Joy at First Holy Communion

Seramai 83 pelajar Katolik menerima Roti Kudus buat pertama kalinya daripada Rektor Paroki St Petrus & St Paulus, Mukah, Rev Father Michael Lee (tengah) semasa misa pada Ahad, 28 November. Pelajar Katolik tersebut telah mengikuti kelas keagamaan dan dimantapkan dengan kem selama 4 hari iaitu 24-27 November lepas sebagai persediaan untuk mereka menerima roti kudus buat pertama kalinya selepas dibaptis.

Two Family Life Conferences held

Two Family Life conferences in Bahasa Malaysia with theme “Family modelled on the Trinity” were held two weeks apart in November.

St Stephen’s Parish in Bau Zone for which includes St Ann and Holy Spirit Parishes had the conference on 6-7 November while St Jude’s Parish in Serian Zone includes St Theresa and Our Lady Queen of Peace parishes was on 20-21 November.

BAU — A total number of 935 attended out of which 220 were youths. The families from Holy Spirit Parish stayed at Kpg Skiat for the night on 6 November. It was an act of kindness and generosity. It is hoped others would do likewise in future conference.

The opening Mass was presided by Fr Nicholas Ng, the Rector of St Stephen’s Parish. Three priests namely Fr Eric Jerome, Fr Lazarus Swinie and Fr Jerome Juleng delivered their talks on “Holy Trinity”, “Holy Family” and “Family, God’s First and immediate impression” respectively were invited to give one talk each. Fr Eric Jerome from St Peter’s College delivered his talk on “Holy Trinity”. Fr Lazarus Swinie delivered his talk on “Holy Family” and Fr Jerome Juleng delivered his talk on “Family, God’s First and immediate impression”.
Workshop according to individual parishes followed. Each group has no more than 15 participants to discuss and reflect on three questions and then feedback was handed over to Michael Junim for compilation.

Each parish presented few items during the evening on the 6 November.

On the second day, John Dawi, Henry Goyem and David Disam spoke on “Resolving Conflict in the family”, “Respect in the family” and “Building faith in the family” consecutively.

Then it was time for plenary session which was moderated by Michael Junim and assisted by the 3 Lay Speakers, John, Henry and David. During Question and Answer session the problem faced by the families after conversion to Islam was raised as some converts would like to come back to practise their Catholic faith again after their spouse has left them. They were told that once they are converted to Islam it is almost impossible for them to come back to practise their Christian faith.

Fr Nicholas Ng closed the conference by celebration of a closing Mass.

SERIAN — 257 participants from the three parishes attended the conference. The parishes of St Theresa’s Serian, Our Lady Queen of Peace Sri Aman were hosted by St Jude’s Parish, Bunan Gega. The conference commenced with a Holy Mass presided by Rev Fr Christopher Laden.
The participants from Sri Aman stayed at Leopold Memorial Centre (LMC). The conference was held at the St Jude’s Church while dinner and lunch was held at the LMC. On the first day three priests namely Fr Eric Jerome, Fr Lazarus Swinie and Fr Jerome Juleng were also invited to give the same talk which they presented at Bau.

A workshop session of the same in Bau followed except due to time factor only 4 groups had the opportunity to present their workshop report.

A workshop session of the same in Bau followed except due to time factor only 4 groups had the opportunity to present their workshop report.

It was St Jude parish’s presentation in the evening of 20 November which was well coordinated.

On the second day, 3 Lay speakers, in the person of Mdm Rose Nanju and husband Mathew Makew, Edwin Berundang and Alban Bong spoke on “Resolving conflict in the family”, “Respect in the family” and “Building faith in the Family” respectively.

Plenary session was moderated by Michael Junim in the afternoon of the second day. He was assisted by Fr Lazarus Swinie and 3 other lay speakers. The Family Conference ended with a closing Mass presided by His Grace Archbishop John Ha.

It is hoped that many couples will come forward to speak in the future Family Conferences. The Archdiocesan Pastoral Council encourages more local speakers to help because during follow up they can be easily reached for assistance and references.

Michael Junim

Taize Prayer Evening at Holy Trinity Church

KUCHING — On 26 September, about 40 youths and parents attended the Taize Prayer Evening which was held at Holy Trinity Parish hall for the first time. The event was jointly organised by the Swinburne’s Catholic Student Society and Holy Trinity Parish Youth Ministry, with the assistance from St Mark’s Parish Youth Ministry. The event was to introduce Taize prayer to youths and to pray for the success of the upcoming Kuching Archdiocese Youth Day (KAYD) celebration next year.

Henry Luk, the Coordinator, called the event to order by first briefing all present on the history of Taize, what Taize prayer is and how it would be conducted. He and his team then led everyone into prayer through singing of Taize chants. The event ended at 10.30 pm with light refreshment.

The organising committee received a lot of positive feedback from youths present that evening. It is hoped that more joint events as such will be organised so as to foster the relationship of different youth ministries under the Archdiocese of Kuching.

Audrey Yu

Celebrating Sub-parish St Michael feast day

KOTA PADAWAN — On 19 September the parishioners of Sub Parish St Michael Teng Bukap celebrated the feast of its patron saint with a Mass presided by Fr Moses Yap OFM, the assistant priest from St Ann Parish. The congregation was not as big as expected.

Fr Moses in his homily reminded the faithful that attending Mass is as meeting Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Friar said that the celebration of St Michael as patron saint is particularly significant as it spoke about the existence of Gabriel, Michael and Raphael as the guardian angels. Christians pray through St Michael to strengthen their faith in the face of trials, challenges and materialism in its many forms. He stressed that the faithfuls who came to Mass as people who responded to Jesus.

St Michael Teng Bukap was one of the pioneer primary schools set in the early sixties by Mill Hill Missionaries, It is known as Sub-Parish St Michael today. It is located about 68 KM from the city covering a cluster of almost 20 villages from zone Simpok (Bisapug), zone Padawan (Pinyawa) and up to Brang Payang area. In those days the villagers sent their children there for their early education. On top of the clinic services with free supply of medicine, used clothing were distributed to the needy. Until today Sub-parish St Michael is still remembered by parishioners as a centre which enriched the locals culturally, religiously and academically.

The event ended with a mass and cake cutting by Fr Moses Yap OFM and catechist Stephen, Emily Ayu.

Richard Lubian

Worldwide children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour

KUCHING — 1 October saw the celebration of the Feast of St Theresa of Lisieux and the start of the Rosary month. Some 100 families and children gathered before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Church as children the world over to commemorate the call of Our Lady to the little shepherds of Fatima 93 years ago.

With her small angelic voice Bethany, 10 years old called out to everyone, “we are gathered here today because of what our late beloved Holy Father Pope John Paul II told thousands of children gathered in Fatima, Portugal. He said Our Lady needs you to be like the little shepherds of Fatima. She needs you to console Jesus, who is sad. He needs your prayers and your sacrifices to help change the world”. Walter Law, 9 years old added, “We need to begin to make sacrifices just like the Angel of Peace taught the little shepherds, to entrust our lives to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray the rosary, and to visit Jesus often in the Most Blessed Sacrament”. He exclaimed enthusiastically, “We can do this! The Immaculate Heart of Mary is counting on us to help her to lead the world back to Jesus, so let’s begin! Right here, right now!” The adults spontaneously joined the children of 4 to 12 leading the hour and in prayer.

The first event started last year in Blessed Sacrament Church in response to the call of Children of the Eucharist of the World Apostolate to Fatima to gather children in Eucharistic adoration. Fr Antoine Thomas, the author of realpresence.org wrote: “after many years of leading Holy Hours for children, I can tell you the benefits are numerous for both children and their families: Children who previously had only the weekly experience of Mass, discover that the Host is actually the person of Jesus, mysteriously hidden. They develop a greater interest in the mysteries of our Faith and the liturgy of the Mass. They understand – more than other children of their age who have not experienced Eucharistic Adoration – the relationship between the gift of the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross out of love for mankind. They become much more aware of the various degrees of sin and seem very eager to receive the sacrament of Confession often. Families accompanying their children witness a growing desire for peace and forgiveness within the family. And so dear people, please learn to encourage children to live in this spirit of adoration at all times, both in the presence of Our Eucharistic Lord and in the everyday activities of life, living in the spirit of Nazareth with Mary”.

It is hoped that this little event will be spread to all corners of the Archdiocese of Kuching in years to come.

Stella Sayang

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