Deacon Friar Claurence Motoyou to be ordained priest

KOTA KINABALU (CS) –   Franciscan Friar Claurence Motoyou, 47, ordained to the Diaconate at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Johor Bahru on 5 Dec 2017, is to be ordained priest at Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing by Archbishop John Wong on 27 Oct 2018.

Motoyou will be joined by Friar Cruzender Alex at Mass for a joint Ordination, where Alex will be ordained to the Diaconate. The Mass will begin at 10.00 am.

Hailing from Kg Lokawi, Putatan, Deacon Claurence, 47, is the fourth of a brood of six born to Fredoline Motoyou (deceased) and Rose Onis Mosoly.

After completing his tertiary education in 1989, he went on to Universiti Sains Malaysia Penang where he graduated with honours in Computer Science in 1994.

What led him to pursue priestly formation?  As undramatic as it sounds, Motoyou was nevertheless attracted to the call to priesthood through his frequent contact with the Franciscan Sisters of Immaculate Conception (FSIC) and joining them in their activities and monthly mission outreach programs to share the love of God to others.

Under the spiritual guidance of Franciscan Sister Frances Mani, presently Mother General of FSIC, he realized his call to the religious vocation.

Without much ado, he resigned from the IT company, where he worked as a system analyst and computer programmer, to join the Order of Friars Minor (OFM) in Singapore.

It was mainly through the FSIC, especially Sr Mani, that he had gotten to know the friars.  The life of the friars in sharing the Gospel after the example of St Francis of Assisi eventually led him to want to share their mission.

Motoyou completed his seminary studies at St Francis Xavier Major Seminary, Singapore.

In less than a month to being ordained a priest, Motoyou reflected on the moment of grace and acknowledged that “It is only by God’s grace that all things are made possible.”

Humbled by the lengthy years of priestly formation, he added “I know that I am far from being perfect.  God’s call is a journey of life that each of us has to respond individually, yet at the same time, it is a pilgrimage that I make with my brothers and sisters…”

Currently, Deacon Motoyou is serving at the Church of Immaculate Conception in the Diocese of Melaka-Johor.


CMI launches Silver Jubilee exhibition, unveils building plan extension

BUKIT PADANG – The parishioners of the Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI) swelled with pride and grateful joy as they witnessed the Silver Jubilee Exhibition and the unveiling of the proposed extension of the Church building after the Sunday Mass on 2 Sep 2018.

The launching and unveiling, which was a collaboration between the Silver Jubilee Organizing Committee (SJC) and Steering Committee (SC), was held at the foyer of the Church where the main exhibits were displayed.

The event was officiated by Fr Paul Lo who was also the celebrant at Mass.  A simple prayer was said by Fr Lo before the launching and unveiling.

On the occasion of the Silver Jubilee, the organizing committee has put up the history of CMI, its timeline and a tribute to Fr Thomas Sham who oversaw the building of CMI.

Other exhibits showcased CMI’s ministries and groups, which lined up the covered walkway at the side of the Church leading to the canteen. The nineteen ministries and groups, which participated in the exhibition, have been preparing for months.  Each group with its own specific roles and functions has its own story to tell, either by the photographs exhibited or the designs of their exhibits.  More importantly, they have come together ensuring that this event would bring meaning to the anniversary celebration.

In respect of the proposed building extension, perspective drawings of the extension, floor layouts consisting of an open hall, a rectory, six multi-rooms, canteen and toilets, and a location map were on display.

The consultants, together with the fundraising chairman, were also present at the event to inform those with inquiries regarding the building extension.  Leaflets containing a message from the parish priest, a brief history of the Church and name lists of the Steering, Building and Fundraising Committees were also distributed for the information of parishioners, donors and sponsors.

Fr Lo and parishioners alike visited the exhibits.  The event ended with a simple fellowship with light refreshments served at the Church canteen for all attendees.

Parishioners were informed that approval has been received from the Archbishop that commencing from October 2018, the third bag collection will henceforth go towards the building fund for the extension of CMI. – SOCCOM CMI


Ignite the flame within

LABUAN – The Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS), which was organized by the English Prayer Group of the Blessed Sacrament parish here on Sep 7-9 attracted an encouraging response.

The seminar, with theme “Ignite the Flame Within”, was facilitated by full time by a Catholic lay missionary, Jude Antoine.

Among the participants was a group from Brunei Church in Seria. The local participants included parishioners from both the English and Bahasa Malaysia speaking groups, and students from the local colleges and institutions.

The talks on New Life, God’s Love, Transformation and Ministry through Inner Healing and Baptism of the Holy Spirit have touched many.

Antoine reminded the attendees in no uncertain terms “No one can force you to be renewed or to change if you do not surrender or submit to the Holy Spirit!”

Those who testified later during the sharing session spoke of receiving the ‘gift of tongues’ and experiencing ‘personal miracles’.

It was indeed a blessed time for the LSS participants and a sure sign that God continues to bless the island parish and her faithful. – Gerard Lean



Marriage convalidation joy for 47 couples

PENAMPANG – Brimming with joy and gratitude, 47 couples from Penampang and Kota Kinabalu had their marriage finally convalidated according to the Catholic Church law at St Michael Church on 29 Aug 2018.  The ceremony was blessed by Fr Wiandigool Runsab and assisted by Deacon Gilbert Marcus.

Most of the couples were married above five years.  The longest married was 30 years, while the most recent about a year ago. The majority of them were married under the native and civil law, while some through other Christian denomination services.

Fr Runsab urged the newly blessed couples to reflect on the meaningful event which they had just experienced.  They were encouraged to see it as not just a way of gaining recognition in the Church but rather a turning point of growing closer in communion with the bigger family of the Church.  One way of realizing this was to be involved in Church activities or services, which could contribute to the strengthening of their faith.

The almost two-hour packed service was attended by family members who witnessed the signing of the marriage vows of the newly blessed couples.  The festive joy continued to overflow at the reception at the adjacent church hall.

The next registration has been scheduled on Oct 13-14 this year. Couples, who are desirous of having their marriage convalidated, are advised to contact the Penampang Parish office for further information @ 088-711009. – SOCCOM Penampang


Benedictine priest Fr Ned Columba dedicates sabbatical leave to serve Penampang parish

PENAMPANG – Benedictine priest Fr Ned Columba Moujing from the Monastery of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire, England, who is on a four-month leave, spent the entire time serving at the Penampang parish of St Michael. He hails from Kg Kuai, Kandazon Monsopiad.

A seventh generation descendant of the legendary pagan warrior ‘Monsopiad’, Fr Columba joined the Benedictine community at Ampleforth in 2003 where he studied for five years to be a monk.  But God had other plans for him and after pursuing his studies at Oxford University for a further three years, he was ordained a priest in June 2014.  Since then he was put in charge of the infirmary at Ampleforth Abbey.

After serving for many years in England, he was recommended for sabbatical leave.  The timely long leave enabled him to go back to his tiny home village of Kg Kandazon to enjoy his well-deserving rest.

The monk however made use of the resting period to serve his home parish instead.

‘”For me, to rest is to serve the people. Since Penampang area is so vast, and there are only two priests available, I volunteer to serve in the parish until it is time for me to return to Ampleforth on Sep 30,” Fr Ned explained after celebrating a requiem Mass at St Michael’s Church recently.

The Gregorian chanting priest has been tirelessly visiting churches and community gathering to celebrate Masses, and was warmly welcomed by the people of Penampang.

He cherished the wish to visit remote areas such as Terian and Tiku villages if circumstances permit before his departure. – SOCCOM Penampang

Good Shepherd Manggatal emerges as champion team of Solidarity Cup 2018

INANAM – The subparish of Good Shepherd Manggatal creates history by winning the Solidarity Cup 2018 with 6-5 scores against St Edmund Kota Belud through a penalty kick in the final round. Both teams failed to score the goal during the 30 minutes games in the final.

The Solidarity Cup 2018 hosted by St Catherine Inanam attracted 19 teams, one of which was a team made up of Priests and Seminarians.  It was held at the SUKMA football field on 10 September 2018.

Good Shepherd players played aggressive games from the start and won their quarterfinal against Holy Rosary Limbahau.  They then proceeded to eliminate St Catherine in the semi-final.

Offering no mercy to the mostly injured and aging St Catherine’s players, their efforts bore fruit when Adrian Jack scored a solitary goal beating Laurentius Kopong, the St Catherine goalie who happened to be the organizing chairman for the Solidarity Cup Tournament 2018.

Besides winning the Championship, they also won the Best Player Award through Adrian Jack and Best Goalkeeper award through Paulinus Aloysius.

The second place went to St Edmund who won 1-0 against St Theresa Kota Marudu in the semi-final whereas the third place went to St Catherine.  Besides winning the third place, St Catherine also won the “highest goal award” through its midfield player, Ian Lo who scored 4 goals in the 2018 tournament.

The “Joint Champions” for 2017 Solidarity Cup, Holy Nativity Terawi and St Peter Claver Ranau failed to defend their title. Both teams kept their hope alive up to the quarter final before Holy Nativity lost 0-1 to St Catherine, and St Peter Claver lost to St Theresa in a 2-3 penalty kick.

The Priests Team, despite their high spirit and  strong motivation by Team Captain Fr Rayner Bisius, only managed to complete their games in the preliminary round.

As for St Paul Dontozidon team, they failed to pass through the Priest Team, losing to a solitary goal by Fr Frederick Raymond in the preliminary rounds.

Tournament 2018 was officially open and closed by Fr Mitchelly Kiun, who was appointed as the spiritual advisor for this year’s tournament. At the close of the prize presentation, Fr Kiun announced that Solidarity Cup 2019 will be hosted by St Joseph Papar. – SOCCOM St Catherine/Michael Guntili

Fr Jerry challenges Archdiocesan staff

KOTA KINABALU – Fr Jerry Rosario, SJ or internationally known as the ‘barefoot priest’ challenged the Archdiocesan staff Sep 12 to stand up for Gospel values if they want to belong to the 5% category of ‘Special Catholics’.

He said the 5% are “special” because their internal life reflects three Gospel values.  They stand for ‘Justice’ – for creation, socially and cosmically. They practise and recognize ‘Freedom’ – for every individual, and they ‘Love’ – the society including the enemies and wrongdoers.

“Something like this should come into your life if you want to belong to the 5% ‘Special Catholics’” said Fr Jerry.

He listed three other categories of Catholics and asked the staff to identify which group they belong to.

First is the 30% ‘Simple Catholics’ who do not know details, do not contribute.  They enjoy the Catholic identity but have no thirst for mission.

Second is the 55% ‘Settled Catholics’, also known as ‘routine Catholics’. They do not allow any challenges to come as they are not ready for them and they do not entertain any more mission to be done. To this type, Fr Jerry said, “If you only take one challenge in life today, it will be the one revolution of your life.” He encouraged the staff to listen to the inner voice of the Spirit.

Third is the 10% ‘Scandalous Catholics’ who abuse the Church hierarchies. He said admitting fault is important in order for the Church to grow.

He set the tone of the staff recollection based on Luke 12:49 and following verses “I have come to set the world on fire…” and said this should thrust our thirst for the Gospel mission.

In order to live up these values, Fr Jerry emphasized on three qualities that pose as a further challenge to the staff; being positive, being proactive and being productive that produces 30, 60 and 100-fold.

He concluded by leading the staff to pray for the graces of dynamism and enthusiasm in living these challenges. LE

You are Peter

THE Holy Father is at the center of controversy. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony, which claimed that Pope Francis knowingly made a sexual abuser into an important adviser, has shocked the world and the Church.

For two reasons, I have not been quite as shocked as some people. Firstly because there is still room to disbelieve Archbishop Viganò: If he has defamed the pope, he would have to be a world-class liar, but it is not impossible. Secondly because, to be honest, the doctrinal confusion of this pontificate has already challenged me enough.

In both cases, there is a perfectly logical answer to the challenge. The papacy does not depend on the qualities of the men who take office: Church teaching sets definite limits on the pope’s authority and allows for the possibility that he will make colossal blunders. If Viganò’s central allegations are true, it is no refutation of Catholicism, any more than Alexander VI’s lechery and corruption. If the doctrinal chaos is as bad as it looks, it does not disprove the Faith, any more than John XXII’s battle to impose his false teaching on theologians.

All entirely true and logical. But those who find it a little harder to persuade themselves to go to Mass, those who are hovering at the threshold of the Church and wondering if they have been led up the garden path, may need more than logic. They need figures like Bishop Kung, who show that it is worth giving up everything to remain in communion with the Holy See. In 1955, just before he was locked away, the bishop was dragged before a crowd of thousands to confess his crimes. He confessed something else: “Long live Christ the King! Long live the Pope!” From 1955 to 1984, there were five popes; but Bishop Kung’s loyalty, like that of Thomas More and John Fisher, did not depend on who happened to be in office. If it is not rash to suggest this, maybe divine providence has raised up so many Chinese martyrs and confessors of papal supremacy partly to help Catholics through a crisis of the papacy.

I read about Archbishop Viganò’s allegations while sitting in a tent in the English countryside. I thought I had escaped the news cycle, but I switched on my phone’s data to get the weather forecast, and saw emails referring to some major event. As I digested the story, some other campers were saying Morning Prayer outside the tent. One of them was reading the Gospel for the day in his soft Northern accent:

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Many Catholics, if tempted against the Faith, have no better answer than “To whom shall we go?” Peter is Peter, whatever else he might be. And nothing can prevail against the Church, not even the mistakes of a pope. – Dan Hitchens @ First Things

Serving hearts

KOTA KINABALU  – A catechesis was held on Aug 16 at Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish Centre for the newly elected and nominated Parish Pastoral Councils for Sacred Heart Cathedral and St Paul Dontozidon, and the Pastoral Committees of Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI), Our Lady Queen of Peace Kobusak and St John Kopungit.

The new councillors and committee members were asked a pertinent question by Archbishop John Wong “What are the similarities shared between the priests and the councillors?” to which he gave answer: “We are all here with serving hearts.

The catechesis on “What is a Parish Pastoral Council and a Pastoral Committee?” was facilitated by Dominic Lim.

The new councils and committees for the term 2018-2021 would be lined up before the congregations during the Masses on their selected days (Aug 25-26 or Sep 2-9) and introduced to the parishioners before being commissioned.

It would only be at their first meeting that election for the key posts as well as appointments of sub-committees be conducted.

Fr Paul Lo and Fr Maximilliano Hontor were also present to give their support to the new councils and committees. – Catholic Sabah

St Catherine PPC takes their oath

INANAM – Newly elected and nominated members of St Catherine Church here took their oath for a new term 2018-2021 and pledged their commitment to serve the Church to the best of their abilities on 26 Aug 2018 before assistant parish priest Fr Mitchelly Kiun.

The 36 pastoral councillors will be headed by Paul Augustine who retained the Chairman post and will be assisted by Deffrey Ubin as the new Deputy Chairman. Former Deputy Chairman Michael Kimin Guntili is now Chairman of SOCCOM for St Catherine Parish. Miss Paula George and Paul Chong retained the Secretary and Treasurer post respectively.

Prior to their commissioning, they attended a half-day catechesis together with the newly elected Pastoral Committee members of Good Shepherd Manggatal, Holy Family Telipok and Church of Divine Mercy KKIP on 25 Aug, which was conducted by Fr Kiun.

The catechesis was aimed to familiarize the new members with their roles as parish pastoral council or pastoral committees, and how to assist the Church in her pastoral programs.

The program was officially closed by parish priest Fr David Sham. –  St Catherine SOCCOM/Michael Guntili


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