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KK prelate notes Catholic Sabah exists to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven

Catholic Sabah editorial staff L-R Catherine Wan (Chinese section), Agnes Chai (associate editor), Linda Edward (youth section), Lily Akau (BM/KD sections), Caterine Musa (children section) pose the camera after the Training Workshop for Catholic Writers II, 2 Dec 2017, Sacred Heart Parish Centre Karamunsing.

PENAMPANG – In his message marking the 60th anniversary of Catholic Sabah as the archdiocesan paper in December 2017, Archbishop John Wong notes the paper exists to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven.  Below is the full text:

We must be grateful to God for the archdiocesan publication which marks 60 years of existence this year.

Pope Francis in his message on World Mission Sunday reminded us that in taking part in the missionary aspect, the Church is not an end goal in itself, but a channel for bringing about the Kingdom of Heaven.  So too, the Catholic Sabah, it is not an end in itself but exists to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven.

However, we are aware that the print medium is under enormous stress.  Elsewhere we have heard and have come to know that downsizing of newspapers and other print outlets are happening, while some are even forced to close.  Print journalism appears to be in decline.

 According to data, mobile access to the internet is on the rise, and more and more are inclined to scroll through their feed to see major stories going on, and for free, and even to participate actively by commenting and forwarding to others.

How have we survived, and how do we respond to this tremendous challenge that is faced by print journalism?

Our goal is not simply to survive, but to thrive and to fulfill our mission with passion and professionalism.

What is the mission of the Catholic press?

Today, as never before, the speed and ease with which we receive information, which often arrives uninvited and swiftly on our smartphones and tablets, does not give us the context to understand the significance of what we are seeing, so as to avoid falling into the trap of conforming to those of the group and rushing to judgment.  Often we become aware of the knowledge of the basics: who, what, when, and where, but not the why.

In the light of the tremendous amount of garbage with unchecked rumours and unmonitored news feed, it is the critical role of the Catholic press to help Catholics become knowledgeable about their faith and how it applies today with honest reporting from the perspective of faith.  The better informed or educated, the better they will be able to spot erroneous reporting by general media on church documents and statements.

Besides the challenge for the print today in the matter of revenues – advertisements and subscriptions – the Catholic press experiences a greater need to stay relevant, to provide an alternative way to strengthen and empower the faithful, to cover news ignored or poorly reported by secular media, and to provide a consistent effort at adult faith formation.

To this end, the print needs Catholic communicators to care passionately about the Church, and we need church leaders – clergy and lay – to care passionately about Catholic communications.

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