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Archdiocesan level celebration of the 53rd World Communications Day 2019, Tuaran Parish

TUARAN – Reject fake news, preserve native language; while those who have just received the Sacrament of Confirmation must develop their faith according to Christ’s teachings. All these values are needed to spread the Good News of salvation and to build the Kingdom of God.

These three messages were delivered by Archbishop John Wong while presiding the Mass, to confirm 63 confirmands, and launching of the 53rd World Communications Day (WCD) and Kaamatan at St John Church Tuaran on 2nd June 2019.

The first 4-in-1 celebration ever held in the Tuaran parish coincided with the traditional native Kaamatan festival at parish level held yearly in May.

Archbishop John Wong urged the natives of Sabah to preserve their native languages from being lost forever. Kadazan and Dusun languages, for example, are special dialects and must be spoken every day.

“The mother tongue Dusun is a special dialect and must be preserved,” he said, happy to see about 2000 people, some were wearing their traditional costumes during the Mass and participated in the various programs at the parish hall afterwards.

The Archbishop shared his experience while he was still in the seminary. He said, “What I liked most was visiting the people in the interior churches. Tuaran was very near to my heart at that time. The faith of the people was strong. I was present at weddings, gotong-royong and Kaamatan.”

He recalled that the village rice was one of the tastiest rice but now most people buy their rice from the supermarket.

Congratulating the host for this 4-in-1 celebration, Archbishop Wong emphasized that the celebration was in line with the theme for 53rd WCD ‘We are members one of another’. He urged the faithful to read WCD message by Pope Francis to be true agent of evangelization and to reject fake news.

In his message for World Communications Day 2019, Pope Francis said, among others, “That of the body and the members, which St Paul uses to describe the reciprocal relationship among people, based on the organism that unites them.”

Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each to his neighbour, for we are members one of another” (Eph 4:25). Being members one of another is the profound motivation with which the Apostle invites us to put away falsehood and speak the truth.”

Fake news in various social media said the Archbishop, will destroy if not controlled. The faithful must wisely promote good values using the social media to spread Good News of Jesus, especially to those who have not heard of it before.

Concelebrating the Mass with Archbishop Wong were Fr Thomas Madanan, parish priest Fr Edward Raymond and assistant, Fr Abel Madisang.

The exhibition at WCD catches the eye of a young visitor

Fr Thomas Madanan, spiritual adviser for Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese Social Communication Commission (SOCCOM), encouraged evangelization in his video presentation for media practitioners and faithful alike. Various applications are used to spread the Good News.

Use these applications to build the Kingdom of God. Reject all fake news. Go to the whole world and proclaim the Good News of the Gospel,” he said.

As a yearly tradition, World Communications Day is held on seventh Sunday of Easter to encourage us to reflect on the opportunities and challenges that the modern means of social communication afford the Church to communicate the gospel message.

WCD also reminds all Catholics of their responsibility to pray for the Church’s mission to evangelize all peoples as mandated by the Lord Jesus, and for all who are involved in media and communications; as well as to make a special (obligatory) collection to support communication and media activities for this same work of evangelization. This support is basically financial. It is an obligatory collection instituted by the Universal Church. – JJ

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