Tag Archives: 2018-11

Liturgical formation for readers and commentators

LIKAS (CS) – The Kota Kinabalu Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission organized the first-ever formation for readers and commentators 27 Oct 2018 at St Simon’s Catholic Church here.

The one-day formation program was attended by 195 participants from across the Archdiocese.

The formation began with a Mass, celebrated by Fr Cosmas Lee, head of the Commission, also parish priest of St Simon Church.

Fr Lee exhorted the participants to take the opportunity of this formation to renew their knowledge, skill and commitment to improve their serving at Mass.

The input sessions by Fr Lee began by looking at the Word of God as the absolute primacy, the very foundational and essential part of Christian faith. The reader does not merely read Scripture at Mass, rather he makes God present for the Word of God is God Himself.

The second part of the input helped participants to look at Scripture in the celebration of the Eucharist. The Church is when the assembly is gathered in faith to celebrate the events of salvation, the paschal mystery. It is here that the Word belongs and is owned, when the full power and its splendour comes forth.

Fr Lee emphasized the table of the Word and the table of the Eucharist, “the two parts which go to make up the Mass, are so closely connected that they form but one single act of worship” (SacrosanctumConcilium, no.56).

The participants were also led to see the structure and dynamics of the Liturgy of the Word where God is present to speak to His people, the people listen and respond in acceptance and faith.

Part three focused on the ministry of readers and commentators: role, function, duties, charism and vocation. A good reader and commentator must not only possess the gift, talent and skill of public reading and speaking, but more importantly is called by God for the service of the Church. They must also love the Word and Scripture and become life witness of commitment to the Word.

To this end, readers have the deepest respect and highest dignity of their ministry, because they are handling God in the same degree as the Extra-Ordinary Ministers handle God in the Holy Communion.

The Church must therefore have greater discernment in identifying and selecting candidates to this ministry, commission them and ensure on-going formation.

The last part of the input covered decorum and technical skills of public reading: dress, postures, movements, volume, use of public address system, speed and tempo of reading, pitch and tone, articulation, pronunciation, accentuation, stress, punctuation, phrasing, pauses, rhythm, and breathing.

After lunch, the final session was conducted in the church, animated by Fr Lee and Neil Mah, secretary of the Liturgy Commission.

Few chosen readers and commentators were asked to commentate as they would in a Sunday Mass and read from the Lectionary, after which the animators and participants had the opportunity to evaluate and critique based on the technical pointers given at the input earlier.

Here participants experienced at firsthand how a good reading and commentating should sound like, as well as touching on the  movements from the entrance procession of carrying the Book of the Gospel to approaching and leaving the ambo, the altar, and the proper use of the microphone with proper voice projection. – Neil Mah

Recalling Gastel’s witnessing

IT was also during the tenure of Fr Gastel as the school principal that future seminarians/priests were also studying in the school.

They were Francis Basintal, Julius Masudal, Lawrence Joluis, Thomas Makajil and the two St Joseph’s Chinese boys from Kudat. (Monsignor) Primus Jouil was not in the seminary yet but he joined only after finishing his education at St Michael’s, and subsequently was ordained with Makajil to the priesthood.

On the other hand, Fr Gastel also invested his time in educating people on the difference between religion and “adat” (customs).  Together with Fr Tom Putman in Toboh, they ventured to the villages to encounter animists (people who adore nature) who showed interest in becoming Catholics.

Fr Gastel did not see that “throwing out the adat” was the way.  Instead, together with Fr Putman, they showed the tribes respect, taught them to avoid rivalry and idol sacrifices, took numerous photos and recorded the ancient tribal practices to study their “adat”, and eventually inculcated “adat” with religion.

With help and better understanding of the differences, the people were soon baptized in little groups, and coupled with the training of their own catechists, faith spreads. – Source: Matthew Pain & CS

PE instructor Pius Jokinol: Gastel instrumental to motivate school athletes to national/state levels

AS a young priest fresh from the seminary cold bench, Fr William Van Gastel found little time to learn the foreign language properly when he was posted to Sabah (North Borneo then).

What he found himself doing, he wasted no time in doing something more for the schools he oversaw and supervised.

He introduced social and sports.  He made the students realize that just academics was not good enough, but that talents could be used in more ways, and should affect life itself.

After the amalgamation and the introduction of co-education in 1969, Fr Gastel invited me to oversee the teaching of Physical Education at St Michael’s Secondary School.

He was a keen footballer himself, and soon became personally involved in the promotion of sports in Penampang district. To further boost its promotion, Fr Gastel and I represented the West Coast School Sports Council (WCSSC) as committee members.

As a further enhancement on the standard of sporting activities in Penampang District, the Moyog School Sports Council (MSSC) was formed with Fr Gastel elected as chairman, and I as secretary during the inaugural meeting of MSSC.

During his tenure in MSSC, Fr Gastel was instrumental in motivating many local athletes who became outstanding athletes at Sabah State level such as George Soluku and Gabriel Molujil in the throwing events. On the National level, Marcellenos Bungkilan became champion for two consecutive years in the under 16 category.

In football, the school had also produced many good footballers with coaching undertaken by other bodies.  St Michael’s soon became one of the strongest teams in the district.

The success of the many athletes was mainly due to the initiative of Fr Gastel who managed to equip the school with new sports equipment to supplement the existing ones.

Besides the usual sports equipment, gymnastic equipment such as Parallel Bar, Vaulting Box and four sets of exercise mattresses were also acquired. These new additions of sports equipment were fully utilized and enabled me to introduce vaulting and agilities activities, leading to gymnastics teaching and training for the first time in Penampang.

Speaking as one among many teachers at St Michael’s Secondary School, Fr Gastel has indeed been my mentor.  Besides, I was honoured and blessed to have him celebrate my Wedding Mass which took place on 13 March 1971. – Pius Jokinol

St Michael’s Parish Family Dinner a runaway success

PENAMPANG – The capacity crowd of 2,000 diners at the first-ever Parish Family Dinner and Concert organized by the Penampang Parish Finance and Property Committee in aid of the parish churches building fund was a runaway success. 

The 200-table event, which was completely sold out, was held at the Sabah Cultural Centre here on Oct 21.

Parish priest Fr Wilfred Atin accorded the happy outcome to the organizing committee, even more so to the generous support of the people.

The theme chosen for the inaugural event was ‘Stand firm in the Lord’, which was deemed appropriate as it reflected the aspiration of the parish.

Songs, performances from various zones, community presentations, lucky draws and rendition of songs from special guests including priests to showcase their vocal talents provided an entertaining program for the evening.

The parish priest cherished the hope that the event could be organized annually so it could become a venue for many to get to know each other better and to share from other parts and zones within the parish, beside enjoying the evening with entertaining stage performances. – SOCCOM Penampang

To look to Mary even as Rosary month closes

KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral closed the Rosary Month (October) with Mass and a procession of Mary’s statue Oct 30.

A 300-crowd gathered at dusk at the Grotto, braving the mosquitos, to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary for the close of the month dedicated to the Rosary.

A bevy of veiled young girls walked before Mary’s statue as it processed from the Grotto to the Cathedral through the by-road, followed by Fr Paul Lo and the parishioners.

The procession began with a tri-lingual recitation of the Rosary with the first decade at the Grotto, made three strategically-lit stops for three decades, and ended with the fifth decade inside the Cathedral.  Mass proceeded after the recitation.

Fr Lo reflected with the faithful on the procession walk “We too are people walking on a journey.”

He added “We are blessed because we have Mary with us in our journey.”

Pointing to Mary, who inspires us and becomes the example for our faith, like a mustard seed, the rector said “If we want to go to heaven, follow Mary, the Star of the Sea.  She is the ‘guiding star’ on the way to Christ.”

Fr Lo also encouraged all to invoke Our Lady of the Rosary with her other title “Our Lady of Victories”, which was established after the victory of the military battle at Lepanto. 

“Mary is indeed ‘Our Lady of Victories’ for, with her motherly intercession, she helps us to win our daily battles against evil.  She shows us the tenderness that only a mother can show to her children. She will help us to increase our faith,” said Fr Lo. – CS

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