Tag Archives: 2018-3

Eight young couples attend follow-up marriage seminar

TAWAU – The Family Life Ministry of Holy Trinity Parish here held a one-day seminar for eight young couples on 17 Mar 2018 at the church basement room.

The couples have been married from five to seven years.

The course based on Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love) was conducted in Bahasa Malaysia.

The seminar aimed to make couples more aware of the current challenges affecting family life and to strengthen their marriage bond so that they can manage their marriage with courage and confidence.

The inputs were divided into awareness and formation sessions.

The awareness session touched on family and current issues affecting the family: internet, individualism, and communication (AL chapter 2) while the formation session dealt with parenting, children’s education, love and forgiveness (AL chapter 4), and marriage spirituality (chapter 9)

The awareness session was jointly facilitated by Francis Clement and Petrus Bernadus. Both sessions began with group discussion / sharing on their real challenges experienced during their marriage.

Some pointers touched on addiction, misunderstanding, isolation, suspicion, hidden relationship, health issues, communication, poor parenting and safety.

Part 2 of the Awareness Session was presented by Petrus Bernadus on the culture of individualism.

Marriage is built from two people and not as an individual. The presence of their children will make the home more alive and meaningful.

Pointers gathered from real life experiences caused by individualism in the family include the hardening of hearts, detachment, stress and hurt, dominance, pride, insecurity and poor communication.

The Formation Sessions were handled by Franciscan Sister Julita Joseph (marriage spirituality), Mario Domingo (love and forgiveness in marriage), and Julita Kantod (parenting).

The following were the gist of the sessions;

  • love in the marriage conquers every imperfection that may arise in the family
  • Christ-centred family will not be easily shaken by the outside world when it is strengthened by the power of Christ’s light
  • parenting is an opportunity to raise up God’s children according to God’s plan and that is to help the children encounter Christ.

In winding up the seminar, Kantod, chairperson of the Family Life Ministry, encouraged the participants to learn and observe how other senior couples live their married life, not to be ashamed to seek for advice, guidance or support from them in order to sustain their marriages.

The Seminar ended with a prayer for the family. – Julita Kantod, Sandakan Diocessan Blog

KK Archdiocese receives new members into its fold with joy

The BM-speaking neophytes pose with Archbishop John Wong and Deacon Russell Lawrine after the Mass, Easter Sunday, 1 Apr 2018.  It was the first time the prelate presided at the BM Mass on Easter Sunday since his episcopal ordination in 2010.

KOTA KINABALU – The Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese received with joy over a thousand new members this Easter either at the Easter Vigil, 31 March 2018 and on Easter Sunday morning, Apr 1.

With few exceptions, the elect in the different parishes received the preparatory rites on Holy Saturday morning Mar 31.  Some received the sacraments at the Easter Vigil while others received theirs on Easter Sunday.

The children were given anointing after baptism while the adults received Confirmation and Holy Communion.

Among the neophytes were some who were accepted into full communion with the Catholic Church.

During the Easter Vigil at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, Archbishop John Wong led the congregation to welcome the 59 neophytes into the parish community.  Concelebrating with him were Abp Emeritus John Lee and Father Simon Lim of Singapore.

The Vigil comprised four parts (1) Service of the Light – the people gathered at the parish centre foyer for the blessing of new fire, the lighting of the new paschal candle and the procession with lighted candles (from the paschal candle) into the darkened cathedral.  When all had entered the church, the Exsultet was partly sung and partly proclaimed by Deacon Russell Lawrine.

(2)  Liturgy of the Word.  Three Old Testament readings were proclaimed before the Gloria was sung followed by a New Testament reading and the Gospel according to Mark.

(3) Baptismal Liturgy which began after the homily.  Baptism was administered either by immersion or infusion by the deacon.  While waiting for the neophytes to return from changing into their baptismal garments, the faithful renewed the promise of baptismal faith together with those who entered into full communion with the church.  The children were anointed with chrism while the adults were conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation by Abp Wong and Abp Emeritus John Lee.

(4) Liturgy of the Eucharist.  The bread and wine together with other gifts were brought forward by the newly baptised.  At Communion time, the newly baptised received Holy Communion under both kinds.

The next day at the 7 am Chinese Mass, Abp Wong had no assistant so he had to baptise the 39 elect himself while at the 10:45 am BM Mass there were around 84 elect, some of whom he baptised (men) and the others by Deacon Russell.

Thousands turn up in churches to observe Good Friday

Abp John Wong raises the crucifix to bless the people at the veneration of the Cross, Good Friday, 30 Mar 2018, Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – As in previous years, thousands turned up in churches to observe the celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, 30 March 2018.  Most churches across the archdiocese had the service at 3:00 pm and some had the service at a later time, according to pastoral need.  A collection was made for the upkeep of the Holy Land.

Good Friday is the second of the Easter Triduum. The summit of the Liturgical Year is the Easter Triduum—from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. Though chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day unfolding for us the unity of Christ’s Paschal Mystery.  The single celebration of the Triduum marks the end of the Lenten season, and leads to the Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord at the Easter Vigil.

The celebration of the Lord’s Passion consists of three parts, namely, the Liturgy of the Word, the veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion.

In this celebration of the passion and death of the Lord, the faithful listen to the words of scripture and strive to understand the true meaning of his sufferings and the mind that was in him.  Then they pray with his spirit for the needs of the whole world.  They worship the cross as a symbol of his triumph.  Then they enter into sacramental communion (the hosts are consecrated on Holy Thursday) with him who is their Saviour and Life.

According to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the liturgy applies to Jesus’ descent into the night of death the words of Psalm 23/24: “Lift up your heads, O gates; be lifted up, O ancient doors!”  The gates of death are closed, no one can return from there.  There is no key for those iron doors.  But Christ has the key.  His cross opens wide the gates of death, the stern doors.  They are barred no longer.  His cross, his radical love, is the key that opens them.  The love of the One who, though God, became man in order to die, this love has the power to open those doors.  This love is stronger than death.

Many parishes also had the concluding Way of the Cross in the morning, though some had it integrated with a Passion Play performance.

Elect receive preparation rites before Easter baptism

Abp Wong prays over the Elect at the handing back of the Creed during the preparation rites, Holy Saturday, 31 Mar 2018, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, SH Cathedral Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – Over a thousand Elect receive the preparation rites on Holy Saturday, 31 Mar 2018, before their baptism at the Easter Vigil or on Easter Sunday in Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese.

At the Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, over 200 Elect – adults and children – received the ephphetha rite (opening of the ears and mouth) in order that they may hear the word of God and profess it for their salvation.

The elect then returned or recited the Creed: it prepared the elect for the profession of faith they will make immediately before they are baptised.  It also instructed them in their duty to proclaim the message of the Gospel.

The anointing with the oil of catechumens below the throat symbolises the elect’s need for God’s help and strength so that, undeterred by the bonds of the past and overcoming the opposition of the devil, they will forthrightly take the step of professing their faith and will hold fast to it unfalteringly throughout their lives.

The oil used for this rite was blessed by the archbishop at the Chrism Mass on Mar 22.

The elect were reminded to continue their fast until they have received the sacraments at the Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday Mass.

Before the dismissal, Archbishop John Wong encouraged the elect to attend the postbaptismal catechesis (mystagogy), especially the Walk to Emmaus programme on May 12-14, and to join one or two of the many groups and communities for ongoing faith formation and growth.

After the dismissal, the English-speaking and Chinese-speaking elect went to the cathedral for a rehearsal for the night ceremony while the BM-speaking had their rehearsal on Mar 25.

The ministers for the rites were Abp John Wong (English, chapel), Father Max Hontor (BM, cathedral, elect included those under St Paul Dontozidon), and Father Paul Lo (Mandarin, parish centre).

Bishop Piong focuses on the three things Jesus desires for his disciples in his Easter message

KOTA KINABALU – In his Easter message released in March 2018, Bishop Cornelius Piong of Keningau focuses on the three things Jesus desired for his disciples.

These three things – unity, protection from evil, holiness – are recorded in the high priestly prayer of Jesus in John’s Gospel.

The first is that the disciples may be one: that they may be one, even as we are one (Jn 17:11); that they may all be one… so that the world may believe that you have sent me (17:21); that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me (17:23).

The bishop says that the church will not be one and united if the faithful do not prioritise and work on being one with Jesus.  The motivation and desire for unity in family and community can only come from being one with Jesus (Jn 15:4-5) because He alone is the source of unity and faithfulness.

The second thing the bishop highlighted is the prayer for protection from the evil one (Jn 17:15).  This is because of the human tendency to fall into temptation, the lure of the evil one.

“It is not enough to be baptised, to be ordained as priest, to pronounce the vow of fidelity in marriage and in consecrated life,” the bishop said.

He added, there is a need to consistently build up a close relationship with Jesus , to be vigilant so as not be a victim of the devil’s lies (Jn 8:44).

The third is an appeal to live in holiness through the Word (Jn 17:17).

“We, too, will live in holiness if we believe and remain faithful to Jesus who is the Word made flesh and live among us” (Jn 1:14).

The bishop ended his message with the following appeal:

May we continue to be permeated with the presence and wisdom of Jesus who is risen so that we can live in oneness, faithfulness and holiness.  The lifestyle that Jesus is praying for us is important, so that the world may believe that Jesus is the Saviour sent by God the Father (Jn 17:21).

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