KOTA KINABALU — Catholic communicators in the Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei region have been called to be imaginative and resourceful in facing challenges that have arisen due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cardinal-elect Cornelius Sim, advised them that during this time of uncertainty, they should not wait for certainty but to enter into a moment of creativity and search for opportunities.
Sim, who is President of the Regional Episcopal Commission for Social Communications (SOCCOM) of the Bishops’ Conference for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, was speaking at the close of its annual general meeting conducted on-line using Google Meet recently (Oct 29).
The marathon AGM that went on throughout the day from 9am to 5pm was attended on-and-off by about 15 SOCCOM officials from across the region, giving particular focus to how Catholics in the region are coping with current challenges.
Sim, who is Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei, in contrast to the apparent stability conveyed by the image of a shepherd with feet firmly planted on the ground, proposed that they adopt another model.
“The model of a fisherman might be more appropriate for the current moment; a fisherman far out on the open sea faced with violent storms, afraid, and without familiar landmarks to navigate by.
“It is during these challenging times, while many simply wait around to see familiar fixed points re-emerge, that SOCCOM members are called to be resourceful, imaginative and to identify new directions.
“You are called to find opportunities the Lord is revealing so we can continue to be relevant and focused in our ministry,” he said in his closing remarks.
Describing the state of fear that people are in whilst forced to stay indoors in order to stay safe, he said that, instead of shuttering doors, they should make sure that as Christians, they do not shut Jesus Christ out of their homes and hearts.
As at that first Pentecost when the disciples were full of fear boarded up in the upper room, Jesus broke in, appeared and said, “Peace be with you!”.
“It’s time for us to let the Lord come in and allow our hearts to be rekindled with a new enthusiasm and hope by his Spirit.
“It’s also a time to reflect and to pray fervently, examine the state of our faith, and let the energy of the Spirit lead us out into a new day,” he told Catholic social communicators.
SOCCOM officials in the region decided to hold its AGM next year in Sibu, Sarawak, tentatively from Oct 18 to 21.
By Regional Episcopal Commission for Social Communications (SOCCOM) Singapore, Malaysia & Brunei