Charles Bo of Myanmar, the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’
Conferences (FABC), has issued a message for the special celebration of World
Day of the Sick in Kolkata, the city of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
The Asian bishops’ president is urging believers in the continent to
continue upholding the sacred duty and tradition of caring and respecting the
elderly, the infirm and the helpless, saying it is a barometer of society’s
Cardinal Charles Bo, the president of the Federation
of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), made the exhortation in a
message he released on Sunday in view of the upcoming international celebration
of the Catholic Church’s World Day of the Sick.
The annual day was instituted
by St. John Paul II on 13 May 1992, designating its
celebration to the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11 each
year. The purpose is to draw attention to the sick and their
caregivers and the redemptive act of human suffering.
Kolkata – city of Mother
Each year, the day is marked in a special way in a place chosen by the
Pope who issues a message for the occasion. The 27th World
Day of the Sick will be celebrated in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata (formerly
Calcutta), the city of St. Mother Teresa.
In his message for this year’s observance, Pope Francis urges believers
to promote a culture of generosity, noting that the joy of generous giving is a
barometer of the health of a Christian.
The theme of this year’s World Day of the Sick has as its theme, “You
received without payment; give without payment”. (Mt 10:8).
Recalling Kolkata as the “karma bhumi” (workplace) of St.Teresa of
Calcutta, Card. Bo says that this year’s theme was the mantra that Jesus gave
His disciples “before sending them forth to spread the good news of the kingdom
Caring for sick, infirm – a sacred
“Allow me to remind myself and encourage all believers to uphold the
traditional values embedded in the psyche of our varied ethnic groups in this
vast Asian continent which considers caring for the elderly and infirm as a
sacred duty of respect and devotion,” explains the cardinal, the
Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar.
“Our traditional customs of reaching out in solidarity to those in need
especially those who are sick, helpless or fall victims to accidents of
calamitous emergencies,” he says, “must continue to be embraced as a culture of
generosity – a barometer denoting societal health.”
Card. Bo, who assumed his leadership of the FABC on Jan. 1, holds Mary as
a model, saying she set out to be at the side of her cousin Elizabeth in her
hour of need. He wishes that she be an inspiration and example to us “to
reach out as visible signs of God’s love for the poor and the sick.”
He wishes that Mother Teresa, who showed what it means “give till it
hurts”, also be an inspiration and model in giving our time and talents in
caring for the sick.
The 70-year old cardinal expressed his gratitude and encouragement to
volunteers and associations who help the sick, and all those organize campaigns
for blood, tissue and organ donation.
Pope Francis on Dec. 11 appointed Bangladeshi Cardinal Patrick
D’Rozario as his envoy to the special celebration of the World Day of
the Sick in Kolkata.
This year’s World Day of the Sick will be a 3-day event, starting in
Kolkata on February 9 and will culminate on February 11 at the historical
Marian Shrine at Bandel on the banks of the Hooghly River some
60 kms north of Kolkata.
The first World Day of the Sick was marked in 1993 at the shrine of Our
Lady of Lourdes in southern France, one of the world’s most famous Marian
shrines. Since then, the day has been observed all over the world with a
special celebration in a particular place each year.
According to Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Prefect of the Vatican
Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, that organizes the World
Day of the Sick, Kolkata was chosen as a venue mainly “in light of the
experience of St. Teresa of Calcutta”.
This is only the second time a place in India has been chosen. The
first was Vailankanni in 2003. – Robin
Gomes, Vatican News, 27Jan2019
The Archbishop of Lisbon, Cardinal
Manuel Clemente, comments on the announcement of Lisbon as the next city to
host World Youth Day.
World Youth Day 2019 wrapped up in Panama on Sunday with the announcement that
the next World Youth Day will be held in Lisbon, Portugal
The announcement was received with joy and
excitement, especially – of course – by Portuguese pilgrims and by all those
who will be directly involved in preparing for the event.
Amongst them Cardinal Manuel Clemente,
Archbishop of Lisbon who had a word with Seàn-Patrick Lovett just
moments after the announcement was made at the end of the WYD Panama
Commenting on the Pope’s invitation to young
people to continue walking the journey from Panama to Portugal, Cardinal
Clemente said “that journey has already begun”:
“We are already walking from Panama to Lisbon” Cardinal
Clemente says, pointing out that three years is really not a very
long time in which to prepare for such an event.
Of course, he adds, “we want to do our best,
so it is a great challenge! But it’s also great news, not only for us, the
Portuguese people, but for all the young people of the world who are all
A special thought goes, he says, to
those who will be coming from nations like Brazil, Mocambique, Angola because
of our common language which will ensure they will feel especially at home in
Cardinal Clemente agrees it is not possible to
speak of Portugal without speaking of Fatima, which is at the heart of
spirituality in the country.
“Yes, Fatima will be in Lisbon” he says, “and
the experience and presence of the Mother of Jesus in our life is perhaps even
more visible in Fatima for all the world”.
“What do you say to the young people of the world?” Sean asks the Cardinal, to which he responds: “You are all welcome in Lisbon in 2022: I wait for you!” – Linda Bordoni, Vatican News, 28Jan2019
Sunday, Jan. 27, was the final day of the World Youth Day in Panama City. Pope Francis celebrated an open-air Holy Mass at the capital’s Metro Park to conclude the WYD. – Vatican News
eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to
them: ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Lk 4:20-21).
these words, the Gospel presents the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.
It started in the synagogue that saw him grow up; he was in the midst of
neighbours and people he knew, and perhaps even some of his childhood
“catechists” who had taught him the Law. It was an important moment in
the life of the Master: the child who was educated and grew up in
that community, stood up and took the floor to proclaim and put into
action God’s dream. A word previously proclaimed only as a future
promise, but now, on the lips of Jesus alone, could be spoken in the present
tense, as it became a reality: “Today it has been fulfilled”.
reveals the now of God, who comes to meet us and call us to take part in his
now of “proclaiming good news to the poor… bringing liberty to the captives and
recovering of sight to the blind, setting at liberty those who are oppressed,
announcing the year of the Lord’s favour” (Lk 4:18-19). This is the now
of God. It becomes present with Jesus: it has a face, it is flesh.
It is a merciful love that does not wait for ideal or perfect situations to
show itself, nor does it accept excuses for its appearance. It is God’s
time, that makes every situation and place both right and proper. In
Jesus, the promised future begins and becomes life.
When? Now. Yet not everyone who was listening felt invited or
called. Not all the residents of Nazareth were prepared to believe in
someone they knew and had seen grow up, and who was now inviting them to
realize a long-awaited dream. Not only that, but “they said,
‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’” (Lk 4:22).
same thing can also happen with us. We do not always believe
that God can be that concrete and commonplace, that close and real, and much
less that he can become so present and work through somebody like a neighbour,
a friend, a relative. We do not always believe that the Lord can invite
us to work and soil our hands with him in his Kingdom in that simple and blunt
a way. It is hard to accept that “God’s love can become concrete and can
almost be experienced in history with all its painful and glorious
vicissitudes” ( BENEDICT XVI, General Audience, 28 September 2005).
Often we too behave like the neighbours in Nazareth: we prefer a distant God: nice, good, generous but far-off, a God who does not inconvenience us. Because a close and everyday God, a friend and brother, demands that we be concerned with our surroundings, everyday affairs and above all fraternity. God chose not to reveal himself as an angel or in some spectacular way, but to give us a face that is fraternal and friendly, concrete and familiar. God is real because love is real; God is concrete because love is concrete. Indeed, this “concrete manifestation of love is one of the essential elements in the life of Christians” (BENEDICT XVI, Homily, 1 March 2006).
can also run the same risks as the neighbours at Nazareth, when
within our communities the Gospel seeks to be lived concretely. We begin
to say: But these young people, aren’t they the children of Mary, Joseph,
aren’t they the brothers and sisters of so and so? Are these not the
youngsters we saw grow up? That one over there, wasn’t he the one who
kept breaking windows with his ball? What was born as prophecy and
proclamation of the kingdom of God gets domesticated
and impoverished. Attempts to domesticate the word of God
too, dear young people, can experience this whenever you think that your
mission, your vocation, even your life itself, is a promise far off in the
future, having nothing to do with the present. As if being young were a
kind of waiting room, where we sit around until we are called. And in the
“meantime”, we adults or you yourselves invent a hygienically sealed future,
without consequences, where everything is safe, secure and “well
insured”. A “make-believe” happiness. So we
“ tranquilize ” you, we numb you into keeping quiet, not asking or
questioning; and in that “meantime” your dreams lose their buoyancy, they begin
to become flat and dreary, petty and plaintive (cf. Palm Sunday Homily, 25
March 2018). Only because we think, or you think, that your now
has not yet come, that you are too young to be involved in dreaming about and
working for the future.
of the fruits of the last Synod was the enrichment that came from being able to
meet and above all to listen to one another. The enrichment of
intergenerational dialogue, the enrichment of exchange and the value of
realizing that we need one another, that we have to work to create channels and
spaces that encourage dreaming of and working for tomorrow, starting
today. And this, not in isolation, but rather side by side, creating a
common space. A space that is not simply taken for granted, or won in a
lottery, but a space for which you too must fight.
dear young people, are not the future but the now of God. He invites you
and calls you in your communities and cities to go out and find your
grandparents, your elders; to stand up and with them to speak out and realize
the dream that the Lord has dreamed for you.
tomorrow but now, for wherever your treasure is, there will your heart also be
(cf. Mt 6:21). Whatever you fall in love with, it will win over not only
your imagination, it will affect everything. It will be what makes you
get up in the morning, what keeps you going at times of fatigue, what will
break open your hearts and fill you with wonder, joy and gratitude.
Realize that you have a mission and fall in love; that will decide everything
(cf. PEDRO ARRUPE, S.J., Nada es más práctico). We may possess
everything, but if we lack the passion of love, we will have nothing. Let
us allow the Lord to make us fall in love!
Jesus, there is no “meantime”, but only a merciful love that wants to enter
into and win over our hearts. He wants to be
our treasure, because he is not a “meantime”, an interval in life or
a passing fad; he is generous love that invites us to entrust ourselves.
concrete, close, real love. He is festive joy, born of opting for and
taking part in the miraculous draught of hope and charity, solidarity and
fraternity, despite the paralyzed and paralyzing gaze born of fear and
exclusion, speculation and manipulation.
Brothers and sisters, the Lord and his mission are not a “meantime” in our
life, something temporary; they are our life!
special way throughout these days, Mary’s fiat has been whispering like a kind
of music in the background. She not only believed in God and in his
promises as something possible, she believed God himself and dared to say “yes”
to taking part in this now of the Lord. She felt she had a mission; she
fell in love and that decided everything.
the synagogue of Nazareth, the Lord stands up again among us his friends and
acquaintances; he takes the book and says to us “Today this Scripture has been
fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21).
Do you want to live out your love in a practical way? May your “yes” continue to be the gateway for the Holy Spirit to give us a new Pentecost for the world and for the Church.
At the conclusion of this celebration, I thank God for having given us the
opportunity to share these days together and to experience once more this World
In particular, I would like to thank the President of Panama, Juan Carlos
Varela Rodríguez, the Presidents of other nations and the other political and
civil authorities for their presence at this celebration.
I thank Bishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, Archbishop of Panama, for his
generosity and hard work in hosting this World Youth Day in his diocese, as
well as the other bishops of this and the neighbouring countries, for all they
have done in their communities to provide accommodation and assistance to the
great numbers of young people.
My thanks also go to all those who have supported us with their prayers, and
who have helped by their efforts and hard work to make this World Youth Day
dream come true in this country.
And to you, dear young people, a big “thank you”. Your faith and joy have
made Panama, America and the entire world shake! As we have heard so many
times in these days in the song of this World Youth Day: “As your pilgrim
people we are gathered here today from every continent and city”. We are
on a journey, keep walking, keep living the faith and sharing it. Do not
forget that you are not the tomorrow, you are not the “meantime”; you are the
now of God.
The venue for the next World Youth Day has already been announced. I ask
you not to let the fervour of these days grow cold. Go back to your
parishes and communities, to your families and your friends, and share this
experience, so that others can resonate with the strength and enthusiasm that
is yours. With Mary, keep saying “yes” to the dream that God has sown in
At the conclusion of World Youth Day in Panama, Pope Francis meets with
22,200-odd volunteers and thanks them for their hard work and generosity.
Before we conclude the celebration of World Youth Day, I wanted to meet all of
you and to thank every one of you for the service you rendered during these
days and in the months preceding WYD.
Thanks to Bartosz, Stella Maris del Carmen and Maria Margarida for sharing
their personal experiences. How important it is to listen to them and to
appreciate the fellowship that comes about when we come together to serve
others. We experience how faith takes on a completely new flavour and
force: it becomes more alive, dynamic and real. We experience a different
kind of joy from having had the opportunity to work side by side with others in
achieving a shared dream. I know that all of you have experienced this.
you know how our hearts beat faster when we have a mission, not because someone
told you this, but because you experienced it for yourselves. You
experienced in your own life that “no one has greater love than this, to lay
down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13).
You also had to experience some
difficult moments that called for additional sacrifice. As you told us,
also come to experience our own weaknesses. The good thing is that
you did not let those weaknesses get in the way of your service, or bother you
too much. You experienced them in serving others, yes; in trying to
understand and help other volunteers and pilgrims, yes; but you were determined
not to let this stop you or paralyze you, you went ahead. That is the
beauty of knowing that we are sent, the joy of knowing that, in spite of every
difficulty, we have a mission to carry out. Not to let our limitations,
our weaknesses and even our sins hold us back and stop us from living the
mission, because God invites us to do what we can and ask for what we cannot,
in the knowledge that his love is taking hold of us and transforming us
progressively (cf. Gaudete
et Exsultate, 49-50). Put service and mission first, and you will see
that everything else will follow.
Thank you all, because in these days you have been attentive to even the
smallest details, however ordinary and apparently insignificant, like offering
someone a glass of water. Yet you have also been concerned with the
larger things that called for careful planning. You prepared every detail
with joy, creativity and commitment, and with much prayer. For when we
pray about things, we feel them more profoundly. Prayer gives force and
vitality to everything we do. In praying, we discover that we are part of
a family larger than what we can see or imagine. In praying, we open
everything we do to the Church that supports and accompanies us from heaven, to
the saints who have shown us the way, but above all, we open it all to God.
You have dedicated your time, and your energy and resources, to dreaming and
putting together this meeting. You could have easily chosen to do other
things, but you wanted to be involved. To give your best to making
possible the miracle of the multiplication not only of loaves but also of hope.
Here, once again, you have shown that it is possible to set aside your
own interests in order to help others. As you did, Stella Maris, when you
saved up to attend the WYD in Krakow, but decided not to go, so that you could
look after your three grandparents. You gave up doing something you
wanted to do and had dreamed about, in order to help and accompany your family,
to honour your roots. But the Lord, unbeknownst to you, was preparing a
gift for you; he brought the WYD to your own country. Like Stella Maris,
many of you also made all sorts of sacrifices. You had to defer your
dreams to care for your land, your roots. The Lord always blesses that,
and he can never be outdone in generosity. Every time we forego something
that we like for the good of others and especially those most in need, or our
roots as in the case of our grandparents and the elderly, the Lord pays it back
a hundredfold. For when it comes to generosity, no one can beat him; when
it comes to love, no one can outdo him. Friends, give and it will be
given to you, and you will experience how the Lord “puts into your lap good
measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over” (Lk 6:38).
You have had a more lively and real experience of faith; you have experienced
the strength born of prayer and a new and different kind of joy, the fruit of
working side by side even with people you did not know. Now is the moment
when you are sent forth: go out and tell, go out and bear witness, go out and
spread the word about everything you have seen and heard. Dear friends,
let everyone know about what happened during these days. Not with lots of
words but rather, as you did here, with simple and ordinary gestures, those
that transform and renew each hour of the day.
Let us ask the Lord for his blessing. May he bless your families and
communities, and all those whom you will meet and encounter in the days to
come. Let us also place ourselves under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin.
May Our Lady accompany you always. And, as I told you in Krakow, I
do not know if I will be there for the next WYD, but Peter will surely be there
to confirm you in faith. Press on, with courage and strength, and please,
do not forget to pray for me. Thank you. – Vatican News, Rommel Fernández Stadium,27 Jan
April 07 – Arrival of Infant Jesus Sisters to Keningau Diocese (1996)
April 14 – Arrival of Msgr Cuarteron in Labuan (1857)
April 16 – Official establishment of Labuan (Borneo) Mission (1857)
Mar 27 – Priestly Ordination of Rt Rev Cornelius Piong (1977)
Fr Russell Lawrine (014-9512131)
Fr Johny Raju (013-8025543)
Please contact them for ministry and spiritual guidance. They can also be contacted at Sacred Heart Cathedral Office 088-224741 and Stella Maris Parish Office 088-254321 respectively.
Bereaved families are to contact St Joseph Benevolent Fund office at 088-216321 or Thomas Chew at 010-9570393 for funeral arrangements and confirmation before making obituary announcement in local newspapers.
April 01 – Msgr Thomas Jackson mhm (1916)
April 01 – Rev Michael Henselmans (2011)
April 06 – Rev Francis Xavier Sint (1979)
April 13 – Rev Felix Westerwoudt mhm (1898)
April 17 – Rev Jan Van der Salm mhm (1996)
April 20 – Rev Louis Purcell mhm (2013)
April 22 – Rev Patrick McDonald mhm (2000)
April 23 – Rev Daniel Kilty mhm (1889)
April 24 – Rt Rev James Buis (1980)
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