Daily Archives:September 12th, 2018

Understanding marital love through theology of the Body

PENAMPANG – A three-day seminar organised by the Catholic Family Apostolate Committee (KKK) of St Michael Parish here on the Theology of the Body (TOB) on 18 – 20 June 2018 attracted 260 participants.

The seminar, based on the first major teaching project of Pope John Paul II during his pontificate, was guided by Romo (Father) Bernadinus Realino Agung Priharhana of the Missionaries of the Holy Family, based in Jawa Province, Indonesia.

TOB is a biblical reflection on the meaning of human design as created by God, particularly as it concerns human sexuality, marital love and erotic desire.  Simply put, it means that our bodies somehow reveal the mystery of divine love in the world through the mystery of sexual difference and the call of the two to become one flesh.

Through this seminar, the organisers hope to promote the importance of the family institution in emphasising the primary vocation of the human body as self-gift.

The late pope, through TOB, offers a fresh new vision for human sexuality rooted in the ancient Scriptures and Tradition of the Church.  Focusing mainly on the Biblical teaching that we are made in the image of God, the Holy Father challenges us to accept the body as a true gift from God, a profound vision for understanding sexuality as a beautiful gift in God’s design, a gift that is meant to be a means for self-giving love.

Romo Bernadinus guided the participants with a three-part series of talks with Q&A sessions in between, which generated much interest in the audience.

Traditionally, he explained, the Church has recognised three such vocations: marriage, religious life, and the priesthood.   Through the Q&A, the speaker helped the participants to understand the processes to determine the call to the celibate life as in a religious or priestly calling.

Seen through the prism of the theology of the body, the priesthood not only reminds us of Christ’s love for his Bride, but, in a way similar to vowed religious, also reminds us of the ultimate spousal meaning of the body.  To put it simply, when priests or religious neglect the spousal understanding of their vocation and their virginal relationship to God in prayer, it becomes nearly impossible to remain faithful to their calling.

The organisers took the positive attendance of the crowd throughout the three days as an indication of the desire of the faithful to understand deeper the teachings of the Church.  It motivated them to plan for more seminars in the future on related topics. – SOCCOM PENAMPANG




GOGICC celebrates 30 years of God’s faithfulness

KOTA KINABALU – The Glory of God International Covenant Community (GOGICC) met for a 3-day conference at Gaya Centre Hotel from 27 – 29 July 2018. Ninety people from eight different countries came together for the celebration of God’s faithfulness of 30 years of GOGICC.

With a theme from Romans  9:25-26 “I will call them, My People”, we have taken the opportunity to hear once more God’s call to us to be His people, His beloved, His sons and daughters!

During these days we have had the privilege to have different beautiful moments: times to get to know our own stories and become aware that each of us is a brush stroke in the bigger picture of the GOGICC; times to share meals and company, deepening of friendships and fraternity; times of praying together and of bonding with each other in the Covenant that makes us one people. Our diverse backgrounds, from many different countries, manifested the boundless love of Christ.

As host to the event, LiFE-ICPE Mission Sabah extended our hospitality with the opportunity to meet Archbishop John Wong who celebrated the Holy Eucharist with all present.

On this occasion, we were able to share the internationality of who we are through various symbols.

Following Mass, as it is a tradition in the GOGICC, we enjoyed an Agape meal, together with the Archbishop and other guests. Also present were the leaders of the Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community who are friends of the GOGICC, sharing the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities.

The 3-day conference was a close to the meetings of the ICPE Council, Directors, Coordinators and the GOGICC leaders’ meetings which were held since  16 July 2018.  Each day of gathering has been embraced in prayer:  praying the Liturgy of the Hours, times of intercessions, praying for each other and our communities, and praying over each other. All these culminated daily with the celebration of the Eucharist as a community of leaders, of all who we are and all that we will do as Missionary Disciples.

Days like these are times where we reflect on the past, not so much for the sake of reminiscing the past, but more so to realize God’s faithfulness and to dream new dreams for a new vision ahead. We have a God who journeys with us, accompanies us even when we are travelling in the wrong direction. This also gives us courage to take new steps forward knowing that the God who has been faithful in the past will continue to be faithful in the future. – Beatrice Chong

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