Sabah Church Comes Of Age
VATICAN CITY(VIS).- The Church in Sabah has come of age with the erection of the new ecclesiastical province of Kota Kinabalu by Pope Benedict XVI on May 23.
The erection marks the separation of the three Sabah sees from the eccelsiastical province of Kuching, raising the Diocese of Kota Kinabalu to the status of metropolitan archdiocese with the suffragan sees of Keningau and Sandakan.
The Holy Father appointed Bishop John Lee Hiong Fun-Yit Yaw of Kota Kinabalu as first Metropolitan Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu.
The archbishop-designate was born in Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu) in 1933, the sixth child of the late Catechist Thomas Lee Yen Chiang and Beatrice Ho Nyuk Kyau. He was ordained a priest in 1964 and consecrated a bishop in 1987.
According to canon law in the Latin Church, the metropolitan, who is the archbishop of the diocese which he heads, presides over an ecclesiastical province; this office is connected with an episcopal see which has been determined or approved by the Roman Pontiff (cn. 435).
The Catholic population of the new Province of Kota Kinabalu is about 310,000, about 8.8 per cent of the 3.5 million inhabitants.
The symbol of a metropolitan archbishop is the pallium, a woollen vestment worn over the shoulders, with which he is invested by the pope or a papal delegate.
An archdiocese differs from a diocese in that it is the primary see of an ecclesiastical province consisting of two or more dioceses.
MSB Bishops To Make Ad Limina Visit Early June
PENAMPANG(CS Online).- On June 1-8, the bishops of Malaysia-Singapore and Brunei will make their ad limina visit to the Holy See.
The ad limina visit takes its name from the ancient practice of pilgrimages ad limina apostolorum - to the thresholds (or tombs) of Sts Peter and Paul in Rome.
The term refers to the obligatory visits by the ordinaries (bishops) of dioceses to the Holy See.
The bishop of a diocese is required to make this visit every five years, as a sign of his communion with the Holy See and in order to report on the condition of his diocese.
The bishop is expected to provide an in-depth report on his diocese.
If some grave reason prevents him from making the ad limina visit, the bishop may send a coadjutor or another official delegate.
During the ad limina visit, the bishop is required to do the following:
1) Personally visit the tombs of Sts Peter and Paul. This visit is recorded in writing.
2) Visit with the Holy Father. This visit includes three elements:
- The bishop makes a renewal of his pledge of dedication to the Holy See;
- The bishop delivers a written report on the state of his diocese, which is presented to the Secretariat of State and the Congregation for Bishops;
- The pope delivers his own address to the bishop, offering his perspective on the challenges facing the Church in that diocese.
Ordinarily, bishops make their ad limina visits in groups, with the bishops of a country or ecclesiastical province travelling to Rome and meeting with the pope together.
For smaller countries, the entire bishops' conference might make the ad limina visit as a group, with auxiliary bishops accompanying their ordinaries.
When there are many bishops in a country, they usually travel to Rome in smaller groups, led by their metropolitans, so that the entire episcopate from a given country might visit Rome over a period of several weeks or even months.
The members of the Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei are Archbishop Murphy Pakiam (Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese), Archbishop John Ha (Kuching Archdiocese), Archbishop Nicholas Chia (Singapore Archdiocese), Bishop Paul Tan (Melaka-Johor Diocese), Bishop Antony Selvanayagam (Penang Diocese), Bishop John Lee (Kota Kinabalu Diocese), Bishop Cornelius Piong (Keningau Diocese), Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom (Sandakan Diocese), Bishop Dominic Su (Sibu Diocese), Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Hii (Sibu Diocese), Bishop Anthony Lee (Miri Diocese) and Bishop Cornelius Sim (Brunei Vicariate).
"If The Faith Is To Flourish ... It Needs To Strike Deep Roots"
- Papal Speech to Southeast Asian Bishops
Here is the English-language address Benedict XVI gave today upon receiving in audience the bishops of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, in Rome for their five-yearly visit.
* * *
Dear Brother Bishops,
I am pleased to welcome you on your ad Limina visit, as you renew the bonds of communion in faith and love between yourselves as Pastors of God's people in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, and the Successor of Peter in the See of Rome. I thank you for the kind words that Archbishop Pakiam has addressed to me on your behalf, and I offer you the assurance of my prayers and good wishes for all of you and for those entrusted to your pastoral care.
By a happy coincidence, your visit to the city of the Apostles Peter and Paul comes at a time when the Church all over the world is preparing to celebrate a year dedicated to Saint Paul, the great Apostle of the Gentiles, on the two-thousandth anniversary of his birth. I pray that you will draw inspiration from the example of this zealous apostle, outstanding teacher, and courageous witness to the truth of the Gospel. Through his intercession, may you experience renewed fervour in the great missionary task for which you, like Saint Paul, have been set apart and called (cf. Gal 1:15-16) - that of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore. Echoing the words addressed by Saint Paul to the elders at Ephesus, I urge you to "take heed to yourselves and to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the Church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son" (Acts 20:28).
"The Church's faith in Jesus is a gift received and a gift to be shared; it is the greatest gift which the Church can offer to Asia" (Ecclesia in Asia, 10). Happily, the peoples of Asia display an intense yearning for God (cf. ibid., 9). In handing on to them the message that you also received (cf. 1 Cor 15:3), you are sowing the seeds of evangelization in fertile ground. If the faith is to flourish, however, it needs to strike deep roots in Asian soil, lest it be perceived as a foreign import, alien to the culture and traditions of your people. Mindful of the manner in which Saint Paul preached the Good News to the Athenians (cf. Acts 17:22-34), you are called to present the Christian faith in ways that resonate with the "innate spiritual insight and moral wisdom in the Asian soul" (Ecclesia in Asia, 6), so that people will welcome it and make it their own.
In particular, you need to ensure that the Christian Gospel is in no way confused in their minds with secular principles associated with the Enlightenment. On the contrary, by "speaking the truth in love" (Eph 4:15) you can help your fellow citizens to distinguish the wheat of the Gospel from the chaff of materialism and relativism. You can help them to respond to the urgent challenges posed by the Enlightenment, familiar to Western Christianity for over two centuries, but only now beginning to have a significant impact upon other parts of the world. While resisting the "dictatorship of positivist reason" that tries to exclude God from public discourse, we should welcome the "true conquests of the Enlightenment" - especially the stress on human rights and the freedom of religion and its practice (cf. Address to the Members of the Roman Curia at the Traditional Exchange of Christmas Greetings, 22 December 2006). By stressing the universal character of human rights, grounded in the dignity of the human person created in God's image, you carry out an important task of evangelization, since this teaching forms an essential aspect of the Gospel. In so doing, you are following in the footsteps of Saint Paul, who knew how to express the essentials of Christian faith and practice in a way that could be assimilated by the Gentile communities to which he was sent.
This Pauline apostolate requires a commitment to interreligious dialogue, and I encourage you to carry forward this important work, exploring every avenue open to you. I realize that not all the territories you represent offer the same degree of religious liberty, and many of you, for example, encounter serious difficulties in promoting Christian religious instruction in schools. Do not become disheartened, but continue to proclaim with conviction the "unsearchable riches of Christ" (Eph 3:8), so that all may come to hear of the love of God made manifest in Jesus. In the context of open and honest dialogue with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and the followers of other religions present in your respective countries, you assist your fellow citizens to recognize and observe the law "written on their hearts" (Rom 2:15) by clearly articulating the truth of the Gospel. In this way, your teaching can reach a wide audience and help to promote a unified vision of the common good. This in turn should help to foster growth in religious freedom and greater social cohesion between members of different ethnic groups, which can only be conducive to the peace and well-being of the entire community.
In terms of the pastoral care that you offer to your people, I would encourage you to show particular concern for your priests. Using the image evoked by Saint Paul in writing to the young Timothy, urge them to rekindle the gift of God that is within them through the laying on of hands (cf. 2 Tim 1:6). Be a father, brother and friend to them, as Paul was to Timothy and to Titus. Lead them by example, showing them the way to imitate Christ, the Good Shepherd. Saint Paul famously proclaimed "it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20). By modelling your whole life and conduct upon Christ, let your priests see what it is to live as alter Christus in the midst of your people. In this way, not only will you inspire them to offer their whole lives "as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God" (Rom 12:1), but more young people will aspire to this sublime life of priestly service.
I am aware that in the territories you represent there are some regions where it is rare for the people to see a priest and others where the people have not yet heard the Gospel. They too have a particular claim on your pastoral solicitude and your prayers. For "how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?" (Rom 10:14). Here the formation of the laity takes on added importance, so that through sound catechesis the scattered children of God can know the hope to which they have been called, "the riches of his glorious inheritance" (Eph 1:18). In this way they can be prepared to welcome the priest when he comes among them. Tell your catechists, both lay and religious, that I remember them in my prayers, and that I appreciate the enormous contribution they make to the life of the Christian communities in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore. Through their vital work, countless men, women and children are enabled "to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge" and so come to be "filled with all the fullness of God" (Eph 3:19).
Dear brother Bishops, I pray that, as you return to your respective countries, you will "rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thess 5:16). Commending all of you and your priests, religious and lay faithful to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the Lord.
Tenghilan Hosts 13th KK Diocesan Kaamatan Celebration
TENGHILAN(CS Online).- St James Tenghilan, an outstation of St John Tuaran Parish, hosted the 13th Kota Kinabalu Diocesan Kaamatan Celebration May 19, after a hiatus of a year.
Around 1,200 faithful joined from the different parts of the diocese turned up to join Bishop John Lee, Msgr Gilbert Engan of Keningau Diocese, 16 other priests and Religious in praising and thanking God for His bountiful blessings and harvests.
The theme this year was Living the Word and Culture in the Family which was explained briefly by outgoing Tuaran Rector Father Thomas Makajil in his address before the final blessing.
The theme was in line with the thrust of the diocese on strengthening the family through the Word of God, explained Msgr Primus Jouil, chairperson of the Diocesan Kaamatan Celebration Organisational Team.
Jouil said in choosing the theme, the organising team wanted each family to realise the urgent need to ground itself in the Word so that the Word can become part and parcel of the family culture.
In his message for the souvenir magazine, Bishop John Lee explained that Jesus, the Word made flesh (becoming human), was born into the Jewish culture.
Similarly, the Christian family should be aware of its identity and mission in the world, the bishop said in his message.
In living Christ's values, the message continued, the family becomes salt, leaven and light in society, the message stated.
The message explained that the Diocesan Kaamatan Celebration is an invitation for all to focus again on the words and values of Jesus our Lord.
The reason is because only Jesus can give meaning to our culture. His Word brings peace and love to each listener, especially to the family that listens and obeys the Word, the message said.
In his address before the final blessing, the bishop spoke on the twin ills affecting the family: excess drinking and gambling, and expressed disappointment at the dismal attendance of the faithful in general and of the Religious in particular.
After the address, the bishop cut a few stalks of padi symbolically to open the celebration.
He also announced that the host for the 2010 celebration will be Stella Maris Tanjung Aru.
The symbolic handing over would be done in the parish hall after the cutting of the kombos (rice cake).
Immediately after the Mass, the bishop with the priests went to bless the newly built grotto adjacent to the parish hall.
While lunch was being served, representatives from the different parishes entertained the guests with traditional dances and songs.
After lunch, the bishop together with the parish and zone leaders, went to visit the different huts erected by the different ethnic tribes and tasted traditional dishes prepared by them.
The last celebration at diocesan level was in St Dominic Lahad Datu, which was graced by Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Delegate to Malaysia.
The celebration used to be held annually since 1995 but it was decided in 2006 to have it every two years instead so that there will be more time for preparation.
Sr Michael Called To Eternal Rest
TANJUNG ARU(CS).- The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) bade farewell to Sister Michael (Edith) L Gondip.
The church was packed with the Franciscan Sisters, family members and relatives of the deceased, representatives of the different Religious Communities, friends and well-wishers.
Sister Germaine Angkanon, a general councillor, gave the eulogy.
Edith, born on 15 Sept 1938 in Kg Kambau Penampang, was the sixth child in a brood of seven born to Longinus Gondipon and Piacencia Tan.
She received her early education in St Joseph's Primary School and her secondary education at St Francis Convent.
She entered the local Franciscan congregation in 1956, took the religious name of Sister Mary Michael the Archangel of the Holy Eucharist, made her first profession in 1958 and took her final vows in 1964.
She started her teaching apostolate in 1959 and was posted in various schools in Sabah throughout her 33 years of teaching. She retired in 1996.
Aside from teaching, she was involved in parish pastoral work such as youth ministry, Catholic Women's League, Legion of Mary, etc.
The deceased was gifted with music. She could play the guitar, the piano/organ, mouth organ and accordion.
She was active in the choir ministry, helping many choirs to win first and second places in choir competitions.
She was, according to Angkanon, a person who enjoyed life, one who lived life to the fullest. She enjoyed travelling and got along well with people.
She was "a joyful sister and always smiling," said the eulogist.
On 15 Oct 2006, the musical sister fell ill and was hospitalised at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital KK. She was diagnosed to have cancer of the gall bladder.
She underwent a major operation in February 2007 at Selayang Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
Upon her return in March she stayed at Loreto Convent Penampang for a while before moving to Stella Maris Home Tanjung Aru.
Since then her health deteriorated gradually. However, she tried to be cheerful in spite of the pains she endured.
During her illness she had the opportunity to receive all the sacraments.
Seeing her condition, the congregation decided to celebrate her golden jubilee May 17, a week before her death on May 22.
Father Alex Jimsy presided over the Mass at the convent, participated by her fellow sisters and family members. She managed to cut her commemorative cake with the help of Mother General Sister Grace Deosing and Sister Bernardine.
Two days after that, her condition got worse and she was hospitalised for two days. She died May 22 at 12:40 pm.
After the funeral Mass, she was buried at the Catholic Cemetery at 4.5 Mile Jalan Penampang Lama.
FLC Organises Workshop On Spiritual Counseling
PENAMPANG(CS).- The Family Life Commission (FLC) organised a workshop on spiritual counselling May 10 for 13 volunteers who possess counselling qualifications to prepare them for counselling services at the Diocesan Counselling Service Centre to be set up at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.
Father Charles Chiew of Keningau Diocese facilitated the workshop on pastoral counselling.
A full session was alloted to illustrate the differences and similarities between pastoral counselling and spiritual direction.
Good Shepherd Sister Teresa Chye was invited to give a sharing on her counselling experiences.
As the volunteers are from the different parishes in the diocese, the workshop served as a networking session too.
It was agreed that there would be more get-together sessions for learning and sharing of experiences so that the volunteers could contribute their expertise, help one another and to work as a team in providing counselling services to the faithful.
A FLC spokesperson said that as the future counselling centre will require various skills and different expertise in different professions, other volunteers will be enlisted in the referral or support groups.
She also said that the FLC will arrange for some basic counselling training where necessary.
The spokesperson told Catholic Sabah that ongoing faith formation is a requirement for all members of the future counselling service team.
SHC Chinese Choirs Organise Concert
KOTA KINABALU(CS).- About 50 members from the St Cecilia Chinese Choir (aged 8-15), Sacred Heart Chinese Choir, Church of Mary Immaculate Chinese Choir, Chinese Special Liturgy Group and Chinese Intercessory Group took part in the Rhythm of the Heart Concert held May 19 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing.
The concert was the grand finale to the preceding four-day-three-night music camp facilitated by music teachers Johnny Kong and Chu Pit Ying of Sibu.
The first-ever concert was graced by the presence of Msgr Primus Jouil, Fathers Tobias Chi and John Wong, a few Religious Sisters and about 100 members from the Chinese community.
Father Wong said the opening prayer while Msgr Jouil gave the concluding blessing.
Spokesperson of the organising committee, Bibiana Aw, said the music camp was organised to upgrade the singing skills of the choir members.
The two facilitators are choir masters/trainers of the Sacred Heart Cathedral Choir in Sibu.
Among the presentations given were choral singing by the three choirs, solo singing by Lisa Kao, Michael Wan, Josephine Kung, Tanny Thien, Ellen Lee and Johnny Kong.
Some of the members also showed their skills in playing the clarinet, the flute and the Chinese harp.
The two organists/pianists were Connie Thien and Tracy Ho.
The evening ended with an action thanksgiving song by all the participants who were joined by the clergy present.
DEC To Organise Third Conference For Educators
PENAMPANG(CS).- A communique from the Kota Kinabalu Diocesan Education Commission (DEC) says that the commission will be organising a conference for all Catholic educators in Sabah and Labuan Aug 15-18 at the Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre.
The communique, released May 23, says the theme of the third conference is Strengthening Educators' Values with a keynote address by Archbishop-designate John Lee.
Among the speakers at the conference are La Salle Brothers Anthony Rogers and John D'Cruz.
The conference is expected to address the host of problems faced by young people today and to redefine the role of Christian educators.
The communique says that the expected participants include head teachers, principals, teachers, as well as members of the Board of Governors in Sabah and Labuan, of both government-aided schools and government schools.
It also says that invitations are being extended to both Keningau and Sandakan Dioceses.
Those interested in participating in the conference are required to complete a "confirmation of participation" form to be sent to the organisers not later than July 15, the closing date, according to the communique.
The communique states that as the organisers do not have access to government schools, they are requesting the help of the parishes to make this information known to the teachers in government schools in their parishes through the church bulletins and also to announce it in church several times.
Each participant will be required to pay a registration fee of RM50.00.
The first conference was held in 2001 and the second in 2004 with good turnouts.
Further details may be obtained from the Education Commission Office at the Catholic Diocesan Centre, Taman Hiburan, Penampang. Tel: 088-712297, 088-711297 or 019-8623012 (Jackie Majalap).
Tawau Celebrates Feast Day With Exhibition
TAWAU(CS).- Holy Trinity Parish celebrated its feastday May 18 with an exhibition on the activities of the various parish groups and ministries.
Bishop Julius Gitom presided over the Mass which was concelebrated with Rector Msgr Nicholas Ong.
After the Mass, the faithful went to view the pictorial exhibits of activities of various parish groups and ministries of the past year.
Articles on the parish published in Catholic Sabah and Herald were also exhibited.
Various parish communities entertained the faithful with cultural presentations.
Two newly baptised gave their sharings on their response to become Christians, followed by the presentation of certificates to the newly baptised by the bishop.
On the previous evening, the Parish Pastoral Councillors held a dialogue session with the bishop.
The bishop spoke at length on the progress and process of setting up the new diocese, its envisioned vision, mission and the planning of the election/selection of the next parish pastoral councils.
He said that the formation of Basic Ecclesial Communities would be an important element in the diocese.
The councillors, in turn, brought to the bishop's attention the problems faced by the parish communities and their need for an assistant rector.
This was the bishop's second pastoral visit to the parish.
HTC Organises Catechetical Workshop
TAWAU(CS).- The catechetical ministry of Holy Trinity Church organised a workshop for catechists May 19.
Franciscan Sister Tauria facilitated the workshop based on the 2008 Catechetical Sunday theme: Make the Word your Home.
The objectives of the workshop were to know the challenges faced by the catechist, to renew one's faith and relationship with God and to grow spiritually through the challenges encountered.
The workshop drew about 60 catechists from the parish and its outstations.
It began with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, with a reading from John 15:1-10, followed by Sister Tauria's reflection on her experiences and challenges as a religious sister.
Rector Msgr Nicholas Ong gave an inspirational talk on the four aspects of the Catholic faith: the Bible, Church, Tradition and Liturgy.
He also touched on the importance of the concept of the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) as it has not been set up yet in the parish.
In the second session, the participants viewed The Mission, a movie on the Jesuit Mission in the Amazon Basin, South America.
After the movie, a cine forum was conducted.
Some of the participants then shared their experiences as catechists.
This was followed by small group sharings based on John 15: Jesus the real vine.
After the group sharing, Sister Tauria focused on the spirituality of the catechist.
She stressed on the need to have a personal relationship with Jesus the real vine, for without him a catechist can do nothing.
The workshop ended satisfactorily with the participants happy and more determined to serve the Lord in spite of the trials and obstacles encountered.
SM La Salle Celebrates Feastday Cum Teachers' Day
TANJUNG ARU(CS).- SM La Salle celebrated the feastday of its patron St John Baptist de La Salle cum Teachers' Day May 16 at the Students Activity Centre, Junior Campus, Tanjung Aru with a Eucharistic Celebration presided by Bishop John Lee.
The event was attended by the school board, Parent-Teacher Association, the Old Boys Association and around 400 students.
Brother Charles O'Leary, who arrived from home vacation May 10, was on hand to welcome the guests and students.
In his homily, the bishop stressed the need to "clean" our ears in order to listen to the Word of God in the footsteps of St John Baptist de La Salle in the service of youth education.
Refreshments were served at the Resource Centre after the Mass.
This two-in-one celebration is part of the yearlong golden anniversary commemoration of the coming of the La Salle Brothers on Sabah shores in January 1958, and consequently, the gift of La Sallian educational heritage.
The Brothers took over Sacred Heart Primary and Secondary Schools from the Mill Hill Fathers that year. The secondary school was renamed La Salle Secondary School.
While the Catholics had their Mass, adherents of other faiths also had their time of worship followed by class parties.
The next day, May 17, was La Salle Open Day cum Food and Fun Fair at the Junior Campus grounds.
The event honoured the contributions the school and its past and present teachers have made not only to the development of Kota Kinabalu, but also to Sabah and the country as a whole.
Proceeds from the fair would go towards new facilities for the students, including a living skills (Kemahiran Hidup) workshop offering hands-on learning.
Former La Salle students who are in government service include Head of State Tun Haji Ahmadshah Abdullah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Putatan MP Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh.
More importantly, former students who went on to become priests serving the local Church include Fathers Felix Chung, Cosmas Lee, Alexander Sipanul, Joseph Gapitang, Simon Kontou, Fundes Motiung, Edward Raymond, and Boniface Kimsin.
Among the Religious who are former students of the school are Redemptorist Father Patrick Ryan, Brother Thomas Chia of the Brothers of Mercy, La Salle Brother Justin Mobilik (the Brothers' first vocation), Carmelite Sister Margaret Mary (Alucia Kunjan), Franciscan Sister Dominic Thien and Daughter of St Paul Sister Anna Yap.
MYTC Holds Its Eighth Graduation Ceremony At Kinarut Campus
KINARUT(CS).- Making it a family affair, the Montfort Youth Training Centre (MYTC) held its eighth graduation ceremony at its Kinarut Campur May 17.
Twenty-seven out of 32 trainees graduated in a simple ceremony witnessed by Gabrielite Provincial Superior Brother Xavier Gasper, members of the Board of Directors, MYTC staff, the Rotary Club and family members and relatives of the graduands.
In his welcome address MYTC Director Brother Francis Chua thanked the staff and students for their hardwork and cooperation in realising the formative and vocational training of the graduands.
He also thanked the parents for their cooperation and asked them to continue to help their children with their working life.
Board Member Margaret Fung, who presented the Graduation Certificates, paid tribute to the hard work put in by the Brothers in her address before the presentation.
Fellow Board Member Chan Wei Chia presented the Prefects Certificates, a recognition of the recipients' efforts in carrying out duties and responsibities assigned to them.
The Provincial, in his address, exhorted the graduands not to forget the lessons and skills they have learnt during the two-year course.
He told them the change will be seen only after they leave the campus and start working life outside.
Two of the graduands then gave their testimonies of how the training course had affected their lives.
The ceremony ended with a fellowship meal at the canteen.
It was the first time the ceremony was held at the Kinarut Campus, which was opened in March this year.
The new centre, which is capable of housing 200 students, currently has 60.
It will be welcoming another 65 students in June, while its training centre in Donggongon is also preparing for the intake of 20 girls who will be taking a two-year dressmaking course.
CNG Organises Nurses Day Mass At SHC
KOTA KINABALU(CS).- In conjunction with the annual Nurses Day (which falls on May 12), the Catholic Nurses Guild (CNG) organised a Mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral May 16.
In his homily, Father Wilfred Atin reminded the nurses that theirs is a vocation to nurture the culture of life.
Therefore, in the task of carrying out their nursing duties, they must not give in the temptations of the culture of death, ie being asked to assist in abortion, euthanasia (mercy killing), drugs (easy access to it) and so on.
According to CNG chairperson, Francisca Malantin, the guild was pleased to see that more than 200 participants (student nurses, staff nurses, nursing sisters, community nurses and healthcare workers) responded to its invitation to participate in the Mass and fellowship at the parish canteen after Mass.
The CNG national leadership has moved to Sabah from Semenajung recently because of the presence of the young Christian student nurses. Previously, the yearly event was done on a small scale.
LJCCC Holds Three-in-one Celebration On Pentecost
KOTA KINABALU(CS).- On Pentecost Sunday May 11, the Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community (LJCCC) held a three-in-one celebration for all three units (English, Chinese, BM) at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.
Around 350-400 members participated in the three-fold event comprising intake of new members, Mother's Day and Pentecost.
The first part consisted in welcoming 24 old and new faces to the underway programme of formation.
Two of them, Stepanie Gom and George Guansing made a recommitment. They had entered the underway formation programme some years ago but had been unable to complete it due to some reasons.
Before the Body of Elders headed by Joseph Chee, the candidates pronounced their commitment to undergo the formation and then signed the document.
Those who committed themselves were Edmund Wong, Adrian Yew, Lucy Lee, Janefher Bajagap, Antoinette Jimodi, Grace Sin, Darwin Tan, Andrew Bin Ambrose, Aline Germaine Lim, Jennifer Julius, Marie Candy Lau and Antonia Norman.
Couples (with their children) who entered together were Agil Bin Ali Bajarai and wife Dora Darlene Limus, Peter Thomas and wife Jelsie Lidwin, Felix Chung and wife Rita Lim, William Abah and wife Maurine Lee, Charles Ernest Jintoni and wife Fiona Fay Lidwin.
Presiding Elder Joseph Chee then gave his welcome address to the new members and passed the light of Christ to them, exhorting them to keep the light burning bright in their lives.
All the community members present then came up to the new members to congratulate them and welcome them into the fold.
The second part of the event was the celebration of Mother's Day.
Both the children and the youth gave presentations in honour of the mothers present.
Later, each mother was given a stalk of rose either by her husband or a member of the community in appreciation.
The last part of the celebration was praise and worship before a fellowship meal at the parish canteen whereby all the ladies present were served by the men and children.
LJCCC-CPU Organises First Chinese Inner Healing Seminar
KOTA KINABALU(CS).- The Chinese Pastoral Unit of the Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community (LJCCC-CPU) organised its first Inner Healing & Transformation Seminar in Chinese Apr 4-5 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre in Kota Kinabalu.
More than 70 participants attended the two-day seminar.
According to Anthony Lim, who facilitated the sessions, the seminar is "discovering and experiencing healing of our past hurts and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to be what God wants us to be."
He said, "Many of us may have encountered and experienced pains and hurts in our life caused by factors beyond or within us. We yearn to be set free from such wounds, abuses or bondages."
We all desired wholeness, Lim continued, we see our need for inner healing. But we are "at a loss as to what to do. There are no instant answers. No easy solutions. No magic formulas."
Lim stated that the "deepest problems of the human condition require a total process of divine transformation."
Ministry to "the inner man" is not merely a tool to heal a few troubled ones; it is a "vital key" to the transformation of "every" heart of every "normal" person, Lim pointed out.
The organisers hoped to conduct this seminar again in September.
Below are some of the feedback received from the participants.
This seminar is so good. Why have we not heard of it before?
I have learnt something very new and have experienced healing of my deepest hurts.
This seminar has enabled me to open my heart to Jesus and the burdens which I carried for so many years were lifted. And I now feel so free. Praise the Lord!
During the seminar, God opened my heart to repent of my past sins, particularly of judging my father. I experienced the healing power of Jesus and I could forgive my father. I feel very happy and free. I recommend this seminar to everyone.
The English sessions are held regularly in Bundu Tuhan.
Over 400 Receive Sacrament Of Confirmation
KOTA KINABALU(CS).- About 422 candidates received the Sacrament of Confirmation administered by Bishop John Lee, Msgr Primus Jouil and Father John Wong at the Sacred Heart Cathedral May 10.
The breakdown of the confirmands is as follows: SHC Eng Sunday School - 152; BM Sunday School - 94; BM RCIA - 61; Chinese Sunday School - 46; Hearing Impaired - 2; CMI - 34; Montfort Youth Training Centre - 22 and Maktab Nasional - 11.
Among the confirmands were two diocesan aspirants, Dominic and Franciskus. The event ended with lunch and gift-giving at the parish centre.
Prior to the reception of the sacrament, aside from the formal classes on Sundays, the confirmands underwent preparatory seminars conducted in the different languages.
Bible Class Students Visit St Theresa's Hostel KM
KOTA MARUDU(CS).- About 30 of the Form Four and Five Bible Class students, accompanied by four facilitators visited St Theresa's Hostel, Kota Marudu Apr 20.
The objective of the trip was to instil a sense of love and caring in their hearts for the less fortunate.
The trip also created a closer relationship among the students.
Stella Maris parishioners contributed generously in the form of scientific calculators, textbooks, clothes, food and toys.
The participants willingly gave up their own favourite items to the hostel students.
All present enjoyed the numerous games and entertainment presented.
The visitors agreed with Franciscan Sister Lusiah Kayoh that the visit was "truly refreshing."
Below are the excerpts of some of the students' write-ups on their experiences:
"Through a series of games and entertainment, we had engaged into a special brother-sister-bond not only between the Kids and teens of St Theresa and us, but also among us in Stella Maris who barely know each other.
"We didn't leave St Theresa empty-handed. We will always carry the most important gift of all, a gift that we will keep till the end of our time: our very own memoires." - Dominic Bopulas, 17.
"When it was time to say goodbye, each of us gave the young ones our gifts. The happiness they showed was very breathtaking. We hugged each other and gave each a kiss on the cheek." - Estelle @ Tots, 16.