Tag Archives: launching

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

Vatican launches new website

Screenshot of new VaticanNews website

ROME – The Holy See launched its new VaticanNews (www.vaticannews.va) website at precisely 4.42pm on Saturday, 16 Dec 2017,  in the latest step in the process of reforming Vatican communications.

Twenty IT specialists have worked tirelessly for several months on the project, which had been announced previously several times.

The launch date was chosen to coincide with the eve of the 81st birthday of Pope Francis, who launched the reform of Vatican communications in 2015.

“We should not confuse the reform process with the portal, which is just one aspect of it,” warns Mgr Dario Vigano, prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communications.

Mgr Vigano decided to launch the website in an effort to unify Vatican communications which were previously split into several brands and sometimes almost unreadable.

The new VaticanNews site is fluid and easy to navigate and is well integrated with social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

It makes extensive use of multimedia, particularly audio and video, the great strengths of the former Radio Vaticana and the Vatican Television Centre (CTV).

Currently, in a “beta” version, the site is operated by a single editorial team divided into six language groups (Italian, English, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese).

It also contains sections in the 33 other languages that Vatican Radio transmits in.

Another newly introduced brand, VaticanMedia, will aggregate the various services for media professionals (direct telecasts and radio broadcasts of papal celebrations, for example) while the Radio Vaticana brand will in the future be reserved for a digital radio station broadcasting in Italy and in FM in Rome.

However, the prestigious legacy of Radio Vaticana, which was founded in 1931 by Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the radio, is not yet over.

It will continue despite a series misunderstandings that occurred at the beginning of the reform programme between radio station personnel and the heads of Vatican Communications, who are more involved in communications than news.

“Everyone has taken time out to listen and analyse. Some understood the need for change while others insisted on the importance of radio media in certain countries such as France,” comments Jean-Charles Putzolu, a former editor for the French section of Vatican Radio, now a strategic service of the Secretariat for Communications.

Once threatened, the shortwave station will not be abolished but “redeployed” towards more disadvantaged countries. Thus, it will disappear in Europe where it has lost most of its audience but will continue it is transmitted on relay via 80 partner radio stations.

“At the same time, we are in contact with Facebook and Google who are working to improve internet connections in Africa,” says Putzolu.

Finally, while VaticanNews insists that it is a Vatican “communications” body rather than a news service, the general editorial line remains unchanged.

“There will be no change in the content of the three daily radio news broadcasts,” insists Hélène Destombes, head of the francophone section of the new portal, which aims “to speak to everyone” and “to be heard everywhere.”

While it evidently emphasises events and items involving the pope, VaticanNews will continue to provide an overview of local churches – with which the Secretariat for Communications intends to work more closely.

It will also include international news in an effort “to provide keys for understanding based on the Gospel.”

This is an important aspect at a time when world political and economic powers are investing in news services to promote their own vision of the world.

The next stage in the Vatican communications reform will be the integration on 1 January  2018, of the Vatican Printing House and L’Osservatore Romano.

This will take place progressively maintaining the identity of the historic Holy See daily but working to increase its circulation. – la croix international

Stella Maris Parish launches its vision and mission

The Boys Brigade (11th Stella Maris KK Company) carries the statue of Mary Star of the Sea during the entrance procession, 28 Oct 2017, Stella Maris Tg Aru.  Photo: Ben Wong

TANJUNG ARU – Stella Maris Parish here launched its vision and mission statements on 28 Oct 2017 during the Sunset Mass.

The day was held with prayers and talks by Father Peter Abas, and sharings about the Vision and Mission by Arthur Asai, Sister Carmen Cardova FSIC, and Comeswell Egol, followed by the rosary prayer led by the Legion of Mary and a procession of the statue of Mary, Star of the Sea carried by the Boys Brigade. It was a simple, beautiful and meaningful launching of the Vision and Mission.

The next step would be the drawing up of objectives sometime in November.

In August 2017, Fr Abas, assistant pastor, called for a meeting to brainstorm to “create a vision that is being inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

The objective of the first workshop on Aug 26 was to work on the Vision. Seventy-six parishioners representing 25 ministries, groups and families came to brainstorm. The workshop was guided by Dominic Lim. He gave the guidelines on 1) how to go about it, 2) what is the meaning when we create a vision, and 3) how do we put across our ideas and what is/and is not important.

After some debate, the group came out with the following statement:

A Christ Centred Parish Family journeying together – strengthened by the Holy Spirit and empowered by the Word of God in creating an evangelising community.

The Mission Statement stated below came out during a meeting on Sept 30:
“We, the Parish Family commit ourselves to a life of:
1)    Ongoing personal and communal renewal
2)    Proclaiming Christ, empowered by the Word of God, and guided by the teachings of the Church
3)    Nurturing the parish family life through prayers and Sacraments
4)    Evangelising missionary spirit, promoting unity in communities, and respecting the values of other faiths

Below are some comments by those involved:

Sr Carmen Cordova: The Vision and Mission challenge us to achieve unity, and be a better Catholic.

Arthur Asai: We will know our direction with this parish Vision and Mission.

Comeswel Egol: As a parish family, we will be stronger with the Vision and Mission, and as a youth leader, it will help me to guide the youth and to show them the direction to go. – Teresa Alberto/Jeremy Chin


St Simon Likas marks parish feast day with launching of fundraising for Catholic Centre

The confirmands and first communicants pose with the concelebrants and their teachers, 29 Oct 2017, St Simon Likas.

LIKAS – St Simon’s Church here marked its 33rd anniversary with the launching of the fundraising for the Catholic Centre on 29 Oct 2017.

The occasion was the pastoral visit of Archbishop John Wong on its patronal feast day – St Simon the Zealot, Apostle and Martyr.

Concelebrating the Mass with Abp Wong were Archbishop Emeritus John Lee and Father Cosmas Lee, the rector.

As in past years, the prelate administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 29 candidates and First Eucharist to 31 children.

To the confirmands (rite of passage to spiritual adulthood), Abp Wong warned them of three enemies they have encountered and will encounter: lack of self-acceptance, worldliness (greed for worldly possessions), and temptation to do evil.

After Mass, all adjourned to the parish hall for the reception and the launching of the fundraising for the Catholic Centre.

Instead of the usual speech, Fr Lee explained the need for a new Catholic Centre, which he said was not a new idea but one that was mooted 20 years ago.

The parish has been tasked to contribute about half a million Ringgit toward the building project which will be sited at the former Shan Tao Primary School at Jalan Sang Kancil 3 near the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Fr Lee said there will be three fundraisers: food fair/bazaar on Feb 4, a monthly third collection and personal pledges.

However, he reminded the parishioners that part of the proceeds from any common fundraisers will go toward the building projects of the two schools under the parish: St James Primary School Hall (20%) and an IT block for SM Shan Tao (30%).

In his brief address before he declared the fundraising launch, Abp Wong urged the parents of the first communicants to help them “fall in love” with Jesus so that they will become his disciples and be sent by him to others.

New KK Catholic Centre to be built on former primary school site

Artist impression of the new Catholic Centre to be built on former Shan Tao Primary School site, Jalan Sang Kancil Tiga Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – The new Catholic Centre of the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese will be built on a former Chinese primary school site adjacent to the Sacred Heart Cathedral here.

This was disclosed during the launching of the building project at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing on 22 July 2017.

The launching ceremony was officiated jointly by Archbishop John Wong and Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the Malaysian Ambassador to the Holy See.

In presenting the project to some 160 people (priests, religious, commission and parish representatives, potential donors, press), Father Cosmas Lee, who has been tasked by Abp Wong to set up the steering committee in 2016, said that due to the substantial growth of the Catholic community over the past years, the new Catholic Centre would answer a long-felt need.

The new centre is necessary because the two buildings at the Catholic Diocesan Centre in Taman Hiburan Penampang have been declared unsafe after cracks were detected in several walls of the buildings.

The Catholic Diocesan Centre, built about 30 years ago, currently houses the Archbishop’s Office, the Archdiocesan Archives, the commission offices, Catholic Sabah, among others.

The new centre will be built on the site of the former Shan Tao Primary School which relocated to Kapayan Ridge in 2000.

The new centre will have two office blocks: a two-storey block housing a conference room, archives and gallery; and the other a three-storey structure for the offices, meeting rooms, a chapel, Catholic Sabah, conference facilities for seminars and training.

The buildings are a fusion of new and old language with heavy use of coloured glass panes on the exterior, designed pro-bono by Daniel Koh of ADK Architect.

In his presentation, Fr Lee commended the farsighted effort of Msgr August Wachter, the Prefect Apostolic of North Borneo then, in purchasing the Carmel Hill land and all the properties standing on it from Mr Yong Hoi for 10,000 North Borneo dollars.  On this nearly 11-acre piece of land, the Carmelite Monastery, the seminary, St Francis Convent Secondary School, Kung Min/ Shan Tao Primary School, have stood, all in the neighbourhood adjacent to the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

In 1996, when Fr Lee was the rector of the cathedral, he also intuited that some day the Catholic Centre would be built there as there was already definite news that Shan Tao Primary School would be relocating to Kapayan Ridge.

The site is ideal as it stands in a central and accessible location to everyone, bounded by Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman in the west, Jalan Menteri to the south and east, and Jalan Sang Kancil to the north.

However, Fr Lee said, the centre is part of a master plan for Carmel Hill.  The Carmelite Monastery will remain on top of the hill; the seminary with all its facilities and grounds has been earmarked for the Archdiocesan Youth Ministry when Initiation Year will join the Aspirancy at Taman Hiburan.  Next year when St Francis Convent Secondary will move to Bukit Padang, its buildings and grounds will be considered for other needs like hostels and facilities for live-in pastoral formation programmes.  All the buildings on Carmel Hill will be connected with each other and the cathedral by a network of roads.

Since the Catholic Centre is the need of all the faithful in the archdiocese, Fr Lee said the responsibility of realising it “has to be owned by each and every Catholic in the Archdiocese…each giving his utmost according to his utmost means in prayer, support, time, and money.”

As for fundraising, Fr Lee said: “With some expected aid from the Federal and State governments, perhaps some from non-Catholic individuals and bodies, and especially with the joined efforts of 21 parishes and over 200,000 Catholics, I just cannot see why we will fail to raise the needed RM9.6 million and a bit more when the building is fully furnished and equipped.”

Three committees have been set for the construction of the new Catholic Centre: Steering Committee under Dennis Ho; Building Committee under Anthony Lee; and Fundraising Committee under Willie Wong.

Donations/cheques are to be payable to RTDKK – The Catholic Centre Building Fund,  Maybank Berhad, Lintas Branch A/C No 510198683591.  Official receipts will be issued for all donations.  For details please contact 088-712297 (Ms Angela Yen, Mdm Cecilia Funk, or Mdm Teresa Chin).

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