Pope prays for peace on New Year Day
I was a stranger and you welcomed me
“You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” Lk 3:22
A monthly publication of the Archdiocese of Kuching, Sarawak
Permit No PPK 148/01/2013(031378)
Vol 24 No 10 January 2013 RM1.50
Sr Flora Tingang, SSFS elected Superior General KUCHING — The 11th General Chapter of the SSFS themed “Put out into the deep” (Lk 5:4) was successfully held at Convent of Mary Immaculate Hall, Padungan from 1-8 December. Also present at the Chapter was Archbishop John Ha. Being the Competent Ecclesiastical Authority, he was at the opening of the Chapter, throughout the election process on the Election Day and the closing. Prior to the General Chapter, a four day special retreat was conducted by Sr Inigo Joachim, SSA, from India on 26-29 November to discern God’s plan for the SSFS in the mission and prepare them for the Chapter. In his opening address at the General Chapter, Archbishop John Ha stressed
PLEDGING OBEDIENCE ... Newly elected Superior General, Sr Flora Tingang (right) and her General Councillors pledging obedience to Archbishop John Ha that as Consecrated Religious, Gospel by their lives as St they were set apart from the Francis said, “Preach the Gospel others, chosen by God and at all times, when necessary use commissioned to preach the words”.
The Chapter highlighted the priorities of the SSFS for the next six years: commitment to personal spiritual formation; cultivation of a greater sense of mission; attending to various needs in today’s society, in particular the migrants; and commitment to conservation of the nature. The newly elected Superior General and her General Councillors for 2013-2018 were installed during 8 December Sunset Mass celebrated by Archbishop John Ha. They are as follows: Superior General (SG): Sr Flora Tingang Assistant SG: Sr Agatha Ling 1st Councillor: Sr Marie Celine 2nd Councillor: Sr Irmina Peter
3rd Councillor: Sr Regina Lachau The Chapter would like to place on record the service rendered by Sr Adriana Tiong, the outgoing Superior General, in the past six years. In line with the command of the Lord to St Francis, “Go, repair my church”, many nurseries and kindergartens have been upgraded and the migrant ministry has been set up. The SSFS thanked Sr Inigo Joachim who guided them in the Delegates’ Retreat as well as during the Chapter, and Archbishop John Ha for his continual support for and journey with them in their ongoing mission. Sisters of St Francis of Sarawak
The 40th Priestly Anniversary of Archbishop John Ha KUCHING — A thanksgiving Mass was held at St Joseph’s Cathedral on 28 December to mark the 40th year of Priestly Ordination of Archbishop John Ha. The Mass was well attended by 3 bishops, 31 priests, family members of Archbishop John Ha and the faithful. What could be more inspiring and timely when His Grace first and foremost prayed to the Lord for more vocations and asked the congregation to join him in thanking the Lord for the gift of priesthood. Being the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Archbishop John Ha emphasised on the massacre of boys below two years of age by Herod as “senseless”. The demoralising scandals arising from priests abusing the innocent young are just as
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! ... Archbishop John Ha (centre) cutting the anniversary cake with his brother (right) and Archbishop Emeritus Peter Chung (left) senseless, he said. However, he the form of a very strong wake believed God’s light will shine up call to us priests and religious and bring salvation through to be true to our vocation,” said them. the Archbishop. “God’s light also comes in “We must not be like
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Herod, camouflaging all our own personal agenda with holy theological reasons,” but instead “be like the wise men seeking ways to respond to his call” and offer true worship to God, he said. Archbishop John Ha thanked everyone who has contributed in one way or another to making the celebration a success. He especially thanked Bishop Emeritus Dominic Su and Bishop Joseph Hii from the Diocese of Sibu, Fr Sonkiat from Thailand and his extended family from Singapore for their presence and support. Then, Fr Simon Poh thanked the family members of Archbishop John Ha for generously giving him to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Kuching. In conjunction with the Ruby Jubilee, a souvenir booklet
recording the vocation story of the Archbishop was made available to all. Entitled “Bodoh-bodoh saya masuk” is aptly put to mean that he entered the priesthood blindly. His ‘bodoh-bodoh’ attitude was instrumental in paving his path towards the priesthood. “While many chose to leave the seminary at one point or another, I moved on from day to day, enjoying life in the seminary: from philosophy and theology to bimonthly cycling round Penang Island, from spiritual exercises to participating in Penang Island softball league, from manual labour to community recreation. Everything, though generally a routine, was exciting; a lot of it was refreshing and enriching,” he wrote. Continued on p4
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TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
Let’s go together
Writing this editorial on the feast of the offer up gifts of even our weaknesses and epiphany which marks the official close of the failures. Let’s help each other find Him. Christmas season, one word struck me from the A blessed 2013! priest’s homily. Journey. Stella Chin An epiphany is an appearance. It is also a sudden realisation of a sublime truth. This realisation oftentimes appears to us along the way, not just at the manger of our goals. The wise men journeyed together far and wide in search of the King of Kings and their convictions grew stronger in spite of setbacks. May we also in this Year of Faith journey together surefooted, and with steadfast faith
CATHOLIC today’s THE TEAM PUBLISHER The Archbishop of Kuching ADVISOR Fr Richard Ng EDITOR Stella Chin ASSOCIATE EDITOR (Chinese) Magdalene Yeo EDITORIAL TEAM Freddy Bohari (BM) Martha Ngui (English) Victoria J Lim (English Children’s Section) James Lo (Chinese) Simon Lo (Chinese) Margaret Bong (Chinese Children’s Section) YOUTH PAGE Benedict JC Lo STAFF Audrey Yu
Advent reflection at Holy Trinity Parish
KUCHING — An advent reflection with the theme “Reflection to build families of faith and hope” was held at the Holy Trinity Church, Kenyalang on 3-4 December. The event saw a large gathering of parishioners who came to listen to the sharing and teaching of Patrick Santa Maria, a full time missionary who works with the youths in the Philippines under the Institute of formation, Fondacio Asia. Patrick, a very talented and musical missionary was also a De La Salle brother. He has worked as an educator and trainer for many years. He finally left his corporate work to be a full-time missionary in Asia. He pointed out the importance of Family
Patrick Santa Maria guidelines being reinforced by examples so that parents could leave behind legacies of good catholic teaching to their children and all around them. It was hoped that the two day reflection would bring about a
change of hearts and lifestyle so much so that the participants through empowered and enlightened families could bring peace, love and joy to the world. Patrick also gave a two day workshop and briefed the church music ministry on vocal training techniques and dedication of service. This ended with praying over and invoking of the Holy Spirit through songs. The sharing and viewing of powerful video sessions and reflection of their own lives on all the pointers mentioned ended the four day Advent reflection at Holy Trinity Church. The Parish priest, Fr Augustine Jepy closed the event with a speech and blessing. Geraldine Law-Lee
Preparing to meet the new born Child
BUNAN — A six day renewal programme was carried out on Fridays and Saturdays on the first three weeks of December at St Jude, Bunan and Holy Cross, Bandar Mutiara respectively. Fr Jerome Juleng, assisted by Fr Leonard Yap, Fr Berchmans CMF, Sr Perpetua Nyarung SSFS and Kenneth Law conducted the talks. Fr Jerome Juleng, Rector of Bunan-Tebedu parish called on attendants consisting of parish councillors, prayer leaders, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, commentators, wardens, Ladies Guild and altar servers to be active participants. He urged the parishioners to make a U-turn to the Lord after going through the strengths and weaknesses of God’s people in their faith
A PREPARATION ... Participants reflecting on Advent and the Year of Faith journey. True to the themes given cherish the Christian faith in the by the Archdiocese of Kuching midst of attending the weekends “The faith that we believe, reflections during the seasons of live, profess, celebrate, savour Advent and Year of Faith. and share,” the parishioners of Bunan-Tebedu remained focused on how to revive and Fr Berchmans CMF
KUCHING — In conjunction with the 91st birthday of Sarawak Head of State Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin on 8 September, His Grace Archbishop John Ha was among the recipients for the award the Darjah Yang Amat Mulia Bintang Sarawak which carries the title Panglima Setia Bintang Sarawak (PSBS). The investiture ceremony took place on 11 December at the Governor’s residence. This datoship award is in recognition of the humble service His Grace has rendered to the church and its community of believers. To date, there are three clergymen in the Archdiocese of Kuching who have received the honorary “Dato” title, they are Archbishop Emeritus Most Rev Dato Sri Peter Chung, Most Rev Dato John Ha and Rev Dato Lawrence Chua.
On behalf of the readers and editorial board of Today’s Catholic we congratulate His Grace on this award and we pray that the Lord will continue to guide and protect our leaders with wisdom and grace.
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
7,000 Christians joined Christmas procession BINTULU — More than 7,000 Christians from various Christian denominations gathered at the compound of St Anthony’s Church, Bintulu to take part in the Annual Joint Churches Christmas Procession. St Anthony’s Church hosted the event which was participated by more than 10 different churches and uniform groups. The theme chosen for this year’s Christmas procession was “Do not be afraid. Our Saviour is born.” Prior to the event, priests, pastors from different churches and the organising committee members gathered in St Anthony’s Church for morning prayer to pray for fine weather. The opening and closing prayer and Gospel proclamation were read by representatives from different churches and in four languages, namely, the Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin and Iban. The procession led by priests, pastors and organising committee
CHRISTMAS NOVENA ... The Migrant Ministry (Legion of Mary) and the Filipino Community organised a Christmas Novena from 17-24 December in St Peter’s College Chapel. Called ‘Misa de Gallo’ (literally translated from Tagalog to mean ‘Rooster Mass’), this Mass is traditionally celebrated before dawn in the Philippines over nine days as a preparation for Christmas. WITH FLAGS AND BANNERS ... Catholics in Bintulu taking part in the joint Christmas parade to herald the birth of Christ members also included brightly decorated beautiful floats put up by different churches. Participants were seen carrying self made lanterns, neon lights and Christmas banners depicting the birth of Jesus Christ. Police personnel directed the traffic while participants made their way into Bintulu town singing Christmas carols and greeting on-lookers with “Blessed
Christmas and Happy New Year”. An open air concert with dances and songs presented by representatives of all participating churches followed. An Indian couple from Selangor had this to say, “It is a beautiful event which we never have in West Malaysia.” Thomas Seo
SPECIAL GUESTS ... On Christmas Day, His Grace Archbishop John Ha warmly received the Head of State Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and wife Toh Puan Norkiah during his Christmas Open House at his residence. Visitors consisting of Heads of other Christian churches and religion, priests, religious, family and friends of the Archbishop as well as parishioners were overjoyed while meeting and shaking hands with the two honorable guests.
BRINGING CHRISTMAS CHEER AND JOY TO PATIENTS ... A group of faithful from different ministries in the Diocese of Sibu led by Rev Fr Ferdinand Vergeer and Fr Sagayaraj Arokiyadoss brought merriment and joy to the patients in the Sibu Hospital on 26 December. The visitors sang Christmas carols to the accompaniment of instrumental music. Fr Vegeer also prayed for the sick during the visit.
ADVENT WREATH BLESSING … The Rector of St Peter & St Paul Church, Mukah, Rev Fr Michael Lee blessed the Advent candles and wreath and lighted the first candle during Mass of First Sunday of Advent on 2 December. Fr Michael said in his homily that Advent is the time to prepare for the birth of Christ and also for the end of time. He urged parishioners to be always alert, focus their lives on the teachings of Christ and do what the Lord asks of them.
ANNOUNCING THE HOLY BIRTH ... More than 25 children and youths from Blessed Sacrament Church Emmaus Youth went Christmas carolling from 19-23 December. The carolling started off with a blessing from the parish priest, Fr Lawrence Chua on 19 December. The carollers visited 27 places including the Comfort Nursing Home and the Carmelite sisters.
UNITED IN PRAYER ... On 21 December, more than 1000 Christians from different denominations in Kuching attended the annual Joint Christmas Service at Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre. Themed “Jesus, the Saviour of All Nations,” it was hosted by the Methodist Church. Also present was Archbishop John Ha who led the prayer of benediction.
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
Legion spirituality leads to holiness, Legionaries told SIBU — Legionaries of the English Curia are urged during this Year of Faith to pray and work to enkindle the flame of their Legion spirit and commitment – the very spirit and charisms of their Legion founder, Frank Duff. “Your Legion spirituality, when lived with commitment, can easily lead you to holiness of life and become a great lay apostle,” said their Spiritual Director, Fr Paul Cheong who wants the Legionaries to read and study well their Legion Handbook, a Catholic Classic. He was speaking at the Sibu English Curia Annual General Reunion (AGR) 2012 themed Noah’s Ark at a local hotel on 9 December. Fr Paul said it is imperative that if they want the Legion organisation to grow and
develop, they need to be actively committed, to be serious and faithful in fulfilling the basic duties of Legionaries. Bishop Joseph Hii, the Bishop of Sibu announced that he planned to reach out to parishioners through home visitations in this Year of Faith. He hoped the Legionaries would respond generously to the call as home visitation is a typical Legion apostolate. Now that the Curia has come under the Sibu Comitium which was previously under the Singapore Senatus, Fr Paul proposed that the English Curia and the Chinese Comitium work together for a common good in their various apostolates in the parish. “Unity and good coordination is strength. In this way, hopefully more could be
BEST DRESSED ... Fr Paul Cheong (right) posing with the five winners of the best costumes award done, and be done in a better charism in the presence and manner,” he said, describing the apostolate of the Legionaries and move as more proper structure- its devotion to Mother Mary, the wise. Chinese-speaking Legionaries Earlier in his speech Fr Paul with their five Curia included. pointed out that Sibu Diocese He remarked, “It’s very has a very special and strong unique because it’s rare to find
so many Legionaries in a single Diocese. Here, you mention any work, the Legionaries are there... I want you to be proud of that, and the Sibu Diocese can take pride in it”. Organised by the Holy Mother of God Praesidium, the AGR reunion dinner also saw the presentation of prizes to winners of the Curia’s badminton competition. Awards were given to winners of the handbook quiz and for best meeting attendance as well. Another highlight of the evening, filled with various stage performances and lucky draws, was the presentation of prizes to those with best dressed costumes befitting the theme. Pauline Ho
Couples spent time together at Alpha Marriage Course KUCHING — The 8-week Marriage Course held at St Joseph’s parish Gallery On 28 November has beeen successfully completed. Seven couples who signed up for the course received their Certificate of Completion during the graduation party. The Marriage Course provides a platform for couples to spend time together to communicate and learn new ideas to improve the quality of their marriage. Couples get to learn on topics such as Building strong foundation, Communicate effectively, Resolving conflict, Forgiveness, Resolving hurt, Parents in law and The five language of love. They also get to listen to testimonies from married couples and answer questionnaires related to their marriage.
WE MADE IT! ... A couple receiving certificate of completion from Fr Simon Poh (right) Fr Simon Poh, the spiritual course to provide parents director in his closing address with knowledge and skills on stressed the importance of parenting. Those interested to join the the marriage institution to the church. He wished to see more next marriage course are kindly courses related to marriage being requested to register with St organised and more couples Joseph’s parish office for further would sign up. He added that action in due course. next year the parish would Albert George be organising the parenting
Continued from p1
The 40th priestly anniversary of Archbishop John Ha
Only a ‘bodoh’ man in the person of the Archbishop would have accepted the ordinary life in the seminary which pales in comparison to what the materialistic world outside could offer. A thanksgiving and Christmas dinner was also held at Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre on 30 December and well attended by more than 1000 including guests, family and friends of the jubilarian, priests, religious and all well wishers. In 1964 His Grace
Archbishop John Ha began his novitiate year in De La Salle’s Novitiate in Penang after he finished his secondary education at St Joseph’s Secondary School. Eight months later he continued his study at St Francis’ Minor Seminary in Singapore and received his seminary formation in College General Penang in 1967-1972. He was ordained a deacon on 19 December 1971 and then a priest on 14 December 1972 by Bishop Charles Reiterer. On 6 June 1998, he was ordained a bishop by His Grace Archbishop
Emeritus Peter Chung. Among the Archbishop’s many credentials, there is one that is exemplary. It is no other than His Grace total submission to the will of the Lord leaving him very resilient in tackling adversities, as he wrote in the souvenir booklet “How have I lasted so long? Just one answer: God’s grace and his constant faithful love.” Audrey Yu & Martha Ngui See The Vocation Story of Archbishop John Ha on p9
GIFTS FOR THE NEEDY ... St Joseph’s Parish Ladies Guild committee members handing over “Wish Gifts” to a representative of St Vincent De Paul Society on 16 December.
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11TH ANNIVERSARY In ever-loving memory of MICHAEL LUANG AK LANJAN whom the Lord called to rest on 1 January 2002. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. Always remembered and dearly missed by wife, Magdalena, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchildren and all loved ones.
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
ARCHDIOCESAN PASTORAL CONGRESS
Archbishop’s Keynote Address (Part V) Due to popular demand, Archbishop John Ha’s keynote address at the APC will be published in Today’s Catholic in series. Part I was published in September edition. THEME FOR THE CONGRESS I thought it might be useful – if not, at least fashionable – to have a theme for the Congress to keep us focused. Reflecting on the annual themes for the Pastoral Focus on the Family, I was led to two key words – communion and mission. For sure, the Trinity is communion par excellence. The communion within the Trinity is “union in love” and it is this love that gives rise to mission – “sending”. Out of love for all humankind the Father sent His Son into our world to save us from sin and give us life – life in abundance. Thus, the Son of God became Man; the Word was made flesh (Jn 1:14). The purpose of mission is to lead to communion – which is the hope of all who have faith. That communion holds all believers together as a family – the family of God which is the Church. All believers of the Word are sent to share it with others in order to lead them to the same faith and communion. Thus, the theme: “Church: Disciples of the Word in Communion for Mission”. The theme happily ties in with Archbishop Peter Chung’s last pastoral letter: “We are the Church”. While there is no denying that all the key elements of this theme are found in all the Gospels and indeed throughout the New Testament, they are more explicit in the Gospel of John. Indeed, John’s Gospel affirms, “The Word was made flesh” and all who believe in Him are given the power “to become children of God” (Jn 1:12,14). Faith and love, mission and communion are among the central themes of John’s Gospel. “For God so loved the world that He sent His Son, that the world may not perish but may be saved” (Jn. 3:16). The Son, that is, the Word of God made flesh, came to make all one: “that there may be one fold and one shepherd” (Jn. 10). This oneness is communion. On these grounds, we have selected the Gospel of John as the Gospel for the Archdiocesan Pastoral Congress. In order to help us understand the theme of the Congress better, I asked Fr Richard Ng to give an eight-session course on the Gospel of John. I would like to thank Fr Richard Ng for giving this course. Following the course, I gave a four-session presentation of the key elements of the theme for the Congress. Later on in this Congress, Fr Simon Poh will offer us a pastoral reflection on the theme. Hopefully with this understanding of John’s
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Gospel and thus of the theme as well as its practical reflection, we will be able to chart a Word-based direction for ourselves as a Church for the next few years.
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YEAR OF FAITH – IN SYNC WITH THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH As we strive to chart the course for our future, we cannot ignore what the universal Church is doing. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has issued a Motu Proprio entitled “Porta Fidei” for the indication of the Year of Faith to run from 11 October 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, to 24 November 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King. The starting date of 11 October 2012, as the Pope has pointed out, also marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”. The Pope’s decision has been influenced by a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people. Moreover, the theme of the General Assembly of the XIII Synod of Bishops to take place in Rome in October this year is “The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.” The Pope says, “This will be a good opportunity to usher the whole Church into a time of particular reflection and rediscovery of the faith.” The Pope’s declaration of the Year of Faith indicates to us where our attention ought to be paid in the coming year. We need to see how we ourselves and our people ought to rediscover the Christian faith. To be continued
1ST ANNIVERSARY In ever-loving memory of RITA LEONG MOI FAH departed on 26 January 2012. Though absent you are very near, still loved, still missed and very dear. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen. Sadly missed by all loved ones.
In ever-loving memory of
In ever-loving memory of
PATRICIA LING SIIK KING who was called to be with the Lord on 26 January 2012.
MOSES JOSHUA BETIE who was called home by the Lord on 6 January 2010.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let your Perpetual Light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
Dearly missed and remembered by husband, children, grandchildren and all loved ones.
Dearly missed by beloved wife, sons, and all loved ones.
A pilgrimage to Pontianak INDONESIA — Ninety one parishioners from St Alphonsus Church, Julau and Christ the King Church, Bintangor made a pilgrimage to Pontianak, Indonesia on 19-22 November. The trip was led by 2 priests, Rev Fr Philip Hu and Rev Fr Devadas from Bintangor and Julau Parish. On the way to Pontianak, the pilgrims visited and prayed at several churches along the way: Santo Fransiskus Assisi at Entikong, Santo Paulus at Karangan, Santo Paulus Dari Salib at Beduai, Santo Yohannes Pemandi at Kembayan and Hati Kudus Tuhan Yesus at Batang Tarang. They were warmly welcomed by the respective parish priests and committee members at each stop. They put up at Immaculate Centre which is managed by Franciscan sisters. The programme started with talks, prayers and confession. Visits were made to Sekolah Tinggi Theologia (STT) (Pontianak Theological
FIRST TIME ... Pilgrims visiting St John the Baptist Church, Kembayan Seminary), Ex Pontianak indeed a memorable one. The Sultanate Palace, Equator pilgrims saw churches with Monument and Bandar Siantan different interesting designs and the next day. The scenes along were briefed by parish priests the Kapuas River were quite of their parishes accordingly. impressive as there were houses Pontianak City is remembered and squatters. The narrow roads for being populous with many were crowded with motorcycles, cultures not seen in Malaysia. lorries and relatively few cars. The group thanked Fr John After Holy Mass on the last day who guided them and the Sisters of the trip, the pilgrims left for and workers of Pontianak home calling at Btg Tarang for Immaculate Centre for their lunch provided by members of kind hospitality. the Ladies Guild. The trip to Pontianak was Justin Juna
Formation for wardens
FOR THE ALBUM ... Wardens posing with Fr Felix Au KUCHING — Eighty- Au, focused on the meaning of The event was brought nine wardens from St Joseph’s Christian service and the role to a close with a special Cathedral, St Mark’s Church of wardens in the hospitality Mass celebrated by Fr Felix and Carmelite Chapel ministry. The session included Au. During the installation successfully attended the one workshops, sharing of ceremony, wardens received day programme on formation experiences and discussion on sashes after pledging to give for wardens conducted at St current issues. The outcome of their best in this ministry for a Mark’s on 10 November. the discussions was examined by period of two years. This special programme a special committee of warden facilitated by Rev Fr Felix representatives. Clement Het
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
PRESS RELEASE Director of Matriculation Division, Ministry of Education call on Sabah Bishops A meeting between the Director of Matriculation Division, Ministry of Education and the Catholic Bishops of Sabah was held on 13 December 2012, at the Catholic Diocesan Centre in Kota Kinabalu to discuss the issues and concerns raised in the letter dated 5 October 2012, regarding the infringement of religious freedom and rights of non-Muslim students at Labuan Matriculation College (LMC). The letter was published in The Herald dated 28 October 2012. The entourage was headed by Dr Sariah Abdul Jalil from Matriculation Division and included the Director of LMC, Tuan Sawang @ Rizal bin Amit, Deputy Director Encik Kamarudin Mansur together with five other key personnel from LMC, while the Catholic Church of Sabah was headed by Archbishop John Wong, Bishop Cornelius Piong and Bishop Julius Gitom. At the meeting, the Bishops reiterated that since the Christian students made up almost half the population of the students in LMC (with about 30% being Catholics), the Church wanted an assurance from LMC that the rights of non-Muslim students are protected and respected, vis-a-vis freedom to profess and practice their own religion. The discussion on the protection of rights for the students also included the rights of the students to a safe and conducive learning environment, one that is free from harassment, intimidation and pressure. The right to attend religious services without students losing out on additional classes or activities conducted by the College on weekends was also highlighted. Another key aspect discussed was the right of the students to hold discussions, prayer meetings and services in the College and to form association as provided for under Section 8 of the Educational Institutions (Discipline) Act 1976. In relation to this, the Bishops requested that a space be provided in the College to cater for such activities. The right to protection for non-Muslim lecturers and students who speak out against religious harassment was also raised with LMC. The two hour discussion was held in a frank manner and in a cordial atmosphere in keeping with the spirit of dialogue, while affirming that the Church is committed to ensuring that the religious rights of all non-Muslims are not being eroded. Consequent to this meeting, the Bishops were invited to submit a letter to Dr Sariah, outlining the above requisite assurances which will be included as an addendum to her report to the higher authorities. 19 December 2012
Pope Benedict sends first-ever Papal tweet
Children’s Christmas party TAWAU — On 16 December, the Catholic Women’s Apostolate (CWA) organised an annual Children Christmas Party for children below 12 years old at Holy Trinity Parish Hall. Some 300 children together with their parents attended the fun-filled event. During the party, parents were urged to deepen and share their faith with their children so that they may grow up being rooted in faith. SOCCOM Tawau
IN JUBILANT MOOD ... Children enjoying the presence of Santa Clause
FIRST TWEET ... Pope Benedict sending his first tweet from his iPad (Photo: CNS) VATICAN CITY — Pope Communications, Msgr Paul Benedict XVI sent out his first- Tighe, told Vatican Radio the ever message via Twitter under event was “An extraordinary his personal Twitter handle: @ moment,” adding that the attention to the event within pontifex, on 12 December. “Dear friends,” wrote the the “Twitter-sphere” itself Holy Father, “I am pleased to was quite impressive: more get in touch with you through than 2 thousand re-tweets in Twitter. Thank you for your under two minutes. It is also generous response. I bless all of understood that the Holy Father’s followers have already you from my heart.” The Secretary of the topped the 1 million mark. Vatican Radio Pontifical Council for Social
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
Two priests dismissed in Wuhan WUHAN, China — The provincial government in Hubei has replaced two priests from Wuhan diocese with a government-selected management committee amid an escalating standoff between authorities and the Church in the province. During a confrontational meeting on 13 December, 15 priests and several nuns were escorted to the office of the provincial Religious Affairs Bureau where officials announced a reshuffle of leading clergy positions, said sources who declined to be identified. Fr Joseph Shen Guo’an, who was temporarily in charge of Wuhan diocese and who has defied authorities in recent weeks, and another priest were dismissed from the government-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association.
The Board of Diocesan Consultors was also disbanded, sources said. The two priests were replaced by a five-member management committee led by Fr Francis Cui Qingqi, who is said to be close to the government. “No priests and nuns except Fr Cui were allowed to speak at the meeting,” said a church source using the pseudonym David. The reshuffle by the authorities effectively overrules church leaders in Wuhan who want to decide on the allocation of priests to parishes themselves. On 29 November, 19 out of 23 priests in Wuhan held a meeting and drew up their own list of assignments and transfers between parishes. Some of the attending priests later received warnings from government officials stating
Photo: UCAN HAVING NO SAY ... Fr Joseph Shen Guo’an (far right) has been dismissed from Wuhan Diocese the meeting itself was illegal, said, by summoning priests to meetings individually in which according to church sources. The following day, Fr they were told not to leave their Shen defied the warning by parishes and head to their new announcing the transfers during appointments. Fr Francis Wu Zhengfu, who Mass, to applause from the proceeded to Boquan church congregation. Authorities again tried to on 9 December, was locked in block the decision, sources a room by officials to prevent
him from meeting his new parishioners, church sources said, who added that he was insulted and threatened. “Fr Wu had no choice but to return to [his previous posting at] the cathedral while his predecessor, Fr Joseph Huang Xuefeng, was not allowed to leave his parish,” said David. Events over the past few weeks represent the latest example of interference by authorities in Wuhan. After the former bishop died in 2007, authorities tried and failed to install their preferred candidate in 2011. The Church’s candidate at the time, Fr Shen, was informed without reason that his ordination was canceled and has since fallen out of favor with authorities. UCAN
Christians protest with Church of England allows gay men to postcards to president become bishops
Messages call for free worship ahead of Christmas JAKARTA, Indonesia — Protestants at two churches in West Java have sent 6,000 postcards to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, urging the end of restrictions on worship ahead of Christmas. A member of GKI Yasmin, one of the two restricted churches along with the Batak Society Christian Church (HKBP) Philadelphia in Bekasi, handed the postcards to the State Secretariat yesterday after holding a service in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. The two congregations have had to celebrate recent Christmases in fear outside their places of worship, said Bona Sigalingging, a GKI Jasmin spokesman. “The postcards are part of our struggle to urge the president to end the discrimination we have faced,”
he added. Sinta Nuriyah, wife of the late former president Abdurrahman Wahid who ruled until 2001, was among those that sent a postcard. “Worshipping is the right of every Indonesian citizen. So I hope President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono enforces this right,” she wrote. “Give this right to our friends, the congregations of GKI Yasmin, so that they can worship in their own church.” Members of the congregation at GKI Yasmin have been banned from using their church because of alleged irregularities in a 2006 building permit. Despite a Supreme Court ruling backed by the Ombudsman supporting the church, the local mayor has continued to bar access to the building amid widespread opposition by majority Muslims in the area. UCAN
LONDON, England — The Church of England has decided to permit gay male clergy in civil partnerships to become bishops, provided that they promise to be celibate. “The House (of Bishops) believed it would be unjust to exclude from consideration for the episcopate anyone seeking to live fully in conformity with the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics or other areas of personal life and discipline,” Graham James, Anglican bishop of Norwich, stated on 4 January. “All candidates for the episcopate undergo a searching examination of personal and family circumstances, given the level of public scrutiny associated with being a bishop in the Church of England.” The decision was published on 20 December, and was made by the Church of England’s House of Bishops earlier that month. Civil partnerships were introduced in the United Kingdom in 2005, at which time those in civil partnerships were allowed to become priests of the Church of England so long as they promised celibacy. The Church of England holds that clergy “cannot claim the liberty to enter into sexually active homophile relationships,” according to a 1991 document “Issues in Human Sexuality.” The Church of England teaches that “sexual intercourse... properly belongs within marriage exclusively” and that marriage is “between a man and a woman,” according to its 2005
The Church of England has decided to permit gay male clergy in civil partnerships to become bishops, provided that they promise to be celibate. statement on civil partnerships. The Church of England’s new policy is the result of controversy surrounding Jeffery John, a priest of the church who is gay. In 2003 he was appointed bishop of Reading, but was forced to withdraw. Then in 2010 he was nominated for bishop of Southwark but was rejected because of his sexual orientation. He has been in a civil partnership since 2006, and maintains that his relationship is celibate. The move has drawn criticism from both Anglo-Catholic and evangelical factions within the Church of England, who in November successfully opposed plans to allow women bishops in the church. Rod Thomas is chairman of the evangelical group Reform, and told the BBC that the decision is a grave one and will further split the Anglican Communion.
“It would be much more divisive than what we have seen over women bishops. If you thought that was a furore, wait to see what will happen the first time a bishop in a civil partnership is appointed.” Gay advocates within the Church of England greeted the announcement with mixed reviews. Colin Coward, a Church of England priest and director of the group, Changing Attitude, stated that the celibacy requirement was a poor one. “Jesus, the Holy Spirit, advocates deeply loving faithful committed relationships in which people express their love sexually, and that is Biblical teaching,” he said, according to the BBC. CNA/EWTN News
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
Despite evil, human beings are hard-wired for peace, Pope says VATICAN CITY — Welcoming in the new year, Pope Benedict XVI said that despite the injustice and violence in the world, every human being yearns for and is made for peace. “Man is made for peace, which is a gift of God,” but also something individuals must work tirelessly to build, he said. The Pope celebrated Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on 1 January, which the church marks as the feast of Mary, Mother of God and as World Peace Day. Thousands of people filled the basilica, which was decorated with white roses, small yellow flowers and evergreens. In the crowd was a group of children wearing colourful capes and cardboard crowns in memory of the three kings who travelled to Bethlehem; three of the children brought offertory gifts to the Pope. Prayers for peace were offered in five languages; in Arabic, the prayer asked that Mary “awaken in government leaders, legislators and men and women of science respect and concern for motherhood, God’s supreme gift to humanity.” In his homily, the Pope quoted from the peace day message he had sent to government leaders around the globe. Despite the “tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the
Photo: CNS GIFTS FROM THE THREE KINGS ... Pope Benedict XVI accepts offertory gifts from children dressed as the Three Kings prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism,” as well as terrorism and crime, “I am convinced that ‘the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace.’” People are called to find an inner
peace with God by living according to his will, and to enrich that gift by living peacefully with and for others, including all of creation, he said. Inner peace is possible even when struggling with “problems, darkness and distress,” he said; Mary is a prime example with how she faced uncertainty and challenges with calm and peaceful
reflection. “It’s this inner peace we would want to have in the midst of sometimes tumultuous and confusing events,” he said. Nothing can destroy a Christian’s inner peace because it is rooted in the certainty that there is a good, loving and omnipotent God who always offers his grace and peace, the Pope said. “In fact, suffering, trials and darkness don’t corrode, but strengthen our hope, a hope that never disappoints,” he said. Pope Benedict also tweeted a special blessing in eight languages to his more than 2 million Twitter followers: “May Our Lord bless you and watch over you in the new year.” Speaking after the Mass from his apartment window above St Peter’s Square, the Pope highlighted the importance of peacemakers, who, day after day, “try to conquer evil with good, with the strength of truth, with the weapons of prayer and forgiveness, with honest work done well, with scientific research serving life and with works of mercy.” He said there are many peacemakers in the world, but they work without fanfare, acting quietly “like yeast helping humanity rise up to God’s plan.” CNS
Change a culture that accepts Vatican official thanks mothers degradation of humans of priests, asks for their prayers
Photo: AsiaNews HYDERABAD, India — The Indian mentality “has to change” because “a culture that accepts the degradation of the human being, can not stop the violence against women”, in all its forms. The All India Christian Council (AICC) comments on the case of the New Delhi gang rape, where the victim - a girl of 23 - died from serious injuries. On 2 January the young woman’s family cremated her body and scattered her ashes in the Ganges, according to the Hindu funeral rites. Meanwhile, protests continue to demand the punishment of the six defendants (including a minor) and stringent measures to stop sexual violence in the country. A minister of the central government, Shashi Tharoor, has proposed to make the name of the victim public (which by law has never been revealed) to name a new anti-rape law after her. According to John Dayal, secretary general of the AICC, “for too long we have allowed a culture that targets our women and justifies various forms of violence against women.” In fact, in recent years criminal and discriminatory
episodes against children, adolescents and adult women have increased: in addition to rapes, they include selective abortions and female feticide, marginalisation and criminalisation in the world of study and work. Speaking to AsiaNews days ago Dr Pascoal Carvalho, Indian doctor and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said that what happened to the girl who was raped in New Delhi was “an attack on life itself”, for the terrible wounds and violence inflicted. The reactions of civil society in fact, sometimes violent, for the Catholic academic evidence of a “distorted thinking” that does not guarantee “true dignity, autonomy and rights for girls and women.” After the death of the girl, the Dalai Lama, leader of Tibetan Buddhism expressed deep sorrow for what happened in New Delhi, and “great concern for the degeneration of moral values of society.” “India - he added - is a great country with an ancient history and a civil patrimony such as that of non-violence [ahimsa], which must not be lost.” AsiaNews
VATICAN CITY — The mothers of priests and seminarians deserve the thanks of the whole church for raising their sons in the faith and supporting them in their vocations, said Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. Writing on 1 January feast of Mary, Mother of God, the Cardinal said having a priest-son requires a new form of motherhood, one that involves a “discreet, but very effective and invaluably precious accompaniment in prayer.” Cardinal Piacenza’s letter was posted, in Italian, on the website of the clergy congregation. When a man becomes a priest, he said, everyone in his family is touched and is called to a deeper conversion, but “unique and special are the spiritual consolations that come from having carried in your womb one who becomes a priest in Christ.” Obviously, he said, seminary studies and priestly ministry often take a man further from home and from regular family life, but the physical separation is replaced by a closer spiritual bond, he said. “The experience of the church teaches that the mother ‘receives’ her priest-son in a completely new and unexpected way, so much so that by the will of God she is called to recognise in the fruit of her womb a ‘father,’ who is called to generate a multitude of brothers and sisters and accompany them to eternal life,” the Cardinal wrote. While “every mother of a priest is
File photo: CNS Bishop Robert C Evans and his mother mysteriously a ‘daughter of her son,’” Cardinal Piacenza said, she also is called to continue offering him her maternal support, particularly through her prayers. “Such a work of authentic support, always necessary in the life of the church, seems even more urgent today – especially in the secularised West, which is awaiting and asking for a new and radical proclamation of Christ,” he said. “The mothers of priests and seminarians truly represent an army that raises prayers and offerings to heaven from earth and, with even greater numbers, intercedes from heaven so that grace is poured out on the lives of holy pastors.” CNS
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
My Vocation Story By Archbishop John Ha
odoh-bodoh saya masuk.” This is my vocation story in a single line which I have repeated several times over to different people. Translated into spiritual terms, my one-line story in fact affirms that all is grace – the grace that comes from God. Indeed, every time I look back at my journey to the priesthood and my whole priestly life, I cannot fail to see God’s finger at work. God’s work in my vocation started even without my realizing it. The daily catechism classes I had in St. Joseph’s School throughout my school life were invaluable. Being an altar server since Primary 5 right through to Form 5 must have gradually influenced me. The school’s annual retreats and devotions like the Confraternity of the Divine Child as well as the First Friday Mass and Communion in my school life contributed to my faith growth. Joining the Benildus Club (Vocations Club started by Br Hilary) in Form 2 was another occasion of grace. All these spiritual activities, I believe as I look back, went a long way to sow the seed of vocation in me. Interestingly, my taking up Latin in Form 4 and Form 5 – taught by Br Albinus as a subject for the Senior Cambridge School Certificate – was part of God’s finger at work in my journey to the priesthood, as I later came to realise. I admired the De La Salle Brothers and was drawn to their teaching life. Their dedication to the students shone through their sacrifice of leaving beautiful Ireland as well as their commitment to teaching and helping students to achieve high standards. I was overwhelmed by this dedication of theirs and attracted to their religious life. Shortly after my Cambridge School Certificate examinations in 1963, Br Albinus called me to his office to fill in an application form for a scholarship. I hesitated and asked for time. Some days later, I returned to him to share with him my desire to join the De La Salle Brothers. Preparations started to be made and in early January 1964 I was sent to the Brothers’ Novitiate in Pulau Tikus, Penang, to start my religious formation. Life there was new but fulfilling. The daily spiritual conferences given by the Novice Master and his assistant and the spiritual exercises provided in the daily time-table were spiritually enriching. An apparently mundane part of the training programme consisted of manual work, sports, weekly walks and monthly hikes up the Penang Hill. On hindsight I admit that these helped not just to keep us fit but discipline us too. A turning point came some time in June or July. The seminarians of College General next door to us played occasional games with us. Among them were a few Sarawakians – like Stephen Chin and Peter Ng. Was it their influence on me that made me compare the life of the De La Salle Brothers with that of a priest? I cannot tell for sure. But I still remember vividly that after speaking to my Novice Master I wrote to Father Harry van Erp, then Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Church. I shared with him how I felt about being a priest. As a priest I would be able to administer the sacraments. I mentioned the sick and the dying in particular. I was advised to put off this thinking and concentrate on my religious formation; but the thought of the priesthood kept coming back to me. At the end of August in 1964, Fr. Harry wrote to inform me that Bishop John Vos would allow me to proceed to St. Francis Minor Seminary in Ponggol, Singapore, to pursue my priestly formation there provided I could cope with Latin studies there. So on 13 September 1964 I joined the seminary in Singapore. I did cope with Latin. It dawned on me then that it must have been God who led me to take up Latin in school. In 1966 my father fell seriously sick. I had to return to Kuching to take up a job. The Brothers offered me a teaching post in St. Patrick’s School, Stampin. There I taught for six months. By God’s grace, after six months my father got better. I could return to the seminary in the beginning of 1967. At this point, by right I should make up for the six months I had lost in the seminary in Singapore. But by God’s grace, I was given special consideration and required only to sit for a qualifying test to enter College General in Penang. I was never told the result. That did not matter to me in the least, for I was accepted for studies at College General. On 15 February 1967 I rejoined the class I had left in 1966. My six years at the College General were easily the most enjoyable years of my life. We had a large number of seminarians from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Cambodia and even one from Mexico. It is worth mentioning here that Marcel, a seminarian from Cambodia, was martyred with his Bishop by the Khmer Rouge some years after his priestly ordination. The multi-national and multicultural mix in the College was an interesting and enriching experience. We were
friends and brothers in all aspects of seminary life, but “foes” when we watched live telecasts of football or badminton tournaments where Malaysians played against the Thais or Singaporeans. My days in the College were just after Vatican II. Those were days of students’ movement in the West. The French Fathers, our formators, took a great risk in adopting some of the trends from this movement in the College. They allowed us seminarians to have a Students’ Council with different teams to manage different areas of our own affairs. There were monthly meetings and even a few dialogue sessions between seminarians and formators. I remember a day when both students and formators met in the presence of Archbishop Dominic Vendargon of Kuala Lumpur. Exchanges were very frank and open. All this was a great learning experience for both students and formators. One of the lessons learnt came in my last but one year. It was hard and painful. Eight seminarians were sacked that year. The Students’ Council – I was its secretary – met and demanded an explanation from the formators for the sacking. We were so firm in our stand that the formators threatened to resign en bloc unless we withdrew our demand. The straw that broke the camel’s back for us was the Rector’s challenge to us to get the eight students to allow him to give us the reasons for sacking them. None of these eight were willing to do that. We realised the truth of the matter and respected the formators for their sense of respect and confidentiality. We apologized to the Rector and the formators. So I moved on to my final year. This unfortunate incident could have been enough reason for the formators to sack all of us in the Students’ Council. But they did not. They would rather see us continue our priestly formation as they were contemplating resigning en bloc. This position taken by them was moving and motivating. They loved us and treasured our vocations. To me, it was again God directing the entire story – God paving my path towards the priesthood. Being responsible for our own affairs was a great way of maturing. Our philosophical and theological studies helped us to appreciate and grow in our faith. All the spiritual exercises we had served to strengthen our faith. At the same time, we were helped to discern our vocation. Many chose to leave the seminary at one point or another. But many remained. In my own “bodoh-bodoh” attitude, I moved on from day to day, enjoying life in the seminary = from philosophy and theology to bimonthly cycling round Penang Island, from spiritual exercises to participating in Penang Island softball league, from manual labour to community recreation. Everything, though generally a routine, was exciting; a lot of it was refreshing and enriching. Before I realized it, I had reached the end of my studies in College in the beginning of December 1972 and was ordained priest by Bishop Charles Reiterer in St. Joseph’s Cathedral on 14 December 1972. Forty years have flown past so quickly. I have had my struggle but am generally happy in the priesthood. How have I lasted so long? Just one answer: God’s grace and His constant and faithful love. So here is my prayer on this occasion of the fortieth anniversary of my priestly ordination: Father in heaven, when You called me, You knew my weakness; when I responded, I trusted in Your strength. You have been sustaining me with Your strength in all these forty years of priestly ministry which I have been striving to exercise faithfully in my weakness. Indeed, Your Son Jesus who is the same yesterday, today and forever more, reassures me of Your constant and faithful love; I’ll continue to count on You with confidence for the rest of my life. With St Ambrose, I pray Him: “Come, then, Lord Jesus, come to me, seek me, find me, take me in Your arms and carry me.” In Your love, He came, sent by You, to seek and find me, to take me in His arms and carry me home to Yourself. Yes, Father, all is grace – Your grace endowed through Your Holy Spirit. For this I am profoundly thankful.
Newly ordained Fr John Ha 14 December 1972
Assured of this saving grace, Father, I commend to You my whole life and ministry, in the footsteps of Mother Mary who stood at the foot of the cross of Your Son Jesus Christ Your Son, my Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Seminary days in College General, Penang, 1967
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
Starting the new year open to revelation by Effie Caldarola I love words, as any writer should, and “epiphany” is a favourite word of mine. In a Christian sense, it names a great January liturgical feast, namely the Scripture story about three mysterious men bearing gifts, appearing from the East, looking for the baby Jesus to worship him. It arrives on the Twelfth Day of Christmas, and it culminates our celebration. The church uses it as the occasion to remind us that Christ came for all, not just for his fellow Jews, but for the gentiles, and by extension all of us throughout history. It was an epiphany, an awakening, for all humankind. “Epiphany” in its secular, dictionary definition, complements the religious meaning, and always seems like a thrilling word. Here’s one definition: A sudden realisation about the nature or meaning of something. To realise the meaning of something – my life, my gifts, an illness, a death, an ordinary day – that’s huge. It’s a delicious word, this revelation about the very nature of something. We celebrate the feast of Epiphany on 6 January, and whether you’ve already experienced it as you read this matters little. “Epiphany” is a good reminder, a good word, a good experience to carry us through January and into the new year. How many epiphanies do we really experience in life? There are times in life when we feel we know quite a
January brings with it a cascade of New Year’s resolutions... How about just resolving to keep our eyes open for the next epiphany God sends? bit and aren’t necessarily open to the world-shattering nature of epiphany. This certainty strikes different people at different times. The late teenage years affect some that way. We’ve got it all figured out, until we start college and all the new information blows away all our certainty. I’ve known others who reach this know-it-all stage in later life. “I’ve seen that.” “I know all about that.” “I’ve been there once, and I don’t need to go again.”
I’ve known a few older folks who simply aren’t looking for any more epiphanies. Been there, done that. Ho hum. All of us are susceptible, at any age, to getting in a rut and not keeping our eyes open to the epiphany that may surprise us around the next corner. All of us can be reluctant, and sometimes with reason, to saddle up our camels and follow some distant star. I mean, really, isn’t that a little romantic, a little quixotic? It sounds
risky, and besides I know all about that already. January brings with it a cascade of New Year’s resolutions, including “I’m going to lose 10 pounds,” “I will start exercising,” “I will remember to call my grandmother more often,” “I will never leave the house with my bed unmade” ... yada, yada, yada. How about just resolving to keep our eyes open for the next epiphany God sends? Do you think those storied Magi were expecting to find a poor baby at the end of their journey? What an epiphany for them, the meaning of which they probably spent the rest of their lives trying to figure out. Don’t “expect,” just pay attention. Franciscan Father Richard Rohr tells about an epiphany the great St Francis of Assisi had. Like many saints, Francis was a party animal as a youth. Perhaps he thought he knew it all. “One night, he left the party and looked up at the stars above Assisi,” writes Father Rohr. “He stood there for a long, long time. He was truly in awe of what he saw. He said, ‘If these are the creatures, what must the Creator be like?’” Let me live this year awakening each day to ask God for the courage to be open to continuing revelation, epiphanies great and small that God offers in my life. CNS
Closer to God’s love in moments of tragedy by Fr John Catoir When you see a beautiful household plant that has not been watered for a week, it will appear to be deformed, even dead. But if you give it a good soaking, it will come back to its full splendour. In the same way, faith is the water of the soul. Without it, people soon whither and become spiritually depleted. In the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut, tragedy, a producer from Fox News asked me to go on air that afternoon and offer some spiritual advice to the grieving parents. I had to decline because of a conflict, but I thought a lot about that difficult challenge. I know pious platitudes are wasted on those in shock, and since I couldn’t be there to put my arms around them, I thought that, at a later time, I might say something like the following: In all the great losses and trials of life, we have the supreme law to fall back on. It is not given to us as a consolation, but as a divine command: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.” God is unchanging love. This is a matter of faith. Faith is knowledge. In a time of crisis, it embodies a truth that will never change. The temptation to doubt God or become angry with him
What we all need in times of trial is the faith to rise above the fray.
Photo: CNS might be overpowering at times, but the truth is that God’s love never abandons us. Feelings are not facts. Negative feelings will always lead us into the swamp of fear and doubt, but Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.” The Lord always commands us to love God, and be not afraid. When tragedies hit, all of the explanations in the world are beyond comprehension. We need to fall back on that divine command: Love “your God” and love him “with your whole heart.”
You are not a poor and helpless creature. When the storms of life rage about, hold on to your faith and hold on to your joy as well. Joy is not an emotion. It is based in the will, and it is constant. Reject this truth at your own peril. Totally turning yourself over to your upset emotions will get you nowhere. Feelings can mislead you, and even poison your destiny. When your faith is being tested as never before, do not give in to self-pity. You can accomplish this by loving your
neighbour. Think of others. Do not love them by showering pity upon them. Do it by stirring up their faith. Pity parties are a waste of time. What we all need in times of trial is the faith to rise above the fray. A strong belief in God’s loving presence is an act of the will. The will says yes or no. Evil happens in this world. It is my opinion that the devil poisoned the thoughts of Adam Lanza, the Connecticut shooter. Like a plant without water, he had no faith to hold on to. Perhaps Adam fell victim to despair. Perhaps he lashed out in pain and outrage, rejecting the world around him, the very world that would have loved and comforted him. But we may never know what truly happened. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” CNS
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
A love-match The marriage of my Aunt Mary and Uncle Pat was a love-match and one that grew over the years. They never had children, although they wanted them, but their love for each other flowed over onto all those around them. It began, so my Aunt said, when they first saw each other across the floor at a Parish dance and then danced together. As they danced she asked him what he did for a living and he told her that he was a carpenter, at which my Aunt thought to herself, “Mmm! That will be useful about the house!” What my Uncle thought, was always much more difficult to discover, for he was quiet and reserved, as was seen when they went to see the Parish Priest to arrange for their marriage; the priest asked him, “So, you want to marry Mary Burke?” to which my Uncle replied, “She’ll do!” However, over the years his love for her ran deep, as I remember when, in later years, my Aunt went into hospital for a cancer operation and I went to be with him during that tense time. When I phoned the hospital to enquire how the operation had gone and told him that it had gone well, he began to clap and cheer with tears in his eyes – one of the few times I saw the depth of his feeling for Mary. However, the operation was not a complete success and the cancer began to grow again and when Uncle Pat realised that he was going to lose his Mary, he began to shrink and grow old very quickly. Finally he had a stroke and died soon afterwards, but I am sure that the cause of his death was not the stroke, but a broken heart – he could not face a life without his Mary, he wanted to go first – and my aunt was to follow him not long after.
Be we married or single, our love for one another finds its energy and power in our sexuality – our attraction towards others... There were many elements which helped make theirs such a good marriage – a respect for and a care for each other, a mutual concern for others, a willingness to be of help and an enjoyment of their many visitors – but there was also that attraction, which had first drawn their eyes to each other across that dance hall so many years before. That did not fade and, in fact, grew; my Aunt Mary was quite open about the fact that when they went to bed at night, they said their prayers together and then had a cuddle before they went to sleep. That power, which drew them first together, pulled them closer to each other over the years and underlay the blossoming of their love was their sexual attraction for each other. The other day, at Mass, there was a reading from St Paul warning against fornication, impurity and promiscuity, for, he says, they are empty promises. As I pondered the reading, I realised how important it is to have something like the love-story of my aunt and uncle as a backdrop for listening to texts like that and so be able to come to a true understanding about sexuality. If I regard fornication, pornography etc. as “things”, they can appear to us as something like “forbidden fruits” – desirable, but forbidden – but if I see them against the back-ground of a true love story, I will see them as failures to follow love to where it wants to lead us – they are wrong turnings, things that end in a burnt-out fizz. Be we married or single, our love for one another finds its energy and power
in our sexuality – our attraction towards others and this is as true for priests and religious as it is for single and married lay-people. This attraction takes many forms: the love of a mother for a child, a friend for a friend or a lover for a lover, but all is carried along on our sexuality – that force and power that after puberty pulls us out of ourselves towards others. Without our sexuality there can be no caring, no gentleness, no understanding –no love. However, although our sexuality is that which moves us into love, it does not do so automatically – for we are usually conscious only of the immediate object of our attraction. If it is to bring us into that deep love, which songs hail and books laud, we have to see that sexuality also speaks of tomorrow and not just today; there is something in it that wants to go beyond the present moment. If I celebrate and enjoy it tonight and walk away tomorrow I am left with ashes. To truly love and to be loved can create us, enhance us, give us courage to be, but to be loved for a night and then left can injure, destroy and demean. Not forbidden fruits, but a time-bomb, which will one day destroy. CS Lewis, the author of the “Narnia” stories, spoke of our sexuality and says that the power of our sexuality is the force that ultimately carries us towards God and he makes his point with the rather shocking remark that a man who knocks on the door of a brothel is, in fact, someone looking for God. The great mystics knew of the connection between
Fr Terry Burke is a Mill Hill Missionary, who has served in Sarawak, Indonesia, India and England. Currently, he is a resident lecturer at St Peter’s College and also assigned to do formation work in the Archdiocese. Today’s Catholic thanks him for sharing his rich pastoral reflections in his column ‘Padi Seeds’. He sends out a blog each week. If you would like to receive it, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. their sexuality and spirituality and often spoke of their mystical experiences in sexual language, but then, so did my aunt and uncle. I was with my aunt as my uncle lay dying in hospital and I remember her whispering to him as she caressed and loved him for the last time, “Give the Sacred Heart a kiss from me, Paddy”. They knew that the love they had found on earth could not be the end, but would be taken up into the great love towards which all is directed. Fr Terry Burke
Putting social media to work for the church by Fr William J Byron, SJ There was a little-noticed engine of progress at work in President Barack Obama’s successful re-election campaign. Quietly and effectively at work under the overall supervision of Jim Messina, the campaign manager, were a “digital director,” a “chief digital strategist,” a “chief technology officer,” a “deputy digital director,” a “chief analytics officer,” a “director of frontend development,” a “director of digital products,” a “digital analytics director” and a “web developer.” What Bloomberg Business Week described as the Obama team’s “maniacal focus on personal data yielded millions of voters.” It also, in the words of Obama for America digital director Teddy Goff, “raised more money online this time than last time, had more donors, more volunteers, registered more people to vote online, and did all kinds of revolutionary stuff through Facebook and Twitter.” Corporations and ordinary businesses certainly took notice. The day after the election, they were swooping in to hire these digital magicians for commercial, not political, purposes.
... how to reach not only the young but also the not-so-young who are no longer showing up on Sundays. This is a crisis that must be met in new and creative ways. I can’t help but wonder whether the US Conference of Catholic Bishops or any of the dioceses that face declining Sunday Mass attendance and empty seats in Catholic schools are asking if there is a lesson waiting to be learned by a church that is not doing well at all in the numbers game. Introduction of the so-called “social media” into the national political campaign made a world of difference. “Once all the votes are counted,” reported Bloomberg Business Week in November, “about 1.25 million more young people
will have supported Obama in 2012 than in 2008, when his ability to turn out 18- to- 24-year-olds was hailed as revolutionary.” The success of the Catholic Church with that same age group is anything but impressive. It is time for managers of diocesan and parish affairs to be talking to the techies in search of answers to the question of how to reach not only the young but also the not-so-young who are no longer showing up on Sundays. This is a crisis that must be met in new and creative ways.
Is anyone thinking about setting up data centres in seminaries where computer-savvy young men are receiving classical preparation to serve congregations that may or may not be there by the time today’s seminarians are ordained? Are computer-literate young laymen and laywomen being encouraged to bring the new media into chancery offices and pastoral centres? This all points to something distinctively new that might be incorporated into the new evangelisation that is struggling to emerge during this Year of Faith. My faith is in God, of course, but also in the young who, I believe, God would want us to welcome into diocesan decision-making circles. They can bring to the table knowledge of social media and suggestions as to how those tools can be put to work for the revitalisation of the Catholic faith community. Businesses are doing this right now. This is another page that the church should be lifting from the business playbook. CNS
I was a stranger and you welcomed me The sight of migrating birds across the sky is a spectacular sight. How many of us have looked up in awe and fixed our gaze on the breathtaking v-formation as they made their way in a seemingly effortless manner across the vast open sky? Long after the birds are out of sight, what remains in our memory is a beautiful vision. However behind that beautiful vision also lies a bleak picture – the harsh reality of life and death – where only the strong will survive and the weak will perish. Similarly, when individuals make the decision to migrate to another country in search for a better life, it is with the belief that the ‘grass is greener on the other side’. They have visions of a ‘land filled with milk and honey’. They begin to dream of a life filled with happiness, success and wealth. But it’s only a matter of time before their dreams are shattered – they find themselves cheated out of their wages, they find themselves at the hands of unscrupulous employers,
Market Management Services Sdn Bhd No. E32 (2nd Floor) Taman Sri Sarawak Mall Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman 93100 Kuching Tel: 082-246 795 / 012-808 5112 Email: email@example.com Website: www.mms.com.my
Since 1914, the Catholic Church has set aside a day in January each year to remember migrants and refugees. This year, the 99th World Day of Migrants and Refugees is celebrated on 13 January, with the theme ‘Migrations: pilgrimage of faith and hope’. In conjunction with this, the Legion of Mary Ministry to Migrants will begin to present a series of articles in Today’s Catholic highlighting issues related to migrants and refugees.
~ Pope Benedict XVI (2013 Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees) they find themselves working exhausting hours with little rest, they find themselves living in overcrowded and deplorable conditions... but it is a fate that they soon learn to accept, because they are left with no other choice and because they need to send home what little money they earn as their families depend on it. They then make the heart-wrenching decision of keeping their families and loved ones in the dark about their real situation. They don’t want the folks back home to worry about them. They want their loved ones to continue believing that
the grass is indeed greener on the other side. If you’ve ever been someplace where you don’t know anyone else, you know how tough it can be. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can give way to feelings of despair and hopelessness. The simple act of being welcomed by another human being, of finding a single friendly face in the middle of a sea of faces you don’t know can be a lifeline. Migrants – whether legal or undocumented – have assimilated themselves into our local society. We come across
In ever-loving memory of
MIGRATIONS: PILGRIMAGE OF FAITH AND HOPE
“Faith and hope are inseparable in the hearts of many migrants, who deeply desire a better life and not infrequently try to leave behind the ‘hopelessness’ of an unpromising future.”
1ST ANNIVERSARY Many can bear adversity, but few contempt. English proverb
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
JOHN BITA ANAK CHARLIE Born: 13 December 1941 Departed: 16 January 2012 Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. Deeply missed and forever remembered by loving wife, daughter, son-in-law, son, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, relatives, friends and all loved ones.
In ever-loving memory of
them on a daily basis – restaurant workers, maids, factory workers, farm hands, etc. We also see them in our parishes. Their presence offers the local parishes a great window of opportunity to extend hospitality and kindness that they probably do not experience in their workplace. We also realise that the demographics of our parishes are changing and we need to seek ways to respond to these new realities – ways in which the migrants will feel welcomed and experience the warmth of God’s love through us. Throughout the
Bible, especially in the Old Testament, great emphasis is placed on God’s presence among His immigrant people and today we have a great opportunity to make the words of Jesus a reality... “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35).
Rev Dr Clarence Devadass (Catholic Asian News)
SPRING TRIP (CHINA & VIETNAM) Date: 28 March - 4 April (8 days) Fee: RM3,000/- only Itinerary: - Nanning (ASEAN) - Hanoi (Capital of Vietnam) - boat tour to scenic areas, Natural Halong Bay (Sea Guilin), Detian Waterfall (largest waterfall in Asia) - North Sea (Guangxi) - natural beach (silver & golden) - Attending Mass at St Michael’s Catholic Church. Closing date: 23 January For more details, please contact: Joseph Chong (Mobile: 016-8081216)
ANTHONY YAP NYUK SIONG whom the Lord called to rest on 5 January 1995
LUCY NGUI LUK YU whom the Lord called to rest on 10 March 2008
Sadly missed by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
Conversion of St Paul
It’s 2013! Let us give this year back to God by being obedient to his Word and following his ways. We can do this by loving him and others the way he wants us to. Aunty Jo
The visit of the Magi
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures andOnpresented giftsthey of gold andchild of incense and of myrrh. coming tohim thewith house, saw the with his 2:11 motherMatthew Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. Read Matthew 2:1-12. Matthew 2:11 (NIV)
Paul was born at Tarsus in Cilicia (Turkey) lived around the time of Jesus but never met Him. Paul was first called Saul. As a young man, he was a very bright student of the Hebrew religion. He was a Pharisee and a tent-maker by trade. Y W A Y L X P H C H H M Q D H He hated the Christians. When he grew older he tortured and K N N T Y I G R Q V O E G M B harassed the followers of Jesus. He even helped at the stoning of W I U A W C N N I R U W R Y R St. Stephen the martyr. O V N R T E A C H E R S R O G One day, Paul was on his way to the city of Damascus to hunt down more Christians. Suddenly, a great light shone all around him R W Q G X T R V E K S A O M D and he was knocked to the ground. He was struck blind; and he S O M C H R I S T N M T E K E heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” H R O V B G H V L M S H S O H Saul answered, “Who are you, Sir?” And the voice said, “I am I S T Y L O O U G I E E H C Q Jesus, the one you are persecuting.” Saul was shocked and confused. P H H U A D U O B L E B R Y J After a few seconds, he asked, “What do you want me to do?” Jesus told him to continue on to Damascus and there he would be told E I E Y Z V S E H N M A G I D what to do. D P R O N Y E T V A E G H L Q At that moment, through the power of God, Saul received the G B O R N H E E A S T R I B T gift to believe in Jesus. Weak and trembling, he reached out for T P B K F B G A V E R H W C E help and his companions led him into Damascus. The light had P M W I C I N E J Y C S T A R blinded him temporarily. Now that he was blind he could really ‘see’ the truth. M M B Q D D L V M V T X L X Y And Jesus had come personally to meet him, to invite him to PRIESTS MYRRH BETHLEHEM KING CHRIST BETHLEHEM EAST INCENSE MOTHER STAR conversion. Saul became a great lover of Jesus. He was baptized GOD CHILD HOUSE INCENSE MARY BORN GOD MYRRH TEACHERS MOTHER and changed his name to Paul to show that he was a changed STAR KING MAGI TEACHERS WORSHIP WORSHIPED SEARCH BORN CHILD HEROD MAGI EAST PRIESTS WORSHIPED HEROD person. Now he thought only of helping everyone know and love CHRIST HOUSE MARY SEARCH WORSHIP Jesus, the Savior. We know Saul by his Roman name of Paul. He is called ‘the apostle’. He traveled all over the world, preaching the Good News Copyright © Sermons 4 Kids, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • www.sermons4kids.com and led so many people to Jesus. He worked and suffered. His enemies tried to kill him several times but nothing could stop And he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” him. When he was old and tired, he was once again put in prison Luke 4:21 and sentenced to die. Still St. Paul was happy to suffer and even die for Christ. Read Luke 4:14-21. This great apostle wrote wonderful letters to the Christians. They Look at the numbered clues, determine the correct word, are in the Bible. These letters, called epistles, are read often during and write the word in the spiral puzzle. the Liturgy of the Word at Mass. Each numbered square will begin a new word. We celebrate his feast day on 25 January. Colour the picture. Find the words of the passage in the wordsearch puzzle below. The puzzle is based on Matthew 2:1-12 (NIV). Then, colour the picture.
Jesus in the synagogue
Christmas Colouring Contest The winners for the Christmas Colouring Contest are:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Unable to see The opposite of bad Information about recent events or happenings; previously unknown information To deliver a sermon Enjoying personal liberty: not subject to the control of another Having little or no wealth and few or no possessions BLIND FREE GOOD NEWS POOR PREACH
VICTORIA AVIRA ANAK RIPIT, 12, Kpg Segubang, Bau STANISLAUS TING CHUAN FU, 12, Kuching FAUSTINA LIEW, 10, Batu Kawa HARRIS KUEH REN JIN, 11, Kuching JESSE LIEW JIA HUI, 12, Batu Kawa FELICIA SII, 7, Kuching CONGRATULATIONS! Please collect your prizes at Today’s Catholic office (Next to Carmelite Chapel) 118, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, 93000 Kuching Tel: 082-231164
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
KOTA KINABALU — With the theme “ The Walk To Emmaus” (Lk 24:13-35), Kuching Young Christian Student (KYCS) under the care of Kuching Archdiocesan Youth Commission (KAYC) in collaboration with Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd Sabah organised the first Exposure Immersion Programme on 11-18 November in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. This exposure programme was to create awareness on issues such as Poverty, Families and Media in Kota Kinabalu to enable the YCS to see and reflect on the issues so that they can act to apply accordingly and appropriately to the local context. Following the YCS methodology “SEE, JUDGE, ACT”, seven student leaders from different schools and two animators stayed for four days and three nights with their foster families in Kpg Pukak, which was a three hour journey from Kota Kinabalu. Then they went through Theological Reflection by Dominic Lim from Human Development Commission under Sacred Heart Cathedral. The Commission would like to thank the schools, parents and all benefactors who have prayed and generously contributed to the success of the programme. Below are testimonies from the delegates: “I think what God is trying to tell me throughout these experiences is that I should appreciate my parents, my siblings and my friends more. No matter how hard things get, he is always with me. I now know that everything happens for a reason. I want to understand him more. I want to be a better daughter, a better friend, a better Christian. I know God loves me and he will never leave me no matter what as long as I put him in the centre of my life. “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (Jn 14:12).” ~ Adela Marcella “Since young, I always felt inferior to others and that I was not good enough, especially when I was with my dad. When he passed away, I was devastated for not being able to show him my achievements anymore. However, meeting my host family and the experience of the kampong lifestyle made me realise that I should stop putting myself down. I need to be thankful for everything I had and have done. God made us all perfect in His image. Yet, at the same time, he made us all imperfect with some being better off than others. We need to realize this concept of perfect imperfections and be grateful for what we have and everything we were given. We shouldn’t be afraid of people passing judgment because as long as we do everything with God with us, how can we go wrong? As St Paul says “If God is for us, who could be against us?” (Rom 8:31). ~ Jay Lee
“Then it struck me; the sacrifices one is willing to make for another out of love. This reminded me of my parents who, did not only say it but showed it everyday in the things they did; work, driving me here and there and worrying about me. Through this experience, I realized the importance of loving parents in everyone’s life. Since my dad has a medical condition, it dawned on me that every moment should be cherished because there would be a time where he will no longer be around. Though as individuals, we live differently and face different problems, love is something we are all familiar with, be it from our parents, friends or even strangers. And what greater love is there than God’s love. “God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that those who believe in him may not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). Truly, his love for us is unfathomable. Even though our parents will not be around forever but God will always be with us.” ~ Anselm Adrian “Throughout the whole trip, I learnt a great deal of life lessons. I have learnt to be a better person as a Christian by applying the ministry of presence to those who are in need of someone by their side just as the Lord says He will in Psalm 23:4-5, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” This trip is an eye-opening experience that is beyond amazing. I am very grateful to be blessed with the opportunity to join this wonderful programme. I also thank God for those who joined this programme and journeyed together with me through thick and thin while experiencing God’s love. “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 Jn 4:16). ~ Emily Yeo “I realised that God is working in every possible way. Without God in my life, I would not be who I am today. I can feel that God is testing me because he knows everything about me. It is just like Abraham when God asked him to kill his son Isaac. All in all, this programme has opened my eyes and gave me new perspective in life. I hope that this EIP will continue to open the hearts of youngsters for the years to come.” ~ Shearer Alan “I think God is trying to tell me that I should learn to cope with everything I have in my life and to appreciate everyone who has walked into my life because people walk into my life for a reason. The second thing is that I should learn to do things with love and care because all the little things we do might not be a big deal to us but it can be more than just a gesture to others. This amazing experience has helped me appreciate all the little moments in life and... (cont’d next page)
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
KUCHING — Pada 15 Disember yang lalu, bertempat di sebuah hotel tempatan telah diadakan satu majlis jamuan makan malam bagi meraikan ulangtahun K.A.Y.A. yang ke-20 (K.A.Y.A. 20th Anniversary Dinner with Friends and Families), dengan bertemakan “I have come in order that you may have life – life to the fullest” (Jn 10:10). Seramai 570 orang bekas graduan K.A.Y.A. yang pertama hingga kedua puluh telah bersama menghadirkan diri serta berkumpul bagi meraikan majlis pada malam tersebut.
everyone around me. I learned that I should always be there and be more understanding towards my friends and family. “For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angles nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below-there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39). ~ Tiffany Chai
Majlis tersebut turut diserikan lagi dengan kehadiran Archbishop Datuk John Ha, Msgr William Sabang, para paderi, seminarian serta biarawati. turut serta dalam majlis tersebut juga ialah wakil-wakil gereja, ibubapa serta rakan-rakan bekas graduan K.A.Y.A. Antara acara yang telah dijalankan ialah tayang video, nyanyian suara emas daripada Rev. Fr. Felix Au selaku pengerusi KAYC, perkongsian khas daripada bekas graduan KAYA dan bapa kepada graduan K.A.YA. Acara kemuncak majlis makan malam tersebut ialah acara pemotongan kek. Majlis diakhiri dengan doa serta pemberkatan oleh Archbishop Datuk John Ha. Vallencia Mae
“I think God is trying to tell me through these experiences that He wants me to be responsible, to be a good example to my younger siblings, to be strong at heart and in faith. Through YCS (Young Christian Students), my faith has really grown. I believe that hope is still there and that I will get to see my late father again one day for it is said, “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (Jn 16:22). ~ Nicholas Ngu
Reported by Kuching Archdiocesan Youth Commission
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
Ketepikan panggilan dan teks dan semua gangguan dari jalan raya Oleh Karen Osborne Ibu saya, yang bekerja sebagai seorang pengarah pendidikan agama, hendak pulang selepas pertemuan sebuah kumpulan remaja di parokinya tidak lama lalu apabila dia mendengar seorang gadis menangis di luar dewan. Gadis itu telah menghantar teks pesanan ringkas kepada rakannya Deanna, yang menunggang kereta bersama teman lelakinya dan dua rakan lain selepas menonton satu perlawanan bola keranjang kolej. Segalanya seperti biasa sahaja. Ia adalah malam Sabtu yang tipikal. Tiba-tiba, teks pesanan terhenti. Kemudian dia mendengar berita: sebuah kereta telah melanggar belakang kenderaan utiliti sukan (SUV) rakanrakannya di lebuh raya. Polis Negeri New York kemudian berkata SUV itu bergolek beberapa kali dan melanggar sebatang pokok, menyebabkan rakannya terkorban. Saya tidak dapat berhenti memikirkan tentang cerita gadis itu, terutamanya kerana saya faham apa yang sedang dialaminya. Saya berada di sebuah kedai kraftangan untuk membeli barang untuk membuat buku skrap bagi perkahwinan rakan karib saya Tovah. Telefon saya berdering. Ia adalah ibu Tovah, yang memberitahu saya Tovah maut dalam satu nahas kereta. Saya tidak dapat berjalan. Saya tidak dapat bercakap. Saya terjatuh longlai di atas lantai di tengah kedai lalu menangis. Saya mengingati waktu itu ketika saya mendengar tentang kisah gadis itu. Dua orang maut di lebuh raya itu
pada malam itu: Deanna Rivers dan Chris Stewart, dua pelajar senior sekolah tinggi dengan masa depan yang cerah. Mereka telah merancang untuk pergi ke kolej. Mereka baharu sahaja meraikan ulang tahun mereka dengan ‘mozzarella sticks’ dan aiskrim. Sepatutnya mereka menghadiri lebih banyak lagi perlawanan bola keranjang, ulang tahun lain, keramaian lain, sambutan, graduasi, kegembiraan, kesedihan dan hari-hari cerah. Saya sedih untuk memikirkan bahawa semua itu sudah berakhir sekarang. Tragedi seperti itu menyentuh saya. Bila saya memasuki kereta saya, fikiran saya tidak selalunya memberi tumpuan kepada jalan. Fikiran saya berkeliaran. Saya mula memikirkan tentang perkara lain. Kadang-kala, saya lupa bahawa
saya tidak sepatutnya menghantar teks pesanan ketika memandu dan berbuat demikian. Kadang-kala saya lewat sampai ke tempat kerja, dan saya mula memecut, sambil cuba mewajarkan tindakan saya. “Ia tidak apa,” kata saya. “Saya akan melakukannya sekali ini sahaja. Betul?” Salah. Pemandu kenderaan yang melanggar SUV Chris Stewart menjalani ujian nafas. Ia menunjukkan dia ada arak dalam badannya tetapi tidak cukup untuk melayakkannya dikenakan dakwaan memandu dalam keadaan mabuk. Polis sedang menyiasat apa yang berlaku pada malam itu. Kita mungkin tidak akan tahu. Pemandu itu mungkin telah terganggu, menghantar teks pesanan ringkas, atau letih.
Membaca mengenai Chris dan Deanna mengingatkan saya bahawa memandu kereta adalah lebih daripada sekadar satu upacara keremajaan. Ia adalah satu tanggungjawab. Ia adalah tanggungjawab yang dituntut setiap kali kita memasuki kunci kereta. Kita tidak perlu lulus ujian memandu sekali. Anda perlu lulus ujian memandu setiap kali anda memasuki kereta, demi keselamatan anda dan keselamatan orang lain di jalan raya. Memandu ketika mabuk boleh membunuh. Memandu ketika keletihan boleh membunuh. Menghantar teks pesanan ketika memandu boleh membunuh. Memandu ketika terganggu boleh membunuh. Saya tahu ia sukar untuk mengingati perkara ini ketika kita masih remaja, terutamanya apabila kita pertama kali merasai kebebasan yang dijanjikan oleh permit belajar. Namun lain kali apabila anda memandu kereta, ingat Chris dan Deanna. Ketepikan telefon. Teks dan panggilan boleh menunggu. Berikan kunci kepada orang lain jika anda terlalu letih, atau jika anda baharu sahaja meneguk arak. Jangan memandu laju. Jangan sekali-sekali. Jika rakan anda mengganggu tumpuan anda ketika anda memandu, suruh mereka berhenti atau hentikan kereta sehingga mereka menutup mulut. Saya tidak mahu orang lain yang menerima panggilan telefon itu. CNS (Terjemahan)
Melihat kebaikan yang kita miliki tanpa rasa terlalu bangga Bukan kanak-kanak sahaja yang keliru apabila mereka dimaklumkan bahawa mereka sepatutnya berbangga dengan kerja mereka tetapi kemudian mendapati merasa bangga adalah satu dosa. Orang dewasa juga ada masalah yang sama. Bagaimanakah sesuatu nilai itu boleh dianggap sebagai dosa? Bukan sahaja dosa, tetapi No. 1 dalam senarai dosa-dosa yang boleh membawa maut. Kita melihat slogan ‘The Few. The Proud. The Marines’ (Segelintir. Yang Bangga. Anggota Marin) dan “kemegahan mendahului kejatuhan”. Sebahagian daripada kekeliruan itu adalah Bahasa Inggeris menggunakan perkataan yang sama bagi kedua-dua idea: menyedari kita telah menjalankan kerja dengan baik dan memiliki sikap “aku, aku, aku”. Mencari makna perkataan kebanggaan dalam kamus Inggeris memburukkan lagi kekeliruan. Kebanggaan digambarkan sebagai “kualiti atau keadaan bangga: rasa yakin diri yang melampau (bongkak)” atau “sikap menghormati diri yang munasabah atau sewajarnya” atau “kegembiraan atau keseronokan yang timbul daripada beberapa tindakan, harta milik atau perhubungan (seperti
Oleh Bill dan Monica Dodds
kebanggaan ibu bapa)”. Namun tunggu, ada lagi. Ia juga digambarkan dalam kamus sebagai “layanan atau tingkah laku yang sombong atau hina, atau terlalu menunjuk-nunjuk”. Nampaknya kamus tidak banyak membantu kita. Kemegahan adalah satu perkataan yang memiliki banyak takrifan yang bercanggah. Dalam glosari Katekisme Gereja Katolik, kita diberitahu kemegahan (kesombongan) adalah satu daripada tujuh dosa besar. Kesombongan adalah “rasa yakin diri atau sayang diri yang tidak sewajarnya, yang menuntut perhatian dan penghormatan dan mengasingkan kita untuk bersaing dengan Tuhan”. Apakah yang disebut oleh sumber
sama mengenai kerendahan hati? Ia adalah “nilai di mana orang Kristian mengakui bahawa Tuhan adalah sumber segala kebaikan”. Kerendahan hati “mengelak cita-cita atau kemegahan yang melampau, dan menjadi asas untuk berpaling kepada Tuhan dalam doa”. Ia juga berkata, “Merendahkan hati secara sukarela boleh digambarkan sebagai ‘kemiskinan roh’.” Bagaimanakah kita menterjemahkan semua itu bagi diri kita sendiri? Bagaimanakah kita membantu anak-anak kita untuk mempelajarinya? Lebih sukar lagi, bagaimanakah seseorang itu dapat menanganinya? Kami mahu anak-anak kita, tidak kira berapa usia mereka, untuk memiliki
kebanggaan yang sihat dan suci. Mereka dicipta oleh Tuhan dan segala yang dicipta oleh Tuhan adalah bagus. Pada waktu yang sama, kita mahu mereka memiliki kerendahan hati yang ikhlas walaupun jika mereka sangat berbakat serta memajukan dan menggunakan bakat itu menurut kehendak Tuhan. Mungkin kuncinya adalah kejujuran. Kita dapat mengiktiraf dengan sejujurnya bahawa kita adalah bagus dan boleh melakukan perkara baik. Untuk mengiktiraf perkara itu dengan jujur bukan bermakna kita lebih bagus, atau lebih mulia, berbanding orang lain. Ya, kita mungkin lebih bagus dalam perkara itu atau ini tetapi kita mungkin telah diberi bakat dalam bidang itu dan menggunakannya. Kebanggaan yang sihat dan kerendahan hati yang jujur bermakna kita mengiktiraf bahawa bakat itu, besar atau kecil, adalah anugerah yang diberikan oleh Tuhan dan bila kita menggunakannya menurut kehendak Tuhan, kita juga adalah anakanak yang dikasihi-Nya dan sangat menggembirakan-Nya. Nampaknya Bapa kita di Syurga juga memiliki kebanggaan seorang bapa. — CNS (Terjemahan)
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
IMAN DAN HIDUP
MIGRASI: ZIARAH IMAN DAN HARAPAN
Aku orang asing dan kamu menyambut aku
Sejak 1914, Gereja Katolik sudah menetapkan satu hari pada Januari setiap tahun untuk memperingati pendatang dan pelarian. Pada tahun ini Hari Pendatang dan Pelarian Ke99 diraikan pada 13 Januari, dengan tema ‘Migrasi: ziarah iman dan harapan’. Sempena hari itu, Ministri Migran Legio Maria akan menyampaikan siri artikel dalam Today’s Catholic yang mengetengahkan isu-isu pendatang dan pelarian. Suasana burung migrasi di langit adalah sesuatu yang menakjubkan. Berapa ramaikah daripada kita yang pernah melihat ke atas dengan kagum dan menatap bentuk v yang menakjubkan ketika mereka terbang dalam bentuk yang seakan-akan mudah melintasi langit yang terbuka luas? Lama selepas burung tidak kelihatan lagi, apa yang tinggal dalam ingatan kita adalah visi yang cantik. Namun demikian di sebalik visi yang cantik itu juga ada gambaran yang suram – realiti kehidupan dan kematian yang sukar – di mana hanya mereka yang kuat akan hidup dan yang lemah akan lenyap. Demikian juga, apabila individu membuat keputusan untuk berhijrah ke negara lain untuk mencari kehidupan lebih baik, ia adalah dengan kepercayaan bahawa “rumput
lebih hijau di seberang sana”. Mereka ada visi sebuah “bumi yang penuh dengan susu dan madu”. Mereka mula mengimpikan kehidupan yang penuh dengan kegembiraan, kejayaan dan kekayaan. Namun hanya masa sahaja yang menunggu sebelum impian mereka berkecai – mereka mendapati diri ditipu sehingga gaji tidak diberi, mereka mendapati diri berada dalam tangan majikan yang tidak bertanggungjawab, mereka mendapati diri bekerja dalam waktu yang lama dan meletihkan tanpa banyak waktu rehat, mereka mendapati diri hidup dalam keadaan yang sesak dan buruk… tetapi ia adalah takdir yang mereka terima juga lambat-laun kerana mereka tiada pilihan lain dan kerana mereka perlu menghantar wang sedikit yang mereka perolehi ke negara asal kerana keluarga mereka bergantung kepadanya.
Mereka kemudian membuat keputusan yang memeritkan untuk menyembunyikan keadaan sebenar mereka daripada keluarga dan ahli tersayang. Mereka tidak mahu ahli keluarga di kampung bimbang mengenai mereka. Mereka mahu ahli tersayang terus percaya bahawa rumput memang lebih hijau di seberang sana. Jika anda pernah pergi ke tempat di mana anda tidak mengenali sesiapa, anda tahu betapa sukarnya keadaan. Kesepian dan pengasingan boleh memberi laluan kepada rasa kecewa dan keputusasaan. Perbuatan dialu-alukan oleh manusia lain, menemui satu muka yang ramah di tengah lautan manusia yang kita tidak kenali boleh menyelamatkan hidup kita. Pendatang – sama ada sah atau tidak – sudah menyerap diri ke dalam masyarakat tempatan. Kita menemui mereka setiap hari – pekerja restoran, pembantu
rumah, pekerja kilang, pekerja ladang dan sebagainya. Kita juga melihat mereka di paroki kita. Kehadiran mereka memberi peluang yang amat baik kepada paroki tempatan untuk menghulurkan hospitaliti dan kebaikan hati yang mereka mungkin tidak alami di tempat kerja.
~Pope Benedict XVI (Perutusan 2013 bagi Hari Pendatang dan Pelarian Sedunia)
dari pena penulis jemputan,
Fr Lazarus Swinie
di mana apabila para gembala memaklumkan kepada bonda Maria apa yang telah diperkatakan oleh malaikat kepada mereka, “Maria menyimpan segala perkara itu di dalam hati dan merenungkannya” (Lk. 2:19). Pada bacaan Injil semasa pesta Keluarga Kudus pula menceritakan bahawa apabila Maria mendengar sendiri dari Yesus akan pengakuan-Nya semasa menjumpai Yesus yang tertinggal di Yerusalem, “Maria menyimpan semua perkara itu di dalam hatinya” (Lk. 2:51b). Kedua-dua peristiwa di atas menunjukkan bahawa bonda Maria sangat mengambil berat
Foto: CNS tentang firman Tuhan. Beliau memberi masa yang secukupnya untuk merenungkan apa yang Tuhan ingin perkatakan kepadanya dan juga memberi peluang kepada Tuhan untuk bekerja di dalam diri. Kerjasama yang diberikannya kepada Tuhan menjadikan bonda Maria sebagai model kepada kita. Apa yang telah dialami oleh bonda Maria juga berlaku kepada kita pada setiap hari, Jika bonda Maria menerima firman Tuhan melalui pengelaman para gembala kita pula menerima firman Tuhan melalui Alkitab
Rev Dr Clarence Devadass (Terjemahan)
“Iman dan harapan tidak dapat dipisahkan dalam hati ramai pendatang, yang amat mengidamkan kehidupan yang lebih baik dan sering cuba meninggalkan “keputusasaan” masa depan yang tidak memberangsangkan.”
Hati ke hati...
Bonda Maria adalah model kehidupan dalam Kristus. Bonda Maria layak menjadi model bukan kerana beliau adalah ibu kepada Yesus sebab apabila terdapat seorang wanita berkata kepada Yesus, “Alangkah bahagianya wanita yang melahirkan dan menyusukan kamu!”, Yesus menjawab, “Lebih bahagia lagi orang yang mendengar firman Allah dan melakukannya” (LK. 11:27 – 28). Bagaimanakah bonda Maria menjadi model bagi kita? Dalam bacaan Injil pada hari kebesaran Maria, Bonda Allah kita telah diberitahu
Kita juga menyedari bahawa demografi di paroki kita sedang berubah dan kita perlu mencari jalan untuk menyahut realiti baharu ini – cara di mana pendatang akan merasa dialu-alukan dan mengalami kasih Tuhan menerusi kita. Dalam Al-Kitab, terutamanya Perjanjian Lama, penekanan tinggi diberikan kepada kehadiran Tuhan di kalangan bangsa pendatangNya dan hari ini kita ada peluang yang tinggi untuk menjadikan kata-kata Yesus satu realiti… “Kerana Aku lapar dan kamu memberi-Ku makanan, Aku haus dan kamu memberi Aku minuman, Aku orang asing dan kamu menyambut Aku” (Mt 25:35).
dan jika bonda Maria menjadi saksi apa yang berlaku ketika menemui Yesus di Yerusalem kita juga dapat menyaksikan kebaikan Tuhan melalui peristiwa di kehidupan seharian kita. Walau pun demikian, pernahkah kita merenungkan firman Tuhan tersebut? Pernahkah kita menyimpan di dalam hati dan merenungkan firman Tuhan yang kita dengar dan baca dari Alkitab atau pengelaman dalam kehidupan seharian kita seperti yang bonda Maria telah lakukan? Firman Tuhan adalah firman
yang menghidupkan. Apabila Firman Tuhan dibacakan atau sesuatu peristiwa berlaku di dalam kehidupan kita, kita patut memberi masa yang secukupnya untuk merenungkannya. Dengan cara demikian kita memberi peluang kepada Tuhan untuk bercakap dengan kita. Masalah yang paling rumit bagi sesetangah kita ialah kita lebih suka bercakap daripada mendengar. Secara tidak langsung kita gagal untuk memahami apakah mesej yang Tuhan ingin sampaikan kepada kita. Lebih-lebih lagi apabila kita berdoa. Memandangkan doa adalah bercakap dengan Tuhan kita mengambil peluang untuk bercakap dengan panjanglebar sehingga Tuhan tidak berpeluang untuk menjawab doa permohonan kita melalui firman-Nya. Berilah peluang bagi Tuhan untuk bercakap di dalam hati kita dengan merenungkan firman-Nya. Foto: google Fr Lazarus Swinie
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
Ikrar untuk menyebut doa Pesta St Stephen da Martha 2012 Rosari setiap hari menarik 80,000 peserta
KOTA PADAWAN — Komiti Gereja Taman (KGT) St Stephen da Martha yang merangkumi Taman Cahaya & Taman Perwira Landeh telah merayakan Ulang Tahun Pertama Hari Pesta St Stephen da Martha pada 8 Disember lepas di taman berkenaan. Father Moses Yap merayakan Misa Kudus pada hari itu bersama jemaat yang tinggal di kawasan berhampiran. Jemaat dari taman berdekatan turut dijemput sama. Selepas Misa Kudus, satu majlis jamuan persaudaraan telah diadakan. Sesi karaoke turut diadakan untuk memenuhi program yang telah disusun. Menurut Pengerusi KGT merangkap pengerusi pengelola, Lawrence Jampang, aktiviti julung kali itu dikira berjaya dianjurkan oleh komiti taman dengan adanya semangat kerjasama yang erat. Beliau turut berharap agar pada tahun depan (2013),
SELAMAT ULANGTAHUN … Acara pemotongan kek ulangtahun oleh para hadirin bersama dengan Fr Moses Yap majlis dapat dianjurkan dengan lebih sempurna dan meriah lagi. Sebanyak 15 buah keluarga dari Taman Cahaya dan Taman Perwira Landeh menganggotai KGT itu. Fr Moses Yap dalam ucapannya mengingatkan jemaat agar mengekalkan suasana harmoni dan mengadakan aktiviti seperti melibatkan diri
dalam Doa Rosari dan Pesta Peringkat Taman agar mereka dapat meneruskan kehidupan penuh keimanan dalam Kristus Tuhan. Turut hadir adalah Penyelaras KGT Paroki St Ann, Raymond Deni dan beberapa pengerusi KGT berdekatan. Sumbangan
Parti Pra-Krismas Kanak-kanak dan Sambutan Krismas di Gereja St Mark Kpg Rukam
LUNDU — Pada 15 Disember lalu, rombongan yang terdiri daripada 14 ahli Catholic Nurses Guild, 22 belia Catholic Youth Movement dan jemaat paroki Holy Spirit, Lundu turut memeriahkan parti PraKrismas Kanak-kanak di Gereja St Mark Kpg Rukam anjuran Paroki Holy Spirit. Program bermula dengan karoling bersama kanak-kanak yang diraikan. Pemberkatan aktiviti disempurnakan oleh Father Lazarus Swinie yang turut memeriahkan parti. Seterusnya Pengerusi Gereja St Mark memberi ucapan alu-aluan. Selain makanan yang dihidangkan, hadirin turut diraikan dengan acara sukaneka di mana dua acara dipertandingkan iaitu kerusi berirama dan ‘statue dance’ dan sebaik saja acara tersebut selesai, Katekis Roland Dominic diberi penghormatan untuk
Foto: Holy Cross Family Ministries BOSTON, Massachusetts — Lebih 80,000 orang berikrar untuk menyebut doa Rosari setiap hari, dan nama-nama mereka telah direkodkan dalam sebuah buku yang disampaikan kepada Pope Benedict XVI. Presiden Holy Cross Family Ministries di Massachusetts, Father John Phalen, CSC menyampaikan sebuah buku yang merekodkan ikrar mereka kepada Bapa Suci pada Disember lalu semasa kongres antarabangsa ‘Ecclesia in America’ di Vatikan. Buku itu mengandungi nama mereka dari seluruh dunia yang telah berikrar untuk menyebut doa Rosari setiap hari. Rosari Keluarga, satu pelayanan dalam Holy Cross Family Ministries, meraikan ulang tahun ke-70 pada 2012. Ia mengumpul ikrar-ikrar berkenaan sebagai sebahagian daripada kempen untuk mengedar rosari percuma kepada mereka yang bersetuju untuk menyebut doa Rosari setiap hari. Ramai peserta berikrar untuk menyebut doa Rosari bersama keluarga mereka. Ministri itu meminta peserta dalam kempen itu supaya berdoa untuk keamanan sejajar
dengan keinginan Perawan Maria. Mereka digalakkan untuk mempamerkan kad ikrar di rumah mereka sebagai peringatan terhadap janji mereka. Kempen rosari itu dimulakan pada 1991 oleh pengasas Rosari Keluarga, ‘Servant of God’ Fr Patrick Peyton, CSC. Fr. Peyton, dikenali sebagai ‘Paderi Rosari’, menggunakan ungkapan yang terkenal “keluarga yang berdoa bersama, kekal bersama”. Beliau mendapat inspirasi daripada bapanya sendiri yang mengumpulkan keluarganya untuk berdoa setiap malam. Fr Peyton menubuhkan Rosari Keluarga pada 1942 untuk membantu keluarga menerusi doa. Beliau merupakan salah seorang paderi paling berpengaruh di Amerika pada abad ke-20 dan merintis penginjilan Katolik dalam radio, filem, televisyen dan papan iklan. Beliau meninggal dunia pada 1992 dan sedang dipertimbangkan sebagai calon orang kudus atau santo. CNA/EWTN News (Terjemahan)
TERUJA … Kanak-kanak melibatkan diri dalam acara kerusi berirama menyampaikan hadiah kepada pemenang. Kemuncak aktiviti pada petang itu adalah pemberian hadiah-hadiah Krismas oleh Santa Claus dan Santa Rina kepada lebih seratus kanakkanak, termasuk mereka yang tidak mendaftar diri.
Sebelum rombongan berangkat pulang, hadirin dijemput untuk minum petang bersama kanak-kanak dan jemaat tempatan. Rombongan berangkat balik ke Lundu jam 4.30 petang. Sumbangan
Van bersama pemandu diperlukan segera untuk disewa Untuk menghantar kanak-kanak dari Sejingkat ke sekolah di Kuching pada waktu pagi dan pulang selepas tengah hari dari Isnin hingga Jumaat dalam van dengan 12 atau 15 tempat duduk. Sila hubungi:Fr Albert Jacobse (016-8161914)
80 TAHUN LAMANYA ... Semasa perayaan Misa yang dirayakan oleh Friar Gerard Victor sempena ulang tahun ke-80 Chapel Sante Francis Xavier, Kampung Seratau, jemaat telah menyaksikan tiga orang calon baharu diangkat menjadi PraKatekumen. Dalam homilinya, Friar Gerard Victor menyeru agar mereka menjalani kehidupan dalam iman sebagai orang Katolik dan mengutamakan Yesus dalam segala hal. Jemaat yang hadir juga diseru untuk sam-sama membantu dan membimbing mereka. Selesai Misa, jemaat ‘bipajak’ bersama Friar Gerard Victor.
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
CATHOLIC today’s THE TEAM Dari meja pengarang
Mari kita pergi bersama!
Saya menulis karangan ini pada hari perayaan ‘Epiphany’ yang menandakan penutupan rasmi musim Krismas, dan satu perkataan menyentuh saya dari homili paderi: pengembaraan. ‘Epiphany’ bermaksud kemunculan. Ia juga bermaksud satu kesedaran mengejut tentang sesuatu kebenaran yang begitu mendalam. Kesedaran ini sering kali muncul kepada kita di sepanjang perjalanan, bukan sahaja di palungan matlamat kita. Ketiga-tiga orang bijaksana berkenaan sama-sama mengembara
ke tempat yang jauh untuk mencari Raja Segala Raja dan keyakinan mereka terus berkembang walaupun menghadapi rintangan. Semoga kita juga pada Tahun Iman ini sama-sama mengembara dengan yakin, dan dengan iman yang teguh mempersembahkan pemberian termasuk kelemahan dan kegagalan kita. Marilah kita membantu satu sama lain mencarinya. Selamat menyambut 2013 yang berkat! Stella Chin (Terjemahan)
PENERBIT Uskup Agung Kuching PENASIHAT Fr Richard Ng EDITOR Stella Chin EDITOR BERSEKUTU (B Cina) Magdalene Yeo SIDANG EDITOR Freddy Bohari (BM) Martha Ngui (B Inggeris) Victoria J Lim (Halaman Kanak-kanak B Inggeris) James Lo (B Cina) Simon Lo (B Cina) Margaret Bong (Halaman Kanak-kanak B Cina) HALAMAN BELIA Benedict JC Lo STAF Audrey Yu
Hari membahagiakan bagi kanak-kanak desa BUNAN — Pada 21 Disember, 500 kanak-kanak dari 23 kampung dalam paroki kecil Tebedu menyertai keramaian Krismas kanakkanak di Gereja Holy Cross. Keramaian Krismas itu berlangsung selama lima jam dengan banyak kegiatan di mana kanak-kanak dan ibu bapa amat seronok sekali. Mgsr William Sabang, presiden Kelab Lion, Andrew Gann dan ahli-ahlinya turut serta untuk memeriahkan lagi sambutan. Dalam ucapannya, Sr Rowena Patrick SSFS berkata kanak-kanak boleh dipupuk untuk menyedari panggilan Tuhan dalam pengalaman kehidupan harian. Sr Perpetua Nyarung SSFS pula menggesa ibu bapa agar menggalakkan panggilan dalam keluarga masing-masing. Belia, guru Liturgi Kanakkanak, kakitangan dan katekis Zon Tebedu, menghiburkan kanak-kanak dengan permainan yang menghiburkan. Persembahan kebudayaan yang disampaikan oleh pelbagai kumpulan serta pemberian hadiah Krismas
MERIAH SEKALI … Kanak-kanak turut serta dalam persembahan nyanyian dan bungkusan gula-gula yang dan Fr Jerome menyuarakan ditajakan oleh Kelab Lion kesyukuran mereka kepada diadakan pada hujung majlis. Majlis Paroki St Joseph, Pada penutupan majlis, Msgr Catholic Welfare Services dan William Sabang memuji jemaat Kuching Lion’s Club di atas paroki, kumpulan bersekutu, Fr bantuan mereka untuk mengatur Jerome Juleng dan semua di atas keramaian Krismas kanakkerja sama dan sokongan mereka kanak itu dalam zon Bunan di untuk menjayakan majlis yang empat venue: Sibeuh, Mentu, bermakna itu. Terbat dan Mapu. Beliau juga kagum dengan Sekitar 2000 kanak-kanak kepesatan pertumbuhan paroki dari zon-zon Bunan dapat kecil itu dan iman jemaat yang mengalami kegembiraan berkembang, dan mengucapkan Krismas menerusi majlis yang selamat Krismas dan Tahun diadakan seperti itu. Baharu 2013 kepada semua. Fr Berchmans CMF Jemaat Paroki Bunan-Tebedu (Terjemahan)
Surat Pope pada zaman kanak-kanak kepada Yesus Si Bayi menunjukkan iman beliau JERMAN — Sepucuk surat Krismas yang ditulis oleh Pope Benedict XVI kepada Yesus Si Bayi ketika beliau berusia tujuh tahun menunjukkan kebaktiannya kepada Hati Kudus dan keinginannya untuk menjadi seorang paderi. Surat itu dipamerkan pada musim Advent tahun lepas di perkampungan Marktl am Inn di Bavaria di mana beliau dilahirkan. “Wahai Yesus Si Bayi, datanglah cepat ke bumi. Kamu akan membawa kegembiraan kepada kanak-kanak. Juga bawa kegembiraan kepadaku,” beliau menulis dalam surat pada 1934. “Aku mahukan sebuah ‘Volks-Schott’ (buku doa Misa), baju hijau untuk Misa (baju paderi)
dan hati Yesus. Saya akan sentiasa baik. Salam daripada Joseph Ratzinger,” beliau menulis dalam tulisan keras bersambung Jerman yang dipanggil Sütterlinschrift. Surat itu, yang ditemui ketika kerja mengubahsuai sebuah rumah yang diduduki Joseph Ratzinger ketika beliau menjadi seorang profesor di Regensburg, diterbitkan pada 18 Disember lalu. Surat itu ditemui dalam estet kakaknya Mary yang menyimpannya selepas rumah Bapa Suci ditukar menjadi sebuah muzium kecil yang diabadikan kepadanya. CNA/EWTN News (Terjemahan)
KUCHING — Sempena harijadi ke-91 Tuan Yang Terutama (TYT) Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin pada 8 September, Yang Mulia Uskup Agung John Ha adalah antara penerima anugerah ‘Darjah Yang Amat Mulia Bintang Sarawak’ yang membawa gelaran ‘Panglima Setia Bintang Sarawak (PSBS). Majlis penganugerahan berlangsung pada 11 Disember lalu di kediaman TYT. Penganugerahan pingat yang membawa gelaran ‘Dato’ itu diberi sebagai pengiktirafan terhadap jasa bakti yang telah disumbangkan oleh Uskup Agung kepada gereja dan jemaat. Setakat ini, tiga orang paderi dalam Keuskupan Agung telah menerima gelaran kehormat ‘Dato’, iaitu Uskup Agung Emeritus Most Rev. Dato Sri Peter Chung, Most Rev. Dato John Ha serta Rev. Dato Lawrence Chua. Bagi pihak semua pembaca dan lembaga pengarang Today’s Catholic, kami mengucapkan tahniah kepada Yang Mulia Uskup Agung di atas penganugerahan ini dan kami berdoa semoga Tuhan sentiasa membimbing dan melindungi pemimpin kita dengan kebijaksanaan dan rahmat.
Jodoh cinta Rumah tangga makcik saya Mary dengan Pakcik Pat merupakan jodoh cinta yang berkembang dari tahun ke tahun. Mereka tidak ada anak, walaupun mereka menginginkan anak, tetapi kasih sayang mereka terhadap satu sama lain mengalir kepada semua orang di sekeliling mereka. Makcik saya berkata ia bermula apabila mereka pertama kali melihat satu sama lain di satu tarian paroki dan kemudian menari bersama. Ketika mereka menari, makcik bertanya kepada pakcik apa pekerjaan pakcik dan pakcik memberitahu makcik, dia seorang tukang kayu, dan makcik saya berfikir kepada diri sendiri, “Mmm! Itu pasti berguna di rumah!” Apa yang pakcik saya fikirkan jauh lebih sukar untuk diketahui, kerana dia pendiam dan tidak banyak bercakap, seperti apa yang berlaku apabila mereka bertemu dengan Paderi Paroki untuk mengatur perkahwinan mereka; paderi bertanya kepada pakcik, “Jadi anda mahu mengahwini Mary Burke?” dan pakcik saya menjawab, “Dia bolehlah!” Namun demikian, lama kelamaan cinta pakcik terhadap makcik semakin mendalam, seperti apa yang saya ingat apabila, bertahuntahun kemudian, makcik saya dimasukkan ke hospital untuk menjalani pembedahan kanser dan saya menemani pakcik pada waktu yang tegang itu. Bila saya menelefon hospital untuk bertanyakan tentang pembedahan itu dan memberitahu pakcik ia berjalan lancer, pakcik bertepuk tangan
dan bersorak dengan linangan air mata – antara beberapa kali saya melihat betapa mendalam perasaannya terhadap Mary. Namun demikian, pembedahan itu tidak berjaya sepenuhnya dan kanser berkenaan menular sekali lagi dan apabila Pakcik Pat menyedari dia akan kehilangan Mary, dia mula longlai dan menua dengan begitu pantas. Akhirnya pakcik mengalami serangan angin ahmar dan meninggal dunia tidak lama kemudian, tetapi saya pasti punca kematiannya bukan serangan angin ahmar tetapi kerana hati yang begitu sedih – dia tidak dapat menghadapi kehidupan tanpa Mary, dia mahu pergi dahulu – makcik saya menyusulinya tidak lama kemudian. Terdapat banyak unsur yang menjadikan rumah tangga mereka begitu hebat sekali – sikap menghormati dan prihatin terhadap satu sama lain, saling mengambil berat tentang orang lain, kesediaan untuk membantu dan menghiburkan ramai pelawat mereka – selain tarikan itu yang pertama kali menarik mata mereka kepada satu sama lain dari seberang dewan tarian bertahun-tahun lalu. Ia tidak pernah pudar sebaliknya berkembang; Makcik Mary agak terbuka mengenai hakikat bahawa bila mereka hendak tidur pada waktu malam, mereka berdoa bersama dan kemudian berpelukan sebelum mereka tidur. Kuasa itu, yang mula-mula menarik mereka kepada satu sama lain, lama kelamaan menarik mereka dengan lebih erat kepada satu sama lain dan perkara yang mendasari cinta mereka yang sentiasa mekar
bersambung dari ms28
Ulang Tahun Kepaderian Ke-40 Uskup Agung John Ha
Pada 1964 Uskup Agung John Ha memulakan tahun novis beliau di De La Salle’s Novitiate di Pulau Pinang selepas beliau menamatkan pendidikan sekolah menengah di Sekolah Menengah St Joseph Kuching. Lapan bulan kemudian beliau melanjutkan pengajian di St Francis’ Minor Seminary di Singapura dan menerima pembentukan seminari di College General Penang pada 1967-1972. Beliau ditahbiskan sebagai diakon pada 19 Disember 1971 dan kemudian seorang paderi pada 14 Disember 1972
oleh Uskup Charles Reiterer. Pada 6 Jun 1998, beliau ditahbis sebagai uskup oleh Uskup Agung Peter Chung. Di antara kebanyakan tauliah Uskup Agung, satu ternyata menonjol. Ia adalah penyerahan sepenuhnya Uskup Agung kepada kehendak Tuhan sehinggakan beliau cukup kental dalam menangani cabaran, seperti apa yang beliau tulis dalam buku cenderamata “Bagaimanakah saya dapat bertahan begitu lama? Hanya ada satu jawapan: Rahmat Tuhan dan kasih-Nya yang setia.” Audrey Yu & Martha Ngui (Terjemahan)
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
adalah tarikan seksual mereka kepada satu sama lain. Tempoh hari, semasa sembahyang Misa, ada satu bacaan daripada St Paul yang memberi amaran tentang penzinaan, ketidaksucian dan maksiat, kerana menurutnya, ia adalah janji-janji kosong. Apabila saya merenungkan bacaan itu, saya menyedari betapa pentingnya untuk kita memiliki sesuatu seperti kisah cinta makcik dan pakcik saya sebagai latar belakang untuk mendengar teks seperti itu dan dengan demikian dapat memahami sebenarnya tentang seksualiti. Jika saya menganggap penzinaan, pornografi dan seumpamanya sebagai “bendabenda”, ia mungkin kelihatan bagi kita sebagai sesuatu seperti “buah-buah larangan” – diinginkan tetapi dilarang – tetapi jika saya melihatnya berlatarbelakangkan kisah cinta yang benar, saya akan melihatnya sebagai kegagalan untuk mengikuti cinta ke tempat di mana ia mahu membawa kita – ia adalah selekoh salah, perkara yang berakhir dengan kehampaan. Sama ada kita berkahwin atau bujang, kasih sayang kita terhadap satu sama lain menemui tenaga dan kuasanya dalam seksualiti kita – tarikan kita kepada orang lain dan ini adalah benar bagi golongan paderi dan religius sama seperti bagi golongan bujang dan orang yang berumah tangga. Tarikan ini ada banyak bentuk: kasih seorang ibu kepada seorang anak, kasih seorang rakan kepada seorang rakan lain atau seorang kekasih kepada kekasihnya, tetapi segalanya
Fr Terry Burke ialah seorang mubaligh Mill Hill yang pernah berkhidmat di Sarawak, Indonesia, India dan England. Buat masa sekarang, beliau adalah pensyarah di Kolej St Peter selain ditugaskan kepada kerja pembentukan di Keuskupan Kuching. Today’s Catholic ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Fr Burke kerana membahagikan renungan dan pengalaman pastoral yang kaya di dalam ruangan ini yang bertajuk Benih-benih Padi.
didasari seksualiti kita – kuasa dan tenaga itu yang selepas akil baligh mengeluarkan kita dari diri kita sendiri dan menuju kepada orang lain. Tanpa seksualiti kita, keprihatinan, kelemahlembutan, kefahaman tidak ada – tiada cinta. Namun demikian, walaupun seksualiti kita yang menggerakkan kita ke dalam cinta, ia tidak berbuat demikian secara automatik – kerana kita biasanya menyedari hanya tentang objek tarikan kita yang segera. Jika kita mahu ia membawa kita ke dalam cinta mendalam itu, yang disanjung oleh lagu-lagu dan dipuja dalam buku-buku, kita mesti melihat bahawa seksualiti juga bercakap mengenai hari esok dan bukan hanya hari ini; ada sesuatu di dalamnya yang mahu pergi lebih jauh daripada waktu sekarang. Jika saya meraikan dan menikmatinya pada malam ini dan pergi esok, saya ditinggalkan dengan abu. Mencintai dan dicintai dengan sebenarnya boleh mencipta kita, meningkatkan kita, memberikan keberanian kepada kita untuk wujud, tetapi untuk dicintai semalam sahaja dan kemudian ditinggalkan boleh mencederakan, memusnahkan dan menghina kita. Bukan buahbuahan larangan tetapi bom jangka yang akan memusnahkan kita suatu hari nanti.
Penulis cerita-cerita ‘Narnia’, C. S. Lewis bercakap mengenai seksualiti kita dan berkata kuasa seksualiti kita adalah kuasa yang akhirnya membawa kita ke arah Tuhan dan beliau menegaskan maksudnya dengan kenyataan yang agak mengejutkan bahawa seorang lelaki yang mengetuk pintu pusat pelacuran sebenarnya adalah seseorang yang mencari Tuhan. Mistik-mistik agung tahu mengenai kaitan di antara seksualiti mereka dengan kerohanian dan sering bercakap mengenai pengalaman mistikal mereka dalam bahasa seksual, dan begitu juga dengan makcik dan pakcik saya. Saya ada bersama makcik saya ketika pakcik saya nazak di hospital dan saya ingat bagaimana makcik berbisik kepada pakcik sambil mengusap dan mencintainya buat kali terakhir, “Beri ciuman saya kepada Hati Kudus, Paddy.” Mereka tahu cinta yang mereka temui di bumi tidak mungkin akan berakhir tetapi akan diangkat ke dalam cinta agung yang menjadi hala tuju semua manusia.
Fr Terry Burke (Terjemahan)
Pengakap hapus ikrar tradisi ‘taat kepada Tuhan’ LONDON — Persatuan Pengakap akan menggugurkan peraturan bersejarah mereka yang menyatakan “taat kepada Tuhan”. Pada masa akan datang, kanak-kanak lelaki dan perempuan yang menyertai persatuan ini akan dibenarkan untuk menyatakan diri mereka sebagai ateis dan menyatakan janji tanpa menyebut Tuhan. “Menghilangkan” elemen agama ini memecahkan tradisi sejak 1908 di mana persatuan yang diasaskan oleh Robert Baden-Powell telah menulis Ikrar Pengakap yang memerlukan akur janji “melaksanakan kewajiban saya kepada Tuhan.” Ikrar tersebut diteruskan
Foto: Wikipedia pada hari ini dalam pelbagai bahasa termasuklah kanak-kanak bukan Kristian termasuk Islam, Hindu dan Sikh. Semua anggota pengakap harus menyatakan janji agama tersebut. Baru-baru ini, ketua-ketua Pengakap menyatakan bahawa perubahan itu dilakukan
untuk membantu persatuan meningkatkan kepelbagaian dan manfaat daripada komuniti sebelum ini. Persatuan Pengakap juga telah menerima tekanan daripada badan-badan sekular agar menghentikan ikrar janji agama tersebut. UCAN
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
Parti Krismas kanak-kanak 2012 KOTA PADAWAN — Seramai 188 orang kanakkanak telah menyertai Parti Krismas Kanak-kanak pada 15 Disember lepas di Pusat St Lukas, Kota Padawan. Banyak aktiviti telah diatur pada hari itu khasnya untuk memeriahkan lagi suasana Krismas. Menurut Pengerusi Pengelola, John Dawi, aktiviti seumpama itu diadakan setiap tahun untuk memberi kesedaran kepada semua kanak-kanak akan pentingnya Hari Krismas iaitu hari kelahiran Penebus manusia, Yesus Kristus. Beliau mengucapkan berbanyak terima kasih kepada semua calon Komuni Suci yang telah membantu mengelolakan majlis. Rektor Paroki St Ann, Fr Gerard Victor dalam
YESUS CAHAYA DUNIA ... Pada 15 Desember, jemaat Katolik di Sibu menyertai lebih 7000 umat Kristian dalam perarakan yang dianjurkan oleh Persatuan Gereja-gereja Sarawak Cawangan Sibu. Dengan tema “Yesus Cahaya Dunia”, acara itu dianjurkan oleh Gereja St John Anglikan.
NYANYI BERSAMA … Sebahagian daripada kanak-kanak yang mengambil bahagian. ucapannya memberitahu peserta dilahirkan demi penyelamatan bahawa Hari Krismas adalah manusia. Semoga pada tahun hari yang penting di mana akan datang, ramai lagi kanakkita diingatkan kepada Tuhan kanak dapat ikut serta. Sumbangan kita iaitu Yesus Kristus yang
Persiapan dan sambutan Hari Krismas 2012
SARATOK — Seperti tahun-tahun lalu jemaat Katolik dari Gereja St Ignatius sibuk membuat persiapan untuk menyambut kehadiran Hari Krismas. Beberapa siri gotong royong telah dijalankan untuk memperbaiki atap dan membersihkan kawasan halaman Pusat Katolik, menimbus batu kecil pada halaman yang becak dan banyak lagi kerja untuk membersihkan dan menghiasi Pusat Katolik di mana sambutan dan aktiviti akan diadakan. Di samping itu, pada 19 Disember pihak gereja juga telah mengadakan lawatan amal ke Hospital Saratok untuk menyampaikan hadiah Krismas kepada pesakit. Rombongan lawatan yang terdiri daripada kira-kira 20 orang itu diketuai Fr Martin
Meraikan pesakit di Hospital Lundu sempena Krismas LAWATAN SEMPENA KRISMAS … Fr Martin Wong mengetuai lawatan amal ke Hospital Saratok Wong dari Gereja Our Lady tahun lepas ternyata lebih Queen of Peace, Sri Aman. baik dan berjaya mengeratkan Atur cara karoling pada tahun lagi tali persaudaraan selain lepas menambah seri persiapan mengukuhkan iman jemaat. sambutan apabila ramai yang telah mengambil bahagian. Sambutan Hari Krismas Raphael Engkayau
Pesta muzik dan pujian Redeems BAU — Pada 7-9 Disember, jemaat Kristian dari Zon Singai Paroki St Stephen, Bau mengadakan Festival Muzik dan Pujian sebagai persiapan bagi perayaan Krismas. Acara dengan tema ‘Satu Suara, Satu Tuhan’ itu diadakan di Dewan Pusat Redeems. Turut menyertai program adalah koir-koir dari pelbagai mazhab Kristian. Turut memeriahkan lagi festival adalah koir pelawat dari Kabupaten Bengkayang, Kalimantan. Acara berakhir dengan Perayaan Ekaristi yang dipimpin oleh Uskup Agung
CAHAYA TERANG… Buat pertama kali, jemaat paroki kecil Tebedu dari 23 buah kampung berpeluang untuk berhimpun dan meraikan Misa Ambang Natal di bawah satu bumbung Gereja Holy Cross. Rektor Paroki Bunan-Tebedu, Rev. Fr Jerome Juleng memberkati palungan Krismas sebelum sembahyang Misa. Dalam homilinya, Fr Jerome menegaskan tentang kebergantungan kepada Cahaya Yesus yang membawa kepada kehidupan abadi.
KESYUKURAN ... Perayaan Ekaristi yang dipimpin Uskup Agung John Ha Kuching John Ha dan dihadiri lebih 3000 jemaat dari beberapa kampung berdekatan. Turut merayakan Misa adalah Rektor
Paroki St Stephen, Fr Nicholas Ng serta Fr Felix Au. David Disam (Terjemahan)
SEMOGA SIHAT CEPAT… Fr Liston menyampaikan hadiah Krismas kepada salah seorang pesakit. LUNDU — Pada 20 lilin oleh setiap peserta. Pemberian hadiah kepada Disember lalu, lebih 100 orang terdiri daripada ahli Catholic pesakit disempurnakan oleh Nurses Guild, Catholic Youth kedua-dua paderi, Ranum dan Movement, jemaat paroki Holy Irene Lu diiringi nyanyian Spirit dan gereja lain menyertai karol. Rombongan melawat aktiviti karoling ke Hospital wad perempuan, wad lelaki, Lundu. Turut menyertai aktiviti wad bersalin dan juga wad di itu adalah Rektor Paroki Holy unit pesakit luar. Selepas selesai karoling di Spirit, Fr Lazarus Swinie, Fr Peter Liston dan Ahli Dewan hospital, karoling diteruskan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) ke rumah jemaat Gereja Holy Spirit di sekitar kawasan Opar, Louis Ranum anak Mina. Selepas doa pemberkatan hospital. Selepas itu semua oleh Fr Lazarus, perarakan dan peserta dijemput ke bilik karoling dimulakan di Jabatan mesyuarat Hospital Lundu Pesakit Luar yang didahului untuk jamuan ringan. Atur cara pemain guitar dan pembawa berakhir jam 9.30 malam. hadiah dengan diiringi nyalaan Sumbangan
TODAY’S CATHOLIC JANUARY 2013
Ulang Tahun Kepaderian Ke-40 Uskup Agung John Ha KUCHING — Misa Kesyukuran diadakan di Katedral St Joseph pada 28 Disember lalu untuk meraikan tahun ke-40 Pentahbisan Kepaderian Uskup Agung John Ha. Misa dihadiri tiga uskup, 31 paderi, ahli keluarga Uskup Agung sendiri dan jemaat. Uskup Agung memberi inspirasi yang bertepatan apabila beliau mulamula berdoa kepada Tuhan bagi lebih banyak panggilan dan meminta jemaat menyertainya untuk memanjatkan kesyukuran kepada Tuhan di atas pemberian kepaderian. Sempena Hari Raya Bayi-bayi Suci, Uskup Agung bercakap mengenai pembunuhan budak-budak lelaki di bawah usia dua tahun oleh Herod sebagai “tidak berakal”. Skandal yang melemahkan semangat ekoran tindakan segelintir paderi yang mencabul kanakkanak yang tidak berdosa juga tidak berakal, katanya. Namun demikian beliau percaya cahaya Tuhan akan bersinar dan membawa penyelamatan menerusi mereka. “Cahaya Tuhan juga datang dalam bentuk seruan kebangkitan yang sangat kuat kepada kami golongan paderi dan religius untuk setia kepada panggilan kami,” kata Uskup Agung itu. “Kita tidak boleh menjadi seperti Herod, yang menyamar semua agenda peribadi dengan sebab-sebab teologi yang suci”, sebaliknya “jadi seperti lelaki-lelaki bijaksana yang mencari jalan untuk menyahut seruan-Nya” dan memberi sembah yang sebenarnya
Sikapnya yang “bodohbodoh” memainkan peranan penting dalam perjalanannya ke arah kepaderian.
MEMANJATKAN KESYUKURAN… Uskup Agung John Ha merayakan sembahyang Misa bersama Uskup Agung Emeritus Peter Chung, Uskup Emeritus Dominic Su dan Uskup John Hii. kepada Tuhan, katanya. Uskup Agung John Ha mengucapkan terima kasih kepada semua yang telah memberikan sumbangan untuk menjayakan sambutan itu. Beliau terutamanya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Uskup Emeritus Dominic Su dan Uskup Joseph Hii dari Keuskupan Sibu, Fr John Somkiat dari Thailand dan keluarga besarnya dari Singapura kerana kehadiran dan sokongan mereka. Kemudian Fr Simon Poh mengucapkan terima kasih kepada keluarga Uskup Agung kerana bermurah hati untuk
menyerahkannya kepada kepaderian dalam Keuskupan Agung Kuching. Sempena Jubli Delima itu, buku cenderamata kecil yang memuatkan kisah panggilan Uskup Agung telah diagihkan kepada semua. Dengan tajuk ‘Bodoh-bodoh saya masuk’, ia menggambarkan bahawa beliau telah memasuki kepaderian tanpa berfikir panjang. Sikapnya yang “bodoh-bodoh” memainkan peranan penting dalam perjalanannya ke arah kepaderian. “Sementara ramai memilih untuk meninggalkan seminari, saya terus
melangkah dari hari ke hari, sambil menikmati kehidupan dalam seminari: daripada falsafah dan teologi hingga kepada kegiatan berbasikal sekali dua minggu mengelilingi Pulau Pinang, daripada latihan kerohanian hingga kepada penyertaan dalam liga bola lisut Pulau Pinang, daripada kerja buruh hingga kepada rekreasi komuniti. Segalanya, walaupun amnya agak rutin, adalah mengujakan, kebanyakannya menyegarkan dan memperkayakan kehidupan,” tulisnya. Hanya seorang lelaki “bodoh” dalam diri Uskup Agung yang akan menerima kehidupan biasa dalam seminari yang tidak seberapa jika dibandingkan dengan apa yang dapat ditawarkan oleh dunia materialistik di luar. Majlis makan malam kesyukuran dan Krismas turut diadakan di Pusat Ibadat Ekumeni Kristian pada 30 Disember dan dihadiri lebih 1000 orang termasuk tetamu, keluarga dan rakan jubilarian itu, selain paderi, religius dan semua yang mendoakan kesejahteraannya.
bersambung di ms26
Sr Flora Tingang, SSFS dipilih sebagai ‘Superior General’ KUCHING — Perhimpunan Agung Ke-11 ‘Sisters of St Francis of Sarawak’ (SSFS) yang bertemakan ‘Tebar di air yang dalam’ (Lk 5:4) telah diadakan dengan jayanya di Dewan Biara Mary Immaculate, Padungan dari 1-8 Disember lalu. Turut menghadiri perhimpunan adalah Uskup Agung Kuching Dato John Ha. Sebagai Kuasa Eklesia Sahih, beliau hadir semasa perasmian perhimpunan, di sepanjang proses pemilihan pada Hari Pemilihan serta semasa penutupan. Sebelum Perhimpunan Agung, retreat khas selama empat hari dikendalikan oleh Sr Inigo Joachim, SSA dari India pada 26-29 November untuk merenungkan rancangan Tuhan bagi SSFS dalam misi dan mempersiapkan mereka bagi perhimpunan tersebut. Dalam ucapan pembukaannya di Perhimpunan Agung itu, Uskup Agung John Ha menegaskan sebagai Religius Suci, mereka diasingkan daripada orang lain, dipilih oleh Tuhan dan ditauliahkan untuk mewartakan Injil menerusi kehidupan mereka seperti apa yang disebut oleh St Francis, “Wartakan Injil sepanjang masa, dan bila perlu gunakan kata-kata.” Perhimpunan itu mengetengahkan
PENJAWAT BAHARU … Superior General baharu, Sr Flora Tingang (duduk kanan) dan Ahli-ahli Majlis bersama Sr Inigo Joachim (duduk dua kiri) dan Uskup Agung John Ha (duduk tengah) keutamaan SSFS bagi tempoh enam tahun akan datang: komitmen kepada pembentukan rohani peribadi; usaha memupuk naluri misi yang lebih tinggi; memenuhi pelbagai keperluan dalam masyarakat pada hari ini, khususnya
golongan pendatang; dan komitmen kepada usaha memulihara alam sekitar. ‘Superior General’ yang baharu dipilih dan Ahli-ahli Majlis Umum bagi 20132018 merasmikan perlantikan mereka semasa Misa Senja pada 8 Disember yang
dirayakan oleh Uskup Agung John Ha. Mereka adalah seperti berikut: Superior General (SG): Sr Flora Tingang Penolong SG: Sr Agatha Ling Ahli Majlis Pertama: Sr Marie Celine Ahli Majlis Kedua: Sr Irmina Peter Ahli Majlis Ketiga: Sr Regina Lachau Perhimpunan ingin merakamkan jutaan terima kasih bagi perkhidmatan yang telah diberikan oleh Superior General sebelum ini, Sr Adriana Tiong, sejak enam tahun lalu. Sejajar dengan suruhan Tuhan kepada St Francis, “Pergi, perbaiki gereja-Ku”, banyak taman asuhan kanak-kanak dan tadika sudah dinaik taraf dan ministri pendatang atau migran telah ditubuhkan. SSFS mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Sr Inigo Joachim yang membimbing mereka dalam Retreat Delegasi selain semasa Perhimpunan, serta Uskup Agung John Ha yang sentiasa menyokong dan mengembara bersama mereka dalam misi mereka yang berterusan. Sisters of St Francis of Sarawak (Terjemahan)
Published by: The Archbishop of Kuching, P O Box 940, 93718 Kuching. Tel: 082-231164 (Today’s Catholic) Printed by: Bahagia Press Sdn Bhd (86546-K), Lot 225, Section 49, Jalan Padungan Utara, 93100 Kuching. Tel: 082-238900