stalls set up by volunteers who put in time, effort and energy, selling a wide variety of goods ranging from handicrafts to home-cooked food, used clothing, vegetables, flowers and plants, religious items, books, and toys.

The objective of the bazaar was to raise RM300,000.00 for the completion of the main church building sometime next year.

The chairman of the Steering Building Committee of St Catherine Laboure Putatan would like to convey his appreciation to Sacred Heart Cathedral for allowing them to use the parish centre for the bazaar, all donors for their kind generosity, participants of the bazaar, and those who support them.

Started in 2013, the estimated RM7.3mil four-storey building sits on a 0.8ha land donated by Catherine Moinin in Kampung Imbaan Putatan.

So far RM5.45 million has been raised from various sources. Out of the RM5.1 million raised, RM4.25 million had been spent for the construction.  The balance of RM1.2 million will be exhausted by the end of the year.

Forthcoming fundraisers include a golf tournament in August, raffle ticket sales, and a jogathon.

Further details can be obtained from Stephen Sondoh at 013-8658333. Anyone who wishes to contribute can do so by channelling donations through the appointed members or bank into their bank account at Maybank payable to “RTDKK St. Catherine Laboure Church.” The account number is 510189007514.

Teachers told teaching is a noble vocation

Representatives bring forward the bread and wine during the Presentation of Gifts,  Teachers Day Celebration, 17 June 2017, St Mary Sandakan.

SANDAKAN – Catholic teachers in Sandakan were told that the teaching career is a noble vocation when the teacher is able to bring Christ into their career.

Father Christopher Ireneus said this during the Teachers Day celebration on 17 June 2017.

The celebration was organised by the Sandakan Catholic Teachers’ Guild (CTG).  The Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral was presided by Fr

The Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral was presided by Fr Ireneus, while the dinner was held at the Equatorial Seafood Restaurant.

During the celebration, Maureen Lai, CTG adviser,  was honoured as she officially retired from her service at the CTG.

Fr Ireneus reminded everyone that they were not just celebrating Teachers Day, but also celebrating teaching as a vocation.

He encouraged the teachers not to give up easily in the face of all sorts of pressure and obstacles.

He thanked the teachers for their efforts and acknowledged the efforts made by his former teachers at SMK Sandakan.

After the homily, the priest blessed the newly elected CTG office-bearers.

At the dinner, Bishop Julius Gitom called on all teachers to join the CTG, and encouraged them to take the NPQEL course for aspiring principals and/or school heads. – Martha Chia


Sandakan newly baptised members told to be bearers of good news

SANDAKAN – Fifty-one newly baptised members of St Mary Cathedral here were told to be bearers of good news at a welcoming dinner at the parish hall on 4 June 2017.

In welcoming them, Bishop Julius Gitom said, “Your baptism does not end here; rather your commissioning to go forth as part of this faith community, to bring the good news of peace and love to others, is just the beginning of your faith journey!”

This year the cathedral parish received 23 adults and seven children from the Bahasa-speaking community, 14 from the Chinese and five adults and two children from the English speaking community. They have all undergone the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) programme for about a year.

The event began with the newly baptised entering the hall,  holding lighted candles, to the accompaniment of a sung hymn ‘Walk in the Light’ by the parishioners who had turned up to support them.

Lionel Randasan, catechetical committee head, thanked everybody for coming in support of the new members, and the organising committee for their tireless efforts in organising the event.

In his speech,  he said, “Practise what you believe, and journey together in faith with the brothers and sisters in the church.”

In his turn, Bishop Gitom expressed his gratitude to the Catechetical Committees, the RCIA facilitators and Sunday School teachers for their dedicated service in the ministry.

He reminded them that it is “the Holy Spirit who is at work in touching the hearts of the neophytes to commit themselves to the Lord” so that no one would take the credit for God’s work.

Quoting St Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, ‘Nobody can say Jesus is Lord….unless the Lord touches his heart’  (cf 1 Cor 12:3), the bishop acknowledged that there is nothing anyone could do unless the Lord touches their hearts.

“I thank the neophytes for responding to the Lord’s invitation,” he said, affirming the newly baptised.

He concluded by encouraging the new members to join the many ministries and communities in the church and to channel their God-given talents in serving the church.

During the dinner, some of the newly baptised shared their personal testimonies. – Dalius LL

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