Tag Archives: 2018-7

Fr Paul Lo appointed SHC rector

File photo of Fr Paul Lo (R) who is being affirmed by Abp John Wong (L) at his 12th anniversary breakfast at the Sacred Heart Parish Canteen, 7 Dec 2017.  At the centre is Fr Maxmillianno Hontor, the other assistant pastor of the cathedral.

PENAMPANG – Father Paul Lo has been appointed by Archbishop John Wong as the rector of the Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing effective 16 Aug 2018.

Lo replaces the archbishop who became the parish priest of the cathedral in October 2014.

Born in Kudat in 1973, Lo joined the preparatory course at the Catholic Diocesan Centre Penampang in 1997 and went on for his philosophical and theological studies at St Peter’s College Kuching in 1998.  He was ordained priest by then Bishop John Lee in 2005.

After ordination he served in Sandakan and Tanjung Aru before being sent to Rome for a licentiate in Biblical Theology in 2010.

Upon his return from Rome in 2014, he served in Inanam, Manggatal, and Telipok until his appointment as assistant pastor at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in 2017.

Currently, he is also the spiritual director of the lay movements/apostolate in the archdiocese.

Fr Raju celebrates 16 years of priesthood

Among guests celebrating the 16th sacerdotal anniversary of Fr Johnny Raju (standing 3rd from right) were: Archbishop John Wong (seated 4th from left); Msgr Nicholas Ong (seated 3rd from left); and Sr Carmen (seated 3rd from right), at his family residence in Kg Nosoob Baru, Penampang on  22 July 2018.

PENAMPANG – Keningau-born Father Johnny Raju, 53, celebrated the 16th anniversary of his priestly ordination with family members, friends and church officials at his home at Kg Nosoob Baru here on 22 July 2018.

Among those present were Archbishop John Wong, Msgr Nicholas Ong of Tawau, Vicar General of Sandakan Diocese, Father Jeffri Gumu, who was home in Sabah on holiday from his studies in Manila, and Sister Carmen Cordova fisc who teaches at St Francis Secondary School, Kota Kinabalu.

Fr Raju was ordained at the Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) in Kota Kinabalu by then Bishop John Lee on 20 July 2002.

He now serves as assistant parish priest at Stella Maris Church Tanjung Aru, St Thomas’s Church Kapayan, and Blessed Sacrament Church Labuan.

At the same time, he is chaplain for the sick at hospitals in Kota Kinabalu City, as well as being active in the Prison Service, visiting and giving a word of hope to male Christians at the central Prison in Kapayan on Thursdays.

He studied for priesthood at the Redemptoris Mater Diocesan Seminary in Rome and ordained as deacon at the Basilica of St John Lateran there in 2001.

Fr Raju previously served in St John Tuaran (2002-2006); St Joseph Papar (2006-2008); SHC in Kota Kinabalu (2008), and at the Holy Trinity Church in Tawau before being transferred to Tanjung Aru in the state capital.

The faithful in Kepayan marked the anniversary on July 26 while those in Labuan celebrated the event on July 29. – JL

MJ hosts historic Malaysian Catholic Clergy Assembly

JOHOR BAHRU –  ‘Hari Ini Dalam sejarah.’ That is how Archbishop Julian Leow of Kuala Lumpur  began his welcoming address at the 1st Malaysian Catholic Clergy Assembly (MCCA) in Majodi Centre on 16-21 July 2018. It was truly a historical moment for the Malaysian Catholic Church, where 278 clergy, comprising of arch/bishops, priests and deacons from the nine arch/dioceses in Malaysia gathered together in discernment, prayer and fellowship.

May they be one (John 17:21) i.e, the high priestly prayer of Jesus in the Gospel of John was the theme of the assembly. In his address at the opening Mass, Archbishop Joseph Marino, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, highlighted the call to follow Jesus in our humanity as priests and to be conscious of the struggles of the people of God. He added the Malaysian Church must continue to be a welcoming church and a sign of love after the heart of Jesus.

Archbishop Emeritus John Ha led the assembly into a recollection the following day. He emphasised that the Church as a community of Christ’s disciples is called to be a beacon of unity in Malaysia. In response to this call, the first Malaysian Catholic Clergy Assembly was convened in the belief and conviction that deeper communion among the clergy will lead to a greater unity amidst our diversity among the dioceses in Malaysia.

Thus, the first day of the assembly was a time for building new friendships among the clergy and rekindling old ones among brother priests. Many who were classmates in the seminary years ago had the pleasure of strengthening their bonds of friendship. In addition, the clergy were brought to visit South Johor Vicariate parishes to experience and witness first-hand, the reality of Catholics from Sabah, Sarawak and Semenanjung living together in communion and mission. They were welcomed by the parishioners dressed in their traditional attire and treated with food and drinks prepared by the various ethnic groups who were part of the parish community. This reinforces the notion of unity in diversity which is a distinct character of the Malaysian church.

The second day was a time of learning the history and journey of the Catholic faith in each of the dioceses in Malaysia. This was done through multimedia presentation of interviews and sharing from clergy and laity on the culture and time in which the seed of the Catholic faith was sown and later grew into the Malaysian church as we see and experience today in the respective dioceses of Malaysia. The clergy were also given the opportunity to meet in small groups to share on their inspirations to the faith and towards serving God as deacons, priests and bishops. They also shared on their hopes and aspiration for the future of the Malaysian Church.

The third day was a time of addressing the challenges they face together as Malaysian Catholic clergy. Issues on the family, youth, vocation, secularisation, faith formation, evangelisation and mission witnessing were among some of the topics that were addressed in the hope of greater collaboration towards living the mission entrusted to us by our Lord Jesus in Malaysia.

Archbishop Simon Poh in his talk on Pastor after Heart of the Shepherd spoke on the crisis in the church. He cautioned them against clericalism and urged them to be accountable and transparent in all their dealings.

At the close of the assembly, the three cochairs namely, Bishop Bernard Paul (Malacca- Johore Diocese), Bishop Richard Ng (Miri Diocese) and Bishop Julius Gitom (Sandakan Diocese) spoke on the history and growth of the Malaysian Church. This MCCA is the first step taken to achieve the desire first voiced during the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Convention IV in 2016 that is, to have the 1st Pan Malaysian Pastoral Convention in 2026. The next step would be an assembly for all the religious — sisters, brothers and priests.

During the Mass on the last day of the assembly, Bishop Sebastian Francis, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei in his homily said, “The Holy Spirit is asking us, as the Malaysian clergy, to make a commitment to strive for unity, so that the world and Malaysia will believe that the Father has sent us. We do not want an elite church. We want a church for the masses — the People of God.”

Towards the end of the Mass and as a sign of new growth, each member of the assembly was given a palm oil seed as a sign that something did take place. “It is a reminder to connect with your ground — the history, situation and culture wherever you are planted,” explained Bishop Bernard.

“Befriend your situation, befriend your history, befriend your culture and befriend your people. Learn from one another’s stories, embrace your challenges as they are also your opportunity,” he added.

Then the members of the organising committee lit their candles from the paschal candle and handed them over to their respective arch/bishops. These candles signify the light of Christ. The arch/bishops who are the shepherds of their arch/dioceses are a symbol of unity who care for their priests, religious and laity.

The assembly came to an end with the clergy praying the MCCA prayer. CWC team, Herald Malaysia

Over 100 turn up for choir workshop

The participants pose for remembrance after the choir workshop on 29 July 2018, St Simon Likas.

KOTA KINABALU – Over 100 members from parish choirs across Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese turned up for the choir workshop on 27-29 July 2018 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.

The English choir workshop was organised by the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission under Father Cosmas Lee.

The workshop was conducted by the Singapore Liturgical Music Team: Father John Joseph Fenelon, Jennifer Anthoney, and Julian Soh.

The 105 participants were key choir conductors, key leaders and musicians from Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang, St Simon Likas, Stella Maris Tanjung Aru, St Catherine Inanam, Good Shepherd Manggatal, Holy Family Telipok, St Paul Dontozidon, Holy Nativity Terawi, Holy Trinity Inobong, St Joseph Papar, Holy Rosary Limbahau, St Michael Penampang, St Joseph Kiulu, and St John Tuaran.

Also present were Father Paul Lo (short while) and Father Thomas Madanan.

In his introduction, Fr Fenelon affirmed the centrality of the Mass in the liturgical life of the Church and explained what sacred music or music in the liturgy means: “a humble handmaid of the liturgy.”

Quoting from the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, Fr Fenelon said:

“Sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is more closely connected with the liturgical action” (SC #112), a “humble handmaid” of liturgy (TLS 23) for its value in the liturgy is located in its ability to enhance the ecclesiastical ceremonies, to highlight the liturgical text, and to inspire the faithful.

In relation to this, the participants were introduced to the plainchant and the pipe organ.

For the practical sessions, the participants were divided into two groups: one composed of cantors (chants, choral) and the other of  musicians (keyboardists, organists, guitarists, etc).

Plainchant is a form of medieval church music (CE 100) that involves chanting or words that are sung without any instrumental accompaniment. It is also called plainsong.  It was the only type of music allowed in Christian churches early on.    Gregorian chant is a variety of plainchant.

It was believed that music should make a listener receptive to spiritual thoughts and reflections.  This was why the melody was kept pure and unaccompanied.  In fact, the same melody would be repeatedly used throughout the plainsong. There are no harmonies or chords that embellish the melody.

In the early centuries, there were many different kinds of plainchant without standardisation. Around the year 600, Pope Gregory the Great wanted to compile all the different types of chants into one collection. Named after him, this compilation was known as Gregorian Chant, which later became a term used to describe this variety of music in general.

As opposed to modern music notation, plainchant is written on 4 lines instead of 5 lines. Also, a symbol called “neumes” was used to indicate pitch and syllable phrasing. There is no record of notation for the earlier forms of plainchant.

The pipe organ  is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendour to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up the human mind to God and to higher things.

The participants were led through the experience of using the plainchant in the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) and in the concluding Mass at St Simon Likas on July 29.

23 catechists make it to level two of ongoing formation course

A section of the participants of the catechists level 2 course at Pace Bene Formation Centre Purak, 8-26 July 2018, organised by the Archdiocesan C atechetical Commission.

PURAK, Papar – Twenty-three catechists made it to level two of the ongoing formation course for catechists organised by the Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission at Pace Bene Formation Centre here on 8-26 July 2018.

They had participated in the first level last year.

Among the topics given were Bioethics, Vatican II Documents (Fr Michael Modoit), Canon Law (Fr Rudolp Joannis), Joy of the Gospel (Fr Nicholas Stephen), Catechism of the Catholic Church (Sr Patsy Limun fsic), Ecclesiology, Church Social Teaching (Dominic Lim), Evangelisation (Sr Grace Deosing fsic), Salvation History, Pastoral Applications (Fr Paul Lo).

Aside from the inputs, the participants were also sent to help out at the outstation chapels of Papar and Limbahau during the weekends.

Archbishop John Wong presided at the concluding Mass followed by the certificate presentation to the participants on July 26.

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