Monthly Archives: December, 2018

Two Sabahan Boys Brigade hold first international task in the Philippines

TAGAYTAY, Philippines – Two Boys Brigade (BB) lieutenants from Kota Kinabalu were called in as trainers in the National Brigade Philippines Leadership Development Course 2018 Camp here organized by The Brigade Philippines from 5 – 7 October.

Jeremy Chin and Alister Lee from 11th KK Company, were given their first international task to speak and facilitate sessions to over 100 members from various Boys Brigade companies in the country. They were also the first Sabahan Brigade officers to be selected as international trainers.

As it was their first international task, they served under the guidance of Mr Ho Hee Mang from 2nd KK company, current BB Sabah State Commissioner and who was also working for BB Asia for this development course.

Jeremy said it was an honour to reach out to other Boys Brigade ministries in other countries. Both Jeremy and Alister facilitated topics on Communication, Squad Management, Games, NCOs roles and responsibilities.

The program was divided into three sections; Senior Leadership 1 & 2, Junior Leadership and a boot camp.

Jeremy said it was a wonderful experience during the camp, “we taught, shared, played and we learned together as how we did in the BB family back home.

“As we were facilitating the sessions, we also exchanged ideas on a case study, exchanged stories of both cultures, lifestyles, activities, as well as the study and working environments and many more.

“The members were very friendly and behaved well. Even during communication and games, everyone participated fully as the games required teamwork in order to complete it and we really had fun. The important thing is no one was left behind as we all journey together.”

The camp ended with the Founder’s Day celebration. It is always held in the month of October annually as it started in the year 1883 in Glasgow, Scotland by Sir William Alexander Smith.

Everyone wore their BB uniform; awards and certificates were also given out on that day. The celebration started with a drill competition which was judged by  international officers followed by the marching- in of the Colour Party Flag, BB Flag and the Philippines National Flag and other activities such as reading the Word of God, sharing and cheering.

The program was well organized and credit should be given due with a big thank you to BB Malaysia, BB Asia, The Brigade Philippines President, Mr Paul Tiu and his Officers for the hard work and unforgettable memories. Jeremy Chin

University of Malaya MACNITE welcomes Catholic freshmen

PETALING JAYA – Catholic Students’ Society of the University of Malaya (CSSUM) has successfully organized the annual event, MACNITE (Meet and Connect Night) on 22 Sept 2018, at Saint Francis Xavier (SFX) Church  to welcome Catholic freshmen of UM.

SFX PJ Church, being the nearest church to UM and hence, has become the main church for students from this university and a home for many.

It had been a wonderful evening driven by the UM Catholic students. Those present included a visiting priest Fr Varghese Lopez, SJ, UM alumni, representatives from various societies in SFX parish and the Catholic students who are currently studying in UM.

Peter Joachim, President of CSSUM, said, “There are no strangers here, only friends we are yet to meet.” He welcomed the Catholic freshmen and acknowledged the common fear of being in a new place. He related how CSSUM has brought him closer to God and wished for the same in others, while quoting Proverbs 3:5-6 to affirm his trust in God, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight”.

There were sing-along sessions; brothers and sisters sang to the rhythm of our vibrant Praise and Worship team as we praised the name of the Lord. We had food, games and sharing sessions by the alumni as well as representatives from various societies under the SFX Youth Ministry.

With this event, the family of CSSUM has expanded even more, with many more members and opportunities to spread the love of Christ, as Catholic university students.

Armed with its motto of “Christ. Service. Serve”, CSSUM is driven by the vision to empower Catholic students with the passion of Christ to love and to serve God. CSSUM is a community where Catholic students in UM can gather together, guide and help each other in many ways; study, social and spiritual life.

CSSUM is not just a community, though. We are a family in God’s love. – Hazel Kugan, CSSUM member

60 Asian youth leaders join Korea Pilgrimage Week

SEOUL – Once again, Seoul Archdiocese has organized the Korea Pilgrimage Week, Sep 10-15, 2018 in Seoul. The Korean Martyrs Exaltation Committee under the archdiocese invited the Asian Catholic youth and youth ministers to jointly celebrate the auspicious week.

Thirty Asian Catholic leaders from 13 countries and 30 youths from nine Asian countries responded to the invitation.

The annual program is held as a memorial to the Catholic martyrs who surrendered themselves and their lives to spread the love of Jesus Christ to others.

The pilgrimage was held with the objective to unite Catholic youth leaders from various Asian countries.

Throughout the pilgrimage, we visited several historical places. Each shrine possesses its own unique story in terms of the means of persecution, but for the same purpose i.e. defending their faith in Jesus Christ.

Korea is one of the countries which has many martyrs. In this year’s pilgrimage program, Vatican has made these pilgrimage places as official international pilgrimage sites.

The Holy Mass was celebrated at Seosomun Martyrs’ Shrine, a site of capital punishment for Catholic believers in the past.

Archbishop Rini Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization from Vatican has officially announced the Korea Pilgrimage route as an international pilgrimage destination and the scroll was handed over to Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to visit the shrines during this prilgrimage. I am also amazed by the local parishioners in this archdiocese for their astounding efforts in building this pilgrimage route to remember  the sacrifices of the martyrs and to inspire many.

“After the official announcement by the Vatican, I strongly suggest the faithful to take the opportunity to visit these places as there are too many martyrs’ stories that could not all be possibly published here.

“Historical stories of the martyrs made me reflect the extent of my willingness to defend my faith in Jesus Christ. Am I courageous enough and am I willing to be a martyr in this challenging world?

“I would like to invite you to reflect the same, how willing are you to defend your faith in Jesus Christ?” – Kelly Celestine, KK Archdiocese youth leader

Boys’ Brigade join Malaysia Day in Padang Merdeka

KOTA KINABALU – The KK Division Boys’ Brigade joined thousands of other Malaysians to celebrate Malaysia Day at Padang Merdeka here on Sept 2018. It was attended by 54 members and officers from the 2nd, 3rd, 11th, 13th KK and 1st Penampang Companies, led by Lieutenant Jeremy Chin, of 11th KK (picture).

The program started at 8.10pm and ends at 10.30pm. It was attended by VVIP Sabah State Governor TYT, Malaysia Prime Minister and his Deputy, Sabah Chief Minister, federal and local ministers.

There were numerous songs, a presentation of history of Sabah and Sarawak, followed by cake cutting. The celebration continued with flag rising and ended with colourful fireworks.

Of the thousands who came, the celebration displayed unity of multicultural and races in Malaysia, especially in Sabah. – Jeremy Chin

Arise and Shine: Wake Up Call For Youths

LABUAN – The youth Fellowship of Malaysian Covenant Community (FMCC) organized a program for over 80 youths at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament on 1st Sept 2018.

The theme of this fellowship taken from Isaiah 60: 1 “Arise and Shine, for Your Light has Come!” was indeed a beckon from our Lord to rise up to an evangelistic truth. The theme further resonates an even greater call for Catholic youth of this generation to defend their faith amidst the trials of this world.

The first session, “Arise, God is Reaching Out!” by Christopher Felix from Kuala Lumpur, bespoke the omnipotence of a great God and the rightful image of God as Father amidst a world marred with materialism.

The session began with an interesting yet thought-provoking social experiment that relied on the participants’ capacity to think beyond what the world teaches. The experiment, which consisted of three creators, three builders and some life cards, required participants to strategically think and produce a required item.

The lesson drawn from this experiment was in understanding the potency of human love versus God’s all-giving and all knowing, omnipotent love. Christopher further expounded on God’s love using Michaelangelo’s painting of the Creation of Adam, where God is constantly reaching out to us and freely giving His love; but the question is, “Are we reciprocating that love?”

The second session, entitled “Arise, put on the Full Armour!” involved separate sessions for both men and women. The men’s session led by Jahaziel D’Cruz also from KL, touched on the distinct difference between the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness, teaching all men how to rise up, equip themselves with God’s armour and overcome the vices and temptations of the enemy. Jahaziel gave illustrations on the significance of each piece of armour. He further elucidates the specific call of God to young men to be an example of faith for women.

The women’s session, led by Aline Lim from Kota Kinabalu was certainly a wake up call for young women. Aline first mentioned that, “women cannot arise, and cannot shine if women themselves have not experienced light in their lives.” She brought to light all the struggles that women face in their lives today. She further explained that the battle women face is not only one that is physical but spiritual.

Similar to Jahaziel, she also spoke of the significance of each piece of armour but in the perspective of Godly womanhood. Her final message for women was certainly of genuine impact, as she says, “It is only when women become women, that men can become men.” A definitive call for women to embrace femininity in its truest form.

The final session in the evening was graced by the presence of Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu, and the elders of each Catholic Covenant Community. The evening was lined up with a variety of food, an awesome emcee and a wonderful praise and worship session by the youths from Kota Kinabalu.

An exhortation led by John Paul Felix concluded with the theme taken from Isaiah 60:1-3, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

This is certainly a great summon of our Lord to rise up in the midst of darkness. John used personal accounts of his own life to testify on how the Lord shone light in the darkness of his life.

Each session given by the aforementioned speakers was further solidified and convicted with the life experiences and testimonies of four young people, namely Michele Peter, Justin D’Souza, Rachel Gomez and Jessica D’Cruz. Each testified God’s greatness in their time of darkness, giving a message of hope and an invitation to the participants that just as God was able to use their lives, God can use the lives of the participants as well.

The night came to a wonderful end after a ministering session by Christopher Felix and a final praise song. As a whole, this youth programme bore immense fruit and significance to the lives of the young people that participated. As Catholics, we ought to know that God does not call the qualified but he qualifies the called. – Michele Peter

Commissioning of first Catholic Boys and Girls Brigade in Kuching

KUCHING – The 11th Kuching Company, The Boys Brigade (BB) and The Girls Brigade (GB) were officially commissioned by Fr Felix Au, rector of Blessed Sacrament Church (BSC) here, as another initiative to reach out to its community on 12 August 2018.

In his resolve to promote faith formation and discipline at a tender age, Fr Felix gave his blessings for the setting up of both a BB and GB Company at BSC. A recruitment drive for helpers and officers began late December last year.

In March 2018, the only existing Catholic Boys Brigade Company in Sarawak conducted their first BB meeting at BSC. The GB, a separate organisation, held their meeting the following month.

There are currently four Catholic Boys Brigade Companies in Malaysia. The other three are in Sabah. The Church’s Girls Brigade stands on record as the first ever Catholic GB company in Sarawak.

The objective of the Boys Brigade is the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom among members and the promotion of habits of Obedience, Reverence, Discipline, Self-Respect and all that tends towards a true Christian Character.

It upholds the motto – Sure and Stedfast, taken from Hebrews 6:19. The original Old English (King James Version) spelling of ‘Stedfast’ has been retained.

Meanwhile the objective of the Girls Brigade is Seek, Serve and Follow Christ with the aim to help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through Self-Control, Reverence and a sense of Responsibility to find true Enrichment of Life.

There are different levels of recruitment into both the Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade, which may vary slightly. However, both the BB and GB are currently collaborating to focus only on the Junior Section, which is open to boys and girls aged 9-12 years old. There are plans to start a Senior Section for youths of 13-18 years’ age group next year.

The 11th Kuching Company Boys Brigade now has seven Officers and 20 boys, with Clement Sii as their Captain. He was from the 2nd Kuching Company Boys’ Brigade at Trinity Methodist Church.

The 11th Kuching Company Girls Brigade has four Officers serving 14 girls. Its Captain is Julita Chen from 3rd Kuching Company Girls’ Brigade at Trinity Methodist Church. Ivy Chai

Boys’ Brigade in Malaysian Catholic Church:

  1. 1st Binatang Company (Bintangor), Sarawak, formed in 1974 at Church of Christ The King. But after that closed down in 1980.
  2. 4th Kota Kinabalu Company, formed in1982 at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sabah.
  3. 11th Kota Kinabalu Company, formed in 2015 at Stella Maris Church, Tanjung Aru, Sabah.
  4. 13th Kota Kinabalu Company, formed in 2018 at St. Simon Church, Likas, Sabah.
  5. 11th Kuching Company, currently the only Catholic BB in Sarawak. Formed in 2018 at Blessed Sacrament Church, Kuching, Sarawak.

Pope: Advent, time to bring peace to ourselves, to our family, to our world

“Do not talk about others”. “If all of us were doing just that – not talking about others – peace would succeed. May the Lord prepare our hearts for the Christmas of the Prince of Peace. But, prepare us by doing us all, our part, to pacify: pacify my heart, my soul, pacify my family, the school, the neighborhood, the workplace “.

Vatican (AsiaNews) – Advent is the time to build peace in one’s own soul, in the family and in the world. And the first step is not to speak ill of others. Pope Francis said this in the homily of the Mass celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta, inspired by the First Reading of today’s Liturgy (Isaiah11,1-10) and the Gospel (Luke 10,21-24).

Read more…http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope:-Advent,-time-to-bring-peace-to-ourselves,-to-our-family,-to-our-world-45649.html

May Advent prepare for the coming of Jesus, not just worldly goods

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Advent is a period that has “three dimensions”: past, present and future. It serves to “purify the faith”, to “purify hope” and to “purify vigilance”, because the Lord will return. Read more… http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope:-May-Advent-prepare-for-the-coming-of-Jesus,-not-just-worldly-goods-45638.html

The voice of young Sabahans: their hopes and prayers for the new Malaysia

Roney Eming, Keningau – MY hope is that fellow Malaysians will always preserve harmony, tolerance and respect towards differences of religion, race even political understanding. I hope the welfare and the need of rakyat is given number one priority in all planning and implementing measures.

Young people must care about current issues and realities of their surrounding, being involved in activities specially organized for youth and being tactful in making choices and decisions for the common good for the future.

I pray for continuous stability, development, peace and independence for Malaysia.

Linton Lilo, Kota Belud – I hope that this new Malaysia will strive better for its future. I want the people to benefit not only from the economic development but from the education system, social lifestyle and technology advancement.

As young people, we should contribute more to the country. Young people nowadays have so many talents, energy, creativity and innovation but we lack the courage and motivation to move forward or to make changes.

I pray our country Malaysia is free of corruption. Bless our prime minister and all the ministers. Give them vision and courage, as they ponder decisions effecting peace and the future of Malaysia. Make this great land and all its people know God’s will clearly, that they may fulfill the destiny ordained for us for the salvation of the nations, and restoring all things in Christ.

Kelly Liong, Ranau – MALAYSIA Day in essence is a historic event that brought unity among the rakyat in order to create harmonious country, a place where respect towards differences are uphold.

With the new Malaysia, I hope Malaysians are able to be openly involved in developing the country together with the government to re-stabilize it.

Today’s young people are increasingly swallowed by the world. For this new Malaysia, young people must be courageous in voicing out their opinions and to act for changes. We are the agents of change and the future of Malaysia. If the young people are involved in a negative way in the new Malaysia, it will contribute to the “aging of the country”. I encourage the young people and also myself to not be lazy but to practice critical thinking. Do not be afraid to act for justice but act rationally. Prove to all that we are not just demanding to be heard, but that we can also act sensibly.

May our God bless and protect Malaysia from all injustices and grant strength as well as wisdom to its leaders and rakyat.

Lay Metha, Kiulu – FOR this new Malaysia, I hope the leaders and rakyat from all races unite and practice healthy competition towards development, without wanting to defeat anyone. Leaders and rakyat must care for the marginalized and minorities such as the native, ex-convicts, poor, ex-addicts and so on. We must be bothered with climate change. I hope for healthy rapid development without destructing the environment, traditional culture and our original identity.

As young people, we can start small but consistent. We must read, research, share good thoughts through social media using story telling tools, less gossiping, be a volunteer to an NGO, go out and see your surroundings, listen to uplifting stories and the needs of the oppressed minorities, do not litter, recycle. We may not always afford to contribute money, but we can share our energy, knowledge and time to be a citizen who cares.

Jenna Robert, Likas – TO me, Malaysia Day commemorates a day where we celebrate freedom from foreign rulers and the uniting of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak as a cohesive force and a new identity – Malaysian and truly multi-cultural and multi-religious.

As a second time voter, I felt proud that Malaysians made a conscious and united vote for change and gave our current government a chance to bring in new tidings to our country, however long it may take. It was the most exciting event in our political and communal history and many Malaysians showed enthusiasm and were proactive. I hope that the new government carries on the spirit of the people who voted for them – a spirit for renewal and uprooting the bad and a desire for unity and good change.

Young people in this generation should equip themselves with all the knowledge and information they can get and disseminate messages of hope and peace among Malaysians to spark the spirit of inclusion and responsibility.

Joannes Jomitol, KK – MALAYSIA day is a time for me to reflect and be grateful for all the blessings that God has given to Sabah because of the formation of the Federation 55 years ago. At the same time, it is also a time for me to think what would I want to leave behind for the future generations.

I hope the people will now know the power that they have when they are united as one. Great things can be achieved if we move forward together, fight against corruption, racism and oppression.

Discover who you are, your calling, and live them out passionately and courageously.  I pray that Malaysia will be a Country after God’s own heart!

Jeremy Chin, Tg Aru – IT is a celebration where Sabah and Sarawak formed Malaysia on Sep 16, 1963. It’s a historical moment where we should continue to celebrate the unity of all races, cultures and religious.

For the first time in history, Malaysia saw a change of government last May 9. With a new Malaysia, the citizens must be patient and have confidence with our new government. We are the one who chose them and so let them perform their duty.

For the government, they have to be well prepared with knowledge on what they are doing. They should start their day with a smile, be confident and work with integrity so that they are always ready to serve the nation and its people.

Meanwhile the young people should share their skills and expertise to develop the nation whether in sports, technology, food industry and many more. I pray for peace, harmony and unity. May God guide our leaders for a better future and economic stability so that we can journey together to achieve our nation’s vision and mission.

Maria Baidolly, Penampang – FOR me, Malaysia Day is a day to celebrate our unity as a country and remembering the struggles of the leaders before us who fought for the independence and unity of this country.

We saw a change of government since its independence in 1957, I hope the people of Malaysia will make full use of the opportunity through this change by cooperating with the new government and work together as a nation to build a better future.

Young people of the country must be more involved in the country’s affairs and supportive towards building a better future.

May the Lord continue to shower His blessings upon our country and continue to guide our leaders in good governance for a better Malaysia. Amen

Jeremiah Michael, KK – MALAYSIA Day always reminds me of how blessed I am to be born and living in Malaysia as God has granted us peace despite how broken we are as a country. God never fails to bless us with peace in this country.

My hope for the new government is that they will be more honest and sincere in doing their duty as leaders of this country.

As a youngster, I always feel that it’s important for us to continue praying for our leaders and always continue to preserve the peace that we have now. Always treat each other with respect and love. In this small way we will be able to serve and turn our country into a better place to live.

I pray that may God continue to guide our country to become a great nation and continue to do His will despite any circumstances.

Traveling while picking up garbage Dutch citizen convey message to care for the environment

Sissing known as the trashpacker

SEMPORNA, 7 July 2018 – Traveling while picking up garbage. That is what a Dutch citizen is doing while traveling to a few countries including Malaysia, he picked up garbage to deliver a message to the public not to be shy about keeping the environment.

Lately, Tijmen Sissing, 27, went viral in social media after his picture of picking up garbage with a group of children in Semporna was widely shared.

Before this, he picked up garbage while he was in Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines and West Malaysia, but only gained widespread publicity in Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau.

Following up his widespread publicity in Eastern Sabah, the locals started to join his cleaning ‘jobs’ and even provided garbage bags, food as well as vehicles to transport the garbage.

Besides joined in by a group of children in Semporna, while in Tawau, he was assisted by 23 volunteers and managed to collect waste dumps in 82 big bags in just three hours-time.

Tijmen said he began to be aware of the need to address dirty environment after discovering large amount of rubbish while traveling in Thailand, Laos and Australia in 2012.

While cleaning a place, he received some scornful looks from the locals because he was collecting rubbish in a public place.

“Even if they laugh, I still welcome them and asked “Apa khabar?” Collecting waste dumps using a rubbish bag apparently make me look funny,” he said. Olivia Miwil, Berita Harian (translated)

A Fun Filled Day at the beach

TANJUNG ARU – Youth Ministry of Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI) held their first outdoor outing since the ministry had its youth gathering back in February 2018.

They chose to have some rest and recreational activities at Tanjung Aru beach,  Aug 4. This outing was a replacement of one which was organized a few months back but it had to be cancelled due to bad weather.

However, this time around, the day was simply perfect and even if the weather was not favourable, they had Plan B ready. As it turned out, Plan A went about smoothly.

They found a nice spot with a lawn that was big and clean for their race and Frisbee tossing. Though not many turned up and there were a few last minute cancellations, what mattered most was the quality time that they had spent together in sharing and bonding.

In closing the day, they offered their thanks to the Lord for such a memorable and relaxing day. Before going on their separate ways, and with the setting sun as the background, everyone gathered for a not so perfect group photo but of a perfect outing day, with a promise to come back with more youths next time. – CMI SOCCOM

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