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Friday, April 29, 2011

Mandalay Archdiocesan Youth Formation Camp (Myanmar)




Mandalay, Myanmar : Some 500 youth of the Mandalay Archdiocese gathered at the De La Salle Institute in Pyin Oo Lwin, a resort town, 67 kilometres east of Mandalay (central Myanmar) for the 9th Annual Archdiocesan Youth Formation Camp on 13th - 17th April 2011.
The event is held every April of the year to coincide with the 'Thingyan', the water festival which is a gazetted national holiday and the theme of the camp was 'Lord to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life' (John 6 : 68) 

The expenses of the camp was raised through fund raising projects and sponsors from sending parishes.  The objective of the event was aimed at enhancing their faith life, instilling life skills as well as strengthening the bond of the young people from the various parishes.
The Opening Ceremony in the evening began with the hoisting of the Archdiocese Youth Commission flag. Fr Peter Myo Aung welcomed the participants and hoped the 4-day event would be a spirit-filled encounter for the youth. He said, 'Come as you are but do not go back as you came.' It was an inspiring statement that touched the hearts of the many young people.

Fr Augustine Win Myint, the Archdiocesan Youth Director, also addressed the participants.The evening was lined with many presentations from the various participating parishes.


Each morning, participants attended Morning Mass at 6.00 am followed by input and sharing sessions which would wrapped up by 5.30 pm. Sessions covered during the 4-day event included the following topics;
Inter religious dialogue

  • Conflict, Power and Change
  • The Word of God in the life of the Church
  • Inter religious dialogue
  • Bible
  • The Human Person
  • Youth, The Church and I, Leadership
  • AIDS
  • Human Trafficking


In the evening the participants were involved in various competitions -dance, drama and songs in order to tap their talents and potentials.They enacted the scene of the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10 : 25 - 37) and Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (John 4 : 3 - 42).
The 'Open Kitchen'

Meal time
Contributed by Rose EiPhyu Aung

Rose hails from the Parish of St Joseph, Monywa which falls under the Archdiocese of Mandalay, Myanmar. Monywa is some 3 hours drive from Mandalay, which is in the central region of Myanmar. She took up a ten month formation programme at the Institute of Formation Fondacio, Asia based in Quezon City Philippines. She had her one-month pastoral exposure in Sabah, two weeks each in the Diocese of Keningau and Sandakan. She was in Sandakan from 1st - 12th February 2011. She is currently very much involved in the Parish Youth Ministry.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

TESTIMONI - YOSEP PAULUS DARI KOMUNITI KELUARGA BESAR KATOLIK INDONESIA

Yosep Paulus, 36  - Komuniti KBKI
Sebelum ini saya memang sudah dibaptis semasa bayi, tetapi disebabkan dokumen pembaptisan saya tidak dapat dikesan, maka saya ingin dibaptis semula. Biarpun saya sudah dibaptis bayi, sama maksudnya dengan saya yang masih belum mengenal Tuhan kerana mengimbas kembali kehidupan saya yang lepas.  Saya adalah seorang yang liar, kaki botol dan seringkali ke kelab-kelab malam untuk bersukaria. Keinginan untuk mendekati Tuhan itu langsung tiada dan lupa akan perintah Tuhan, sehinggalah pada suatu hari, saya diamanatkan oleh sepupu saya (kini arwah) supaya menjaga seorang bayi sebelum pemergiannya untuk menjadi bapa atau penjaga bayi tersebut. 

Dari situ saya mula berfikir bagaimana saya dapat menjaga bayi tersebut sebagai bapa, sekiranya kehidupan lama saya masih belum ditinggalkan? Dengan itu, saya bertekad untuk terus berubah agar dapat menjadi seorang bapa yang baik, yang dapat mendidik agama Kristian Katolik yang menunjukkan teladan yang baik. Kebetulan masa tersebut, saya terjumpa dengan mama Margaretha Fransiska Barek. Beliaulah yang mengajak dan membimbing perjalanan saya untuk kembali mengenal Tuhan lebih dalam lagi melalui kelas Inisasi Kristian Dewasa (IKD). Puji dan syukur kepada Tuhan!

Setelah mengalami Yesus Kristus serta ajaran-ajaran Gereja Katolik. Kini kehidupan saya merasa amat tenang sekali berbanding dengan kehidupan saya yang dahulu. Sekarang ini lebih teratur dan gembira disamping mendapat lebih ramai kawan bukan sahaja warga Indonesia tetapi juga Kadazandusun, Cina dan Filipino yang berjalan bersama di dalam iman.  Kami juga gembira kerana terdapat program belia Katolik di Gereja St. Mark. 

Saya merasa anugerah Tuhan terjadi kepada saya dan tidak akan berhenti di sini sahaja. Saya akan sentiasa melakukan yang terbaik untuk Nya. Doakan saya selalu.

PERAYAAN MALAM PASKAH BERSEJARAH - GEREJA ST. MARK

Sandakan23 April 2011. Selama 18 tahun Gereja St. Mark didirikan dan inilah buat kali pertama umat dapat menyambut perayaan Misa Kudus Malam Paskah dalam Bahasa Malaysia dan merasakan kegembiraan dalam merayakan kebangkitan Yesus Kristus.  Gereja tersebut telah dibanjiri oleh kira-kira 700 orang.  Misa Kudus bermula pada jam 7:00 malam diselebrankan oleh Rev. Fr. Erik Jerome. Peristiwa ini adalah merupakan sejarah baru bagi Gereja St. Mark. 


"Keputusan Fr. Thomas Makajil selaku Rektor Paroki Katedral St. Mary Sandakan untuk mengadakan Misa Kudus Malam Paskah yang dirayakan dalam Bahasa Malaysia di Gereja ini adalah sangat tepat bagi memudahkan para umat Katolik persekitaran Gereja St. Mark dapat hadir. Usaha ini dapat membantu umat Katolik untuk terus berkembang." Kata beberapa komen dan harapan umat setempat. 


Selama ini, umat Katolik menyambut Malam Paskah sama ada di Katedral St. Mary, Gereja St. Joseph ataupun Gereja St. Paul, Ulu Dusun sahaja. Tetapi kali ini bilangan umat semakin berkembang dan keperluan tersebut mula menampakkan hasil ekoran berkembangnya pergerakan Komuniti Kristian Dasar (KKD) yang terdiri daripada KKD Taman Rimba, KKD Sepilok, KKD Batu 10, KKD Merak dan juga penubuhan kumpulan Keluarga Besar Katolik Indonesia (KBKI) yang bergiat secara aktif di Gereja St. Mark.
Pemberkatan api dan lilin paskah sambil mendengar Pujian Paskah
Upacara Perayaan Malam Paskah bermula di hadapan gereja dalam keadaan yang gelap. Semua lampu dimatikan, tiada sebarang cahaya yang mencuri tumpuan umat kecuali cahaya unggun api. Lilin paskah dinyalakan setelah paderi memberkati api dan juga lilin paskah tersebut. Kemudian Lilin Paskah tersebut diarak masuk ke dalam bangunan Gereja yang membawa maksud Cahaya Kristus lalu disusuli dengan semua umat. 

Madah pujian paskah dinyanyikan buat kali pertama di Gereja St. Mark oleh Rev. Fr Erik Jerome.

Pewartaan dari Kitab Perjanjian Lama
Pewartaan INJIL
Selepas tiga perwartaan dari Kitab Perjanjian Lama dan dua daripada Kitab Perjanjian Baru termasuklah Pewartaan Injil, Rev. Fr. Erik Jerome menyampaikan homilinya dengan jelas dan mudah difahami oleh umat. 


Dalam homili tersebut, paderi mengaitkan pewartaan dengan realiti kehidupan Kristian Katolik masa kini.  Paderi juga mempromosikan panggilan kepaderian dan religius. 


Katanya, "Ibubapa harus berdoa untuk menyokong dan menggalakkan anak-anak mereka sendiri serta semua belia untuk mengikuti seminar panggilan agar suatu hari nanti ramai yang menyahut panggilan menjadi paderi dan dapat menampung keperluan umat,  terutama sekali di Diosis Sandakan ini."


Kelihatan Fr Erik sedang menyampaikan homili,
pembaharuan janji baptis dan pembaptisan
Misa Malam Paskah di Gereja St. Mark dimeriahkan lagi dengan pembaptisan para katekumen seramai 49 orang yang kebanyakkannya dari KBKI yang dipimpin oleh  Saudara Petrus Bean dan pengurusan katekumen oleh Sdri Margaretha Fransiska Barek. 


Paderi dalam homilinya menasihatkan para baptisan baru agar terus menghidupi Krisma melalui semangat pelayanan kekeluargaan, kegerejaan dan kemasyarakatan.  Seterusnya paderi menekankan tanggungjawab setiap penanggung agar memainkan peranan  membimbing baptisan baru ini di dalam kehidupan berdoa. 
Persembahan yang dibawa oleh para katekumen
Semasa komuni
Misa Kudus Malam Paskah di Gereja St Mark ini adalah merupakan pengalaman kali pertama para ahli Komiti Pastoral. "Kita telah mempelajari perkara yang baru walaupun kita di dalam serba kekurangan" kata Sdra George Majawat selaku ahli Komiti Pastoral St. Mark.
Koir dari gabungan kumpulan belia Mark-Peter
Para belia St. Mark (juga dikenali sebagai belia Mark-Peter) bersyukur kerana diberi peluang melayani dalam gabungan koir buat pertama kali di Gereja St. Mark oleh pihak pengurusan Liturgi Gereja St. Mark.
Pihak Komiti Pastoral menyampaikan penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada Fr. Erik dan seterusnya Jamuan Makan Malam Hari Raya Paskah bersama baptisan baru.
Selepas Perayaan Ekaristi selesai pada pukul 9:30 malam, Paderi dan semua umat serta para baptisan baru mengadakan makan malam bersama. Program  berakhir pada jam 10:30 malam.

Disediakan oleh: Roland Henry
Jurugambar: Zeenlee Edesius

New Labour Quarters for Diocese of Sandakan and St Mary's Cathedral

The new labour quarters
Sandakan : The newly-completed 2 storey semi permanent structure labour quarters shared by the Diocese and the St Mary's Cathedral Parish was solemnly blessed by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, Monday 25th April 2011. The building, sited adjacent to the former St Mary's Primary School basketball court has six self-contained units, each with two bedrooms, a sitting room, kitchen and bathroom. 
Mass held in front of the quarters
The event began with the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, concelebrated by Fr Thomas Makajil, the rector of St Mary's Cathedral, Fr Phillip Muji, the assistant rector and Fr Thomas Chong SJ, visiting priest from the Melaka-Johor Diocese. More than 50 people, Church leaders, Diocesan and Parish staff attended the celebration. 
In his homily the prelate said that we are still overjoyed as we revisit the scene of Easter night where Christ rose from the dead. He saved us through His love and mercy. We are called to rise with Him and help others to rise as well, denouncing our past sins. We have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). 
In relating the construction of the premise to that of Easter, the prelate said that it was built using materials from the taken-down old St Mary's Convent Primary School. 'You see nothing old. It is being resurrected. Everything looks new. It looks elegant. Old things are made new'.
Blessing of the quarters
He went on to say that church workers should be accorded the dignity and rights - to productive work, to decent living wages, to adequate benefits and living conditions in line with the Catholic Social Teaching. 

He said,'Today we are happy that the Church could provide the workers a decent residence to rest and stay.'
Grace before meal by Fr Thomas
He expressed his sincere appreciation to all those involved in making the project a success - those who had contributed financially, those tasked to implement, and monitor the project.

He said, 'It is the community spirit with the risen Lord at heart that make things happen in our Church.'

ds

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Courtesy Call

Mr Liow, Miss Stephanie, Bishop Julius, Sr Maria RGS, Poh Choo
Sandakan : Mr Liew Tong Ngan, the CEO of World Vision Malaysia and Stephanie Chin, the personnel in charge of International Programme accompanied by Chin Poh Choo, the Director of Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd Sabah and Sr Maria Dipal RGS, Sister in Charge of the Sri Murni Crisis Centre in Sandakan paid a courtesy call on Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, yesterday morning, 26th April 2011 at the Sandakan Diocesan Office. 

World Vision, based in 110 countries worldwide is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities  to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. 


Motivated by faith in Christ, they serve alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. The day before they visited the Sandakan Sri Murni Crisis Centre, St Mary's Hostel and St Mark's Community Learning Programme, an educational programme designed to cater for children of migrant workers, some 20 kilometres from town.

After meeting Bishop Julius they went up to Telupid to  visit the Pride's Hostel in St Martin's Parish in Telupid, 170 kilometres from Sandakan. The hostel, built  last year is to cater for needy students from the rural areas. 

ds

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Vigil Celebration - Holy Trinity Church


Tawau : On the evening of 23 April 2011, parishioners started gathering at Holy Trinity Church Tawau as early as 6.30 pm for the start of the Easter Vigil mass. All seats were taken by 7 pm including those of the upstair gallery and the additional chairs at both sides of the Church.
 

 
At 8 pm, the fire set up at the front of the Church was blessed by the celebrant, Msgr. Nicholas Ong, from which the Easter candle was lighted. The Easter proclamation, the Exsultet, was sung by a member of the choir after the procession into the church.

The liturgy of the word followed, comprising of three Old Testament readings, the New Testament reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans and the Gospel according to Matthew.
 
In his homily, the rector Msgr. Ong reminded the faithful that the night's event was the most important celebration of the church's liturgical year." The night of all nights!" he said.
 
"In the service of the light, we are reminded that light in the New testament symbolizes faith, life and goodness" he continued.

"Thus faith in God will confer unto us a new life that is full of goodness."
 
"Tonight, the newly baptised together with all of us here who renew our baptismal vows will die and rise with Jesus Christ to a new life, as we have heard from St Paul to the Romans."

"In the Easter proclamation, we hear 'O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer'. St Paul tells us that the grace of Christ Jesus more than compensates for the sin of Adam."

"The Old Testament readings tell us what God has done for the Isrealites in the past, God will continue to do for us in the present and in the future for our salvation."
 

 

 
"The Gospel reading reaffirms that Christ is truly risen as mentioned for a fact that the tomb is empty. It also tells us that Jesus told the two Marys to tell the disciples to go to Galilee, and it was from Galilee that the Lord commissioned them to baptise all the nations in the name of the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."
 
The liturgy of baptism that followed saw 84 candidates receiving their sacrament of baptism, with the adult neophytes receiving their confirmation as well.

After the final blessing, the celebrant blessed the Easter eggs prepared by the Catholic Women Apostolate. The eggs would also be given to the outstation churches.

Fr. David Garaman, the assistant rector celebrated the Vigil mass at St. Thomas Church Bombalai.

Soccom HTC

More testimonies from Neophytes of St Mary's Cathedral Sandakan

I am Harry Hiram Sholto Yong.  Since I joined the RCIA, I noticed that there’s a lot of improvement in my life. Even though I’m a baptized Christian since I was a child but I was not confirmed yet. I felt  so incomplete in my faith life.

Though there were only six of us in the RCIA process, the zeal of wanting to know Christ remained strong. As we progressed in the sessions I can now considered them as a family, as my brothers and sisters in Christ. I was welcomed warmly by the facilitators and the group when I first joined them.

I noticed that in the first few months after joining the RCIA, my life changed for the better. I felt closer to the Lord as I learned a lot from the teaching and the guidance from the facilitators. I understand better of what they were saying during the sessions compared to what I have learned as a kid in Sunday school class.

The experience that really touched my heart was when He lifted my burden. Since young, I was a very bad tempered person and never forgave others. It is always that “if you hurt me, I’ll hurt you back’ and it has been in that way ever since.

But after joining RCIA, Jesus has showed me the way. He has guided me to become a better and more of a forgiving person. This year itself I can say that I have NO MORE enemies or person that I hate or despise in my life. The Lord has opened my heart to be able to forgive my enemy which has been a burden to me since my school days. I can at last able to forgive a former high school classmate for his betrayal against me.  For the 10 years of hatred towards him, forgiving him is such a great relief. A big burden has been taken away from me.

For this I am really glad and happy that I joined the RCIA. It really taught me to become a better person. It has taught me to be more forgiving and more loving towards the rest of the community. I am always thankful to the Lord for giving me the chance to change my life and actions. May the RCIA process help and guide the future participants in the manner that has changed me in my life both socially and spiritually.

THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.

I am Matthew Wong. Before joining the RCIA, my life was aimless. I  have got nothing to concern about. Everything was provided for and so I took things for granted. I am also irresponsible. After my parents brought me to the RCIA process  I became more concern about others and the environment as well. I became more responsible and doing things with aim and respect. I got to know God more. One simple thing I learned is that our life will change for the better when we know God, understand Him more deeply and all the sufferings He had gone through during his last days on earth. We can find everything in Him. He is my Saviour.


 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Testimonies by Neophytes

Sandakan : Some 398 catechumens from across the Diocese of Sandakan observed the death and resurrection of Christ during Holy Week and Easter, were baptized or confirmed Catholics during Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Masses. The breakdown of catechumens according to parishes is as follows;
  • Holy Trinity Church Tawau  -  116
  • St Mary's Cathedral Sandakan  -  95
  • St Dominic's Church Lahad Datu  -  94
  • St Martin's Church Telupid  -  93
Testimonies by Neophytes from St Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan.

    I am Austin Van and I have been in the RCIA process since April 2010. I cannot express enough what a wonderful experience it was. 

    In the past, I attended masses at different churches as a non-Catholic. In Sandakan, I was invited by a friend, Jenny, born to a Roman Catholic family to attend sunset mass every Saturday. GOD has arranged our life and we were married in 2009. Praise the Lord! In the sunset mass, I did not really understand the rite performed in the church. I met Father Paul Lo and he has given me a good impression as a Christian and treated me as a fellow brother in Christ.

    Jenny talked to me about the history of the Catholic Church and the significance of the Bible. GOD had used her as an instrument to show me GOD’s Love, Patient and Peace from her understanding and actions. I was moved by her patience and understanding and she journeyed with me in my faith life . “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not boast, it is not proud.” ~ Corinthians 13:4 

    As time goes by, my spiritual life improved.  At Easter last year, I responded to God’s call and joined the RCIA process on a trial basis. It has been in my thought for one year and it was great news to Jenny when I announced that I wanted to become a Catholic. 

    GOD showered upon us His warmth and love through the RCIA animators during our Saturday sessions. The animators reached out to us with their sharing of their experience and guidance.  It did not take long for me to discover a unique perspective and relationship with GOD.  We learned by sharing our thoughts and feelings about scriptures and spirituality.  Surprisingly, GOD has helped me and answered my prayer which I appreciated the most. I am not a "sharer" by nature.  And, at first I was uncomfortable discussing what I believed and doubtful with others.  But, the sharing and listening at the weekly sessions had helped me to deepen my understanding of the Catholic faith.

    For me, the road to GOD was a tough task especially during the last 40 days (Lenten season). Through the RCIA process, I have developed a spiritual understanding of God which I did not believe I was capable of believing in Him.  At this time of the year, I know GOD is the only one who can carry away my bundle of fears and misery in my life. I always reminded myself that in order for GOD to trust and love me, I have to believe HIM at the outset. GOD leads me to HIS way and guide me through HIS path.  

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Easter Vigil at St Mary's Cathedral

    SandakanLast night, 23rd April 2011, the Easter vigil, the third and final day of the Paschal triduum held at St Mary's Cathedral and  presided over by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom began at 7.00 pm. The event that celebrate the resurrection of the Lord , Jesus Christ was well attended with more than 1,500 faithful joining in the celebration.
    The celebration began with a solemn beginning of the Vigil ~the  Service of Light at the parking space in front of the Cathedral. The Cathedral was in complete darkness with the switching off of all lights. Parishioners gathered around a large fire and the Easter candle was then lighted from the new fire and then blessed by the prelate. They then proceeded to the Cathedral in an orderly procession led by Martin Steven, a seminarian, with the Easter candle.
    Martin Steven sang the Easter proclamation at the pulpit with the parishioners holding lighted candles in the darkened Cathedral.
    Three readings taken from the Old Testament were proclaimed after which the lights were switched on brightening up the whole Cathedral. The Gloria was sung and the Church bell rung. This was followed by the proclamation of the word taken from the New Testament.
    In his homily, Bishop Julius shared that the reading from the Gospel according to St Matthew today focussed solely on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, simply of the fact that He has risen from the dead and is alive among us. His resurrection fills our hearts with joy and gives us confidence for we have hope for everlasting life.

    Death is merely an experience we must pass through as we make our way to our heavenly Father. We realize that God is love. He loves us all the same without taking into account of our past.

    He called on the people to emulate Jesus to be life givers. We must rise in the newness of life so that we may overcome our sinful way of life.

    He said, 'As followers of the risen Lord we must rise to new life and help each other to rise and therefore all of us must be life givers just as the Lord has come to bring life and life to the full. This is the mission for each believer while we are still on pilgrim towards heaven.' 

    He concluded by saying, 'May this very night and full of grace with the power of the resurrected Christ  fill our hearts with peace and joy and may we help each other to rise because this is the way of His love.'
    'I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit'

    After the homily, the prelate proceeded to the baptismal font where he baptized four catechumens  called forward and presented by their godparents. Two others were administered the sacrament of confirmation. 

    The newly baptized
     Sacrament of Confirmation
    Receiving Holy Communion

    This Easter some 398 catechumens from across the four parishes of the Diocese were baptized with the following breakdown;
    • Holy Trinity Church Tawau ~ 116
    • St Mary's Cathedral Sandakan ~ 95
    • St Dominic's Church Lahad Datu ~ 94
    • St Martin's Church Telupid ~ 93

    ds

    Solemn Charge ~ Year of Faith - Read the Catechism Of the Catholic Church in a Year

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    Mengikuti Jejak Kristus

    Mengetahui dan Mengasihi iman Katolik

    CATHOLIC APOLOGETICS

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