31 January 2016
His Grace Archbishop John Wong
Fellow Religious Sisters and Brothers
Brothers and Sisters in Christ
A very good evening. As we come to the close of the Year of Consecrated Life, first of all, I wish to thank God our Father for the gift of religious vocation with its various charisms and mission in the Church. Religious life is like a flowerbed in the Church. For many of us, it has been a time of renewal, to re-awaken in us the joy and enthusiasm once again in corresponding to His call.
I also wish to thank our parents wherever they are for their support and sacrifices in planting and nurturing the seeds of vocation in us.
On behalf of the Council of Religious in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinablau, I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to our Archbishop John Wong for his presence here with us this evening to preside at the Eucharistic Celebration to mark the closing of the Year of Consecrated Life in 2016. His presence among us speaks of his encouragement and support for us, the various religious congregations serving in this archdiocese. Thank you, Abp John, for your guidance and advice in all our planning and activities during this event.
I wish also to extend my thanks and gratitude to Abp Wong the parish priest, the priests, the pastoral council, staff and Women’s League headed by Anita Tunggolou of Sacred Heart Cathedral for the help, support and collaboration given us on this occasion.
One of the activities we had during this year, organised by the Council of Religious, was the monthly parish visit with the theme of “Be glad, Rejoice, Radiate Joy.” Our objective was to share about religious life in general and the services we renter in the church, and simply being with the people. We received a very warm welcome from the parish priests, catechists and the parishioners of the different chapels. For many, it was their first time to see so many religious coming together. To all the priests, catechists, parishioners of chapels/parishes we had visited, thank you so much for your support shown in many ways of welcoming and preparation.
For us religious, these activities were not only times of renewal but also have brought us together to appreciate each congregation’s charism and mission, to get to know one another better, and hopefully to work together. To the Council of Religious and all my fellow religious here present, thank you very much for the time we spent together. It was an opportunity for us to develop and deepen our spirituality of communion in living the evangelical counsels, that is, chastity the greatest love, poverty the greatest wealth, and obedience the greatest freedom. May the grace that we received during this journey of joy lead us to take up with enthusiasm that “missionary drive” of going to meet the people who are hungering and waiting to experience the unconditional love and mercy that the Father has for all in need.
Lastly, on behalf of the Council of Religious in this archdiocese, once again, I wish to thank all of you present here, friends and benefactors who have come to show your continuous support and all those involved in making this celebration possible.
Thank you and may God bless you all.
Sr Christine Henry fsp