Tag Archives: PAX Assembly

KK Archdiocesan youth aspire to work closely with leaders towards Vision and Mission

Serena Wong (2nd L) is among the youth participating in the PAX Assembly on 13-16 June 2018, Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre.

BUNDU TUHAN – The youth of Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese aspire to work closely with other leaders  at parish level as well as at archdiocesan level towards attaining the Vision and Mission.

Almost all parish leaders brought with them their youth leaders to the PAX Assembly at Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre, 13-16 June 2018.

Serena Wong of Sacred Heart Cathedral youth ministry, said she expects to find her call in this PAX process and hopes to respond accordingly pertaining to the vision and mission of the archdiocese.

When asked how the archdiocese can further help the young people to overcome the three critical concerns – apathy, secularisation and political Islam – she said, “There have to be platforms for youth to be participants in the planning, evaluating and implementing the archdiocese’s direction.”

“There has to be a leadership formation for the young people, as succession plan of roles and responsibilities,” she added.

The cathedral parish has seven youth ministries in all three languages. All youth ministries have respectively reported in the Parish Pre-PAX meetings on what have been done and the needs of the young people according to the youth that they minister to and the needs that arise.

They were involved in programmes such as Adoration, talks, retreats and camps to encounter Christ.

Serena said that a Eucharist project is in the pipeline, which will only take place after the election of the new Parish Pastoral Council.

Harold Ong, of St Simon parish, Likas, said to further help the young people to overcome the three main concerns, the archdiocese must work closely with the youth ministry of the individual parishes, raising new leaders, training speakers and resource persons.

He hoped that the archdiocese can see a clearer picture of the challenges faced by parishes and work together as one family of Christ to come out with concrete solutions to remedy issues.

On the involvement of youth in the PAX process, Harold said, “Leaders of our youth ministry participated in the Pre-PAX Assembly on May 1.”

“We also participated in spiritual activities organised by our parish such as Holy Hour and Rosary, outreach to the less fortunate at Cheshire Home in Bukit Harapan, Bible sharing on a weekly basis and a Boys Brigade Company to expose our youths to Catholic Christian values,” said Harold.

On the next plan after PAX Assembly, Harold suggested to “organise an interactive session to learn more about political Islam.”

He said a sharing session is a good platform  for youths to share the experiences of attending a youth event, which promotes faith formation, such as the Diocesan Youth Festival in Tuaran. Linda Edward

PAX Assembly refocuses on Diocesan Vision-Mission

The delegates pose for remembrance, 15 June 2018. The PAX Assembly took place 13-16 June 2018, Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre.

BUNDU TUHAN – Around 200 delegates across the archdiocese gathered to refocus on the Diocesan Vision-Mission on 13-16 June 2018 at the retreat centre here.

This was the second assembly convoked by Archbishop John Wong.  The first was in November 2015.

The PAX Assembly has been synonymous to the Church in Kota Kinabalu since 1971 when it was called by Bishop Peter Chung, then Apostolic Vicar.  The word PAX is an abbreviation of the Pastoral Council of the Catholic Church in Sabah.  In Latin it means PEACE.  Since its inception, it has been a forum to deliberate and study matters related to pastoral issues brought up by parishes and PAX commissions.  Since 1979, annual themes were introduced to regulate the assemblies.  However, in 1997, after the launching of the Diocesan Vision and Mission, the annual themes were no longer used.  Instead the assembly has become a forum for common discernment, with the Diocesan Vision and Mission as guide.The term “PAX Assembly” is retained to show continuity and for nostalgic reason.  It is now officially called in Malay, Perhimpunan Pastoral Keuskupan Agung.

The assembly has three objectives: (a) to share what has been done since PAX 2015; (b) to refocus on the Diocesan Vision-Mission; and (c) to carry on the Pastoral Thrust in the context of the Diocesan Vision-Mission.

It began with dinner fellowship on June 13 followed by a roll call/ice-breaker and opening remarks by Abp Wong.  The next day focused on listening to five cluster consolidated reports gathered from the pre-PAX gathering on May 1.

After lunch, the assembly listened to the reports from the nine commissions.  Each report session was followed by a plenary session (Q&A).

On the second full day, the morning was taken up by nine people – priests, religious, lay – sharing on how the vision-mission has touched their lives personally and in ministry.

In the afternoon, Father Wilfred Atin summarised the questions and recommendations brought up during the pre-PAX gathering under the following headings: 1) more in number & competent/proactive priests; 2) formation – regular programme of training in different fields; more and better trained pastoral and administrative agents; 3) visit and formation to the parishes; 4) media & IT facilities, physical amenities; 5) financial aid – and how to move forward in the context of the vision-mission.

All that was discussed was brought to the Lord in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament after dinner.  The participants had also the opportunity to go for confession.

Before the delegates returned home, Dominic Lim recapitulated the flow of the past days and they were invited to put on the mind of the Church through Pope Francis’ encyclical on the call to holiness in today’s world (Gaudete et exultate) presented by Abp Wong.

Before the dismissal of the closing Mass, Abp Wong and Father Nicholas Stephen unfurled the buntings depicting the Vision and Mission to mark their relaunching followed by the presentation of the two buntings to the representatives of the 19 parishes.

Delegates tipped on how to counter challenges guided by archdiocesan vision

Delegates pose for remembrance after the closing Mass.

Delegates pose for remembrance after the closing Mass.

PURAK, Papar – Over two hundred delegates – clergy, religious, laity – to the 2015 PAX Assembly were tipped on how to counter the three main challenges using the Archdiocesan Vision recently.

After a hiatus of five years, the PAX Assembly was held at the Paca Bene Formation Centre here on 8-11 Nov 2015.  Among the delegates, over half were first timers.  They were mainly members of the parish pastoral councils of the 19 parishes and subparishes in the archdiocese.  For many, it was perhaps the first time they had a deeper understanding of the archdiocesan vision. The last assembly was held in 2009.

On the first night, the delegates were treated to a powerpoint presentation of the journey of the local Church from prefecture to archdiocese within a span of 153 years (1855-2008) after the welcoming speech of Archbishop John Wong.  Present also was Abp Emeritus John Lee.

In his speech, the prelate stressed that the 2015 assembly was different from the previous ones because of its pastoral nature.  This was because, he said, the assembly dealt with issues related to pastoring, taking care of those under their care in the parishes, the challenges they are facing, the situations around them.

“We want to look for ways how to provide better pastoral care for them, to seek those who are lost, take care of the sick, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who are weak,” the prelate said.  He quoted Pope Francis: “the Church is like a ‘field hospital for wounded souls.”  As Local Church, he continued, we try to do the best we can, according to our ability.

The next day, the morning was taken up with the delegates’ reports on the findings of the survey undertaken by the parishes earlier in the year in the areas of A) perception of Catholics in Malaysia; B) Strengths and Weaknesses of the Local Church; C) Consequences of these Weaknesses (Threats); and D) Opportunities to Counter Threats of Apathy, Islamisation, and Secularisation.

The assembly was divided into 25 groups for sharing on what they had heard in the morning, and what they perceived to be the message of the Lord to them.  Later after dinner, the delegates took all what they had heard, realised, and shared into prayer before the exposed Blessed Sacrament.

Inputs were given on the second full day: 1) Our Christian Identity in Malaysia (Fr Wilfred Atin); 2) Archdiocesan Vision (Abp Wong); 3) Our Pastoral Thrust a) “Go Inward” vs Apathy (Fr Nicholas Stephen); b) “Go Smaller” vs Islamisation (Fr Paul Lo); and c) “Go Outward” vs Secularisation (Fr Michael Modoit).

After dinner, the delegates divided themselves into three simultaneous “workshop” groups relating to the three ways of countering the issues.

On the final half-day, Apostolic Nuncio Abp Joseph Marino presented his reflections on the Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium) and the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which actually deepened the understanding of our Christian identity as missionary disciples living in our own particular context in Malaysia and how to live out the Year of Mercy.  The event ended with a closing Mass presided by Abp Marino followed by lunch.

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