SIBU – Bishop Joseph Hii entreated men and women to journey along together with the church for the glory of God, doing so alongside one another and not just supporting from behind.
He was speaking at the Sacred Heart English Ladies’ Guild 40th Anniversary Celebration at a local restaurant on 12 September.
The bishop recognised that there have always been successful women behind a successful church or parish.
Referring to the saying, behind every successful man is a woman, he said the same is true vice versa. But today with the changes coming to the world, it is no more ‘behind’ but ‘beside’.
Therefore, “beside every successful man is a successful woman and vice versa,” he said.
Likewise, there is always this group of ladies standing side by side to support the church,” he noted.
With the changes coming to the world, he observed that “just as a woman enters the second phase in her life when she is 40 years old, similarly, the 40th anniversary means crossing the threshold into a new phase,” said Bishop Hii.
“When it used to be always this group of ladies standing side by side to support the church, today, with this church, let’s journey together side by side, men and women, for the glory of God”.
The Sacred Heart English Ladies’ Guild of Sacred Heart Cathedral here commemorated its 40th Anniversary with much joy and invited many others to share in their dinner celebration, generously handing out goodies as well to all the diners.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of a donation towards the construction of the RM5 million St Michael’s Church at Sibu Jaya new township, 23km from Sibu town.
The two most senior members Teresa Ling Sung Khing and Mary Kiew were remembered at the function, the Guild adorning each of them with an exquisite necklace.
Fourteen members also received long service awards at the event.
Of them, Teresa Lau Chui Sieng has served the longest – 40 years – ever since the inception of the Guild in 1972.
Entertainment programmes and lucky draws filled up the rest of the programmes including presentation of a souvenir gift and a mooncake each to all members and guests present.
Bishop Emeritus Dominic Su in his address urged the people to pray for one another and work together for the greater glory of God and the growth of His Church in the Diocese of Sibu.
In her speech, chairperson Juliana Wong called the celebration a time of thanksgiving for everything that the present Ladies’ Guild has undergone “to experience the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and even the glorious times of our lives” striving to be faithful ‘holy women’ at home, workplace, church and society.
The members of the Guild aim to follow the way of Jesus, which is to forget themselves and to remain in His love so as to be able to overcome whatever suffering that comes along their lives.
She hoped that more ladies, married or single, would come forward to join as members of the Sacred Heart English Ladies’ Guild to serve with love, in love and for love.
She also prayed that Mary, the mother of Jesus, be the role model for all women to imitate her virtues.
In the long list of people she gave thanks to, when it comes to her fellow members she further encouraged: “Let us continue to serve God and all children of God with love, ever burning within our hearts to be like Mother Mary echoing her ‘FIAT’ or let it be done according to God’s will.”
[Photo: (Seated) Members receiving the long service award from senior members (standing)]