Tag Archives: 2017-8

Pauline Sister conducts MLE in Keningau Diocese

Participants pose for remembrance after the session in Membakut, 26 Aug 2017.

MEMBAKUT – Pauline Sister Laura Anggie conducted two Media Literacy Education (MLE) sessions in the Diocese of Keningau recently.

The first session was held at St Patrick Membakut on 26 Aug 2017 on Church and Social Communication.

Membakut is a town about 80 km from the State capital of Kota Kinabalu.

Over a hundred people – young and old – attended the session organised by the Keningau Diocesan Social Communications Commission (KOMSOS).

The participants were divided into two groups – adults and children – for group sharing and discussion.

The next day Sr Laura left for St Peter Bundu Kuala Penyu for another session on Aug 28.

Kuala Penyu is about 20-minute drive from Membakut and is noted for its beautiful beaches.

Over 1000 young people including spiritual advisers took part in the diocesan camp for altar servers (boys and girls) from the nine parishes and one mission under the Keningau Diocese. However, some of the participants came from Sandakan Diocese and from Limbahau Parish (Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese).

Sr Laura’s session dealt with how social media influence anti-social behaviour in the family.

St Mary’s Cathedral celebrates feast day with Marian procession

A section of the candlelight procession from the pastoral centre to the grotto, 15 Aug 2017, Sandakan.

SANDAKAN – St Mary’s Cathedral here celebrated the feast of the Assumption with a Marian procession on 15 Aug 2017.

It began with the tri-lingual recitation of the Holy Rosary and the blessing of the statue of Mother Mary by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom at 6:30 pm at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre.

Over a thousand parishioners gathered for the procession and the outdoor Mass in front of the grotto. The statue of Mother Mary was carried in procession from the Pastoral Centre to the grotto.

Bishop Gitom presided over the Mass,  concelebrated with Father David Garaman, Father Christopher Ireneus, Father Thomas Makajil and Father Stanley Matakim.

In his homily, Bishop Julius explained that God has preserved Mary from original sin and chosen her to be the Mother of the Saviour.

“My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”  (Luke 1:46-47) was the theme of this year’s 134th Parish Day celebration.

The prelate reminded the people that this year marks the centenary of her apparitions at Fatima. Mary appeared at Fatima to the three shepherd children to tell them to bring the message of peace to the world. And her other message in Fatima is conversion. All need to be converted to God.

Pope Francis says that “hope is the virtue of those who experience conflict, those who are struggling between life and death, struggling between good and evil and still believe in the resurrection of Christ, still believe in the redemption of Christ.  And that is the victory of love.”

Due to the poor weather condition, the Eucharistic celebration was celebrated in the cathedral.

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I issue first joint message on ecology


File photo: Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I sign a Joint Declaration reaffirming their desire to overcome obstacles dividing their churches on 30 Nov 2014 at the Phanar Turkey. AP Photo.

VATICAN CITY – For the first time, Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I are launching an appeal in a joint message, on the occasion of the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, celebrated on 1 Sept 2017.

On August 30, toward the conclusion of his General Audience in St Peter’s Square, the Pope himself announced this initiative.

Francis explained, “we invite everyone to adopt a respectful and responsible attitude toward Creation.”

“We also appeal,” he added, “to those who have influential roles, to listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor who suffer most from ecological imbalances.”

In 2015, Pope Francis instituted this World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, joining the Orthodox who have celebrated it on the date of September 1, for years. – zenit.org

PAS discusses inter-faith ties with Catholic leaders

JOHOR – Several PAS leaders met leaders of the Malacca-Johor Catholic Diocese on 21 August 2017 to discuss issues related to religious harmony in Malaysia, including the recently passed amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976.

This marked the inaugural meeting between the PAS political leaders and the Malacca Johore Diocese under the leadership of Bishop Bernard Paul.

Chairman of Lajnah Dakwah PAS Central, YB Nik Mohamad Abduh bin Nik Abdul Aziz commenced the dialogue session by introducing his delegation and explaining the misunderstanding regarding the PAS party using religion for political gain. When explaining the objectives of Lajnah Dakwah PAS Central, he said that politics cannot be a priority when religion is directed towards maintaining the welfare of the citizens. PAS Central is aware of this and rejects conflicts caused by political differences amongst the Muslim community. At the same time, it is also building relationships between PAS and the non- Muslim community.

YB Nik Abduh quoted a Quranic verse Surah Al-Maidah 5:82 to explain the main intention of their visit to MAJODI Centre as a beginning. “You will find the nearest in love to the believers who say: ‘We are Christians.’”

Bishop Bernard Paul introduced the invitees to those representing the Diocese and the representatives of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Taoism (MCCBCHS). He briefed the guests on the history and formation of MAJODI Centre and presented demographical facts of the diocese.

Father Edward Rayappan introduced Shaykh Imran Angullia, who is actively in dialogue with the diocese through Hidayah Centre, Johor.

While there are differing doctrines between Islam and Christianity regarding Jesus (Isa), Hj Hussin Ismail, the Permanent Chairman of PAS Central said that a Muslim is not regarded a faithful if he does not place Jesus in the highest position of honour. In fact, all of mankind awaits Jesus’ return. He shared that Prophet Zulkifli had similarities with the Buddha from his experiences in Nepal.

During the exchange of views session, many matters of concern were raised, from religious unity to legal and political issues.

Calvin Ohsey, a staff from the Diocesan Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, questioned PAS’ action in raising Act355 (RUU355) that stifled the discussion on Hudud and the position of the non- Muslim community under Syariah law.

In answer to the question, YB Nik Abduh assured all present that the Syariah Court Act (Criminal Jurisdiction) 1965 – Act 355 is applicable to Muslims only. He reiterated that the issue is related to the Enactment of Syariah Criminal Code 1993, amended in 2015 but was not implemented subject to Act 355. To enable the implementation of the Enactment in Kelantan, Act 355 has to be amended according to the democratic process in the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat).

Commenting on Act 355 which is said to open the way to full implementation of hudud laws, YB Nik Abduh said the Act was intended to bolster Syariah laws. In observing the circumstances in Malaysia, Act 355 cannot be fully implemented without the agreement of Malaysian citizens in general.

Sister Susan Dulang SSFS, as Head of the Diocesan Bahasa Malaysia Ministry, voiced her concern regarding the issue of seized Bibles, using the term “Allah” and other religious restrictions on the Christian community and asked PAS to state its stand.

In reply to Sr Susan, YB Nik Abduh mentioned that Islam does not forbid the Christian faithful from using “Allah.” All related issues originated from the irregularities in implementing Islamic law. The Islamic religion forbids such intolerant actions. He promised Sr Susan he will look into the matter with the government, if the opportunity arises.

Father Thomas George asked regarding the Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164). YB Nik Abduh emphasised PAS’ firm stand to bring all stakeholders, namely, the government, both the ruling and opposition politicians, including eminent religious scholars, for discussions before tabling the amendment in parliament as the matter is complicated because it involves religion and children’s custody rights. When Act 164 amendment was brought before Parliament, PAS objected because it contradicted Section 88A and opposed the Federal Constitution regarding Islam.

In concluding the dialogue session, Bishop Bernard stated that the roles of leaders of political parties and religious leaders are vital towards ensuring that the prosperity and harmony of society are preserved. He continued, “We must always ensure that our loyalty is to one law only and that is the law of love, the law of our Lord God. Religion, when practised well, benefits everyone; it protects the rights of the minorities, builds bridges and includes everyone and we enjoy blessings from our Lord God.” – heraldmalaysia.com

Sandakan parishioners prepare themselves for 134th feast day celebration

Outdoor Mass and blessing of Meditation Hut cum Chapel on top of Marian Mount Sandakan by Bishop Gitom, 12 Aug 2017.

SANDAKAN – Parishioners of St Mary’s Cathedral here prepared themselves for feast day celebration through a series of spiritual activities.

It began with a novena of Masses on 4-12 Aug 2017 at the cathedral including a Mass for the sick, the poor, the needy and the suffering of the parish.

The organisers were delighted with the increased average attendance of around 800 people per night, with different intentions per Mass.

Formation talks and Marian catechesis based on the theme for the 134th Parish Day: My Soul Magnifies the Lord (Lk 1:46) conducted in Chinese by seminarian Raymond Lee, BM by Father Stanley William and English by Father David Garaman.

On the ninth day, a rosary rally was held – a 12-hour rosary recitation by the parish groups, communities, and ministries.  It started five years ago.  Held outdoors along the Rosary Corridor, it was halted temporarily at 10:00 am at the peak of the Marian Mount to give way for an outdoor Mass and solemn blessing of the opening of the Meditation Hut cum Chapel for visitors.

Bishop Julius Gitom officiated the rite of blessing before presiding at the Mass.

The rosary recitation continued after the Mass until the last group recitation concluded at the cathedral half an hour before Sunset Mass.

The cathedral parish celebrated its feast day on Aug 13. – newsupdatedospo.blogspot.my

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