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Seminar on “What’s the Difference? Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant”

DIALOGUE MATTERS … On 23-25 June, 250 participants attended the seminar “What’s the Difference? Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant” given by Deacon Dr Sherman Kuek OFS (inset) at Holy Trinity Church, Kuching. The Deacon noted that it is important to understand how we are fundamentally different in faith and practice despite our common faith as Christians. It is only in understanding one another’s differences that Christians can truly respect one another in our mutual search for truth.

Friar Oliver Tham ordained a priest

KOTA PADAWAN — On 1 May, the Parish of St Ann celebrated a historical moment with the ordination of Friar Oliver Tham, OFM. This was the first ordination of its kind to be held in the Baruk after many years, while waiting for the new St Ann’s Church to be completed.

The parishioners from the villages and housing estates under St Ann’s Parish took great pride to ensure that the occasion would be an unforgettable experience for those attending the ordination Mass. The event was also broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube by St Ann’s media team.  Continue reading Friar Oliver Tham ordained a priest

St Ann’s new church construction progress

KOTA PADAWAN — 9 February saw The Right Honourable Prime Minister YAB Datuk Patinggi Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak and The Right Honourable Chief Minister YAB Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Abang Haji Openg making the official site visit to St Ann’s Church. They gave a grant of RM4 million received from the State Government and the Federal Government, of which the 24,591 strong Roman Catholic parishioners are most grateful.

Earlier this year, the parish also received a grant of RM400,000.00 under the Minor Rural project (MRP) from Majlis Perbandaran Padawan (MPP). With these grants, the first of the four phases of the new St Ann’s Building project is well on its way towards completion.

The St Ann new Church site, covering 6 acres, sits strategically on the intersection of Jalan Puncak Borneo and Jalan Landeh, at Kota Padawan 10th Mile Kuching-Serian Road. The total cost of the First phase amounts to RM 14.5 million which covers the construction of the main Church building (that can accommodate up to 2,225 parishioners), infrastructure works and reclamation of the swampy land.

The opening ceremony of the new Church scheduled on 30 April has been postponed to the end of this year to give time for the parish to attend to the following critical and urgent concerns:

  • The boundary drainage issues encompassing also the site’s immediate surroundings and other related infrastructure works.
    The roof extension around the main Church, which provides an additional sheltered external seating area, that will cater for the additional number of parishioners attending the major liturgical celebrations like Easter, Ash Wednesday and Christmas.
  • Although the roof and concrete platform extension as mentioned above were planned to be carried out at a later date, the St Ann New Church Building Committee had been advised that it is more judicious and cost-effective to add these extensions during the current period of the construction of the Main Church building.
    The works have started on the two major drainage boundaries and commencement for the roof extension will begin soon, based on the grants received from Majlis Perbandaran Padawan (MPP), State Government and Federal Government. This will be followed by the major interior works for the main Church building, in preparation for her historical official opening by end of 2017.

The Rector of St Ann’s Mission, Fr Gerard Victor, OFM, stated, “The entire building and construction team have done their best and we are convinced that these delays are in fact for the good of the overall St Ann Building Project and long-term interest of the parishioners. The parish team is committed to the fullest accountability and transparency and will continue to keep parishioners and well-wishers informed from time to time of the construction progress through our St Ann’s Parish Facebook page and website.”

He added that the parish is very thankful for all the contributions and support received from near and far. This will enable the parish to begin planning for Phase Two of the building project, which includes the Church office and classrooms for faith formation, meetings and other Church-related activities.

In anticipation of continuous unfailing support, the parish is confident Phase Three and Phase Four which consist of a Multi-purpose Hall and a Priests’ residential building is in the offering.

St Ann’s Church

Today’s Catholic Vol.29 No.1 May 2017

Come run for the least at Catholic Services Charity Run!

KUCHING — Catholic Welfare Services Council Sarawak (CWS) is organising a charity run on 9 September to raise funds for the poor and needy. The run is CWS’s fund-raising project for this year.

The Charity Run revolves around the theme “I RUN FOR THE LEAST” based on Matthew 25:34-40, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me… Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Continue reading Come run for the least at Catholic Services Charity Run!

A new deacon for the Archdiocese of Kuching

BUNAN GEGA — In the Archdiocese of Kuching, each diaconate ordination brings hope to the people of God, where they look forward to the gift of another priest.

On 23 April, the Archdiocese of Kuching rejoiced over the diaconate ordination of Galvin Richard Ngumbang. More than 2000, including family and friends of Galvin from far and near convened at St Jude’s Church, Bunan to witness the solemn ceremony.

Galvin was ordained into the order of deacons by Archbishop Simon Poh. It was the first ordination ceremony for the new Archbishop of Kuching since he took possession of the Archdiocese.

Born and bred in Kuching, the thirty-four year old is the youngest son of the late Richard Lee Ngumbang and Iris Ulat Pasa. Galvin underwent his primary and secondary education at St Joseph’s school and later graduated from UiTM Samarahan Campus in 2004 with Diploma in Science. Prior to entering the seminary in 2010, he worked as an Assistant Science Officer with the Malaysian Pepper Board in Sibu.

In his speech, the newly ordained deacon encouraged young people to courageously answer God’s call to the priesthood or religious life. “Offer up everything to God, your family and your anxiety. Be assured that God has a beautiful plan for those who totally give themselves to him,” said Br Galvin.

At the end of the ordination Mass, Archbishop Simon Poh thanked the community of St Jude’s Parish for hosting the ordination event. He also thanked the deacon’s mother, Iris Pasa for offering her only son to God in the service of God’s people in the Archdiocese of Kuching.

Br Galvin Ngumbang will continue to serve in St Jude’s Parish, Bunan until further appointment.

Audrey Yu

Today’s Catholic Vol.29 No.1 May 2017