Daily Archives:December 18th, 2017

Empty words do not help the poor

People cannot sit back and be indifferent or unresponsive to growing poverty in the world as a privileged minority accumulates “ostentatious wealth,” Pope Francis said.

“God created the heavens and the earth for all; yet sadly some have erected barriers, walls and fences, betraying the original gift meant for all humanity, with none excluded,” the pope said in a message for the first World Day of the Poor released on 13 June 2017, the feast of St Anthony of Padua.

The World Day of the Poor—would be marked each year on the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary time—Nov 19 this year, and will focus on the Apostle John’s call to love “not with words, but with deeds.”

There are so many forms of material and spiritual poverty that poison people’s hearts and harm their dignity, the pope said in his message, and “we must respond with a new vision of life and society.” Too often Christians have taken on “a worldly way of thinking” and forgotten to keep their gaze and goals focused on Christ, who is present in those who are broken and vulnerable.

An admonition by St John Chrysostom “remains ever timely,” the pope said, quoting: “If you want to honour the body of Christ, do not scorn it when it is naked; do not honour the eucharistic Christ with silk vestments and then, leaving the church, neglect the other Christ suffering from cold and nakedness.”

“Poverty has the face of women, men and children exploited by base interests, crushed by the machinations of power and money,” he said. “What a bitter and endless list we would have to compile were we to add the poverty born of social injustice, moral degeneration, the greed of a chosen few and generalised indifference.”

Christians must reach out to the poor as Christ did and commanded, the pope said. The poor, in fact, “are not a problem, they are a resource” rich in dignity and God-given gifts that can help Christians better understand the essential truth of the Gospel.

“Blessed, therefore, are the open hands that embrace the poor and help them: They are hands that bring hope,” he said. “Blessed are the hands that reach beyond every barrier of culture, religion and nationality and pour the balm of consolation over the wounds of humanity. Blessed are the open hands that ask nothing in exchange, with no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ or ‘maybes’: They are hands that call down God’s blessing upon their brothers and sisters.”

Pope Francis said a good role model was his namesake, St Francis of Assisi, who kept his gaze fixed on Christ so as to be “able to see and serve him in the poor.”

“If we want to help change history and promote real development, we need to hear the cry of the poor and commit ourselves to ending their marginalisation,” the pope wrote in his message. – America

Fr Rhobby writes from Rome

In his first year of studies in Rome, Father Rhobby Mojolou shares his thoughts on the challenges encountered so far.

Sitting and trying to verbalise my thoughts has been a challenge because it has been a while since I have written something.

So far in my studies of Greek and Hebrew languages, it has always been to memorise many new words, analyse the intricacies of grammatical syntax and challenges in translating sentences from Greek or Hebrew into English and vice versa.

For the first year, these have and will continue to occupy most, if not all, of my time….to eat, walk, see, read, think and sleep in Greek and Hebrew, except to speak them. Every day there will be lessons except for Thursdays and Sundays.   There are times that I even forget that there are weekends at all! My classes are only in the mornings; less than two hours for both Greek and Hebrew every day. This may sound easy, as one might think, but personal labour is beyond description! I find myself always working against time.   After class, time is spent only on doing homework, revisions and memorisation for hours because I am slow in learning…so little time and so much to do.

But if I am that busy, you might ask why would I have time to share all this? As you read this, you might think that I am complaining in public? Well, you are not far from right. In the beginning of my journey here, I was struggling with these languages. Many a time I had my doubts. Many a time I complained to God. Why me? Why do I have to put up with all of these?

The learning of these languages is dry in a sense as I am not learning any theology or something of the sort, but only the language alone: the conjugations or declension of a word in its complexities according to gender, number, aspects, tense, meaning and the way of writing. Many a time I cried in despair and wanted to give up. Many a time I just wanted to abandon prayer life, even Mass, and only live secludedly and concentrating on my studies without needing to be involved in community life.

I think that God would understand and I do believe that He understands. Reflecting upon this, I am sure many would be able to relate. Many of us choose to work rather than to go to Mass or even to spend a short moment in prayer. How would there be a plate of meal be on the table for the whole family? Would it drop down from the sky? Why be active in ministries because others would not care if we could pay our monthly bills or not? Or would I be able to pass my exam only by praying alone?

As I began my Greek studies, the first verb that we learnt was “åéìé” or in English “I am”. Linguistically learning this word in itself has no real significance. In English it is just a verb such as “he is”, “or “she is”, etc; depending on the conjugation. This first verb has the easiest conjugation and it forms many of the basics of all the other conjugations. Other than that, it means existence of something or someone. As we finished learning all the different conjugations of this verb, our lecturer congratulated us on having survived so far or having existed through the study.

Somehow his comment impressed something profound on me which I now recall as I pen down my thoughts today after this month’s recollection day. Can we put God aside and live a life according to the way we think we ought to? The fact of the matter is that many a time we tend to think that once we have received ordination or made our final profession, or completed our Sacrament of Initiation, or took vows in Holy Matrimony, it ends there. But existence doesn’t end there, does it?

We might have achieved our fulfillment at the completion of something and think that life will drive by itself from there. But where would it bring us? Who is guiding the hands of life?

We are at the end of the liturgical calendar. This may be a cliché but time really flies. Time and tide wait for no man. In a matter of few weeks, we are going to celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Lord Jesus, God-is-with-us. When Jesus was born, a chain of change began to happen. The life of Mary and Joseph was full of joy because they had a child. Even the heavens, angels and shepherds rejoiced at the birth of Jesus.

Year in and year out we celebrate this joyous occasion but has anything changed in ourselves? Do we really believe that God-is-with-us? Maybe the problem is that we only think of Christmas as an event that happened two thousand years ago; a distant past. Perhaps we have taken our faith for granted. Even the very act of Jesus being born is externalised. Yes, the Lord was born two thousand years ago but as he ascended into heaven, didn’t he promise that he will come again in glory?

So can we not anticipate and celebrate his coming again by celebrating Christmas in a way that we ourselves are giving birth to Christ again through our own life? Can we not internalise Christmas by giving birth to Christ ourselves?

For a woman in labour, parents in expectation or those who have children, you would understand how nerve-wracking and how difficult it is to await the birth of a child. The pains of childbirth after nine months of pregnancy are indescribable. But then the joy of a child brought forth into the world, into the family, is worth all the pain.

A child brings change to the mother, father, relatives and friends. Jesus did just that when He came into the world and lived among man. It is those moments of labour and delivery that make all worthwhile. These weeks of Advent, let us rekindle or make present once more the birth of Christ through our own selves. Let us make a good preparation to once more “deliver” Christ in our lives.

These weeks of Advent, let us go into “maternity leave” by taking good care of ourselves as we await to give birth to Jesus. Let us “eat healthy food” by celebrating the Sacraments, namely Eucharist and Reconciliation, regularly. Let us “take good rest” by spending more time in prayer and meditation. Let us “take good exercise” by looking at our relationship with the people around us – our family and friends. Visit each other, talk and share the joys of being in “labour” – anticipating in giving birth to Jesus.

Remember that Mary shared her joy with Elizabeth even before the child was born. Change takes place even before the birth. It is every step of the journey that counts and will make the end worthwhile. Just ask any mother, they will tell you. After giving birth, a whole new chapter begins. (By God’s grace, we will discuss this some other time!)

By the time you read this, Advent Season may have begun, but have you done anything yet? It is better late than never. It is better to start somewhere than nowhere at all. It will be difficult and it will not happen spontaneously but with God, nothing is impossible.

It has been difficult to juggle between my studies and my prayer, but without prayer, studies would be dry; life without God would be empty; existence would be meaningless. Faith without work is empty but work without faith is meaningless. As I continue to close my eyes in prayer and pour out my doubts and struggles to God, I open my eyes and realise that the difficulty is still there. I still have to force and drag myself to study. But I still manage to move on, one step a time; one language at a time; to translate one more sentence, one word at a time. This is all because I am not walking alone, I am still breathing, I still exist because God-is-with-us. Continue to pray for me as I do for you.

LJCCC holds garage sales as Advent corporal work of mercy

A mother and her four children pose for the camera, happy to get their Christmas gifts at bargain prices at the garage sales, 3 Dec 2017, Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU  – The Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community (LJCCC) held a garage sales as part of its Advent corporal works of mercy on 3 Dec 2017 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.

It drew a reasonable crowd mainly from the parishioners who went for the three Sunday morning Masses.

In his homily during the 9 am English Mass, Father Paul Lo said one way of preparing for Christmas is to carry out the corporal works of mercy.

The garage sales is a community project to raise funds for outreaches to the poor and needy by collecting pre-loved items from the community members and their friends, and sold at bargain prices.

At the same time, parishioners are helped indirectly with great savings.

The toys stall was a crowd puller. A young family of four kids considered themselves “lucky” for being able to get lovely Christmas gifts at bargain prices.

Another parishioner did not expect to get a pre-loved Christmas tree for a mere RM30, while another landed with a surprise buy of a homecraft of the exclusive kind that you would find in a mall and only for a mere RM15. – CS

400 attend HTK graduation ceremony

A section of the 93 graduates, Holy Trinity Kindergarten Tawau, 18 Nov 2017.

TAWAU -Some 400 people attended the graduation ceremony of 93 children from Holy Trinity Kindergarten here on 18 Nov 2017.

Themed The Beauty of Kindergarten, many of those attendees were parents and family members of the graduates.

Franciscan Sister Mary Julita Joseph, who is in charge of HTK, expressed her appreciation for the participation of parents by witnessing the completion of their children’s early education.

“Coming together and witnessing the graduation event for your children is part of the love and concern you show to your children, a gesture which helps develop their confidence and self-esteem,” said Sr Julita.

Sr Julita said that the Holy Trinity Kindergarten has now existed for 93 years since its establishment in 1924, and has consistently produced students who are prepared to continue in the primary school.

Renaldo Delos Santos, chairman of the Board of Governors for HTK, in his convocation address, stressed on the importance of preschool education in preparing them to face the growing challenges in terms of educational opportunities.

“A good education cannot be denied and pre-school education is one of the opportunities provided by both the government and the private sector to be available to everyone,” said Santos.

Boney Joumil, chairman of the Parent Teachers Association, also thanked everyone for their presence and support.

The programme included the presentation of certificates to the graduates, the presentation of gifts to the winners of colouring and drawing competitions, English and Bahasa Malaysia reading competitions, the best attendance of the year, as well as a dance performance by Year 4 and 5 pupils.  – Julita Kantod.

Orange the world campaign kicks off at SHC

Some of the volunteers pose with Fr Joshua Liew (holding the booklet) in front of Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, Nov 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – An introduction to the ‘Orange the World’ campaign by Archbishop John Wong, followed by a video entitled “Broken Dreamers” which illustrated the unfortunate stories of human trafficking victims, kicked off the 16 Days of Activism for this year.

The event took place at the conclusion of the Sunset Mass on 25 Nov 2017, where staff and volunteers from Good Shepherd Services staged a two-day activity at Sacred Heart Cathedral to begin its commencement. Similarly, Sunday morning followed the same flow.

The parishioners leaving church were greeted by a group of “victims” – handled by their employers in the form of a pimp – lined the entrance of the church. The crowd were taking pictures and pondering, but more importantly, a significant insight into the dark world of human trafficking was gained.

To mark the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence with the theme “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls,”  Good Shepherd Services launched the booklet 16 days of Prayer for the Nation.

“This booklet gives a glimpse inside the maze of human trafficking. Each of the sixteen articles tells a story that speaks powerfully of the violence, trauma, and grief experienced by survivors and advocates,” said Chin Poh Choo, the Executive Director of Good Shepherd Services.

Each year, the global campaign kicks off with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov 25 and ends on Dec 10, International Human Rights Day. Since 2008, the UN Women, under the “Orange the World” umbrella, has been galvanizing global attention and action to end violence against women and girls. The official colour used is orange, which symbolises a bright and optimistic future free from violence against women and girls.

This year’s Orange The World campaign is a maiden initiative undertaken by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia, Council of Churches Malaysia, National Evangelical Christian Fellowship and the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, in collaboration with the Good Shepherd Services, to stand united as Malaysian Christians of all faiths, to raise awareness to eliminate this menace, to come together in prayer for victims of human trafficking, and to reflection and action to end violence against women and children.

An estimated 21 million people are trafficked globally, out of which 71 percent are women and girls. About 5.5 million children are trafficked. This heinous business generates about US$150 billion in profits each year for those behind it.

“Human trafficking is an issue which disproportionately affects women and children, and turning a blind eye and a deaf ear will literally make us complicit in this crime,” said Chin.

Chin said: “As we listen to the voices of those that have been oppressed and exploited through the stories, it is our hope that we are also able to discern the voice of justice calling us to action for all trafficked women and children who are oppressed, exploited and in bondage.” – Mary Anne Baltazar

Kaiduan natives: compensation offered cannot support value of life

Ulu Papar residents have vehemently protested the construction of the proposed Kaiduan dam which would destroy their villages and ancient burial grounds, 8 Oct 2016. 

PENAMPANG  – In an exclusive interview with Catholic Sabah on 16 Nov 2017, Taskforce Against Kaiduan Dam (TAKaD) said that compensation offered by the state government cannot support value of life.

They spoke of their deep fears and uncertainties in the wake of the state-offered compensation package by the State Infrastructure Development Minister at a dialogue session with the Kaiduan villagers at Kg Terian on Nov 10.

TAKad has consistently said that the natives are staunch in their stand against the proposed RM2.8 billion Kaiduan dam in Penampang.

Fears and uncertainties

In recalling built dams like Bakun, Babagon, TAKaD confirmed that there were no fair compensations to support the original and natural way of life for the villagers. The compensation offered could not adequately support the value of life for the next generations, nor could it commensurate with the value of biodiversity of Ulu Papar. Moreover, the fact of Tampasak (Babagon) having suffered from unfulfilled promises could not be ignored.

They pointed out that the proposed five acres as agricultural land are useless because Ulu Papar communities practise shifting cultivation. The norm for each family head is to be allotted with more than 15 acres, while a typical Ulu Papar family size ranges from 5-10 members per household.

As was the dam case in Babagon, food security for the villagers is not guaranteed due to the unforeseeable adaptation to the new relocation area.

Referring to the 240 families as commented during the Nov 10 dialogue, TAKaD wondered who the 240 families were. Are they from Kg Tiku, Timpayasa and Babagon Laut? TAKaD was sure of the stand of these three villages: they are clearly against the proposed Kaiduan dam, and reject any kind of compensation.

“The government said Kg Terian and Kg Buayan would not be affected. We want black and white, signed and certified by both parties,” said Evelyn Sipail, a TAKaD representative.

“Some of us have Land Applications (LA), which until now have not been given Land Titles, and our requests have not been entertained. Would this add to the unfair compensation?” added Sipail.

She revealed yet another fear “We fear for our lives and properties when the water level rises in the dam as our houses are situated very near to rivers and streams.”

Again as in the Babagon dam case, TAKaD reiterated, they have every reason to fear that the government would use middle men to channel compensation, resulting in a foreseeable situation of discrimination and dishonesty; for example, using low quality building material to meet the minimum requirements. Houses promised by the government were actually built with low quality wood, which did not last. At the same time, the built-up interior space was too small to comfortably house big families with many children. Besides, other promised compensation such as community hall and alternative source of income has yet to materialise.

They concluded that there has been no model of a fully integrated and successful compensation for cases such as these, and the compensation is seen at best, a way to lure the villagers to agree to the proposed dam. “It is definitely not,” said Sipail, “meant to be a price tag of our dignity as natives in this land.”


When asked what kind of support they have managed to garner for their cause, Sipail said NGOs like PACOS, JOAS, Save River have been supporting TAKaD campaign while on 14 Dec 2013 a UN representative visited and brought it to the level of the international community.

In 2010, TAKaD has written a memorandum to the State Assembly.

In February 2016, they have had the privilege of an explanation/dialogue with an ex-engineer of Drainage and Irrigation Department at the Penampang Cultural Hall, who explained the need of water in the KK area, and alternatives to the Kaiduan dam.

Besides these, they have legal assistance both for the dam issue and land issue, while at the same time, they have also issued a call for cooperation from NGOs on their Save Water Campaign through all types of news media.


Sipail claimed that their voice/objection has been manipulated. When Pairin came to announce the compensation, their voice/objection was not heard, although he knew that they were actively objecting to it.

To amplify their voice, they have asked for solidarity support from all levels of society, regardless of religion or race, to stand firmly with them and to defend their land which they inherit from their ancestors, and which now has become one of the State’s heritage.

Sipail also said that the natives were not objecting to development planned by the government.

“We understand the need for water in KK areas, but we have to look for ways that are more environmental-friendly and do not cause conflict with the natives’ livelihood; for example, a more systematic and detailed management of our existing drainage system, improvement of capacity and safety through improvement of piping system. All these are to avoid wastage of clean water, water theft and better monitoring of water resources,” she said.

The real thing

However, TAKaD felt that the reality now is not about inadequate water supply, but about inadequate clean water. Rains are frequent in Sabah, but what is the problem? They have witnessed lots of uncontrolled tree-cutting activities upstream, which in turn have caused mud flow every rainy season resulting in low level of water in downstream rivers; for example, the hill cutting near Moyog river.

They also said that the authorities have not accepted the alternatives that were proposed: building waterworks that are low-cost and do not damage the environment.

They (authorities) were either ignorant of or ignore cases of water theft and water pipe leakages. There was also a lack of awareness campaign in regards to this in the social media.

Dennis Dahangat, another TAKaD representative, pointed out that the infrastructures proposed for the resettlement are actually another set to replace the infrastructures which already exist in the village, such as clinic and school. Besides, rubber has been planted in Buayan, Timpayasa, and Terian in cooperation with LIGS as a long term livelihood sustainability project.


TAKaD recalled the government’s prediction that Babagon dam was able to supply water until 2050. They would like to have access to the study that contains the facts to support the new prediction of a water shortage crisis in 2030.

They were also painfully aware of their neediness: “We are in dire need of academic assistance to study the volume of water needed in KK areas to support our objection.”

Though they have proposed alternatives to the government to build more water treatment plants along Papar river and to keep water in catchments, as there are many streams along Papar river: Mondalipau, Kaiduan, Malanga and Babagon where water treatment plants can be built and maximum water can be stored in the catchments, TAKaD felt that for the government to show sincerity, they must be serious enough to consider other ways instead of just focusing on Ulu Papar and the Kaiduan dam project. – CS

Why Christmas should bother everybody

If we take an honest look at the Biblical texts dealing with Christmas, we will find that they have precious little to do with sentimentality.

In the second chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, we read of the visit of the Magi, astrologers from “the east.” They let it be known that they were in search of “the newborn king of the Jews,” whose star they had observed at its rising. When this news was spread about, was it met with delight, enthusiasm, excitement, and sentimental feelings? Hardly. Listen to what Matthew tells us: “When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”

Why would the arrival of a tiny baby, who would grow up to bear a message of love, have excited such negativity? We must remember that the child is described as a king, which means someone who comes to rule; more precisely, he is characterised as king of the Jews, and this was the very title that Herod claimed. Therefore, Herod, quite correctly, saw him as a threat to his prerogatives and position.

But why would the entire capital be in an uproar? We must recall what the Bible consistently says about cities, that is, the way we human beings typically organise ourselves politically, socially, and culturally. The trembling of all of Jerusalem at the birth of the baby king is a function of the demand that that king will eventually make, the change that his rule will affect.

If we examine Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, we find very similar motifs. Luke sets up his story as the tale of two rival Emperors: Caesar, the king of the world, and Jesus, the baby king. While Caesar rules from his palace in Rome, Jesus has no place to lay his head; while Caesar exercises power, Jesus is wrapped in swaddling clothes; while Caesar surrounds himself with wealthy and sophisticated courtiers, Jesus is surrounded by animals and shepherds of the field. And yet, the baby king is more powerful than Augustus – which is signaled by the presence of an army of angels in the skies over Bethlehem.

All four of the Gospels play out as a struggle, culminating in the deadly business of the cross, between the worldly powers and the power of Christ. For Jesus is not simply a kindly prophet with a gentle message of forgiveness; he is God coming in person to assume command. He is the Lord. And the entire New Testament couldn’t be clearer that his Lordship means that all those who follow a contrary rule – meaning, pretty much every one of us – are under judgment.

To be sure, the distinctive mark of Jesus’ Lordship is love, compassion, forgiveness, and non-violence – but this is not the stuff of sentimentality and warm feelings. It is a provocation, a challenge, a call to conversion of the most radical kind. – Bishop Robert Barron

CS editor urges faithful to make full use of paper for evangelisation

File photo: Some of the participants looking through Catholc Sabah at a journalism training workshop in Dec 2016, St Thomas Catechetical Cemtre Tg Aru.

PENAMPANG – In his message marking the 60th anniversary of Catholic Sabah in December 2017, editor Msgr Primus Jouil urges the faithful to make full use of it for evangelisation.  Below is the full text of his message.

As editor of Catholic Sabah, I urge Catholics in our three dioceses on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the existence of Catholic Sabah to take stock of the tool of evangelisation that we have in our hand and realise that we, as church, are responsible for spreading the Gospel message, and that we shouldn’t waste the moment nor the evangelising tool that God has given us.

Over the years, sitting on the editorial board I hear the lament of members that the Catholic Church lacks prolific Catholic writers, as well as committed contributors.  Without writers and contributors, the archdiocesan publication will not have a chance to continue.

Catholics are not always comfortable with the idea of evangelising but they need to be willing to step out of themselves and share about their faith as part of an encounter. We are called to be evangelising disciples and this role requires courage, a sense of urgency, compassion and joy.

Why evangelise?  We are to evangelise because Jesus commands it, and because people deserve to receive the greatest message there is, the best news that anyone can ever hear. How will they hear it if there is no one to tell?  “But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed?  and how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?”  (Rom 10:14)

Writing can be an ideal medium of evangelisation – a form that transmits easily through space and time.  Writing allows us to take our time in crafting a phrase or fashioning a thought. Writing gives our reader the opportunity to read and re-read at his or her leisure.  However, we need to remember that, no matter how brilliantly creative we might write, it is God who changes (or does not change) the hearts of men and women.

To this end, the Archdiocesan Social Commission has been conducting writing and journalism training courses and workshops for the benefit of Catholic writers who contribute to Catholic Sabah and other Catholic outlets.  These initiatives are organised to enhance the ability to progress further in the field of social communications, and to be better equipped to go out in their mission as Catholic writers.

Archbishop John Wong, at a journalism training workshop, gave a stark reminder that writers need to build a strong relationship with Jesus Christ as only then they could pass on the Good News.

In gratitude to God for His grace in our 60 years of journey, I wish to acknowledge and thank God for your support and contribution, in readership as well as in penmanship, and that with God’s help, with Mother Mary’s intercession, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, the work of evangelisation in the field of print media continues with greater fervour and faithfulness.

KK prelate notes Catholic Sabah exists to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven

Catholic Sabah editorial staff L-R Catherine Wan (Chinese section), Agnes Chai (associate editor), Linda Edward (youth section), Lily Akau (BM/KD sections), Caterine Musa (children section) pose the camera after the Training Workshop for Catholic Writers II, 2 Dec 2017, Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.

PENAMPANG – In his message marking the 60th anniversary of Catholic Sabah as the archdiocesan paper in December 2017, Archbishop John Wong notes the paper exists to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven.  Below is the full text:

We must be grateful to God for the archdiocesan publication which marks 60 years of existence this year.

Pope Francis in his message on World Mission Sunday reminded us that in taking part in the missionary aspect, the Church is not an end goal in itself, but a channel for bringing about the Kingdom of Heaven.  So too, the Catholic Sabah, it is not an end in itself but exists to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven.

However, we are aware that the print medium is under enormous stress.  Elsewhere we have heard and have come to know that downsizing of newspapers and other print outlets are happening, while some are even forced to close.  Print journalism appears to be in decline.

 According to data, mobile access to the internet is on the rise, and more and more are inclined to scroll through their feed to see major stories going on, and for free, and even to participate actively by commenting and forwarding to others.

How have we survived, and how do we respond to this tremendous challenge that is faced by print journalism?

Our goal is not simply to survive, but to thrive and to fulfill our mission with passion and professionalism.

What is the mission of the Catholic press?

Today, as never before, the speed and ease with which we receive information, which often arrives uninvited and swiftly on our smartphones and tablets, does not give us the context to understand the significance of what we are seeing, so as to avoid falling into the trap of conforming to those of the group and rushing to judgment.  Often we become aware of the knowledge of the basics: who, what, when, and where, but not the why.

In the light of the tremendous amount of garbage with unchecked rumours and unmonitored news feed, it is the critical role of the Catholic press to help Catholics become knowledgeable about their faith and how it applies today with honest reporting from the perspective of faith.  The better informed or educated, the better they will be able to spot erroneous reporting by general media on church documents and statements.

Besides the challenge for the print today in the matter of revenues – advertisements and subscriptions – the Catholic press experiences a greater need to stay relevant, to provide an alternative way to strengthen and empower the faithful, to cover news ignored or poorly reported by secular media, and to provide a consistent effort at adult faith formation.

To this end, the print needs Catholic communicators to care passionately about the Church, and we need church leaders – clergy and lay – to care passionately about Catholic communications.

96 graduate from St Francis Kindergarten

Group photo of one of the four graduating classes, 10 Nov 2017, Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – Ninety-six children graduated from Tadika St Francis on 10 Nov 2017 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.

It was also the school’s annual concert day.

The event began with a procession of the children garbed in graduation robes and caps making their entry into the hall. They were led by the kindergarten’s Board of Governors comprising chairman  Damian Lee, secretary Alice Imelda Chin,  and committee members Philip Yong and Cynthia James.

Joining in the procession were headmistress Grace Shim and assistant headmistress Prencesca V Kimsan.

The programme started with the National Anthem, State Anthem and the school song followed by an opening prayer by Father Joshua Liew.

In his convocation address, Lee complimented the graduates on their achievements. He also congratulated the teachers for their dedication and hard work in shaping the children through education and other co-curriculum activities.

He also addressed the parents and adults present on the importance of sending children to the Mission Kindergarten so that children can be moulded in all aspects – socially, emotionally, intellectually and above all, spiritually.

DISNEY was chosen as the theme for this year’s concert, which included various dance performances by the children.    A special sketch on the issue of bullying was presented by the children,  the teachers and “Aunty Patrin,” a DJ from KKFM.

The final performance was the rendition of two songs by the graduation classes of 2017, entitled “Yesterday’s Dream” and “A little Love.”

The kindergarten has nine classes with a population of 202 pupils.  The graduates made up four classes.

Registration for 2018 is now open until January 2018.


For details, please contact Grace Shim @ 016- 842 1358. – SFK

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