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A recent update on Pope Benedict XVI

A recent Twitter post (on 27 October) with photos of the Pope Emeritus during the visit of the Bishop Stefan Oster (Diocese of Passau, Germany) and journalist Peter Seewald shows that he was “dazzling, full of esprit”.

For the past two months or so, the news that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is frail and close to death was being circulated far and wide, not just through the social media but also the popular WhatsApp. The personal secretary of the Pope Emeritus, Archbishop Georg Ganswein was quoted, which read, “Pope Benedict is like a candle that fades slowly. He is serene, at peace with God, with himself and the world. He can no longer walk without help and can no longer celebrate Mass.”

Archbishop Ganswein denied this rumour.

Collection still below target, CWS Chairman laments

KUCHING — The Catholic Services Charity Run (CSCR) 2017 is exactly two weeks away. However, the amount collected and the numbers of runners are still below target.

Catholic Welfare Services Chairman Danice Endawie in his WhatsApp message on 22 August wrote that the organising committee received many “zero returns” as the sponsor cards are being handed back to them. 

“Thanks to those who have decided to participate [in the charity run],” he wrote. 

Danice urged more people to join in the run on 9 September and / or contribute towards the humble charitable cause. “It is not too late to decide to participate and contribute to CWS funds,” the WhatsApp message read. 

“Through the years CWS had given out assistance to many poor, natural disaster victims, fire victims, and the sick… Without your help CWS will find it difficult to continue to render the same assistance to those who dearly need our help,” wrote the CWS chairman.

The CSCR 2017 is organised by the Catholic Welfare Services Council Sarawak with the theme “I run for the least, the last and the lost”. Since early May this year, sponsor cards were distributed far and wide throughout the Archdiocese of Kuching. 

The organising committee hopes to raise RM 2.5 million and with participation of at least 10,000 runners on Sunday, 9 September. The amount raised will be used to fund the Home of Peace, Catholic Services Centre, CWS Samaritans, Society of St Vincent de Paul, Meals for Urban Poor Families (through SKUP), Archbishop’s Disaster Relief Fund, and in aid of the Rural Parishes.

With a minimum amount of RM80, well-wishers / sponsor card holders are eligible for the charity run. Each runner will also receive a t-shirt.

Further information on the Charity Run can be obtained from CWS office at ACCPC ground floor, or contact them at 082-241407.


Read also: Come run for the least!

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