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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A sharing by Anna Teresa Peter Amandus from the Phillipines

Dear all in the Diocese of Sandakan,
How have you been doing? I hope that you are all fine and happy. I am fine and happy and just recovered from my knee injury. 

Today, 30th June 2010 is a historical event for the Philippines. Today is the 15th presidential inauguration for the new elected president, Benigno Aquino III. In our morning mass earlier today, we offered up to God our prayer for the new elected president, hoping that he will make a change in the Philippines.

So it has been a month being in IFFA. In just a month I have learn to discover  and unfold myself little by little. It is quite challenging for me because to learn to accept the past is very difficult unless we are willing to really let it go and be open to let God enter our life. It is rather funny as I flashed back the moment I told myself that I had let go everything in order for me to really focus in this formation yet God has HIS own way helping me dig up things that I do not want to remember. I can say that the formation I undergo now is all about me. I must first know myself, I must know who is God to me and I must first accept myself as being me before going for my mission. 

Along my formation I learn to accept my fellow friends from other countries, formation team and the staff of IFFA. Living as a community here in IFFA is hard at first because we came from diverse part of Asia and culture. Yet the formation is inviting me to be open, to trust and respect.

In IFFA it is all about community. Each of us is scheduled to do out duty like cooking for the community, cleaning up the formation house, disposing the garbage and leading the evening prayer. Every once a month we will be having a community prayer. Every Tuesday and Wednesday we will be having class at St Vincent, School of Theology and every Monday, Thursday and Friday will be the in-house formation. Every Saturday is our weekly integration where we will reflect on the  happenings  of the whole week. 
There are so many things to share. Hhhmmm the most significant experience to me is the “Self – Discovery and Uniqueness”. As I shared earlier it is about discovering me as me. In this session we reflected how life is when we are pretending to be somebody, someone else to hide the real us. I remembered wearing a mask to cover the hurts and difficulties that has been burdening me. It was painful. Did I really let go? No, I did not let go. There, a point where I shared to the formation team that I hated the question. But as I reflected it again it is God’s way to heal me. I only have to trust and be open to HIM. (^ v ^)….. God to me is the “EYES” to my life who will always keep watch over me. My new insight in this session is I am not a MISTAKE! I was created according to HIS image. No one can look down on me, only if I permit that person to do so and only in God that I can seek the special in me. I am a gift and I am a blessing! Wow….

Let me share you our class in St Vincent, School of Theology. All IFFA students took the four Gospel and Theology for Beginners subject. To be honest to understand the scriptures is hard. Ha ha ha ha ha our first day in class, we learn about Mathew 1: 1-17, the genealogy. Oh gosh only that verses we end up two hours and a half to truly understand the passage. Just imagine how much time we need for the whole bible…!!! For our Theology class we learn about God in our everyday living. What I like so much about this class is it is full of inspiration. I never think of God in my everyday doing like brushing my teeth, taking my bath, walking, drink water and etc… HE is everywhere, anywhere in my everyday life. I wonder if other people realize it…

I am looking forward to this formation. I really need your support and prayers. May your prayers  accompany me throughout this formation year. Once again thank you and may God bless a special person like you every day. Till then Goodbye and have a nice day.
Here are some pictures taken during my one month formation here in IFFA.

Anna Amandus

74th FSIC foundation anniversary celebration, Holy Trinity Church.

Tawau : Twelve Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) gathered at HTC on Saturday, 26 June to celebrate the 74th founding anniversary of their order, with the theme” In gratitiude, we go forth.”
The celebration started with a thanksgiving sunset mass, presided by Msgr. Nicholas Ong, concelebrated by Fr. Fundes Motiung of Stella  Maris Church Tanjung Aru. In his homily, Msgr. Ong told the parishioners that the Franciscan Sisters were doing exactly what our Lord Jesus had asked us to do—give up everything and follow him.

“They gave up all material wealth and family to follow Jesus Christ in order to save souls.” He said
He further added,” But they will be rewarded as they will find joy that no money can buy, as in Psalm 15: And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad” he said.
In her address, at the fellowship dinner held at the parish hall after the mass, FSIC Superior General, Sr Grace Deosing  thanked the over 250 parishioners present for giving her religious congregation such a big celebration.

She elaborated, “Although we are celebrating our 74th founding anniversary, we in fact have started a year long celebration of our 75th founding anniversary a week ago. We want to thank, praise and glorify God for all the years of gifts to our congregation. We want to thank all of you for your help. Do continue to pray and support us in our vocation.”
Mother Aquinas, a former Superior General of FSIC, in her sharing told those present that she had always felt a special bond in her relationship with the religious order as she was born 74 years ago on the date of its founding

Throughout her many long years of her ministry in various places of Sabah, she had experienced God’s love of giving her the strength to carry out her work, one that could be said to be overcoming one crisis after another.

“Yes, a religious life may not be a bed of roses,” she said, “but I have always thanked God in letting me to be his instrument in giving Him glory.”
 A power point presentation of the history and ministries of FSIC was given by 2 of the religious.
Also in the program were presentation of dances and singing by the parish youth and BEC communities.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010


Sitting, L - R:
Wagner Daniel, Josh Fibre, Cristopher Aban, Bishop Julius, Juwita Suwito and Juwita's mother.

Standing, L - R:
Donny Lee, Francis Tan, Eloise Abragan, Tony L. Selvaraj, Alena Tan and Roland Escobido

Sandakan – Juwita Suwito, a singer and a freelance composer with five other members of her accompanying band and the Organizing Committee of the St Mary's Cathedral Music Camp paid a courtesy call on Rt. Rev. Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of the Diocese of Sandakan last Friday morning, 25th June 2010.

Juwita is very much committed in the field of evangelization through music and songs and she desires to encourage the youth to use their God given gifts to make a difference in society.

Juwita was here in Sandakan to assist the Sandakan Parish youths in giving talks and organizing music workshops for the participants of the Music Camp 2010 at the St. Mary’s Parish Hall from 25th - 27th June.

The Organizing team had made arrangement to bring Juwita and her team members to visit the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sepilok and other places of interest in Sandakan after the music camp.

St Mary's Soccom

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Satu Seminar Kepimpinan untuk Kerasulan Wanita Katolik (KWK) peringkat Diosis telah diadakan pada 11 – 12 Jun 2010 bertempat di Bilik Persidangan keuskupan Sandakan. Objektif seminar ini adalah membantu para ahli KWK untuk lebih efektif di dalam pelayanan mereka. Seminar Kepimpinan yang pertama kali diadakan ini telah disertai oleh seramai 56 orang. Ahli KWK Keuskupan Sandakan yang hadir adalah 10 orang manakala dari peringkat paroki masing-masing ialah 23 dari Paroki St. Mary, Sandakan, 4 dari Paroki St. Dominic, Lahad Datu, 8 termasuk Sr. Liza Augustine, fsic dari Paroki Holy Trinity, Tawau dan dari Paroki St. Martin pula adalah seramai 11 orang.
Taklimat oleh Annie Rokneh, Ketua Penyelaras KWK Keuskupan Sandakan.
Duduk dari kiri, Bapa Uskup Julius Dusin Gitom dan Francis Tan.
Berdiri di kanan, Cecelia Polo, Setiausaha KWK Keuskupan Sandakan.

Sesi suai kenal dan beramah mesra

Pendaftaran bermula jam 2.00 petang. Kemudian disusuli dengan taklimat dan suaikenal seterusnya Upacara Misa Kudus Pembukaan telah dirayakan oleh Yang Mulia Bapa Uskup Julius Dusin Gitom bersama Dikon David Aloysius Garaman pada jam 5.00 petang.

Seminar yang bertemakan “Melayani Sesama Dengan Kasih Allah“ telah menjemput Bapa Uskup Julius, Rev. Fr. Thomas Makajil, Sr. Maria Dipal dari Kongregasi Good Shepherd, Sr. Appolonia Gumpu, fsic, dan Sdr. Francis Tan sebagai penceramah.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Courtesy call on Bishop Julius D Gitom

Sandakan : Bernard L Bonina the Social Welfare Attache of the Embassy of the Phillipines based in Kuala Lumpur paid a courtesy call on Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of the Diocese of Sandakan this morning, 24th June 2010 at the latter’s office.

Bernard, arrived here yesterday and had made courtesy calls on officials of the Immigration and Police Departments. He also visited the Detention Centre and had established contacts with NGOs and FBOs.

He is tasked with providing psychology social intervention to people in distress. He also assist in providing repatriation service.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010



今年的双亲节,圣马尔谷青年团于六月十二日举办了一年一度的双亲节聚会及庆生会。罗莉莉姐妹及黄以轩兄弟则担任当晚的司仪。当晚,本团也邀请了Father Thomas Makajil出席此聚会及庆生会。华文牧灵小组主席及神父致词几饭前祈祷完毕以后,大家的肚子已经开始“闹革命”了。当晚的菜色非常丰盛,远处已嗅到扑鼻而来的香味,令人垂涎三尺。“煲乐”时间以后,便有可爱活泼的主日学小朋友为大家献唱两首歌。为了让这次的娱乐节目能够使当晚的气氛更加精彩,主日学老师牺牲了宝贵的时间用心地去教导这一群主日学的小朋友。除了呈现两首动听的歌以外,小朋友们还在歌曲中穿插了一些舞蹈,别看他们年纪小小,其实还真有跳舞的天分呢!唱完以后,小朋友们也各自取出手上心型的牌子,牌子上写着,“爸妈我爱你”。看着他们灵活可爱的样子,令到全场教友开怀大笑,同时这些小朋友也赢得了观众热烈的欢呼声及掌声。

接着,便由两位司仪主持亲子游戏。这个游戏可考起父母及孩子之间对彼此的了解,正所谓:“心有灵犀一点通”。 当中有一位年纪小小有可爱的女孩,竟然将答案完整地说出来,让观众都对她刮目相看。青年团安排此游戏,目的是为了让父母与孩子能够建立一个更亲密的关系,同时也能够提升彼此间的沟通,以形成一个完美的互动。“礼物”是大家最枪眼的东西,便继续当晚的庆生会。此庆生会的月份五月至八月,只要是有关的寿星公及寿星婆都有机会领取由青年团所赠送的礼物。此外,青年团也特别准备了两份礼物赠送给最年长的寿星公及寿星婆。同时,我们也有切蛋糕仪式。 通过这个庆生会,大家可以互相了解有关彼此的点点滴滴。最后,大家便唱生日歌给寿星公及寿星婆献上最真诚的祝福。


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Satu lagi perspektif tentang projek 'mudballs' di Lahad Datu

Mudballs Eco Environment Event : merupakan satu aktiviti amal dan sukarela untuk menyokong sahutan NGO (Green Surf), iaitu satu pertubuhan bukan kerajaan yang bertanggungjawab dan prihatin dalam pemulihan alam sekitar di Sabah.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Lahad Datu, 13hb Jun 2010 – Dalam usaha bersama Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) dan badan-badan Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) dengan bantuan serta sokongan pihak-pihak agensi kerajaan di Lahad Datu, pihak Gereja Katolik St. Dominic tidak ketinggalan dalam mengambil bahagian dalam satu aktiviti amal dan sukarela dalam usaha untuk membersihkan beberapa  kawasan yang telah dikenalpasti di Lahad Datu dengan membuat “MUD BALLS” (Bebola Tanah).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Youth Alpha Training Program

Sandakan : Five representatives from the St Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan attended the Youth Alpha Training Program, held at St Michael's Anglican Church on 4th and 5th June 2010. The  main speaker, Jonathan Tse,  is currently working as the Youth Alpha Coordinator at the Alpha Malaysia National Office, Kuala Lumpur.
About 35 participants from the different Churches attended the training program. The participants, representing the Sandakan Catholic Church, were Terrence Ngui, John Baptis, Caroline Tai, Alexandra Chua and Shirley Joseph. 

The session, was an opportunity for the Catholic Youth to be trained as leader who in turn would be able to impart the course content to the other youth in the Cathedral Parish. 

The Catholic Alpha Team had thus far completed two rounds of alpha training to the parishioners as well as faith seekers in the three main languages, Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese in the St Mary's Cathedral Parish, Sandakan.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kanak-kanak/Bayi dibaptis di Paroki Katedral St Mary

Sandakan – Seramai 13 kanak-kanak dan bayi telah dibaptis bertempat di Katedral St. Mary, Sandakan pada 13 Jun 2010.

Sakramen Permandian merupakan sakramen pertama yang diterima oleh setiap individu Katolik. Sakramen ini amat penting kerana setelah dibaptis dalam Nama Bapa, Putera dan Roh Kudus, kita menjadi anak-anak Allah.

Diakon David A. Garaman menjelaskan tentang Sakramen Permandian kepada ibubapa dan penanggung

Upacara ini dilaksanakan oleh Diakon David A. Garaman serta dihadiri oleh para ibubapa dan juga para penanggung.

Diakon David, dalam penjelasan singkat kepada para ibubapa dan penanggung tentang peranan masing-masing menegaskan bahawa ibubapa bertanggungjawab dalam perkembangan iman anak-anak mereka bermula daripada seorang bayi sehinggalah mereka dewasa kelak.

Tambahnya lagi penanggung juga memainkan peranan yang amat penting kerana mereka akan berjalan bersama dengan anak tanggungan mereka, memberi bantuan dan bimbingan dari segi pembentukan iman anak yang mereka tanggung.

Diakon David juga mengingatkan ibubapa agar tidak meletakkan tanggungjawab sepenuhnya kepada para penanggung tetapi ianya haruslah seimbang.

Selesai upacara pembaptisan, penyerahan Sijil Permandian diserahkan oleh Diakon David kepada ibubapa. Acara diakhiri dengan sesi bergambar beramai-ramai.

Soccom St. Mary

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Two boarders of St Mary's Hostel among ten scholarship recipients

Sandakan : Badan Amal dan Kebajikan Tenaga Isteri-Isteri (BAKTI) champions many community and welfare projects to help all Malaysians regardless of race, religion and culture. Established in 1977, Bakti has been involved in many charitable activities to help the poor and the less fortunate.

Yang Berbahagia Datin Dr Linda Lee, wife of YB Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister Department cum Member of Parliment P186 Sandakan was in St Mary's Secondary School on Friday, 11th June 2010 to present scholarship awards to ten promising upper secondary school recipients. The scholarship in the amount of RM600 each is for two years in running. They have been receiving the said scholarship since last year.

 Raily receiving the scholarship from Datin Dr Linda

Jack Patrick, another boarder of St Mary's Hostel, receiving the scholarship

 Raily, Jack and William Fung, the hostel warden
Among the ten recipients, were two boarders from the St Mary's hostel, both fifth formers, currently studying in St Mary's Secondary School. The boys are Raily Rindau of Jaya Bakti, Beluran and Jack Patrick of Ulu Dusun. Both had been staying in the hostel since its inception in January 2006.

Also present at the function were  Puan Chee, the principal of St Mary's Secondary School, representatives of  all the secondary schools and Henry Wong, Chairman, of the School Board of Management.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

First Holy Communion at Holy Trinity Church, Tawau

Tawau : 73 children from the English, Bahasa and Chinese Sunday School classes received their first Holy Communion on Sunday, 6th June 2010 during Eucharistic celebration of the the Solemnity of The Body and Blood of Christ, celebrated at Holy Trinity Church.
In his homily, the celebrant Msgr. Nicholas Ong said,” Receiving the body and blood of Christ is a symbol of a new life, one that is renewed each time we participate in a Eucharistic celebration.”
Touching on the Gospel’s story of Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand with the five loaves and two fish, he also said,” Let us live according to what we need and not what we want. We always want many things that we do not actually need. This also will be a good way to protect our environment, preserving the planet earth God has given us.”

Before ending his homily, the Rector exhorted the children receiving their first Holy Communion to draw inspiration from the sacrament and be faithful to God’s calling, especially if it happens to be one for the priesthood.

After the mass, all the candidates for first Holy Communion were invited to a lunch fellowship at the parish hall.


Gabungan 4 KKD Anjur Kaamatan Gereja St Mark 2010

Sandakan: Tema Kaamatan, "Berjalan Bersama Kristus Melalui Kebudayaan" membawa erti yang mendalam. Seperti tahun-tahun yang sudah, Kaamatan diraihkan setiap tahun pada bulan Mei sebagai tanda terima kasih dan kesyukuran untuk segala hasil bumi yang Tuhan telah berikan kepada umat manusia.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Situasi Kini Komuniti Indonesia di Paroki Holy Trinity, Tawau


1. Sebagai Pembantu Paderi Paroki, bagaimana anda melihat penglibatan Komuniti Pastoral Indonesia (KPI) di paroki anda? Bagaimana hubungan antara ahli KPI dengan masyarakat tempatan? 

Pada 12 Mac 1992 (berdasarkan buku laporan KPI), KPI telah menandakan yang paling mengesankan dalam sejarah Paroki Holy Trinity Tawau ketika mereka rasmi ditetapkan sebagai Komuniti Pastoral di Gereja. Tujuan awal dan halatuju KPI adalah untuk melayani komuniti Katolik Indonesia di Tawau. Tahun demi tahun, dengan dedikasi dan komitmen untuk mengambil bahagian dalam pelbagai kegiatan gereja, KPI telah diintegrasikan dengan masyarakat lain di paroki. Mereka secara aktif terlibat dalam program Pastoral Paroki seperti masyarakat lain. Hubungan dengan lain-lain ahli gereja sangat menggalakkan. Saya meramalkan bahawa mereka boleh bekerjasama dengan satu sama lain tanpa masalah. Umat tempatan melayan mereka sebagai rakan setara dalam apa pun penglibatan di Paroki. Tambahan lagi, seorang dari kalangan mereka telah dilantik sebagai wakil KPI di Majlis Pastoral Paroki (MPP) Holy Trinity.

2. Pada ketika ini, dengan cara apakah Gereja menjangkau komuniti ini? 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Paroki St. Dominic Lahad Datu. 4-6 Jun 2010. Lebih 300 belia telah menyertai Khemah Suara Dunia Belia. Program ini mengajak para belia mengenali dunia belia dan cabarannya masa kini. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

News from Fondacio, Phillipines by Anna Theresa Peter Amandus

Anna Theresa Peter Amandus in the Kadazan costume at far right

Dear Uncle Francis,

Just to inform you that I'm adapting well here in IFFA. I just came back from a four- day retreat which was different from the one I used to attend. The retreat was totally a new thing to me. It made me realized my past and to identify God's calling.

In this retreat, I experienced


New Advent