Daily Archives:August 16th, 2018

Council of Religious holds election of office bearers after six years

File photo of the Council of Religious in one of their meetings at the Daughters of St Paul Convent Karamunsing in 2015.

KOTA KINABALU – The Council of Religious in the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese held election of office bearers after six years on 14 July 2018 in a meeting at a local venue here.

Seven members were able to make it to the meeting during which the office bearers were elected for the term 2018-2021.

Elected were Brother Thomas Paul SG (chairman), Father Andrew Kim SST (vice chairman), Sister Magdalene Chong FSP (secretary), Sister Joan Michael FSIC (treasurer).

They took over with immediate effect from the outgoing council: Sister Christine Henry Sundin FSP (chairperson), Sister Rita Chew FSIC (secretary), Sister Alice Lopez FSIC (treasurer).

Other members present were Sister Lilian Unsoh FSIC (representing Sister Frances Mani FSIC), and Sister Grace Deosing FSIC.  There were no representatives from the La Salle Brothers, the Marist Brothers, and the Good Shepherd Sisters.

With the encouragement and guidance of Bishop John Lee, the Council of Religious (COR) was formed in August 1997 in the diocese.  The elected office bearers were: Sr Aquinas Voon FSIC (chairperson), Br Justin Mobilik FSC (vice chairperson), Sr Agnes Wong FSP (secretary), Sr Angeline Lau RGS (treasurer), Sr Grace Deosing FSIC (member), and Sr Cecilia Liew FSIC (member).

The objectives of the COR are:

  • To serve the organism of mutual liaison among the religious institutes;
  • To act as a means of promoting and renewing religious life in fidelity to the magisterium and to the distinctive charisms of each institute;
  • To provide the forum for the discussion of mutual concerns of the archbishop, priests and religious; and
  • To co-ordinate the activities of religious institutes with the pastoral action of the archdiocese under the guidance of the archbishop, without prejudice to relations and negotiations which can be carried out directly by the archbishop himself with any individual institute.

There are now four women religious institutes and four men religious institutes serving in the archdiocese: Order of Discalced Carmelite Nuns (OCD), Daughters of St Paul (FSP), Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC), and Religious of the Good Shepherd (RGS); Brothers of St Gabriel (SG), Brothers of the Christian School or La Salle Brothers (FSC), the Marist Brothers (FMS), and the Society of the Most Holy Trinity of Mirinae (SST).

Malaysian Church contributes over RM1m to Tabung Harapan Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR – The Catholic Church in Malaysia has collected a sum of RM1,143,653.10 for the Tabung Harapan Malaysia according to the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocesan Media & Communications Office on 14 Aug 2018.

This was the collective amount from various parishes throughout Malaysia during the Masses of June 22-24 and was a gesture of solidarity towards helping alleviate the debt of the country.

The Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese will represent the other arch/dioceses of Malaysia in handing over the contribution to a representative from the Ministry of Finance.

Archbishop Julian Leow of Kuala Lumpur thanks the faithful for their kind generosity on behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia.

Another FSP returns to serve in KK Archdiocese

L-R: Sr Jennifer, Sr Bibianah, Fr Mario Sobrejuanite SSP, Sr Christine, Sr Maggie, Sr Anna pose for remembrance in this file photo taken during Fr Mario’s visit to the community on 1 Sept 2015.  Fr Mario was here to facilitate the retreat of the Pauline Cooperators Aug 29-31.

KOTA KINABALU – Another Daughter of St Paul returned to serve in the archdiocese recently.

Sister Bibianah Dunsia replaces Sister Anna Yap as webmaster of the Archdiocesan Website as of 24 Aug 2018.

She was appointed by then Bishop John Lee to head the first Social Communications Commission in 2001 and was tasked with the publicity of the Diocesan Silver Jubilee celebrations in 2001-2002.

Born in Kg Lokos Tamparuli in 1965, Sr Bibianah entered the congregation in January 1986 in Petaling Jaya. In June that same year she continued her formation in the Philippines.  She made her first profession in 1990 and took her final vows in 1998.

She served as superior of Petaling Jaya from 2008 to 2013.

Johor sultan grants audience to papal nuncio

Papal Nuncio Archbishop Joseph Marino (2nd from L) poses with the Sultan of Johor (3rd from L) and the others for remembrance after the audience, 15 Aug 2018, Istana Pasir Pelangi Johor Bahru.

JOHOR BAHRU – Papal nuncio Archbishop Joseph Marino was granted an audience with the Sultan of Johor at Istana Pasir Pelangi here on 15 Aug 2018.

Abp Marino spent nearly 90 minutes with Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim Ibn Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

During the audience, the American-born archbishop conveyed an invitation on behalf of Pope Francis for the sultan to make a state visit to the Vatican City.

He also presented a special silver medallion from the pope to the king, who reciprocated with a memento to the nuncio.

Accompanying the nuncio on the visit were Father Vjekoslav Holik from the Vatican Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and local liaison officer Mr Vincent D’Silva.

Also present was Deputy Johor Mufti Dato’ Yahya Ahmad.

Abp Marino arrived in Malaysia in 2013 following his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI.  He is the first resident apostolic  nuncio to Malaysia, which established diplomatic relations with the Holy See in July 2011. – Royal Press Office Johor

PMS mission directors to animate regional missionary activities

BUNDU TUHAN – The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of the Dioceses of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei met at the Retreat Centre here on Jul 25-26, 2018, which was attended by nine Diocesan mission directors together with Kuching Archbishop Simon Poh, as the Episcopal adviser for PMS.

This coming together of the mission directors annually enables them to organize and animate missionary activities in this region. This is also an opportune time for the National Director to disseminate news and information that he received from the PMS General Assembly in Rome in late May.

The PMS consist of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, Society of St Peter the Apostle, Society of Holy Childhood and Society of Missionary Union of Priests and Religious.

The Pontifical Mission Societies have, as their primary purpose, the promotion of a universal missionary spirit – a spirit of prayer and sacrifice – among all baptized Catholics.

The first three Societies, in carrying out that goal, invite baptized Catholics to express their missionary commitment by offering their prayers, personal sacrifices and financial support for the work of the Church in the Missions.

The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious works to deepen mission awareness among priests, religious, catechists and educators so that they are fully prepared to take on the mission formation of the faithful.

With the Malaysian Catholic Clergy Assembly (MCCA) just round the corner (Jul 16-20), Archbishop Simon Poh pointed out that the whole thrust of the MCCA is missionary in nature.   This, he said, explains the subsidy from PMS for the MCCA.

The Archbishop also mentioned in his opening address that as clergy, one is in an important position to witness to the Gospel which can bring about change in the society.

The meeting highlighted on the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 (EMM Oct 2019) announced by Pope Francis in October 2017, of his intention to call an Extraordinary Missionary Month for October 2019 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud issued by his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, which he said should be a great opportunity to renew the missionary commitment throughout the Church.

As such, proposals of initiatives to be planned for the local Church would be submitted to the Bishops’ Conference for approval.

The directors were very grateful to KK prelate Archbishop John Wong for his support and generosity in hosting this year’s PMS annual gathering. – Contributed by PMS National Director Fr Victor Louis Gnanapragasam

 

Finding God in the digital world

In the age of ever-evolving technology, where everything is a click or tap away, we seem to have collectively become obsessed with instant gratification.  We complain when the internet lags, or if a video has to buffer while we are watching it.  We ask friends to send us their GPS location, it is much easier than reading a map anyway.

But God cannot be located with Google Maps; the closest I have gotten is locating the nearest Catholic Church.

And sure, there is a lot we can do to make the search for God a little easier.  The CCC is easily Googled, and the easier-to-read Compendium too.  There are all sorts of prayers of all sorts of website for all sorts of things, but no real treasure map to lead us to spirituality.

This leaves a lot of room for doubt.  If God is not on the internet, does He really exist?

But maybe we are looking in the wrong places, or not looking hard enough.  We seem to be stuck in a culture of waiting for miracles, when we should be identifying the small miracles that fly under the radar.  We cannot say that technology is evil and pull ourselves away from technology entirely – this is where most of society spends its time, and if we withdraw, we will not be able to properly relate to people.  While our devices seem to be good for nothing but distractions from a nagging hollowness, they can also be tools for meaningful connections.

I have seen my grandmother say the rosary with my aunt who lives an ocean away, all thanks to a video call.  My church’s youth ministry use social media to reach out to the people they minister to, and to draw more people to join them.  These are only a few ways that technology can help.

And these are all great things to do on days when you can remember that there is good in the world, but what about the bad days?  The days when the news of disaster and hatred and cruelty drown out everything else and make you doubt the existence of a good, benevolent God?

It takes a different set of glasses to see God in the people who volunteer after these tragedies, the stories that make your heart swell with new hope for humanity.  Or the small advancements in technology that allow wheelchairs to climb stairs, or to find God in the cat videos that make you smile on a bad day.

And on the days when you cannot find yourself through the noise of self-advertising on your Facebook feed, a digital Sabbath can do wonders.  Everyone needs a digital detox at some point, and the time spent away from a device can show you exactly how reliant you are on keeping yourself too preoccupied to enjoy the outside world.

And when you take a break from the busy world, He will come to you in the silence and the world becomes a much more beautiful place to live in. – Lauren Lopez @ CAN

 

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