Category Archives: Catholic Sabah

Children’s Christmas party – more than just fun

KOTA KINABALU – The much awaited annual Children Christmas Party, was finally unveiled at the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish hall on Dec 22. 

Children and parents thronged into the hall as early as 10.00 am, more than an hour ahead of the actual event, perhaps at the insistence of the children.

With almost 300 children registered for the party, it was a heart-warming sight for both organizers and volunteers alike to see smiling and laughing children,  clutching their “Christmas gifts” close to their chest and perhaps impatient to go home at the end of the party to open them.

Carlos Cordova, the organizing chairman for the party, observed how the children received their Christmas gifts with much joy and excitement, as could be seen from their sparkling eyes. 

He however advised parents to continue to guide their children in coming to know the real meaning of Christmas, which is to know Jesus, and to foster a loving relationship with Jesus.

As part of the activities planned for the party, children also had the opportunity to have their colouring skills admired when they put up their artwork for viewing and appreciation by parents and other parishioners. 

Other activities included a short video show, group dancing, lucky draw, as well as a range of games tailored for different age groups.

Parish priest Fr Paul Lo, who was present for the children’s event, also spent some time inculcating in the hearts and minds of the children the true meaning of Christmas with the topic “What is Christmas?” He was invited to hand out gifts to the children.

Besides more than just having fun, the Children Christmas Party served to remind the children (and the parents) that their family is truly extended and that everyone are truly their brothers and sisters in Christ. They not only played together but they also prayed together and ate together.

The Social Ministry Committee of Sacred Heart Cathedral, who organized the children’s party with the theme “Christ our Mission”, thanked all volunteers, parents and donors for their contribution in service and in kind towards the success of the party.  – Joseph Carlos Leong

SHC holds Carols by Candlelight with new feature

KOTA KINABALU – “This year 2018 the Carols by Candlelight will be celebrated together as one parish family,” stressed Fr Paul Lo, parish priest of Sacred Heart Cathedral, to the 400-crowd gathered at the foyer and frontage of the parish complex.

Previous years have seen numerous caroling groups featuring individual presentations that made up the whole Candlelight event.

Standing together to sing carols as one big family radiated a warm feeling and spirit of togetherness.

The night’s agenda also had Fr Paul, Fr Max and Fr Russell proclaiming the Lucan Christmas Story in three languages, followed by a a tri-lingual homily by Fr Paul.

Fr Paul reminded all present that they were the reason for the Candlelight event.

“We are the reason that God became man. He loves us so much, willing to forgo heaven and come down to us, giving us salvation as He promised..  This is the free gift that restores our dignity as man, bringing us back to Himself and becoming once again His beloved children,” said the rector.

Notably present was Archbishop John Wong, who was invited to light the candle, which he then passed on to the clergy and others. – CS

Christmas at St Mary’s Chapel, Kionsom

KIONSOM, Inanam – Meanwhile, at St Mary’s Chapel here, no seat was unoccupied, both inside the 500-seated chapel and the 500-seated hall. The corridors and available space around the building were also all taken up.

KUK chairman Francis Lodjumi confirmed that the crowd started to fill up the chapel and hall an hour ahead of the Christmas Vigil Mass.

The prayer was led by catechist Hendry Sodikit, assisted by catechist Walter Duin, Stella Kagi and Francis.

The Indonesian community living around the area also thronged the chapel to attend Christmas Vigil Mass. – Joseph Bingkasan

Christmas, a time to ponder God born among men, and a time to foster peace among men

RANAU – Hundreds of people from all walks of life, including invited guests, attended the Ranau St Peter Claver Catholic Church Christmas Open House celebration that was held at the church’s compound on Friday, Dec 29.

Parish priest Fr Nicholas Stephen said when officiating the Christmas Open House, it was the third time that such an event was held at St Peter Claver since he was posted to serve in Ranau.

 “We are fortunate to be able to host such a celebration because many people around the world do not not have the opportunity to live through Dec 25 or go to Church because of illnesses, sufferings and other unfortunate conditions in the places where they live.

“This is the reason why we continue to organize a Christmas Open House, as well as that we priests cannot reach out to everyone during Christmas, but by inviting everyone to come here for the special celebration, we are able to meet each other,” he said.

Fr Stephen, or Fr Nick as he is widely known said, Christmas is not only a time where Christians everywhere give thanks to a loving God, but also a time for all to ponder God born among men.

He also took the opportunity to commend the people of Ranau for having done their best to foster peace within the community here, as well as helping one another especially during times of need. 

“That is why this Christmas Open House is organized for everyone, regardless of their status, age, racial or religious background.

“We are thankful that we can get to know each other through good times as well as hard times, and live harmoniously in this blessed land of ours.

“Blessed land, because here we can celebrate every occasion in the spirit of togetherness without feeling awkward. So let us celebrate Christmas and the new year 2019 in full  joy as everyone is special in the eyes of God regardless of their background,” he added.

As for the new year 2019, Fr Nick invited everyone, “Let us all cross the new year together in faith, hope and love, and while not knowing what lies ahead of us, we can be confident because when there is God in our heart, we know that there will be a tomorrow for everyone of us.”

     Also present were Fr Francis Tsen, Fr Daniel Jamilong, and Romo Augustinus from Larantuka Indonesia, MPPR chairman Verus Pinol and others. – Clarence Dol

In the New Year, receive Mary’s love and help

KOTA KINABALU (CS) – The Church, in her wisdom, has pointed to her children that it is right to turn to Mary, Our Mother, for help, especially when a new year looms in front.

Parish priest Fr Paul Lo said on New Year’s Day, Mother Mary sees everyone as beloved children of God and helps them to see and to love in the same way.

“This maternal gaze, which instils confidence and trust, helps us to grow in faith,” he continued “just as she trusts and grows in faith in God’s mission for her as Mother of the Son of God.

With these pearls of wisdom, Fr Lo spoke to the 300-member of the Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community (LJCCC) among whom he was invited to grace their traditional New Year Gathering at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall Jan 1. This was his first social attendance with the LJCCC since taking over as parish priest in the Cathedral.

He commended the community to God that it would have a great year ahead, filled with zeal for God, Church, and mission, to proclaim His Kingdom both locally and abroad.

“God is the One who makes us great, so long as we offer ourselves as His instruments,” he added.

Besides sharing a meal together, the community family also shared and built up the family togetherness with interactive activities and good entertainment. 

Above all, coming together in prayer, praise and worship before all things else has been ingrained into the way of life and charism of the community. – LJCCC

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