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Johannine priest enlightens faithful on “The Mercy of God”

Religious pose with Fr Faure during the break at Loreto Convent Jan 14.
Religious pose with Fr Faure during the break at Loreto Convent Jan 14.

KOTA KINABALU – Father Dominique Faure of the Brothers of St John France enlightened many of those who attended his talks on “The Mercy of God” on 14-16 Jan 2016.  The talks were held in a couple of places to various groups.  First, on Jan 14, he gave the talks on happiness, sanctity, adoration and the mystery of hope, and God’s mercy to a group of over forty religious at Loreto Convent Dontozidon.  Later in the evening he had a session with the young adults at Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.

On Jan 15, Fr Faure gave four sessions on God’s mercy to a general audience at the parish centre followed a session with the Bethel Prayer Community at the same venue in the evening.  He gave the last three sessions on “Adoration and the Mystery of Hope, Happiness and Sanctity” on Jan 16.

The participants learnt to understand common terms used such “adoration” (not in the sense of holy hour before the blessed sacrament) but the sense of total dependence on God in daily living, the act of faith (not dependent on fleeting emotions and feelings) which increases one’s desire for God and seeking to do His will, the sign of which is joy.  Fr Faure also pointed out that pastoral leaders and faithful often fail to distinguish between “working for the Lord” and “being a friend of the Lord” as Jesus himself has called his disciples to be (cf Jn 15:15).

A friend, the speaker explained, is one who keeps the word of Jesus and is faithful to the end, no matter what happens.  He also distinguished between Jewish hope and Christian hope: Jewish hope is hope for the future but Christian hope is here and now because Jesus has come.  “Mercy,” he added, is given to one who does not deserve it.  “Pity,” he explained, is self-centred while compassion is other-centred.

Born in Paris on 13 Apr 1952, Dominique is the youngest in a brood of two girls and one girl born to John Faure and Sabine de Mezerac.  In 1983 he joined the Brothers of St John (FJ), an itinerant but contemplative order founded in France in 1976 by Fr Mary Dominique Philippe for preaching and teaching.  He took his first vows in 1986 followed by final profession in 1989.  He was ordained a priest in 1990.  He spent some time in India but actually he travels to many different locations around the world giving retreats, conferences and seminars.

It was through the instrumentality of Alex Chia, a final-year seminarian son of Vincent and Cecilia Chia in New Zealand, who introduced him to the KK Archdiocese.  He has attended many of his talks in New Zealand, found them good, and when he came to KK to visit his grandma recently, he told someone close  about him.  So it was that local archdiocesan head was informed about it and agreed to his coming here.  Actually, Fr Faure was on his way to China and providentially had some time to spare in his itinerary.  So in God’s merciful design, he came and spent three days with the KK faithful, enlightening them further on God’s mercy.

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