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PENAMPANG – In his message marking the 60th anniversary of Catholic Sabah in December 2017, editor Msgr Primus Jouil urges the faithful to make full use of it for evangelisation. Below is the full text of his message.
As editor of Catholic Sabah, I urge Catholics in our three dioceses on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the existence of Catholic Sabah to take stock of the tool of evangelisation that we have in our hand and realise that we, as church, are responsible for spreading the Gospel message, and that we shouldn’t waste the moment nor the evangelising tool that God has given us.
Over the years, sitting on the editorial board I hear the lament of members that the Catholic Church lacks prolific Catholic writers, as well as committed contributors. Without writers and contributors, the archdiocesan publication will not have a chance to continue.
Catholics are not always comfortable with the idea of evangelising but they need to be willing to step out of themselves and share about their faith as part of an encounter. We are called to be evangelising disciples and this role requires courage, a sense of urgency, compassion and joy.
Why evangelise? We are to evangelise because Jesus commands it, and because people deserve to receive the greatest message there is, the best news that anyone can ever hear. How will they hear it if there is no one to tell? “But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? and how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?” (Rom 10:14)
Writing can be an ideal medium of evangelisation – a form that transmits easily through space and time. Writing allows us to take our time in crafting a phrase or fashioning a thought. Writing gives our reader the opportunity to read and re-read at his or her leisure. However, we need to remember that, no matter how brilliantly creative we might write, it is God who changes (or does not change) the hearts of men and women.
To this end, the Archdiocesan Social Commission has been conducting writing and journalism training courses and workshops for the benefit of Catholic writers who contribute to Catholic Sabah and other Catholic outlets. These initiatives are organised to enhance the ability to progress further in the field of social communications, and to be better equipped to go out in their mission as Catholic writers.
Archbishop John Wong, at a journalism training workshop, gave a stark reminder that writers need to build a strong relationship with Jesus Christ as only then they could pass on the Good News.
In gratitude to God for His grace in our 60 years of journey, I wish to acknowledge and thank God for your support and contribution, in readership as well as in penmanship, and that with God’s help, with Mother Mary’s intercession, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, the work of evangelisation in the field of print media continues with greater fervour and faithfulness.