On the board the plane from Armenia recently the Holy Father addressed issues of discrimination to questions referring to the recent massacre in a gay night club in Orlando. Often and conveniently quoted out of context by secular media, the Pope this time took pains to add that we must ‘say sorry not only to the gay person it has offended but also to the poor, to exploited women and anyone whom the Church did not defend when it could.” Mercy and reconciliatory efforts aimed at the person is not to be confused with acceptance of the sin.
Here in our little Archdiocese of Kuching, history was made when Archbishop Ha, priests and catholics welcomed Puan Zabaria the CEO of the Islamic Information Centre and her entourage to the ACCPC for a buka puasa session complete with prayers (our front page story). Mutual respect and acceptance not merely tolerance was the message conveyed by His Grace for the occasion.
Discrimination rears its ugly head all over the world in various guises, any gesture that brings people together in this divisive world glorifies our Father.
Today’s Catholic Vol.28 No.4 July 2016
In this issue we mark two very significant milestones. Our Archdiocese is 40 years old this year. In human biological terms it may be considered mid life, but in church age, we are in the spring of youth or even younger, a mere toddler, if we consider our 2000 year old history.
Going further back in time, the first Mill Hill missionaries arrived on the shores of Sarawak some 135 years ago in 1881, filled with fire and zeal to spread the word of God. Our faltering steps towards adulthood as a church is not taken alone but as a community and for His namesake.
Today’s Catholic Vol.28 No.3 June 2016
May is traditionally the month of Mother Mary. As the mother of our Lord Jesus, she spent 30 years living with and loving him daily, that’s a considerably long quality time. They must have been very close.
I can imagine the kind of conversations they would have had. She was there when he performed his first miracle because she asked him to. Then after three short years of public ministry (being a typical Jewish mother she would have been a part of it too), she witnessed his horrendously agonising suffering and death. She was also there at the Resurrection and Pentecost.
So basically Mary was there with Jesus his whole life, death and beyond. If she were alive today, I would be pestering her with questions about her Son. I would also be intrigued by her. Above all I would be sure to thank her for continuing to mother us all into heaven.
“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin Mary too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” –Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Today’s Catholic Vol.28 No.2 May 2016
It was barely a year ago on 14 May 2015 that Bernard Then was kidnapped in Sandakan by religious extremists who after demanding a ransom for his release had inexplicably proceeded to have him beheaded. His family and our whole community reeled in shock over what Archbishop Ha described during the requiem Mass as a ‘senseless death’.
On 1 April, there has been yet another kidnapping of four Sarawakians off the coast of Sabah near Semporna by unidentified gunmen. While our faith in the Risen Lord helps us rise above these atrocities, we echo the Archbishop’s plea for the authorities to urgently beef up security measures to protect the lives of innocent citizens.
Next month, Today’s Catholic has the privilege of carrying an exclusive interview with Bernard’s brother Christopher Then, who has kindly agreed to share about his family’s recent tragedy. Their deep faith is a shining light to a darkened world.
Today’s Catholic Vol.28 No.1 April 2016
“I am not leaving Sarawak I am taking her with me.” I remember those words from the late Brother Columba before he left for Ireland after 40 years of Christ-like witnessing among the last, least and lost among us.
Many may not know that apart from his illustrious and legendary stint as an educator par excellence, we have the honour of having Brother as our advisor/ writer / layout/ cut and paste assistant all rolled into one. Today’s Catholic is now 30 years old.
My prayer is that we will continue to reflect his spirit of being good news to all.
Although I had never enjoyed the privilege of working alongside him on the paper, he would still drop by the office to see how we were getting on in the months before he left in 1997. With a twinkle of his kind smiling eyes, he boosted my confidence with encouraging words for my amateur editorial efforts.
We are happy to present a feature on page 14-15 filled with marvellous, heartfelt tributes from those whose lives have been changed for the better because of how and for whom he lived. Rest in peace dear Br Columba. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we are certain that we will forever remain in yours.
Today’s Catholic Vol.27 No.12 March 2016