HAVING consulted the College of Consultors, His Grace Most Reverend…
KOTA KINABALU (CS) – In his congratulatory message to the Sacred Heart Catholic Women’s League (SHCWL) who celebrated their 43rd year in the service of the Church, Archbishop John Wong acknowledged that 43 years is a not a ‘short time’ in terms of service. He accorded it as a true blessing from God to the SHCWL.
He also expressed his delight that SHCWL has considered the Eucharistic Celebration at the beginning of the event to be the appropriate acknowledgement of gratitude for God’s bountiful blessing on them as a Ministry, as well as for God to continue to pour out His blessings on those who believe in Him. Food, as in the dinner event, was an extension of that joy in the Lord.
Stressing on Pope Francis’s previous words and his recent Apostolic Exhortation “Joy of the Gospel”, the prelate once again relayed the importance of seeing how women’s role in the Church is linked to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Calling on the CWL to look to Mary as a model of evangelization, they were to contemplate her humility as ‘a handmaid who sings the praises of the Father’, her ‘concern to be service to others’, and her ‘remaining hidden’. He encouraged them to continue to offer their service to the Church in the ‘joy of the Gospel’, which is to reach out to those who have yet to come to know God, to put on duty their ‘hands and feet’, and to go out and not wait for others to come to them.
Meanwhile, Anita Tunggolou, chairlady of SHCWL, in her thanksgiving speech, marvelled at the long journey of CWL which started with just seven members in 1971. From just mere cooking service, today with more than 100 members and many supporters, they have grown into other areas of service to the Church, such as catering for functions, fundraising, weekly flowers for the altar, as well as planning and overseeing activities for sustaining spiritual growth in their ministry.
2014 has been another year packed with activities, fundraising projects and visitations. The chairlady was pleased to report a healthy revenue for the year, and therefore the ministry was in a position to sponsor numerous events. To the delight of all present, in particular to the seminarians, she announced the joy of being able to give financial aid of RM50,000 to the seminarians fund this year. Other beneficiaries included the Ministry of the Hearing Impaired, the Carmelites for the making of hosts, the archdiocesan CWL central fund among others.
Stressing on the importance of ongoing support for a successful ministry, the chairlady singled out in gratitude the bishops, clergy, religious, as well as family members for the encouragement, understanding and all forms of help received.
Above all, she valued the cooperation and untiring support of all members of the CWL which have become her pillars to remain committed and faithful in the ministry.
Anita Tunggolou, in her rallying call to her members to stay united and to continue to spread God’s love in service, she dedicated to them a poem from Helen Steiner Rice entitled “On Wings of Love” which goes like this:
“The priceless gift of life is love,
For with the help of God above
Love can change the human race
And make this world a better place
For love dissolves all hate and fear
And makes our vision bright and clear
So we can see and rise above
Our pettiness on wings of love.”
Concluding with a quote from Albert Einstein “Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value”, she encouraged her colleagues to do their best and to leave the rest to God.
KOTA KINABALU (CS) – Obliging Catholic Sabah for a peek to see what sustains them for 43 years in a quite often thankless job of cooking and washing, Maureen, Catherine and Anita came by the office and were prepared to bare their heart!
Catherine Wong, who actually pioneered the CWL in 1971 with a small women band of 7-member, modestly disclaimed any credit for their growth. Grateful to be part of the ministry, she accorded to it her growth in faith, her ever enlarging circle of friends and support, as well as the joy of being kept busy!
Maureen Lee, alongside her pioneering partner Catherine, too shared the joy of being a part of CWL. Happy to have persevered, she looked forward to putting in many more years. For Maureen, the most amazing part of this ministerial service was the ability of each one to take the ‘ups and downs’ of human relationships in stride and the grace to move on.
Anita Tunggolou, the longest serving chairlady, having survived 31 years, has this to say, “In spite of an initial reluctance to be involved in SHCWL, I have no regrets. I have enjoyed every single moment in helping the Church through service in CWL.”
Looking back at the original concept of CWL, which was just “work only”, she was grateful at how it has evolved.
Recalling vividly the first recollection day insisted on them by Archbishop Emeritus John Lee (then Fr John Lee) in 1985 for lack of spirituality, CWL has resolutely moved on from there and has today been able to organize activities to sustain their spiritual growth, which serves as a focal point of direction.
Keeping an eye to the future, SHCWL have began to encourage young membership, to groom them and to prepare them to receive the ‘baton’ at the appropriate time.
Personally, Anita feels that CWL has been instrumental in her own spiritual growth, not only through physical service but more so in the opportunities of spiritual formation presented.