Edward Yahan: I come from a Catholic family of St Martin’s parish, Telupid. I am the oldest of 6 siblings.
My parents and other family members have always encouraged me to join vocation seminars, which I have from time to time.
Looking back, I recalled the few occasions when Fr Marcellinus Pongking,
SANDAKAN – The Malaysian Catechetical Commission, a pastoral assembly for common action and cooperation on catechetical matters between the Dioceses in Malaysia, held its annual meeting at the Sandakan Diocesan Pastoral Centre Feb 25-27, 2014.
14 members of the Commission, comprising bishop, clergy, religious and lay leaders coming from across all dioceses in Malaysia and Brunei attended the annual event, hosted by the Diocese of Sandakan. Out of the nine arch/dioceses in Malaysia, eight were represented. Brunei came in as observer.
The Eucharist was presided over by Fr Philip Muji and concelebrated by Fr Simon Kontou. More than 100 parishioners turned up to celebrate with the Religious.
Prior to this, a 3-day prayer (Triduum) beginning Feb 4, in preparation for the occasion, was led by the three different congregations serving in the parish. The Brothers of St Gabriel led the first day of the Triduum at St Mary’s Hostel, followed by the Good Shepherd Sisters on the second day at St Joseph’s Church, and the last day by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception at St Mary’s Chapel.
It was often the Popes who helped lead the renewal: Pius X introduced the idea of frequent communion, at a time when most Catholics were overly concerned with the idea of sin and so only went to communion once a year. Then, Pius XII restored the Easter Triduum – the Vigil, for instance, had been performed early on Holy Saturday morning and very few people took part. The vernacular also began to make itself felt and the practice grew up of reading the Scriptures at Mass in the local language – after they had been officially read in Latin during the Mass. Lay apostolates also began to appear, such as the Young Christian workers and the Legion of Mary etc. – showing new ways of “being Church”. Also, the 19th cent had also seen an upsurge of missionary movements, Mill Hill being one, and with this came the importance of the lay catechist. All this and more had begun to show the inadequacy of the Tridentine Church discipline and customs, when faced with the cultures of Asia, Africa and South America. New answers were needed to the questions thrown up by these and many other happenings – and the Council fathers set out to address them.
KOTA KINABALU – Father Brian Coogan is back this time round, to celebrate his 90th birthday at the encouragement of his old boys on Feb 6, 2014. Beloved of his students who have been tirelessly working to bring him back at any opportune moment, he has yet to disappoint them to their delight.
Sharp as ever his memory, though he begged to differ in his still workable Hakka “ Ngai how lau!” (I am really very old), he obliged Catholic Sabah regaling his days when he first arrived the shores of Borneo as a freshly ordained young priest of 23 years of age.
I had no idea that I would be called but for God’s plan. He has an ultimate plan for me that I know not of but if I follow His guidance, I would get to it. The Lord is my shepherd … he leads me beside still waters; (Ps 23:1, 3)
He guided me through my mother. I owe it to my mother, whose simple faith and commitment to bring her children to faith that God sees fit today to reward her in my ordination to the presbyterate.
But I thought God’s call would be something spectacular, like those in the Scriptures. I was naively waiting for it. Will it come in a dream, or an apparition, or a vision? I was in fact blindly looking for my own sign to confirm that God was really calling.
How much more spectacular could that sign be when over and over again it was right there before my eyes were it not for my blindness!
The Sacerdotal ordination of Fr Rhobby Aaron Mojolou took place in his home parish of St Michael’s Feb 24, 2014, followed by the ordination of Fr Mitchelly Kiun two days later at his home parish of Sacred Heart Cathedral. This brings the number of priests in the archdiocese to 37. It also marks the first sacerdotal ordination presided by Archbishop John Wong as the ordinary of the archdiocese.