Diocese of Sandakan hosts the Regional Pontifical Mission Societies Meeting
SANDAKAN — Eleven members of the Regional Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei convened at the Sandakan Diocesan Pastoral Centre for a three-day annual meeting from 23-25 June.
The eleven members present were Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu, the Episcopal President for Mission, Fr VA Michael of Kuala Lumpur, the Regional Director, Ms Justina Sharon, the Secretary, Arch/Diocesan Directors: Fr Simon Poh of Kuching, Fr Victor Loius of Penang, Fr Isidore Gilbert of Kota Kinabalu, Fr Joseph Sebastian of Sibu, Fr Robert Leong of Brunei, Fr Paul Mikin of Keningau, Fr Jasery G Emmanuel of Sandakan and Fr Sylvester Ding of Miri.
At the welcoming dinner hosted by St Mary’s Cathedral Parish, Fr VA Michael, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Setapak, the Regional Director of PMS briefly explained about PMS, concerned with the missionary animation and cooperation of the mandate of Jesus; ‘Go, make disciples of all nations, baptise them… teach them all…’ (Mt 28:19-20).
The four societies of PMS, viz The Society for the Propagation of Faith (SPF), The Society of Holy Childhood (SHC), The Society of St Peter the Apostle (SPA), and The Society for Missionary Union (SMU).
In the course of the meeting, members reflected on the Holy Father’s message of World Mission Sunday. “‘The Church is missionary by her very nature; she was born to go forth. We are to emulate the disciples, having received the call to follow Jesus and to be sent by Him to preach the Gospel and so they were filled with joy (Mk 3:14).’ Hence, let us move forth to proclaim the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ and with Christ, joy is constantly born anew” (Evangelii Gaudiun #1).
Fr Simon Poh of Kuching facilitated a session on ‘Mission in a Parish Community’. He stressed on ‘Re-Evangelisation’ or ‘New Evangelisation by Pope John Paul II. He touched on the encyclical ‘Redemptoris Missio’, dwelling briefly on missio ad gentes, pastoral care, new / re-evangelisation and ecumenical dialogue. He also expounded on Pope Francis exhortation of ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ which urges the faithful to go forth and bring Christ’s love to others for mission is central to the life of every local church, to every believer.
A prayer booklet for childhood will be printed which shall be used during the month of October. The booklet encourages children to pray and prompts saving, out from their pocket money. The money contributed for Holy Childhood will be used to help poorer children in other parts of the world.
Fr VA Michael in wrapping up the meeting said, “It’s part of our mission to have the meeting here in Sandakan. It is a privilege to learn more about Sandakan, the Parish and its mission stations.’
Diocese of Sandakan
Photo:(Seated, left to right) Fr Jasery, Fr Sylvester Ding, Archbishop John Wong, Fr V A Michael and Ms Justina Sharon; (Standing, left to right) Fr Paul Mikin, Fr Joseph Sebastian, Fr Simon Poh, Fr Isidore, Fr Robert Leong, Fr Victor Louis