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KOTA KINABALU – Youths of Sacred Heart gathered on 9 March 2015 to celebrate World Youth Day (WYD) and also Sacred Heart Youth Day. This would be the final diocesan WYD before the next world gathering of youth in July 2016 in Krakow, Poland. This celebration was attended by approximately 300 youths. The purpose of the event was to introduce the existing youth ministries in Sacred Heart Cathedral to all present.
The event began with Mass at 5.00pm celebrated by Archbishop John Wong and concelebrated by Fr Jeffri Gumu. In his homily, the Archbishop said that just as “Jesus enters into Jerusalem”; we too, are to enter into Holy Week and to invite Jesus not only into the Church, our communities and our families; but most importantly, to invite Him into our hearts and life personally.
Mass over, the “Youth Nite” kicked off with praise and worship songs, followed by an ice-breaker session. A short skit focusing on the vision and mission of our Archdiocese was presented. It also showcased how the youth ministries in Sacred Heart Cathedral journey together in the service of building the Church.
A video introducing seven youth ministries in Sacred Heart Cathedral was also shown; Chinese Youth, Chinese Teens, Lifeline, Life Teen, Pelayanan Belia EFATA, Young Adults Prayer Group and Royal Ambassadors Youth, LJCCC. The program proceeded with a short talk about the meaning of service by Joannes Jomitol from the Young Adults Prayer Group.
In his talk, he invited the youth to serve in the existing youth ministries, and reminded us that in order to serve one another, we are first called to know God and to make a decision to love Him. This would eventually and naturally lead to the desire to serve one another. Jomitol also stressed on the importance of knowing the foundation of our lives; which is either founded on the truth, or on the worldly things.
The celebration ended at 10pm with a time of worship and a blessing by Fr Jeffri Gumu. – Marianna Sinam
Youths to continue evangelization of the church
BUNDU TUHAN – 165 youths and teens gathered Mar 29 to celebrate World Youth Day, Bundu Tuhan parish level in conjunction with Palm Sunday.
The gathering was to strengthen relationship between youths through activities organized by Parish Youth Service Team (Tim Pelayanan Belia Paroki, TPBP). During the Palm Sunday Mass, the newly formed TPBP team was blessed and sent out for its mission by Fr Michael Modoit.
Main objectives for the celebration were firstly to celebrate youths’ dignity and secondly to ensure that Bundu Tuhan youths understand the theme of the beatitude that only ‘a pure heart’ could bring happiness, which is also the theme for WYD 2016, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matt 5:8).
The event was celebrated with a lot of fun and creative activities such as The Cross, Laughter is the Best Therapy, C.O.C (come or close), SMS to Friends and a mini concert by Emchoo Team at the end of the day.
Youth Day celebration is a special time and place for youths worldwide as a community within a larger community to take up their part in the evangelization of the Church. – Sylviana Sibin TPBP
Be a good seed
KAJANG – Some 70 students including Sabahans and Sarawakians, from neighbouring high schools, university and working youths attended the fellowship in conjunction with 30th World Youth Day (WYD) organized by KUBM Youth Community at the Holy Family Kajang Church (HFK) Mar 29.
The purpose of this activity is to create an avenue for all youths, be they students or young workers, to come in unity and to get to know other brothers and sisters in Christ. Among the activities carried out were group sharing based on the message from Pope Francis for 30th WYD, video on the previous WYD and also fun games which encouraged close rapport among the youths. Although time was limited, they really enjoyed themselves as reflected in their happy faces. Friendships were also built and strengthened, which served as a reminder that youths are a very important part in the building of the church community and such celebrations were to be encouraged.
Pauline Pinso, secretary of KUBM, ended the fellowship with a story. She represented Dr Jiloris F. Dony, President of KUBM HFK who was absent due to official work. It was a parable story about a farmer who holds a secret in good farming which eventually produces the best harvest and a winner in a competition. Through the parable, all youths are urged to be good seed in order to produce good fruit in the church community. Quoting Pope Francis, “Have courage to be happy!”, the youths were challenged to find their happiness in Christ and to have courage to seek truth in the midst of this perverse world. – Rosemary Kong
Youth stand for ecological justice in Baram
BARAM – Jan 23-Feb 7 saw SALT, a Catholic Students Movement “School of Acting Justly, Loving Tenderly and Treading Humbly with God (Micah 6:8)”, gathering in solidarity with the indigenous people of Ulu Baram, together with Save Sarawak River Network (SAVE RIVER) an NGO based in Sarawak, for a two-week program at the main camp in Tanjung Tepalit Lepo’Gah.
The program, themed “Youth of Ecological Justice in Baram: Solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples as Stewards of Creation”, is aimed at training students to become leaders who are sensitive towards ecological issues and social justice based on the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic students, who were gathered, totalled 21, and came from various institutions: Catholic Student Society (CSS) BASIC Melaka, CSS GIFT Johor, Catholic Varcity Student (CVS) Shah Alam, Archdiocesan Single Adult and Youth Office (ASAYO), Borneo Care, Belia Baram, Borneo Care, PR Mamakat Kampung Rantai Bundu, Taskforce Against Kaiduan Dam and Menuntut NCR Luba-Surun.
As part of the program, the students were given an opportunity to stay with the indigenous people in Long Anap, Long Liam, dan Long Apu for 4 days and 3 nights, exposing them to the reality of tribal living and their struggle for their rights to their ancestral land in speaking up against the construction of the Baram Dam.
The proposed Baram Dam would destroy 400km2 ancestral land and displace 20,000 indigenous Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit, Penan and Iban from 26 villages, uprooting them from their customary and traditional way of life.
Dr John Phua, a lecturer from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) facilitated the participants with critical analysis skill to study the political, economic and social issues faced by the villages based on the Catholic Church’s Social Teachings.
A further theological reflection enabled them to realize the importance of understanding and care of environment as creation of God, which is being threatened by unrestrained development.
To equip them further, they were taught other skills by Mark Bujang, Director of Borneo Resources Institute (BRIMAS), to enhance their abilities and confidence when dealing with social human rights issues.
This experience has exposed them to the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church, which is often emphasized by the church as ‘the biggest secret of the Catholic Church’. In the Book of Genesis 1:1-31, God created and gave life to every plant and living creature on earth, which God has entrusted human to look after and not to own. Therefore, the trust which God gave to man has been violated in the proposed project of the Baram Dam.
The people of Tanjung Tepalit had the opportunity to have the participants to share their personal experience, and how God communicates through other humans, especially on the environment.
After considering all factors, SALT, together with the villagers, consented to agree to oppose the construction of the dam by Sarawak Energy Sdn Bhd (SEB) as the project not only threatens the livelihood of the natives, but also destroys the treasure of God’s creation.
The program concluded with a fellowship and a cultural night in which the participants were able to appreciate the Kenyah tribal traditions and heritage.
SALT would like to suggest that more students and youths experience for themselves the lives of the minorities, and to have an open mind regarding social justice issues, as the voice of the youth is needed to fight for the rights of the minorities in line with the Social Teachings of the Church.
Also present for the program were Vice President of Pax Romana (Asia), Adrian Pereira, and Anne Beatrice Jacob, who acted as advisors for SALT.
For further information about SALT, log on to www.saltmovement.tumblr.com or like their facebook at www.facebook.com/saltmalaysia. – Viannie Amin