Tag Archives: 2018-6

Reflection for 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time B


First Reading
Ezekiel 17:22–24
I, the Lord, bring low the high tree and lift high the lowly tree.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 92:2–3,13–16
They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Second Reading
2 Corinthians 5:6–10
The lives of all are to be revealed before the tribunal of Christ.

Gospel Reading
Mark 4:26–34
The reign of God is like a mustard seed.

Background on the Gospel Reading

After Lent, the Easter season, and three Sundays of feast days—Pentecost, Most Holy Trinity, and Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ—the Church returns to Ordinary Time. This Sunday’s Gospel from Mark carries a significant message regarding faith and the Kingdom of God.

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus appears reluctant to reveal his identity as the Son of God. After performing miracles of healing, he warns those cured to tell no one (see Mark 1:44, 3:12, 5:43, 7:36, and 8:26). Also, when preaching, Jesus chooses to speak to the crowds in parables, leaving them to discern his message. Only to his disciples does he explain the parable’s meaning, and he does this in private at a later time.

Today’s Gospel Reading consists of two parables about seeds. In the first, Jesus tells those gathered that this is “how it is with the kingdom of God.” A man scatters seed which over time sprouts and develops. Then when the grain is ripe, the man harvests his crop. The emphasis in the parable is on the seed, which seemingly has the power to grow on its own. In this it is like the Kingdom of God. While on earth, Jesus planted the seeds of the kingdom by his life, miracles, teaching, and suffering. However, the kingdom is not yet fully established. Although already present in Jesus and his group of twelve, it has yet to come to fruition; just as the seed in the parable needs time to grow, so does God’s kingdom.

The second parable focuses on the tiny mustard seed. Though not the smallest of all seeds, it is most likely the smallest that a first-century farmer in Jesus’ part of the world would have sown. Small as the mustard seed is, it develops into a tree. Though the mustard tree generally averages only nine to twelve feet in height, it has a wide expanse and provides a nesting place for birds. Just as the tree welcomes the birds, so is God’s kingdom welcoming and open to many.

These parables help us discern something about the kingdom of God and our own faith. In God we live and move and have our being, but God is a mystery and his kingdom, though present, has not yet come into its fullness. Today, the Kingdom of God is present in the Church. The mission of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom given to the Apostles is now given to us. But just as seeds need time to come to fruition, so does the Kingdom of God. That is why in the Lord’s Prayer, we pray, “thy kingdom come.” We know that it will come in its fullness at the end of time. All we need is faith. – loyolapress.com

CWC organises birthday dinner for advisor

Abp Wong (with corsage) poses with his family members at the dinner marking his 5oth birthday, 12 June 2018, Putera Theatre Ballroom Bukit Padang.

KOTA KINABALU – The Catholc Women Commission of Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese organised a birthday dinner to mark its advisor’s 5oth birthday on 12 June 2018 at the Putera Theatre Ballroom Bukit Padang here.

In her welcoming remarks, Anita Tunggolou, head of the commission, said that the members felt it would not be right to let the occasion go quietly.

Born on 6 June 1968, Archbishop John Wong was ordained priest in 1999 and a bishop in 2010.  He succeeded Archbishop John Lee when Lee retired in 2012.  His installation as second Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu took place in 2013.

In his address, Abp Wong thanked the CWC for 0rganising the dinner and the people for turning up to support it.  He said he felt relatively old initially when he turned 50 but took comfort in the thought that Tun Dr Mahathir was 92 when he was sworn in as prime minister a second time on May 10.

The honouree was pleasantly surprised by the presence of his mother, Mdm Rose Chung, and five of his siblings and their families at the dinner.

Among the invited guests were Abp Emeritus Lee, Bishop Julius Gitom of Sandakan , and several priests and religious.

The 1,000-strong diners were entertained by the dance and song performances by various groups including some priests and religious.  A video clip of various youth groups and religious wishing the honoree on his birthday was screened.

SHC parish fiesta football friendly games draw five teams

Members of the winning Sacred Heart Cathedral Soccer Team pose for the camera after the games, 8 June 2018, Penampang Stadium A.

PENAMPANG  –  The Football  Friendly Games held on 8 June 2018 at the Penampang Stadium A drew five teams: SHC, Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI), Alto Kristus (clergy/seminarians), St Paul Dontozidon (SPD), and St John Kopungit (SJK).

It was a five -team games playing in a league of 15 minutes each.  The Alto Kristus (clergy) team captained  by Archbishop John Wong put up a formidable opposition.

At the end of the games, SHC team emerged as the champion with Dontozidon and Alto Kristus as the first and second runner-ups.

A few days earlier, 32 players took part in the Badminton games at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall Karamunsing on 29 May 2018.

Reno Yu won the Single Men Open with Samuel Simon as the runner up while Robert Gilung/Felix Chung won the Men Doubles with Wong Boon Kie/Stephen as the runner-ups.

Cynthia Migiu/Elizabeth Gonki won the Women Double with Ann Soo/Fiona Danny in the second place.

In the Mix Doubles, the champs were Robert Gilung and Prsy with Alex Ryeon and ann Soo in the second place.

In the Veteran category, the champions were Oswald Pawoh/Lui with John Ho/Thien as runner-ups.

The games were organised in conjunction with the cathedral parish fiesta 4-10 June 2018.

According to the Vatican’s new document on Sport, Giving the Best of Yourself (released 1 June 2018), Pope Francis has lauded the document: “Sport is a very rich source of values and virtues that help us to become better people… We need to deepen the close connection that exists between sport and life, which can enlighten one another.”

The 52-page document highlighted the Church’s positive view of the important values inherent to sport and blew the whistle on the growing threats in the sports world, including corruption, over-commercialisation, manipulation and abuse.

SHC organises bazaar in aid of new CC building fund

Albert Wong (sign language community) sketches the portrait of a customer at the bazaar organised in aid of the Catholic Centre building fund, Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing, 10 June 2018. The proceeds went above the RM250,000.00 target.

KOTA KINABALU – The Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish here organised its yearly bazaar (parish family day carnival) in aid of the new Catholic Centre building fund on 10 June 2018 at the parish centre.

Fifty-five booths were set up by the various communities, groups and ministries of the cathedral that use the centre’s facilities regularly.  Others included the Daughters of St Paul, Priests and Seminarians, Shan Tao Kindergarten, St Francis Kindergarten, SM St Francis Convent,  Maktab Nasional, Catholic Nurses Guild,  Secular Carmelites, and Secular Franciscans.

There were varieties of cakes, pies, burgers, ice-cream, ABC, drinks, crackers, pickles, barbeque, roasted pork and duck, and cooked food on sale.  Others included fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and plants, second-hand items (books, bags, clothes), coconut water, fresh eggs, sundries, toiletries.

There were games for children, bouncing castle (inflatable) for children to play on the stage, photo booth (with cosplayers), face and hand painting, caricature/portrait sketching,  song requests. Coupons were sold at several counters.

The parish pastors did their part too by singing their favourite karaoke hits toward the end of the bazaar when the amount reached Rm15,000.00.

At the same time, some of the parishioners also donated blood at the blood donation drive overseen by Queen Elizabeth Hospital in room G1.  This is carried out quarterly in the parish.

Out of the estimated RM9.6 million needed to build the Catholic Centre, the cathedral parish has to contribute RM2.5m.

Demolition and site preparation works began on 29 Nov 2018 and completed by May 2018.  At press time the workers are still doing the retaining wall facing Tzu Yu Kindergarten.

The building project is scheduled to be completed within 16 months, hopefully by Dec 2019.

Civil court rules Fulton Sheen’s remains can go to Peoria

Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton Sheen

NEW YORK CITY, NY – The Superior Court of New York ruled Friday, 8 June 2018, in favour of Joan Sheen Cunningham, who had petitioned to move the body of her uncle, Venerable Fulton Sheen, to the Cathedral of St Mary in Peoria. The body of the late archbishop is currently in St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

The Diocese of Peoria welcomed the decision.

“This is the second time that the Superior Court of New York has ruled in favour of Joan Sheen Cunningham’s petition,” read a June 8 statement from the Peoria diocese.

The judge, Arlene Bluth, ruled that “the location of Archbishop Sheen’s final resting place would not have been his primary concern” and that “it makes no sense, given his lifelong devotion to the Catholic Church, that he would choose a location over the chance to become a saint.”

The Peoria diocese opened the cause for Sheen’s canonisation in 2002 after Archdiocese of New York said it would not explore the case. In 2012, Benedict XVI recognised the heroic virtues of the archbishop.

However, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria suspended the beatification cause in September 2014 on the grounds that the Holy See expected Sheen’s remains to be in the Peoria diocese.

The Archdiocese of New York, however, has said that Vatican officials have said the Peoria diocese can pursue Sheen’s canonisation regardless of whether his body is at rest there.

Sheen was born in Illinois in 1895, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria at the age of 24. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of New York in 1951, and he remained there until his appointment as Bishop of Rochester in 1966. He retired in 1969 and moved back to New York City until his death in 1979.

Sheen’s will had declared his wish to be buried in the Archdiocese of New York Calvary Cemetery. Soon after Sheen died, Cardinal Terence Cooke of New York asked Cunningham, Sheen’s closest living relative, if his remains could be placed in the New York cathedral’s crypt, and she consented.

Cunningham has said that Sheen would have wanted to have been interred in Peoria if he knew that he would be considered for sainthood. In 2016, she filed a legal complaint seeking to have her uncle’s remains moved to Peoria.

An initial court ruling had sided with Cunningham, but a state appeals court overturned that ruling, saying it had failed to give sufficient attention to a sworn statement from a colleague of Archbishop Sheen, Monsignor Hilary C Franco, a witness for the New York archdiocese.

Msgr Franco had said that Sheen told him he wanted to be buried in New York and that Cardinal Cooke had offered him a space in the crypt of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The appeals court ordered “a full exploration” of the archbishop’s desires.

The Diocese of Peoria said that the New York superior court ruled this week that Msgr Franco “testified completely in line with the testimony of Joan Sheen Cunningham. Therefore, both supported their understanding that above all else Archbishop Sheen would not have objected to his remains being transferred to Peoria.”

“Furthermore, the Archdiocese of New York could not supply any further testimony against Joan Sheen Cunningham’s petition. The court ruled that their testimony was fundamentally the same,” the Peoria diocese said.

Bluth ruled that “Mrs Cunningham has offered a sound reason and a laudable purpose for her petition” and that Sheen “would care much less about the location of his earthly remains than his ability … to continue to serve man and God on a grand scale after his earthly demise.”

The Peoria diocese expressed their hope that the Archdiocese of New York “will cease their legal resistance and respect the ruling of the Superior Court. Bishop Jenky hopes that the New York Archdiocese will cooperate with … the practical matters as to moving the remains of Venerable Archbishop Sheen to Peoria, Illinois. It is the hope that this process will begin immediately.”

The Diocese of Peoria said that moving Sheen’s body to Peoria will be the next step towards bringing his beatification to completion.

“Bishop Jenky encourages everyone to pray for a renewed spirit of cooperation in the effort to beatify Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen.”

Sheen served as host of the “Catholic Hour” radio show and the television show “Life is Worth Living.”

In addition to his pioneering radio and television shows, Archbishop Sheen authored many books, with proceeds supporting foreign missions. He headed the Society for the Propagation of the Faith at one point in his life, and continued to be a leading figure in US Catholicism until his death.

Archbishop Sheen’s intercession is credited with the miraculous recovery of a pronounced stillborn American baby from the Peoria area.

In June 2014, a panel of theologians that advises the Congregation for the Causes of Saints ruled that the baby’s recovery was miraculous.

The baby, later named James Fulton Engstrom, was born in September 2010 showing no signs of life. As medical professionals tried to revive him, his parents prayed for his recovery through the intercession of Fulton Sheen.

Although the baby showed no pulse for an hour after his birth, his heart started beating again and he escaped serious medical problems. – CNA/EWTN News

153 receive First Holy Communion on Corpus Christi Sunday

A section of the eucharistic procession held after communion, St Joseph Papar, 3 June 2018.

PAPAR – One hundred and fifty-three children (74 boys, 79 girls) received their First Holy Communion
at St Joseph’s Church here on 3 June 2018, Corpus Christi Sunday.

In his homily, Father Thomas Yip said that it is “not our physical states that matter in life, but as in the gospel, the Eucharistic communion and His command, ’do this in memory of me’, a sign that Christ shall remain in our lives forever and His sacrifice as the Lamb of God is also the sign of love of Christ to us all.”

After the post-communion prayer, the congregation led by the pastor, altar servers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, Parish Pastoral Council members, first communicants, groups and ministries carrying their banners proceeded to a procession of the blessed sacrament accompanied by the togungak music.

The congregation also paused at each of the four stations located around the compound of the church for brief adoration prayer before returning to the church for the closing prayers.

After Mass and procession, the first communicants had their lunch and received their certificates a the Fr John Tsung Hall.  – William Charles Mindus (SOCCOM Papar)



‘Book of Ruth’ comes alive for SHC movie buffs

A section of the audience on movie night, 8 June 2018, held in conjunction with Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish Fiesta at the parish centre Karamunsing.  The movie screened was “The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith” – a 2009 American Biblical film directed by Stephen Patrick Walker.

KOTA KINABALU – The Book of Ruth came alive for Sacred Heart Cathedral parish movie buffs on 8 June 2018 with the screening of biblical movie The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.

The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith is a 2oo9 American Christian film directed by Stephen Patrick Walker.

A biblical Cinderella story, it is seen through the eyes of a young widow Ruth as she leaves her homeland Moab to Israel in search of a better life. Upon reaching Israel, she is swept off her feet by a wealthy royal Boaz which ultimately leads to her destiny as the grandmother of King David.  Powerful themes of tolerance and acceptance gained through love and understanding shine in this production.

Bible movies are about as old as Hollywood itself. From black and white silent films all the way to present day, the Bible remains a popular source of material for movie producers to mine every few years. Their results of success are mixed. Some become cemented classics, while others drift into a well-deserved obscurity. Unsurprisingly, they’re also lightning rods for criticism and controversy, some drawing crowds and others getting banned outright.

Earlier, the Ten Commandments was screened: Part I on February 25 and Part II on March 4. Other future biblical movies to be screened are Jacob, Samson & Delilah, Jeremiah, Esther, and St Peter.

The event was organised by the parish social communications committee (SOCCOM) as part of the weeklong parish fiesta. The SOCCOM committee organises regular movie screenings as one of its activities.

SHC celebrates Mass for the Sick as part of parish feast day programme

Father Paul Lo anoints the hands of John Chin, an elderly parishioner, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing in conjunction with the parish feast day on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, 8 June 2018.

KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral here celebrated Mass for its sick and elderly as part of the week-long parish fiesta programme on 8 June 2018, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.

The Rite of Anointing of the Sick took place after the homily by Archbishop John Wong and his assistants, Father Paul Lo, Father Max Hontor, and Father Joshua Liew.  Deacon Russell Lawrine assisted at the altar.

The cathedral parish celebrates this Mass twice a year since 2015: World Day of the Sick on February 11 (Our Lady of Lourdes) and on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.

The Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of the Church for those whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age. It is a source of healing for the sick rather than the final act of the church for the dying.

The sacrament enables the sick or aged person to be anointed with the oil of the sick, to experience the healing and strength of Jesus Christ and to be supported by a praying community.

The sacrament may be celebrated during Mass, or at a hospital or nursing home, or in the person’s home. It is a celebration of the church where members of the church offer those who are sick the support of faith and prayer.

The sacrament is celebrated with the sick, with old people, and with sick children if they have sufficient understanding. The sacrament is not administered to anyone who has already died. Prayers for the Dead are prayed for the deceased.

KK Archdiocese consecrates families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The concelebrants raise their hands in prayer for all the families gathered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing on 7 June 2018 in conjunction with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus cum Sanctification of Priests.

KOTA KINABALU – At the Mass marking the day of prayer for the sanctification of priests on the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, families were consecrated to the Sacred Heart by Archbishop John Wong at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here on 7 June 2018.

Twenty-nine priests and two deacons joined  Archbishop John Wong and Abp Emeritus John Lee at the altar.  The event was the highlight of the week-long celebration of the parish feast day.  Earlier the clergy had a half-day reflection as preparation to celebrate this day of priestly sanctification at Vianney Home.

As was practised last year (the homilist then was Father Cosmas Lee), the homily this year was given by Father Nicholas Stephen who said the love of the Trinitarian God is personified in the incarnation of Jesus whose heart was pierced for the love of humanity.

After the post-communion prayer, the prayer of consecration was solemnly recited by all present.  Then all the concelebrants raised their hands to pray for all families gathered in the church followed by some of the priests who went through the congregation blessing the people with holy water.

In 2002, Pope John Paul II chose the feast of the Sacred Heart for the day of prayer for priestly sanctification because it celebrates God’s merciful love that becomes tangible for priests in the Eucharistic Mystery, which they celebrate daily, and in the sacramental pardon which they administer and receive.

In choosing to consecrate the families on this day, the parish expressed its desire for the families under its pastoral care to remain closely united to the Heart of love, of belonging to It perpetually and entirely, and of devoting themselves generously to Its service.

Lay association of the Pauline Family celebrates centenary

VATICAN CITY – Hundreds of members of the Association of Pauline Cooperators from around the world gathered in Italy taking part in an international convention on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of their foundation.

In 1917, Father James Alberione founded the lay Association of Pauline Cooperators. This third group of the Pauline Family followed the foundations of the Society of St Paul in 1914 and the Daughters of St Paul in 1915.

Pauline Cooperators are lay men and women who dedicate themselves through a special commitment to incarnate the mission and spirituality of the Pauline Family. The works they are involved in are as varied as catechesis, volunteer work, journalism, and book exhibitions in parishes. They often collaborate directly at a local Pauline, St Paul, or Liturgical Apostolate Centre. They participate above all in the communion formed among the other nine Institutes that make up the Pauline Family through their particular spirituality and prayer life.

Concluding the celebration of their centenary, hundreds of Pauline Cooperators journeyed to Italy where it all began. The Congress took place on 18-27 May 2018 and included presentations on the theme What It Means To Be a Pauline Cooperator in the Church Today: the Pauline Cooperators in St. Paul and in the Pauline Family. A pilgrimage to Alba to visit the many places linked to Fr Alberione and the other Institutes of the Pauline Family was the highlight of the program.

Several Pauline Cooperators from Singapore and Hong Kong visited Vatican News as part of their own personal Pauline pilgrimage experience. In speaking of the centenary convention and pilgrimage, it is obvious that they were touched profoundly and have found new impetus in their particular vocation within the Pauline Family.

Theresa Khoo from Singapore, a member for over 20 years, said she felt that she was coming home “to where it all started.”   Winifred Loh, also from Singapore and a member for 20 years, called the trip a “miraculous journey.”   It was “special to connect” with other Pauline Cooperators from all over the world, “to connect on the spirituality, to find common ground in various areas of diverse languages, and cultures, and projects, and initiatives,”  Winifred said.

Tina Kwan from Hong Kong has visited many Pauline locations abroad. “Oh my goodness,” she said now that she has met other Pauline Cooperators from all over the world. “Fr Alberione had a message from God, and it’s really like a dream coming true” a hundred years later. For Dominic, a Cooperator of 3 or 4 years from Singapore, and Chum Hon Sun from Hong Kong meeting so many other members of the Pauline Family helped them begin to feel a part of a larger family. “I find that we are very comfortable. I suppose this is either the Pauline Spirit or just being Catholic,”  Dominic said.

Felix from Hong Kong is now more convinced than ever that the “mass media is the most powerful way for us at present to convey…the Gospel message.”   Chum Hon Sun and his wife have been Pauline Cooperators for 10 years. He discovered on this trip that “our role as a Cooperator is to spread the Good News, to follow the footsteps of our Founder, Fr Alberione.”

Evoking laughs from her fellow Cooperators, Lam So Ching from Hong Kong said that she received a lot of joy on the trip but, “I’m very tired.”

Dominic Lau from Singapore summed up his own and others’ experience as well saying that even though the participants came from different cultures and spoke different languages, we “have a common goal: to follow the spirit of Fr Alberione in proclaiming the Word of the Lord.”   He returns home feeling compelled to cooperate even more with the Pauline Family in this mission. – Sr Bernadette Mary Reis fsp, Vatican News

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