Tag Archives: Youths

Arise and Shine: Wake Up Call For Youths

LABUAN – The youth Fellowship of Malaysian Covenant Community (FMCC) organized a program for over 80 youths at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament on 1st Sept 2018.

The theme of this fellowship taken from Isaiah 60: 1 “Arise and Shine, for Your Light has Come!” was indeed a beckon from our Lord to rise up to an evangelistic truth. The theme further resonates an even greater call for Catholic youth of this generation to defend their faith amidst the trials of this world.

The first session, “Arise, God is Reaching Out!” by Christopher Felix from Kuala Lumpur, bespoke the omnipotence of a great God and the rightful image of God as Father amidst a world marred with materialism.

The session began with an interesting yet thought-provoking social experiment that relied on the participants’ capacity to think beyond what the world teaches. The experiment, which consisted of three creators, three builders and some life cards, required participants to strategically think and produce a required item.

The lesson drawn from this experiment was in understanding the potency of human love versus God’s all-giving and all knowing, omnipotent love. Christopher further expounded on God’s love using Michaelangelo’s painting of the Creation of Adam, where God is constantly reaching out to us and freely giving His love; but the question is, “Are we reciprocating that love?”

The second session, entitled “Arise, put on the Full Armour!” involved separate sessions for both men and women. The men’s session led by Jahaziel D’Cruz also from KL, touched on the distinct difference between the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness, teaching all men how to rise up, equip themselves with God’s armour and overcome the vices and temptations of the enemy. Jahaziel gave illustrations on the significance of each piece of armour. He further elucidates the specific call of God to young men to be an example of faith for women.

The women’s session, led by Aline Lim from Kota Kinabalu was certainly a wake up call for young women. Aline first mentioned that, “women cannot arise, and cannot shine if women themselves have not experienced light in their lives.” She brought to light all the struggles that women face in their lives today. She further explained that the battle women face is not only one that is physical but spiritual.

Similar to Jahaziel, she also spoke of the significance of each piece of armour but in the perspective of Godly womanhood. Her final message for women was certainly of genuine impact, as she says, “It is only when women become women, that men can become men.” A definitive call for women to embrace femininity in its truest form.

The final session in the evening was graced by the presence of Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu, and the elders of each Catholic Covenant Community. The evening was lined up with a variety of food, an awesome emcee and a wonderful praise and worship session by the youths from Kota Kinabalu.

An exhortation led by John Paul Felix concluded with the theme taken from Isaiah 60:1-3, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

This is certainly a great summon of our Lord to rise up in the midst of darkness. John used personal accounts of his own life to testify on how the Lord shone light in the darkness of his life.

Each session given by the aforementioned speakers was further solidified and convicted with the life experiences and testimonies of four young people, namely Michele Peter, Justin D’Souza, Rachel Gomez and Jessica D’Cruz. Each testified God’s greatness in their time of darkness, giving a message of hope and an invitation to the participants that just as God was able to use their lives, God can use the lives of the participants as well.

The night came to a wonderful end after a ministering session by Christopher Felix and a final praise song. As a whole, this youth programme bore immense fruit and significance to the lives of the young people that participated. As Catholics, we ought to know that God does not call the qualified but he qualifies the called. – Michele Peter

Journey of the Youth Cross

TERAWI – The Youth Cross arrived at Holy Nativity parish at 5.30 pm, Sept 5, from St Paul Dontozidon. Two hundred Terawi youth welcomed the Cross with the beat of the traditional gong. Fr Peter Abas received the Cross with joy, urging the youth to be open and to accept each other and their respective opinions. He encouraged them to once again take Jesus into their lives to share His joy, hope and love to others.

DUVANSON – The Cross was brought to St Simon Duvanson Sept 10, where parishioners and youth from the four churches around joined in the march vis-a-vis from St Simon Duvanson, St Peter Tombovo, Olof Talang Taun and Holy Nativitiy Terawi.

TANJUNG ARU – On Sept 12 youth from Holy Nativity parish, Terawi arrived in Stella Maris parish to hand over the SYD-4 Youth Cross. For this event, Terawi sent 50 of their members, while 40 came from Stella Maris, and five from St Catherine. Also present were some youth delegates.

The “handing-over” began at 5.45pm from the front gate of the rectory, and proceeded to march towards the church doors where the procession to enter the Church took place.   Fr Thomas Madanan presided the Sunset Mass, which was followed by a fellowship dinner at the parish hall.

The youth from Terawi and Stella Maris, and the delegation from the Youth Commission and St Catherine came together in a time of praise & worship led by Henneslie and the CCR prayer meeting music ministry. The youths responded with dancing, singing and cheering with much gusto.

The event concluded with Fr Thomas leading the closing prayer and all the youth kneeling before the Youth Cross. The Cross would be at Stella Maris Church for one week before proceeding to the next station, St Catherine parish Inanam.

The cross and icon arrive at Stella Maris Tg Aru.

The cross and icon arrive at Stella Maris Tg Aru.

BILA Youth’s recommendations for youth workers

BILA logo

BILA logo

PAPAR – Inspired by the Gospel story of the Samaritan Woman, ninety- five (95) delegates from various episcopal commissions and Catholic organizations for Youth in Asia (COYA) gathered together at Pace Bene FSIC Retreat Centre, 3-7 Aug  2015 for the 3rd Bishops’ Institute for Lay Apostolate (BILA) on Youth, under the auspices of the Federation of Asian Bishop’s Conferences – Office of the Laity and Family – Youth Desk (FABC-OLF-YD).

At the end of BILA III, they make the following recommendations:

For all who care for the young in Asia:

  1. To be continually transformed through prayer and daily encounters with the Lord.
  2. To continue to respect and value the youth as gift and vital part of the Church today and its future.
  3. To provide regular opportunities for dialogue between Church leaders and young people as well as youth ministers.
  4. To empower the youth and provide opportunities for them to minister to their peers.
  5. To lead the youth to discover the treasure of the Church’s teachings and experience encounters with God through the Mass and the other sacraments.
  6. To explore new methods and ways of reaching out to the young especially those who suffer in the peripheries.
  7. To lead the youth intentionally to become disciples through the ministry of presence, dialogue and witness.

Particularly for Youth ministers:

  1. To give sufficient attention to youth ministers’ needs and set-up support structures to enable them to address concerns such as loneliness and burnout.
  2. To help youth ministers remain relevant through ongoing formation.
  3. To keep youth ministers updated with technology and youth culture.
  4. To share resources between dioceses, offices and movements as a Church in communion.
  5. To call and train more full time lay youth ministers in our dioceses, parishes and organizations, and provide suitable remuneration.
  6. To plan for youth ministry ‘succession,’ respect the teams and work done previously and do proper documentation of events and tools for continuity.
  7. To channel the idealism and energy of the youth for social justice and address dehumanising issues in our cultures and societies.
  8. To provide spaces or create opportunities to train our youth to understand and engage in inter-religious and ecumenical dialogue.

To transform Asia, we humbly acknowledge and invite everyone to reflect further ways to reach out beyond our comfort zones to the ‘peripheries’.

Sandakan campus students gathering focuses on church social teachings

1LAHAD DATU – The Catholic Campus Student Gathering (CCSGS) is an annual program organised by the Sandakan Diocesan Youth Apostolate, Campus Ministry team. This year, the 3rd CCSG focussed on the Catholic Social Teachings (CST), held at St Dominic Church, Lahad Datu, June 5-7. Dominic Lim from the KK Archdiocesan Human Development Commission (AHDC) shared the teaching to 18 young people who are still studying in the University and colleges as well as some graduates from YouthPrepLink. Continue Reading

226 join LifeTeen Youth Camp in Kg Lokub

LTYC15 campers taking a wefieKIULU – Two hundred and twenty-six participants joined the Life Teen Youth Camp 2015 at Church of St Michael the Archangel, Kg Lokub, on 4-7 June 2015. With the theme ‘Inspired to inspire’, the camp aimed at inspiring teens through the lives of the people of Kg Lokub, and to give teens the opportunity to be witnesses of Christ. This goal was reflected in the scripture verse selected for the camp, “Let your light shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Continue Reading

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