Tag Archives: 2018-6

Singapore’s second Veritas workshop on untangling fake news livestreamed to Malaysia and Brunei

PENAMPANG – The Archbishop’s Communications Office (ArchComms) of Singapore organised a second Veritas Workshop on untangling fake news livestreamed to Malaysia and Brunei on 28 June 2018.

This was the first joint activity of the three countries after the Regional Commission of Social Communications Meeting held in Keningau on 18-21 June 2018.  The theme of that meeting was based on Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day 2018.

In his 2018 World Communications Day message, Pope Francis focused on fake news and journalism for peace. In support of the Holy Father’s call to fight fake news and its pervasiveness, ArchComms held the 1st VERITAS Workshop: Untangling Fake News on 14 Apr 2018. The aim of the workshop was to highlight the different types of fake news, what is the truth, and how as individuals we can do our part to stop the spread of fake news.

ArchComms decided to conduct a second run of the workshop on June 28, linked up with Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Brunei, Sibu, Kuching, Keningau, Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu.  The presenters were Michelle Voo and Estella Young, a professed Third Order Dominican, with Andre Anchak opening and closing the session.

The organisers hoped that this would be the start of more opportunities to link up with the different arch/dioceses under the Bishops Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei on common topics of interest.




St Mark Sandakan hosts KAWAI 2018

Candidates line up at the children’s traditional attire fashion show, 10 June 2018, St Mark Open Hall Sandakan.

SANDAKAN – St Mark here hosted the Sandakan parish-level Kaamatan-Gawai (KAWAI) Festival on 9-10 June 2018.

Kaamatan is a Kadazan-Dusun term for “harvest” and is celebrated for the whole month of May. It is normally celebrated by the ethnic Kadazan-Dusuns, as well as by other related ethnic groups in the state.

While Gawai Dayak is an annual festival celebrated in Sarawak on June 1  by many different ethnic groups such as Iban, Bidayuh, Kenyah, Kelabit, and Murut.

The occasion was marked by traditional games on June 9 while the highlight was the Mass presided by Father David Garaman, concelebrated with Father Phillip Muji the next day.

In his homily, the priest stressed on Christ as the unifying factor in various cultures.

After Mass all adjourned to the open hall for fellowship and entertainment programme such as stage performances, lucky draws, and a children’s traditional attire fashion show. – Fennexlee Edesius Mejeh, Sandakan Diocesan Blog

ISKB holds General Chapter

The delegates pose for remembrance under the statue of St Francis Xavier RRKKT Keningau.  They held their General Chapter on 8-11 June 2018 wherein they elected their General Government for term 2018-2023.

KENINGAU – The Betania Community Secular Institute (Institut Sekular Komuniti Betania or ISKB) held its General Chapter on 8-11 June 2018 at the Tatal Diocesan Retreat House here.

Twenty professed members attended the chapter.

The chapter commenced with Mass presided by Bishop Cornelius Piong, founder of the ISKB, on June 8, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In his homily, the bishop reminded the delegates that their love must be purified by the love of the Sacred Heart.

After the Mass, the prelate thanked the community for the service they have rendered to the faithful in the diocese and expressed the hope that they will continue to do so with God’s own love.

The members then proceeded to elect new office bearers for 2018-2023 after thanking those who had served from 2012-2017.  The following were elected: Sis Mary Tunsin (moderator), Sis Rita Titing (asst moderator), Sis Janet Leong (secretary), Sis Marianna Gerald (asst secretary), Sis Martha Banting & Sis Anita Uliti (treasurers).

Tunsin was re-elected as the moderator.  In her acceptance speech, she thanked all for their cooperation and said ISKB is now 21 years old.  She hoped that it will continue to grow and serve the Lord faithfully and fruitfully.

The chapter ended with recreation for the delegates and observers with Bishop Piong on June 11 at the Kg Oloson Recreation Pool, Melalap Tenom.

A secular institute is a Catholic organisation that functions much like a religious community of priests, brothers, or sisters, though usually without a house or building of any kind.

Most members of a secular institute do not live together—though some do—and they lead their normal lives “in the world” while dedicating themselves to God. After a period of formation and preparation that usually lasts eight years, secular institute members “consecrate” or formally dedicate themselves to God, taking vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.

Few secular institutes have a designated ministry. Instead each member gives witness to the Christian life through whatever it is he or she has been called to do. All members of secular institutes pray daily, attend Mass, make an annual retreat with the institute, and live a life in which God comes first even though they are working in the heart of the world. Like a leaven, members of secular institutes make Christ known and loved wherever they are, ever deepening their commitment to God and the church along with others in their institute. – Janet Leong, Keningau website / Vision Vocation Network

Vatican launches international conference on ecology

A man sorting through used plastic bottles at a junkyard in Hanoi. (AFP or licensors)

VATICAN CITY – Vatican officials briefed the press on 26 June 2018 on an upcoming international conference to mark three years since the publication of ‘Laudato Sì.’

An International Conference entitled “Saving our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth” is set to take place in the Vatican on July 5-6.

Organised to coincide with the third anniversary of Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Sì”, the event will see the participation of Vatican Officials and climate change experts.

Launching the Conference on Tuesday morning in the Holy See Press Office, was Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

He told Vatican News the Conference intends to reiterate the urgent need for substantial changes in policy and lifestyle in order to safeguard Creation.

Cardinal Turkson explained that the aim of this conference is to awaken people to the gravity of the situation.

“We all know how the coral reefs are dying; we all know how whales are washed ashore their bellies full of plastic; how the temperature of the sea is rising so methane gas is being released from the ocean; we know the impact of everything happening: the ice caps melting, the sea levels rising, islands disappearing, the hurricanes becoming more and more violent – we know all of this” he said.

“What does it take,” he continued, “to decide to make a change?”

Turkson pointed out that in his Encyclical ‘Laudato Sì’ Pope Francis expressed great confidence in the ability of the human person to change for the better if he allows himself to be guided by the goodness of God.

“Yes we can change but we need to open ourselves to God and his grace” he said, noting that “if we limit ourselves to technology we will not go far.”

Turkson said what we need is a real conversion of heart, and what he and his Dicastery want to do is to work for change speaking the language of faith “so that with the grace of God we can bring about true change”.

His Dicastery, he said, is taking action and hopefully setting an example by installing a water purifying unit so that there is no more need to buy water in plastic bottles.

Turkson also said that the Vatican Governatorate may go ahead with plans to have solar panels installed and charger stations for electric vehicles.

“These are some suggestions we want to humbly suggest at the end of the conference,” he said. – Linda Bordoni, Vatican News

Former pro football player prepares to take final vows as TOR

TORONTO, Ohio, Jun 18, 20.- Every single vocation story is different, but Sister Rita Clare (Anne) Yoches is probably one of the more unusual.

Sr Rita Clare, who this month will profess final vows with the Franciscan Sisters of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother (TOR), was a four-time national champion professional football player prior to entering the convent.

Yes, that’s American football. (She was a fullback.) Nowadays, the only football Yoches is playing is the annual two-hand touch game she organises with the 38 TOR sisters she lives with in Toronto, Ohio.

Although she was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools, Yoches said she never once considered becoming a sister. Her family attended Mass each Sunday, but that was about it in terms of her faith life. A talented athlete, Yoches earned a full basketball scholarship to the University of Detroit-Mercy, where she played for four years.

After college, she began her football career in 2003 after a successful tryout with the Detroit Demolition, a now-defunct women’s professional team. She left the team in 2006, and in March of 2007, the former self-described party girl experienced a calling to enter religious life. She ended her relationship with her boyfriend, and entered the Franciscans shortly after.

“(I) loved to stay out as late as could on Friday and Saturday nights, but always went to Mass on Sundays. But I never really listened to what God was saying,” said Yoches in a video about her conversion.

One Sunday, after a particularly moving homily, Yoches realised that she needed to drastically change her lifestyle.

“And I was like, that’s me. I’m sick and dying on the inside. So that convinced me to go to Confession for the first time in a long time.” Her priest provided her with guidance about reading scripture every day, and she began attending Eucharistic Adoration.

It was during Eucharistic Adoration that she felt truly embraced by God, and really began to get a sense of His plan for her life.

“And then I felt God the Father just wrap his arms around me and give me a hug, and just pulled me onto his chest like only a father can hug a daughter,” she said.

“And my life was forever changed. I just wanted more and more of Jesus.”

She says while her family was supportive of her decision to enter the convent, her friends were surprised, as she had largely kept her faith life private.

“People were very surprised that this was really who and what I wanted to do and be,” she told the Detroit Free Press.

Sr Rita Clare will profess final vows on June 30. – CNA, 18 June 2018

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