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KK Archdiocese organises inaugural pre-PAX gathering

A section of the 800 delegates to the pre-PAX gathering in front of the Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing, 1 May 2018.

KOTA KINABALU – The KK Archdiocese organised a pre-PAX gathering, the first of its kind in its history, on 1 May 2018 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.

Organised by the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, the objective of the gathering was to give a voice to the people at the grassroots level before the PAX Assembly in June.

Some 800 delegates from 19 parishes across the archdiocese turned up for the historic event.

It commenced with the Enthronement of the Bible presided by Msgr Primus Jouil (providentially, his 38th priestly anniversary that day) at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, followed by the welcome address by Archbishop John Wong.

In his address, he explained the objective of the gathering.

“The objective of our coming together this morning is to listen carefully to what we have done as parish communities, and hopefully to prepare well for the coming PAX Assembly from 13 to 16 June,” the prelate said.

The delegates were divided into five clusters of four to five parishes based on language and demographic similarities.

Each parish reported on the suitable programmes they have organised to meet the three issues highlighted (apathy, secularisation, islamisation) at the 2015 PAX Assembly in line with the pastoral thrust of “going inward, going smaller, going outward.”

It was pointed out that in the period that followed none of the parishes contacted any of the three archdiocesan service teams formed to help at the parish level.

After lunch, five cluster committees of two delegates per parish (who will later be going to the June PAX Assembly as delegates) met to discuss how they will present a consolidated report of their clusters to the PAX Assembly as well as to elect the presenter of their respective reports.

The gathering ended with a closing Mass presided by Abp Wong, concelebrated with all the priests present, and assisted by the two deacons.

Over a thousand turn up to share FSIC jubilarians’ joy

Front,  the jubilarians with bouquets: Sr Cabrini, Sr Grace, Sr Calista, Sr Julita, Sr Mary, Sr Dariah, Mother General Sr Frances Mani pose with the concelebrants after the Mass, 21 Apr 2018, Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – Over a thousand people turned up to share the jubilee joy of six Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here on 21 Apr 2018.

The six sisters were golden jubilarian Sister Cabrini Mobilik, 69; ruby jubilarian Sister Grace Deosing, 65;  silver jubilarians Calista Saliun, 49;  Dariah Ajap, 51;  Julita Joseph,  50;  and Mary How, 49.

The people comprising the jubilarians’ family members, fellow religious sisters, members of other religious institutes, friends and benefactors of the congregation from within and outside the archdiocese.

Archbishop John Wong presided at the jubilee Mass concelebrated with Abp Emeritus John Lee, Bishop Cornelius Piong of Keningau, Bishop Julius Gitom of Sandakan, Bishop Cornelius Sim of Brunei, and nine priests from both KK and Keningau.

In his message, Abp Wong said: “I believe the six jubilarians have in various ways tried to help their congregation fulfill this mission (Christ Known to All).  One thing is necessary, namely, to live in conformity to Christ.”

Speaking on behalf of her fellow jubilarians, Sr Dariah thanked all those who have helped in their journey of faith in the religious life.

In her message, Sister Frances Mani, superior general of the congregation, said: “Your spiritual journey has been long, winding, and a mixture of joys and anxieties.  You believe Jesus himself has inspired you to follow him and you have remained faithful to your religious call and to the mission entrusted to you.”

After the Mass, all adjourned to the parish hall for a fellowship lunch and entertainment programme.

Born in Kobusak-Nosoob, Florence Mobilik, the eldest girl born to KK Vincent Mobilik Ubuh Sadangkat and Christina Sipanggol (Joeman), entered the congregation in 1966 and became known as Sr Cabrini of the Blessed Trinity.  She took her first vows in 1968 and made her final profession in 1973.  She is the younger sister of Brother Justin, the first Sabahan La Salle Brother.

Born also in Kobusak-Nosoob, Lenoin Stephanie aka Sr Grace Deosing of Jesus,  is the fourth child of Petrus Deosing Masayuh and Boilin Molinjang, in a brood of five boys and two girls.  She entered the congregation in 1976, made her first profession in 1978 and took her final vows in 1983. She is the immediate past superior general of the congregation (2006-2017).

Born in Bundu Tuhan, Calista Saliun aka Sr Calista of the Holy Eucharist is the fourth child in a brood of 12 born to James Saliun and Easter Endam.  She entered the congregation in 1989, took her first vows in 1993 and made her final profession in 1998.  She is the immediate past directress of novices (2006-2017) and is now a general councillor.  Her younger sister, Juanah, is also a member of the same congregation and is now the directress of novices.

Hailing from Tambunan, Dariah Ajap or Sr Dariah of the Child Jesus is the fifth child in a brood of five boys and four girls born to Abraham Ajap Sasi and Beatrice Ibih Lagan.  She entered the Franciscan Order in 1990, made her first profession in 1993 and took her final vows in 1998.  She has headed the commission of catechetics since 2002 and is currently a member of the congregation’s general government (2017-2023).  She is related to Fr Rudolf Joannes, Fr Phillip Muji, and the two Anggie siblings, Sr Liza fsic, and Sr Laura fsp, and Sr Lucynia Jeprin fsic.

Sr Mary How of the Sacred Heart of Jesus hails from Bundusan Penampang.  She is the youngest in a brood of six boys and two girls born to Francis How and Catherine Ting.  She entered the convent in 1989, took her first vows in 1993 and made her final profession in 1998.  She has been stationed at the Terengganu-Pahang Mission since 2015.

Born in Tuaran, the fourth member of the silver quartet is Sr Julita Joseph of the Holy Eucharist, the third child in a brood of two boys and four girls born to Joseph Saindi and Martina Kunou..  Like Calista and Mary, she entered the congregation in 1989, made her first profession in 1993 and took her final vows in 1998.  She is currently assigned in Tawau.

Consecrated life is born and reborn of an encounter with Jesus as he is: poor. chaste and obedience.  We journey along a double track: on the one hand, God’s loving initiative, from which everything starts and to which we must always return.  On the other, our own response, which is truly loving when it has no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ when it imitates Jesus in his poverty, chastity and obedience. (Pope Francis, homily, 22nd World Day for Consecrated Life, 2 Feb 2018).




SHC holds follow-up parish assembly

A section of the delegates present at the second Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish Assembly, 9 Apr 2018, Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – Around 131 representatives from Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish and subparish of Church of Mary Immaculate turned up for the follow-up parish assembly at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here on 9 Apr 2018.

At this gathering, Dr Jeffrey Soon, coordinating chairman of the parish PAX committee, presented to the delegates the summary of the reports they had gathered from all the groups/ministries/communities existing in the parish since the first gathering on March 13.

Prior to that, Soon also gave a brief overview of how the three parish priorities – issues on family life, faith formation and reaching out to nominal parishioners – came about and how they are related to the three challenges of apathy, secularisation and islamisation as well as the archdiocesan pastoral thrust of “going inward, going smaller, and going outwards” highlighted by PAX Assembly 2015.

In his turn, Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) chairman Jason Joenoi gave the overview from the PPC, highlighting the efforts to meet the needs of the parish, and calling on the groups to work together for the common good.

One of the issues highlighted during the Q&A session is the need to help the newly baptised to grow in their faith development which calls for the involvement of all the parish groups and communities.

The two assemblies were held in preparation for the archdiocesanwide Pre-PAX Assembly on May 1 at the SHPC.

Elect receive preparation rites before Easter baptism

Abp Wong prays over the Elect at the handing back of the Creed during the preparation rites, Holy Saturday, 31 Mar 2018, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, SH Cathedral Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – Over a thousand Elect receive the preparation rites on Holy Saturday, 31 Mar 2018, before their baptism at the Easter Vigil or on Easter Sunday in Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese.

At the Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, over 200 Elect – adults and children – received the ephphetha rite (opening of the ears and mouth) in order that they may hear the word of God and profess it for their salvation.

The elect then returned or recited the Creed: it prepared the elect for the profession of faith they will make immediately before they are baptised.  It also instructed them in their duty to proclaim the message of the Gospel.

The anointing with the oil of catechumens below the throat symbolises the elect’s need for God’s help and strength so that, undeterred by the bonds of the past and overcoming the opposition of the devil, they will forthrightly take the step of professing their faith and will hold fast to it unfalteringly throughout their lives.

The oil used for this rite was blessed by the archbishop at the Chrism Mass on Mar 22.

The elect were reminded to continue their fast until they have received the sacraments at the Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday Mass.

Before the dismissal, Archbishop John Wong encouraged the elect to attend the postbaptismal catechesis (mystagogy), especially the Walk to Emmaus programme on May 12-14, and to join one or two of the many groups and communities for ongoing faith formation and growth.

After the dismissal, the English-speaking and Chinese-speaking elect went to the cathedral for a rehearsal for the night ceremony while the BM-speaking had their rehearsal on Mar 25.

The ministers for the rites were Abp John Wong (English, chapel), Father Max Hontor (BM, cathedral, elect included those under St Paul Dontozidon), and Father Paul Lo (Mandarin, parish centre).

SHC English youth group reenacts Passion Play

A scene from the Passion Play at the closing trilingual Way of the Cross outdoors, Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, Good Friday, 30 Mar 2018.

KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart English youth group led by Aline Lim reenacted the Passion Play during the combined Way of the Cross on the grounds of Sacred Heart Cathedral here on Good Friday, 30 Mar 2018.

Eleven members took part in the play directed by Aline Lim with Walter Lajanty as Jesus and
Kimberley Tamayo as Mary.

The parish youth groups (English, Chinese, and BM) take turns to organise the Passion Play annually.  Last year’s play was staged by the BM youth group Efata.

Archbishop John Wong led the opening prayer of the devotion while the 14 stations were read consecutively in English (Deacon Russell Lawrine), BM (Richard Angkis), and Chinese (Catherine Wan) in the presence of around 1000 faithful.

Abp Wong also led the 15th station (Resurrection) before the final prayers for the pope’s intentions and imparting his blessing.

In his closing remarks, the prelate reminded those present to come early for the Good Friday service either at 3 pm (English) or 6 pm (BM).

Meanwhile, the BM Catechetical groups – RCIA, Confirmation, First Communicants – took the opportunity to recollect themselves after the Way of the Cross at the parish centre.  The recollection ended with the viewing of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.

On the same day, devotees of the Divine Mercy began their novena to prepare for the Divine Mercy Sunday celebration on Apr 8.

Mass of the Lord’s Supper is noted for three distinct parts

Archbishop Wong carries the ciborium during the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament after communion, Holy Thursday, 29 Mar 2018, Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is noted for three distinct parts: the washing of the feet of 12 selected men, the procession bearing the Eucharist to the chapel of reservation after post-Communion prayer, and the stripping of the altar.

Archbishop John Wong washed the feet of 12 men after the homily at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, 29 Mar 2018, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here.

The men represented the various ministries and communities of the parish: extraordinary ministers of holy communion (5), wardens  (4), lectors & commentators (2), and 1 ordinary parishioner.

In his homily, Archbishop John Wong said that the Holy Thursday liturgy stresses three points: the institution of the Eucharist, the institution of Holy Orders, and the mystery of Christ’s self-sacrificing love.

The prelate was joined at the altar by Abp Emeritus John Lee and Father Simon Lim, a Sabahan priest serving in Singapore.  Deacon Russell Lawrine assisted at the altar.

At the end of the prayer after communion, omitting the other concluding rites, a procession was formed which made its way to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel with incense and candles.

After the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the chapel, the altar was stripped.  The stripped altar symbolises the human body of Christ which was stripped of its garments: “They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing” (Ps 22:18).

The holy water was emptied from the stoups. The church was left bare, in striking contrast with the richness of the Altar of Repose.

Around two thousand faithful gathered for the bilingual -English and BM – celebration.  Parish groups and ministries took turns to adore the exposed Blessed Sacrament in the chapel after Mass.

The significance of Holy Thursday is given below:

The Holy Thursday Liturgy takes place after sundown – because Passover began at sundown – marking the end of Lent and the beginning of the sacred Triduum (three) of Holy Week.  These days are the three holiest days in the Catholic Church.

This Mass stresses the importance Jesus puts on the humility of service, and the need for cleansing with water, a symbol of baptism.  This is seen in the washing of the feet of twelve people by the presider.  Also emphasised are the critical importance of the Eucharist and the sacrifice of Christ’s Body, which is now present in the consecrated Host.

At the conclusion of the Mass, the faithful are invited to continue Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the night, just as the disciples were invited to stay up with the Lord during His agony in the garden before His betrayal by Judas.

After Holy Thursday, no Mass will be celebrated again in the Church until the Easter Vigil celebrates and proclaims the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. – CNA

Hearing-impaired drummers showcase skills at Chap Goh Mei celebration

The hearing-impaired drummers give their performance during the Chap Goh Mei celebration, 4 Mar 2018, Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – Twelve hearing-impaired drummers showcased their skills at the Chap Goh Mei celebration at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here on 4 Mar 2018.

Over 300 people turned up for the gathering organised by the Chinese Coordinating Committee headed by Oliver Kong.  Chap Goh Mei or 15th day of the first month marks the end of the lunar new year festivities.

Among those present were Archbishop John Wong, retired Archbishop John Lee, Father David Sham, Father Paul Lo, Father Joshua Liew, Father Max Hontor, Father Leo Choi, Father Andrew Kim, the aspirants and seminarians, the religious, and members of the parish pastoral council.

The event began with a drum display by Archbishop John Wong, followed by a longer display by the five young drummers – Frankie and Brian Wong, Jessica Liew, Betty Kong, Megan Sham – who also gave a drum performance before the Lunar New Year Mass on Feb 16.

This was followed immediately by the 12 hearing-impaired drummers from SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin Penampang whose performance was applauded by the appreciative audience.

In his brief speech, Abp Wong welcomed those who came and thanked all those involved in the organising of the event.  He also exhorted the attendees to emulate the good qualities of the dog (being the Year of the Dog).

While taking their dinner, the diners were entertained by a variety of performances including a guzheng (Chinese zither) performance by Chang Ruo Ping and two cultural dances by the Ivy Kok group with lucky draws in between.

Both prelates distributed hungpows to the children, single youth and adults, including the aspirants and seminarians.  The priests and religious also received hungpows from Abp Wong.

The event ended with a prayer- blessing by Abp Wong after an amusing lion dance performance by a troupe based in Kepayan.

Over 1000 catechumens enrolled in the Book of the Elect

A section of the RCIA coordinators posing with the concelebrants after the Rite of Election, 18 Feb 2018, Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing.

KOTA KINABALU – Over 1000 catechumens have their names enrolled in the Book of the Elect at the Rite of Election or Enrollment of Names on 18 Feb 2018, first Sunday of Lent, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here.

Archbishop John Wong officiated the trilingual Rite of Election.  The 1,013 catechumens, their 865 sponsors/godparents, 151 facilitators and 17 parish pastors, gathered at the cathedral for the rite.  The catechumens publicly expressed their desire for baptism.  Their names were recorded in their respective parish books which were duly presented to the prelate by the coordinators for his signature.  They are now called the Elect.

The days of Lent are the final Period of Purification and Enlightenment leading up to the Easter Vigil. Lent is a period of preparation marked by prayer, study, and spiritual direction for the Elect, and prayers for them by the parish communities. The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation takes place during the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday, Mar 31, and on Easter Sunday, Apr 1, when the Elect receives the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.

The Elect came from the 18 parishes and two sub-parishes in the archdiocese with Ranau having the largest contingent of 140.  Labuan has its own Rite of Election (47 Elect) due to its geographical location.

Parishioners turn up for combined opening Way of the Cross despite being first day of the Chinese New Year

Abp Wong animates the parishioners at the combined way of the cross outside Sacred Heart Cathedral, 16 Feb 2018.

KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) and Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI) parishioners of the three language groups turned up for the combined opening of the weekly Way of the Cross at its outdoor Centenary Way of the Cross Monuments here on 16 Feb 2018 despite being the first day of the Chinese New Year.

The Way of the Cross is a traditional devotional practice during Lent worldwide.

Archbishop John Wong animated those present before the 14 stations were read out alternately in English, Bahasa Malaysia, and Mandarin.

After the opening event, SHC will hold it every Friday in the cathedral during Lent at 6 pm (English), 7 pm (BM) and 8 pm (Mandarin).  CMI will have it at 7:30 pm in English and Mandarin.

There will be a combined closing Way of the Cross at the monuments on Good Friday Mar 30 at 7 am with Passion Play.

MSB bishops give Catholics dispensation from abstinence for first day of Chinese New Year

The presenters – children, youth, adults – in varied traditional attire bring the gifts forward to the altar at the Presentation of Gifts, 16 Feb 2018, SHC.

KOTA KINABALU –  The Bishops of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei have decided to give dispensation to all Catholics from abstinence on Friday, 16 Feb 2018, in view of the festive season of Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year is a time of rejoicing with family members, loved ones and friends as they usher in the new year according to the Chinese custom.

This decision was made during the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei (CBCMSB) in January.

This year the first day of Chinese New Year fell on the Friday after Ash Wednesday (Feb 14), the third day of Lent.

Consequently, the atmosphere was a bit subdued during the CNY Mass celebrated at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Feb 16. The Gloria was omitted.

As in past years, there was the usual drum display by five drummers: Frankie Wong, 14, and his brother Brian, 12;  Jessica Liew, 12; Megan Sham, 19; and Betty Kong, 19.

Among the appreciative thousand over faithful were Archbishop John Wong, Abp Emeritus John Lee, Fathers Paul Lo, Max Hontor, Joshua Liew, Joseph Fung sj, and the religious sisters.

In his homily, Abp Wong related salvation history to the LNY celebration theme, urging everyone to seek first the Kingdom of God before anything else, and to have that sense of loyalty and faithfulness to God which a dog (being the Year of the Earth Dog) has toward its owner.

At the presentation of gifts, 17 presenters brought candles, flowers, fruits, vegetables, sticky rice cake, kuazi, money, bread and wine to the altar.

After Communion Prayer, Abp Wong blessed 10 big baskets of mandarin oranges to be distributed to the faithful after Mass.

The Chinese rite of bowing three times before the altar (representing God) by all, to the concelebrants by the faithful, and to each other took place before the final blessing and dismissal.

As part of their appreciation tradition, the Chinese community gave ang pows to the clergy and religious present.

After the distribution of oranges, many of the faithful and clergy adjourned to the front of the parish centre for the lion dance performances by the You Yi Troupe.

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