Daily Archives:August 11th, 2017

Over 25 participants attend inaugural BM catechists training course

One of the participants receives his certificate of attendance from Abp Wong, flanked by Fr Yasun (L) and Fr Stephen (R).

BUNDU TUHAN – Over 25 participants attended the inaugural BM training courses f0r catechists at the Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre here in June 2017.

Twenty-nine catechists attended Level 1 (June 12-July 7) while 27 enrolled in Level 2 (July 9-21).

The two courses were organised jointly by the Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission and the Persatuan Katekis (PEKA).

Previous courses were conducted in English under the late Jesuit Father Peter Kim in the 1990s.

Father Nicholas Stephen, spiritual adviser of the commission, officially launched the course in the stead of Archbishop John Wong.

Franciscan Sister Dariah Ajap said the training programme was held because there is a felt need to have trained and well-equipped catechists in the archdiocese, not only to preside at services in the absence of a priest but also to be prayer leaders on various occasions.

To address the need, Abp Wong tasked the Catechetical Commission to organise and facilitate the training, with the involvement of priests, religious and lay leaders as speakers.

Topics covered during the course include Scriptures, Church and her documents, Prayer and Worship/Liturgy, Catechetics, Leadership, Spirituality and Vocation of Catechists, Missiology,  and practicum in the chapel outstations.

Level 3 has been scheduled for Sept 8-24 at the same venue for those who have taken Levels 1 and 2 and for those who are parish catechists.

At the end of the course, Abp Wong presented the certificates of attendance to the participants.

At the closing Mass, the archbishop reminded the participants to constantly read the Word of God, receive the Sacraments frequently, obey the commandments always, and to preach the Good News to all through their life witness.

The Jul 21 closing event was also an opportunity for the attendees to witness the launching of  Father Bruno Yasun’s “Pengenalan Alkitab” (Introduction to the Bible)  by the archbishop. The book is available for sale now.

All catechists who have attended the course will continue their services in their respective parishes. For the newly trained catechists, their parish priests will be the ones to give them their  assignments. – catecomkk


Local bishops urged to make the church’s mission more effective in the lives of the people

JOHOR BAHRU – At the 100th Plenary Session of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei (CBCMSB), eleven arch/bishops of the region were urged to “to make the mission of the Church effectively more present in the daily lives of the people entrusted to our care.”

For that to happen, the Church herself must constantly reform and purify herself, said Archbishop Joseph Marino, Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia and Apostolic Delegate to Brunei.

He added,  “This is to ensure that nothing stands in the way, hinders or complicates the relationship between the Lord and His people for whom we are shepherds.”

Archbishop Marino, who opened the bi-annual meeting of the CBC, held at Majodi Centre, Plentong on 10-14 July 2017, directed his address to his audience based on the Holy Father’s reflection on reform dedicated to the Roman Curia in December 2016.

The pope said that this logic has been the theological basis or foundation for the reform of the Roman Curia (RC), adding that, “to assure that no one, as a result of the institution or its organisms, would feel removed, distant or even worse unable or impeded to approach the Lord himself.”

First, the Holy Father said, it should be interpreted as “conforming” itself to the Good News, the Gospel, which must be proclaimed joyously and courageously to all, especially to the poor, the least and the outcast (RC).”

The nuncio stressed that the Curia and by extension all institutions of the Church must conform to the signs of the times and to all human achievements, so that, as the Holy Father said, we can “better meet the needs of the men and women we are called to serve.”

Second, the Church structures are understood as assisting the bishop in his office as pastor, and therefore must be guided by an ecclesiology of service and care for the salvation of souls.

Reform then, the nuncio said, requires a sense of conversion and represents a sign of life in the Church, both at the universal level and the local level.

Pope Francis, he said, affirmed that the Curia “is not an immobile bureaucratic apparatus” but something that must always be changed as the Church walks on her pilgrim way.

The same is true for the local offices, structures and even programmes and pastoral approaches. No part of the Church is free from constant evaluation and reform.

To begin with, such institutions must be staffed by people who themselves are renewed and are open to change and conversion and purification. In any institution, “without a change in mentality, efforts at practical improvement will be in vain” (RC).

Simply put, reform, which is based on conformity to the Gospel and an ecclesiology of service for the good of souls, requires “an ongoing personal and structural process of conversion” (RC).

An authentic reform of the structures of the Church makes them more apt to serve the Gospel and the people of God.

After giving the theological/philosophical foundation for the reform, the Holy Father then listed twelve principles that have guided his reform of the Roman Curia, and they are: individual responsibility, pastoral concern, missionary spirit, organisational clarity, improved functioning, modernisation, sobriety, subsidiarity, synodality, catholicity, professionalism and gradualism.

The pope further sub-defined the groups of principles under headings such as personal conversion, pastoral conversion and Christocentrism, which are rooted in His Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel.

The nuncio dwelt at length into the principles of pastoral and missionary conversion, personal and communal conversion, administrative and pastoral approaches, evangelical spirit, Gospel-centred and service-centred, path of synodality, etc (details found in The Joy of the Gospel).

Concluding his address, Abp Marino said it is the hope of Pope Francis that “we will move from remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe.”

He added, “What should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life.” – Vincent D’Silva

Over 200 youth attend 5th TIM youth camp

Finding the Sheep – one of the activities organised at the TIMYC, 24-27 June 2017, Kg Kironggu.

INANAM – Over 200 youth attended the 5th Telipok-Inanam-Manggatal Youth Camp (TIMYC) on 24-27 June 2017 at St Catherine Church here.

Out of the 246 participants were some Chinese-speaking youths who joined for the first time.

The theme of the camp was “The Mighty One has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49).

The camp opened with Mass presided by Father Rayner Bisius with Father Paul Lo as the homilist.

In his homily, Fr Lo used the examples of Mother Mary and St Joseph who were chosen by God for His mission, which led them to leave life’s comfort and to face many challenges.

He said that the devil would try to drag us from the Mighty One with many temptations and rewards. Many would fall into temptation due to their own problems. He then gave the example of how Mother Mary lived her life following God’s will without fear and doubt.

He told the youths that life is full of difficulties and challenges, and that we wouldn’t know God’s future plan, but we need to continue to trust and stand with him no matter what lies ahead of us.

Among the activities held were a welcoming session, Lectio Divina, theme-sharing session, screening of Mary of Nazareth movie, various talks by speakers, and compline (night prayer).

Serena Wong guided the youths to know themselves and to know God, the virtue of gratitude, and to identify their own dreams in a talk entitled ‘Who Am I?’

In her session, Franciscan Sister Elizabeth Munggai urged the youths to take Pope Francis’ advice to face the world’s challenges with courage and not to give up in the face of problems. She illustrated her talk with the life of  Mother Mary in following God’s will.

As many of the participants were students,  Dorin Peter introduced the Keep In Touch Always (KITA) programme to help them see the reality of campus life and how it will affect their faith.

The outdoor activities were held in Kg Kitobu, Inanam.  They went there by bus but had to make a two-km trip on foot as well.

At the site, they were given a pack of beans signifying faith. They carried the pack of beans along while  crossing a river, using a rope bridge, prostrating commando style, balancing wood crossing, making a fire using only three matches and building a fortress.

These challenges ended at Kg Kironggu, where they stayed for the night. At Kg Kironggu, the games continued with Finding the Sheep, The Longest and Paper Plane Flying challenge.

A Solidarity Night themed ‘A Night to Remember’ at Kironggu saw each group presenting a bible-based performance in the presence of invited guests and villagers.

All activities in Kg Kitobu and Kg Kironggu were handled by KUK St Michael Kg Kironggu and assisted by the TIM YC organising team.

On the last day, the participants hiked up the Kironggu Hill as early as 5.30 am to go back to St Catherine Church. The hike consisted of a rosary walk led by Kg Kironggu KUK. At the top of the hill, Fr Rayner led the prayer and praise and worship session, followed by breakfast.

Back at St Catherine, the participants attended the closing Mass celebrated by Fr Paul. He urged the youths to appreciate God’s gift to them through the camp. The Mass also saw four young men accepting God’s call to enter the priesthood.

At the closing, a flashback video was screened, alongside the sharing session and filling in evaluation forms. The organising team expressed their gratitude and appreciation to all who have sponsored and helped in the preparation of the camp and during the four-day camp. TIM YC Publication and Documentation Team

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