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Every year College General comes out with Sinaran to assist young people to
reflect on vocations; particularly, the vocation to the diocesan priesthood. This year the
community of College General decided to reflect on the Peninsular Malaysian Churchs
theme, Called, Chosen and Sent.
Sinaran 2014 thus has three sections. In these sections, readers are invited to
read and reflect on the stories, sharings and reflections of seminarians and priests and
religious in relation to the diocesan priesthood.
The first section is entitled Called to be a Diocesan Priest. This section consists
of sharing of vocation stories. In this section readers are invited to read the vocation
stories by seminarians - how God has called them through diocesan priests. These
vocation stories is preceded articles by the President, the Rector and former Dean of
College General. We readers, especially young people, will come to realise that Jesus
continues to call young people to priesthood.
Section two is entitled Chosen to Live a Radical Way of Life. This section
consists of articles on the Evangelical Counsels obedience, poverty and celibacy. Here
we try to capture how every priests is called to live a radical way of life. Three priests
have shared their thoughts on the counsels.
The third section is entitled, Sent: The Ministry and Mission of the Diocesan
Priest. This section consists of sharings and reflections of priests and a religious on the
joys and challenges of the priesthood.
The Editorial Team expresses our gratitude for those have contributed their
reflections and articles for Sinaran 2014. You all make this magazine publication
possible to publish. So, this is how Sinaran goes this year for you readers. Dont miss
out even one page! We urge you to share the thoughts and reflections herein with
others. God bless.

Go, live and share


the Gospel of Joy of Jesus Christ!

Cast your nets


into the deep
On

I, with the authority vested on me by Jesus


Christ, the Head and Shepherd, through the Church
and as a successor of the Apostles, Send you on
MISSION with the power of the Holy Spirit. Never
forget that the Holy Spirit is the first person sent on
mission by the Father and the Son to continue and
complete the mission of Jesus Christ. You are also
invited to be part of the Mission of the Holy Spirit.

World Mission Sunday, I spoke to all of


Penang, Kelantan, Perlis, Kedah and
Perak as a father speaks to his sons and daughters,
which includes all members of the clergy, religious,
laity and you, seminarians. Therefore, there is no
baptized Catholic in this Diocese of Penang who is
excluded.
Though you are seminarians, you need
to understand your vocation as baptized and
confirmed Catholics and what it means to be
a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am aware that we
are all equal as baptized disciples of Our Lord
Jesus Christ. We are all equal as labourers in the
vineyard of the Lord who are Called, Chosen and
Sent. In the light of discipleship, the vocation to
the priesthood is a specific mission entrusted to
you by Jesus Christ. The priesthood is participation
in the mission of Christ through the Bishop. Canon
Law states that priesthood represents Christ who
is the Head and Shepherd in a community of
disciples. In order to stay focused and be formed
like a Shepherd, spiritual direction is necessary for
your journey and even after ordination.

St. Pope John Paul II reminded us at the


beginning of the New Millennium 2000 saying
Cast your nets into the deep. So I remind you
again Do not be afraid to go on mission.
Today, Pope Francis and I, urge you as a
follower of Christ to become a Missionary Disciple.
And as a missionary disciple, I Send you to proclaim
the Joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the world,
bearing witness by your word, deeds, lifestyle and
by your life choices.
I send you as messengers of Hope, Joy, Dialogue
and Reconciliation to a world deeply broken and in
need of the healing love of Jesus Christ. Remember
that you are not Sent alone. The one who Sends
you is Jesus Christ through me your bishop who
promises to be with you always. But you must take
personal responsibility for this Mission which you
will undertake seriously. This mission already begins
now as a seminarian.

Today after eight years of reflecting on the


theme of Discipleship since the Peninsular Malaysia
Pastoral Convention 3, which was held in 2006 and
on the theme of Disciples who are Called, Chosen
and Sent which was the theme this year of the
Lord 2014, the GRACE FILLED MOMENT has arrived,
that is to send each of you, both young and old
on mission. The time is NOW! Those who are called
and chosen must be Sent on mission.

God bless you and you are assured of my


prayers as you move out in mission!

Rt. Rev. Sebastian Francis


Bishop of Penang
President of the seminary
Board of Directors

CALLED, CHOSEN, SENT:


My Role in the Formation of Diocesan Priests

As I look back at my life as a formator in the seminary since 2000 (with


some time out in-between again in the parish and on sabbatical) and also as
rector since 2010, the image of myself is that of coach someone who is very
much in the game, yet at the sidelines - for the game is ultimately played by the
players themselves.
The coach during the game can scream and shout in encouragement (though
it may sometimes be taken the other way!), pray to the Almighty for a reversal in his
players fortunes, and sometimes get all anxious that his team is not doing their best
but ultimately, it is the players that play and bring themselves victory! This is to
me a reminder that All formation is ultimately self-formation. I am reminded, time and
time again, to recognize that as much as I want the best for each seminarian, he must
want it for himself and with the grace of God, get there through his own efforts. Yet,
together with others, I need to be there to help point towards victory.
However, the coach perhaps has a more important role outside the actual game
in the actual process of training before the game. Here is where the actual long-term
preparatory work is done. Yes, there is instruction and teaching, even correction of
sharing in the ongoing life-story that involves joy and pain. There is the accompaniment
as a seminarian goes through a process of transformation from a
shy, insecure new entrant into our seminary to become a confident
man of God, who is equipped not just with knowledge but also
wisdom, armed with a plethora of gifts that he has developed
and acquired, with an openness for learning as he goes onto the
next stage of his formation. There is the role-modelling involved
of setting myself as someone to emulate (despite my foibles
and limitations) in my openness to grow further in the priesthood
and of allowing my own personal excitement and joy in the
priesthood to be visible and infectious. Sometimes it may also be
my role to listen to someone who comes to a realization that he
is in the wrong game and to accompany him as he transitions to another way of life.
Most importantly, as coach I need to point forward to the ultimate goal to God and
Gods will for each one of us.

... as coach I need to


point forward to the
ultimate goal to
God and Gods will
for each one of us

So am I happy to be coach? You bet! I consider it a privilege to be allowed to


accompany men who allow me into the inner sanctum of themselves where I can truly
see God working. In their struggles, I recognize my own ongoing and past struggles
as well as the promise of victory. I see the reality of Gods grace working in those who
allow themselves to be transformed by it. Yes, in my role, I see God ... when I am truly
attentive to the workings of the Spirit in the lives of others and my own self! At each
priestly ordination, I am apt to shed a tear of gratitude, joy and praise as I have
been a part of an ongoing miracle of transformation and of grace!
God bless us all as we continue to play our God-given roles in the game of Life!
In prayer, love & peace,

REV. Fr. Gerard Steve Theraviam,


Rector

Our Future Priests

My wish list of who a Priest should be The 7 Ps

What kind of priests do we want


in our parishes in the future?
This was the question Fr. Stanley Antoni asked the Bishops at last years Bishops-Staff meeting, when
he joined College General as a formator. Only when we know what we want, more importantly, what we
need, can we form our seminarians more effectively.
I have been sitting on the staff side of the seminary for the past 4 years and now I sit on the
bishops side. What kind of priests do I need and want in 5 to 10 years time and beyond? My wish list
would include that a Priest be

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

A Pastor: I need a priest who know his sheep and his sheep know him; a priest who visits

the flock and is concerned for the wounded sheep. He cares and goes in search for the lost.
A priest must love and care for his sheep.

A Protector: I need priests who will protect the faith and the well-being of his flock.

He must teach and preach sound doctrine to his people and be willing to even lay down his
life for his sheep.

A Pray-er:

A Prophet: I need priests who can read the signs of the times and are not afraid to speak

A priest must not only pray but be seen to be praying. He must take his
prayer life seriously, continuing the moments for meditation and contemplation.

the truth. Priests who are reflective and will say what is right and not what is popular.

A Poet: A priest must be a communicator. Someone who is able to articulate the immanent
presence of God in the language of the day.

A Planner:

A Player: A priest must be able to work with others, may it be with the presbyterium,

A priest should be able to organize his parish and be a faithful steward/


administrator of the goods under his charge.

his own flock of various races and ethnicity, other Christians, peoples of various faiths. There
are now migrants from many foreign countries with varied needs.

Is our formation programme preparing priests for the new and varied challenges of the future?
I believe it does, if one is conscious of the reasons behind the things we do. The 5 aspects of formation namely
the Human, Intellectual, Spiritual, Pastoral and Community living seem to cover the main expectations of
priests.
I pray that our seminarians see the value of the formation they are receiving in College General and
to make full use of the opportunities available, the Library, Sports facilities, Manual labour, Recollections,
Spiritual Exercises, Meditations, Pastoral assignments, Community activities and not forgetting Personal
Reflection.
A tall order for our seminarians who today practically run the whole seminary with a skeleton staff,
stepping up to assume responsibility so early in their formation. I only have admiration for each one of
them and wishing them well in seeking the will of God.

Most Rev. julian leow


Archbishop Kuala Lumpur

My Conversion
As a cradle Catholic, I come from a family steeped
in traditions and the teachings of the Church. Thus
attendance at Sunday Masses and Catechism classes
were compulsory. My life changed when I started
playing for some local football clubs where matches
were always held on alternate Sundays. Therefore,
I started missing Sunday masses and catechism classes.
When I started working, I began to explore the
worldly life. I really enjoyed my nightlife hanging out
at discos and clubs. Eventually, I missed masses because of hangovers and
going home in the wee hours. After working for a year, I resigned from my job and
went to study an electronics course, and not completing it. Then I worked as a parttime worker at a snooker center before being promoted to a full-time worker.
I had many motorbike accidents. The first
accident happened when I was on my way to Midas
College. I could not brake in time when a car over
took me and suddenly turned left, so I rammed into
the car. My second accident left me with an injured
toe. Next morning, my brother, David, woke me
up to go to college but I could not because my toe
started bleeding again. While cleaning my wound
he asked me what had happened? He added, Are
you missing or avoiding something? I kept mum.
After recovering, I returned to my nightlife and this time, it got even worse: I would
stay away from home some nights. I think God thought I needed to learn a lesson. Yes,
I had another accident which landed me in a specialist hospital for nine days.

Arent you missing


something or avoiding
something?

After the hospital stay, my life changed: I began to share my thoughts with my
family, and they did likewise. David asked me again, Arent you missing something
or avoiding something? Then I realized it was church that he was referring to. I said,
Yes, mass in the church. It was not easy for me to go back to church. The first few
times were hard; I feared what people would say about me, but with my siblings
unconditional love and help, I managed to return to Sunday masses and slowly was
led to a deeper relationship with God.
Everything in life is good but that depends on the choices I make. From my
experiences, life without God is like being a piece of driftwood floating aimlessly in
the sea. I am glad that God gave me those experiences to see the real meaning of life.
I began to ponder and question, What is vocation all about? I began to meditate,
reflect, and ask for Gods help. After years of reflection, I realized that freedom in
Gods way is the best because I can experience joy and Gods blessings. I hope that
whatever I shall experience will help me understand Gods call. God will continue
knocking on my door and I must keep listening and responding to him.

Konstend G.
(Philosophy-Year 1)
St. Annes Church, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

Discover Through Experience

Called

Love is the very reason where I am


now. My vocation story started about four
years ago. Everything was going according
to my own will. I had almost everything I
wanted, yet felt something was missing.
One particular incident which I want to
keep to myself affected me greatly and
I felt very strongly that something was
really missing in my life. So I started my
search. I had been an active member in
my parish until Confirmation and then
slowly stopped and old memories started
to be rekindled and this made me to go
back to church.
I started going to church regularly
and felt comfortable just being there. I
was slowly restoring my relationship with
God. One fine day, I was sharing about my
church-going experience with my cousin
who happens to be a seminarian. He was
enthusiastically narrating his experience
in the seminary.
A few months later I met this
same cousin. He asked me casually if
I had thought about the priesthood. I
was a bit startled as I had not thought
about it recently. When I regained my
composure, I told him that I had thought
about priesthood in
my earlier days but
over the years, that
interest had somewhat
faded. My cousin was
not one to give up. He
urged me to reconsider
and reflect on Gods
calling. At first I
paid little attention
to whatever he was
saying. However it dawned on me that
by opting for the priesthood, I might be
fulfilling Gods will. Slowly, I started to
discern my vocation.

None of us are
worthy but God
makes us worthy

In fact, three diocesan priests


played a major role in helping me to
choose the diocesan priesthood. First,
Fr. Amalanathan who was in my parish
impressed me greatly. In spite of the
fact that he suffered a stroke and was

somewhat disabled, he continued to serve


God and celebrates mass. He was able to
bring Christ to people by his presence;
this gave me better understanding about
being an Alter Christus another Christ.
Second, Fr. Albet with his simplicity
and
humility
touched
my
heart
profoundly. He was easy to talk to and
always found time to listen to me. I
poured out all my fears and struggles
to which he listened attentively. When I
asked him if I was worthy to be a priest,
he said None of us are worthy but God
makes us worthy, than he quoted Jesus:
It is not the healthy who needs a doctor,
but the sick. I have not come to call the
righteous, but sinners (Mark 2:17). His
simple homilies helped me a great deal
for my discernment.
Third, Fr. Michael Chua gave me a
deeper understanding of my faith. He was
able to enlighten me on church doctrines
and current views of the church. His vast
knowledge of church teaching and church
traditions gave me a clear insight into the
workings of the church. Moreover, he
never fails to remind me to give my best
to God. His fatherly advice has motivated
me to persevere seriously my new calling.
I am ever thankful to God for these
three diocesan priests who touched my life
profoundly. As I continue my discernment
here at the seminary, God continuously
showers his love and blessings through
people. I am happy to be here, doing
Gods will.

Bonaventure
(Philosophy Year 1)
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes,
Klang, Selangor.

How GOD touched me to say YES to Him


This time again, the experience opened up
more avenues for me to think and reflect which I
made good use of. I was now quite sure of myself
and therefore, I told myself these stirrings were
truly a sign of my call to the priesthood. I felt that
it was time for me to take on a more serious and
organized discernment process.

After I received my first Holy Communion,


I joined the Altar Servers in my parish. It was
something that I had longed for; I found joy in
serving Masses. As I continued, I began to observe
closely the way priests celebrated Masses and I
was also drawn to them reaching out to the needy,
anointing the sick, actively doing other pastoral
work and administering the sacraments.

In addition, to all these stirrings I used to get


some passing remarks such as, You should become
a priest from my parents, sibling, friends and
colleagues, etc. As I continued to struggle with
these disturbances in my life, here came the new
parish priest, whose first question to me was, So
how are you, are you still interested to become
a Priest? I felt good that he still remembered
me and I felt that this would be the right time
for me to start a serious and more committed
discernment journey. I found myself relating
comfortably with him and he in return continued
to provoke my thoughts and challenge me on my
call to the priesthood. Besides, he also gave me
some materials to read.

All these experiences somewhat caused a


stirring within me to become a priest. When I was
about 15 years old, I began to wonder what all
these meant but I did not spend sufficient time
reflecting or praying about them. Those feelings
were just at the surface level and personally
I realized that I was not at all ready for such a
challenge in my life. I continued to ignore these
stirrings and went about sorting my life, my
educational pursuits and everything else.
However, after completing my SPM
examinations, I began to have the desire of wanting
to discuss these stirrings within me. Therefore,
I plucked up enough courage and approached my
former Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Paulino Miranda, who
advised me to further my studies and work for a
couple of years or more before proceeding to the
next step. He felt that I needed more exposure of
the world and also to know myself better.

Eventually, I was sent for a discernment


retreat where apart from receiving new
information, I was very deeply drawn to the
Eucharist during the Holy Hour. The moment
Fr. Christopher lifted up the monstrance; I felt
so awesome and I could feel tears freely flowing
down my cheeks. The next thing in my mind was
the question, When will I become a priest and
when will I be able to raise this Jesus up in the
monstrance for the people of God?

Sometime later, I shared my struggles with


Fr. Danny, who was then our Parish Priest. He,
after having some good discussions with me, sent
me to experience seminary life at College General,
Penang. This was indeed a good decision as I had
answers for my many questions regarding the
calling to the priesthood. In addition, I was now
more convinced that I am being called to serve in
the ministry of the priesthood. Fr. Danny however
suggested that I should further my studies and
work for a couple of years or more.

Today I have started my proper and


organized discernment journey in the seminary to
discover and confirm that I am called to serve in
the vineyard of Christ as a priest. God help me!
My stay at CG thus far has been very
meaningful and challenging. There are times
I am in tears when problems arise but with the
help of God I am able to move on and take those
challenges as a learning process.

I took his advice and pursued my studies in


Seremban. It was a lonely period for me because
the stirrings were stronger but I could not find
anyone to share them with. I coped with these
struggles by just running away and putting my
focus on other issues. It was during the time
when Fr. Mari Arokiam was our Parish Priest that
I found my voice again to share my experiences
and thoughts. He then encouraged me to have
another stay-in experience at College General.

Michel Dass
s/o Anthony Dass
(Initation Year)
Church of St. John Vianney,
Tampin, Negeri Sembilan.

Enigmatic Feeling

Called


Shalom! I come from Kuching, Sarawak and am the second son of five siblings.
I have one elder brother and three younger sisters. I was born into a Catholic family.
Since I was young, my parents always brought me and my elder brother to church to
attend Sunday Masses.
When I was in standard six, my parents registered me to join the Childrens
Liturgy. Every Sunday I attended it. At the same time, my prayer leader also trained me
to be an altar server. I served until Form 5. I felt happy, peaceful and joyful as I served. I
asked myself, Why do I feel like this? However I did not get any answer from myself.
It was a mystery for me.
In addition, from Form one until Form six, I always joined in church activities such
as youth gatherings or camps organized by my parish or Archdiocese. Sometimes, I
was a participant and at other times as a helper. From there, God opened my eyes to
see youths thirsting for the love of God. At that time, I wanted to help them to feel
Gods love, but I did not know how. After this, I became more courageous in serving
them as a volunteer. It seemed like it gave me strength, especially during Kuching
Archdiocese Youth Apostolate (K.A.Y.A) programme in 2008. My heart felt good to
have helped the youth in their search for God.
On October, 15th, 2008, I had an accident while I was riding my motorcycle on
the way to extra classes in the evening. My leg and finger bones were broken in the
accident. For almost one year, I had to walk with crutches and sit in a wheelchair.
Because of that I always prayed to God to heal me.
I started working after I finished my secondary school. I worked for about 2 years.
I felt empty in my life even through the salary I received at that time was enough for
me. So, I quit work.
From March 2013, I always joined my parish priests for outstation masses
and accompanied them in anointing the sick. They also always shared about the
priesthood. Besides, they also taught me how to prepare for communion and set up
things for mass. I liked their priestly lifestyle. So, I shared with both of my parish
priests about my feelings. Then, they suggested to me to attend the vocation retreat
at St. Peters College, Kuching, Sarawak for an exposure. In July, 2013, I joined that
vocation retreat. It was really helpful for me.
Finally, at the end of the year 2013, I decided to join the diocesan priesthood and
now I am here to brush up my English.

Dannie Luis
(Pre Initiation Year)
Holy Spirit Church, Lundu, Sarawak.

A Call from God


even having to skip Sunday Masses. My good
pay didnt bring the happiness which I used
to have. I had to travel outstation and was far
from my family and seemingly losing their love.
I felt like walking away from the job. One offday, I went to chapel in my Parish to pray and to
have some moments of silence. In tears, I asked
God what was happing to my life. I felt far from
God, Church and my family and I asked Him to
rescue me. I then heard a voice saying Dont
be afraid, I am with you. I decided to go and
talk to Fr. Henry, my parish priest and spiritual
director. He told me to spend more silent time
with God and things started to change, I started
to became more calm and thing came back to
normal, I managed to talk with my superior at
work, so that I could attend masses on Sundays.

During my childhood, I didnt know much


about my faith. I was brought to church but
I understood little. I wanted to be an Altar
Server like my cousins. I received my First Holy
Communion from my assistant priest, Fr. Victor
Louis and through him, my childhood dream
came through. I joined the Altar Servers the
following year. I really enjoyed the moments
I spent with Fr. Victor Louis; it was my first
encounter with priesthood through his ministry.
Time passed and as a teenager, things were
different. I started to see things differently and
I asked questions: Who am I? and What is my
faith? and What is my purpose in living?
While preparing for Confirmation, things
became clearer. The Camp really opened my
eyes. The sessions conducted by Martin Jalleh
made me see the Church in a different way,
rather than the boring and traditional way
which I used to know. During the Inner Healing
Session, I encountered the touch of the Holy
Spirit. I became more active in the Altar Servers
and the Parish Liturgical Committee with the
help of my Parish Priest Fr. Stephen Liew, whom
I became close to. He was a very down-to-earth
person and he shared his experiences as a priest.
It was my second encounter with priesthood. Fr.
Stephen Liew invited me to start thinking more
seriously about my vocation. I went for the
Vocation Discernment Camp and it was from
that the time that I started to journey with Fr.
Henry on my vocation.

I felt the call of priesthood as I was serving
at the altar as an Altar Server. In 2008, I attended
the World Youth Day in Sydney and it was an
experience of my sharing my faith with youth
from different countries, I experienced the
beauty of the Rosary and Mother Marys love
and her intercession. I went to the Vocation
Exhibition and was truly amazed with the
diversity of vocations that were displayed. I also
got to know two icons of God namely, St.
John Paul II and Blessed Mother. Their ministry
of love and humility was my third encounter
with priesthood.

In November 2012, I join a pilgrimage to


Europe. It was a beautiful journey At Santeram,
God invited me to follow him. I was praying
and asking Dear God, what is my Vocation as
I have journeyed for the past eight years trying
to find out? Is it priesthood? If thats what you
want, show me your miracles and I accept your
will. Suddenly, the tabernacle holding the
miraculous Host opened by itself. I said to him
I accept your invitation, my dear Father. On
7th July 2013, I said YES to Gods Calling to join
the Priesthood.
After that everything fell to place. In midJanuary 2014, Bishop Sebastian Francis approved
my entry into College General. During the
interview, he told me only one thing, Be open,
Desmond, and let God guide you on the journey.
Let God transform you in His way. Dont be
afraid. In the end, it doesnt matter even if you
dont become a priest but you will have become
his disciple. It was yet another encounter
I had with God, and the journey continues in CG
with my new home and family.

Desmond Jansen
(Pre Initiation Year)
St. Anne Church,
Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

In 2009, I graduated from college and


I started working. It was the toughest time
in my life as I was getting far from God and
Church Ministry due to work commitments,

My Wayfare Transformation

Called

My vocation story started about 4 years back. At that time I was not involved
in church and most of the time I tried to skip Mass. I would give excuses all the time
about this and that just to escape from going to Mass. On Sundays I preferred getting
up late and not thinking of Mass at all. From the time I opened my eyes, I would only
think of the shopping malls, dating and having my lunch.
One day I was given a job offer as a Product Support Specialists in Ipoh Perak. I
took the offer and that was when I had to relocate from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. When
I was in Ipoh, I would travel back to my hometown, Taiping, and I always accompanied
my family to church. Slowly I joined the St. Louis Choir because my mom was the
pianist for the choir. I enjoyed myself singing for God. Later my dad and my brother
joined us too.
One evening during choir practice something struck my mind. Why did Jesus
suffer on the cross and die for us? There is nothing special about me - I am just a normal
human being and I am a sinful person. I started finding out by talking to people,
through reading books and the internet. I got many answers and the conclusion of
those answers is LOVE. That was when I became very active in my parish and I
was involved with Aulong St. Anthony Chapel and the choir too. At that time I had
feelings of Gods Calling.
I spoke to my mother about the feelings I had and she advised me to visit Father
Jude. While having a conversation with Fr. Jude he asked me to try out the priesthood
but I had doubts over it. One day Fr. Anthony told me about his College General StayIn experience, at that time he was only a final year seminarian. I was very excited and
I joined the Vocation Stay-In at College General.
When I reached the college, Father Gerard was the one who welcomed me and
he took me around the college. I was very impressed with the College. The second day
of my stay, I experienced Gods love during the visit to the Blessed Sacrament; I could
not stop crying at that time. During that night I called my dad and I told him of my
experience. We had a long conversation and one of his pieces of advice was If God
wants you to be there, He will know what to do dont worry. I reflected about
this. During my reflection, I saw Jesus in my mind standing in front of me and all of a
sudden, my dad appeared. This happened a few times I realized that God used my
dad to send me the message: Not to worry.
After my stay, I visited Father Jude to confirm my decision to join the priesthood.
After that I journeyed further with Father Aloysius before entering College General.

Bryan Yeong Kok Wai


(Pre Initiation Year)
Taiping Catholic Church,
Taiping, Perak

10

Vision Experience
I first went to a vocation seminar when I was 17 years old, just after I finished
my secondary school at La Salles Mission school. When I went to this seminar, I didnt
have any thoughts of becoming a priest or missionary. I just went because I wanted to
enjoy the cool breeze and fresh greenery of that place, and to get away from home
because sometimes home can be boring. Furthermore, some of my altar boy friends
were also going. So, I became interested to attend the vocation seminar.
At the end of the seminar, the participants were called to meet the priests
individually. At that time Rev. Fr. John Wong Soo Kau interviewed me. I still remember
he asked me, Valentine, do you really want to become a priest and join the seminary?
Then, out of nowhere I replied Yes. I dont know why I said Yes, maybe due to my
nervousness. Fr. John Wong looked at me and said You are too young to join the
seminary. Why dont you gain experience working and come back to me after two
years? And I said, okay Father.
I didnt follow what Rev. Fr. John Wong told me about coming back after two
years; I only come back after five years in early 2012. I had totally forgotten about
that calling to become a priest when I was working during the five years. Then I
attended the vocation seminar again but this time there were two Mill Hill Missionary
Priests at the vocation seminar. They were Rev. Fr. Terry Burke, from England, and
Rev. Fr. Matthew Olili, from Kenya.
Fr. Terry Burke shared inspiring stories of the mission, about how the Mill Hill
missionaries came to Borneo to start the mission there. I said to myself, Thats it, thats
it! This is what I liked, and what I wanted to become as well to be part of this Mill Hill
Missionaries society. Though Rev. Fr. Terry looked scary, yet I found courage in me to
ask him how to be part of this mission.
A few months after the seminar in March 2012, Fr. Terry called me and said the
Mill Hill Missionaries at Philippines agreed to enrol me as a student. I was filled with
joy and very excited at that moment. From that experience, I learnt to adapt and
accept that as a missionaries we are here today, there tomorrow.

Valentine Arthur
(Pre Initiation Year)
Sacred Heart Cathedral, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

11

OBEDIENCE
Obedience, Cardinal Timothy Dolan says, is simply conforming our lives to
the will of God, submitting our wills to his dominion as expressed in the scriptures,
tradition and magisterium of the church, in natural law and those expressed by our
superiors, in the dictates of a well-formed conscience and in the promptings of the
Holy Spirit interpreted prudently in discernment. In short, for Catholics, obedience
is about listening, understanding and living the teachings of the Church, which is
the mouth piece of God.
Bonhoeffer summarizes the call to obedience as follows, Only those who obey
can believe and only those who believe can obey. The call to obedience first involves
the ability to say I believe that the promise of greater things by God will be fulfilled
even though I am not able to see now. Secondly, the ability to say Thy will be done;
I trust, surrender and lay down my will to God.
Yet in reality we, as individuals and society, seem to think that true happiness
comes only when we have the license to do what we want. We aspire for total
freedom and advocate autonomy. We defy God, especially when our needs and
desires are called to question. We prefer to say the contrary, I know and I will
do it my way.
Why are priests called to obedience?
St. Peter Chrysologus, Doctor of the Church says this: Let us put on the
complete image of our creator so as to be wholly like him, not in the glory that
he alone possesses but in those qualities in which he chose to become and to
be one with us. If there is then one good reason for obedience, it is this for me:
there is something beyond ourselves that takes precedence: Christ in the world.
If we are to be credible witnesses, then we need to put on the complete image of
Christ, which is and will be a struggle, but it is the only way to witness.
Why is obedience vital for a priest?
The mandate we received from Christ is to be in the world but not of the world.
We have not always observed this carefully. Some of our actions and decisions have
caused the church pain and embarrassment over history. But this only affirms the
humanness which the church is composed of. That is why we must conform to Christ
and submit in obedience to the church that is still looking at Him, trusting in the voices
that call our obedience. We can heal and bring renewal to the Church and humanity.
I myself am one of these voices as a pastor of a parish community who must echo
I believe and Thy will be done. I am reminded of this every morning at
the invitatory psalm O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your
hearts (Ps 94) - so that little by little, I hope my obedience to Christ leads me to
be like Him.

Rev. Fr. Surain Dorai Raj


Parish Priest
Church of Jesus Caritas
Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.

Obedience is ...

To listen to
be obedien
t, first
I need to cu
ltivate the v
irtue
of listening
.
Bonavent
ure
Listen and think about it carefully and
respond with respect, patience, tolerance
and humilitythis is obedience.
Dannie Luis

The ultimate keyword of


obedience is to listen, respect
and act in response if it is right in
Gods eyes.
Cyril Ian George

Obedience to be chos
en, called and
sent. Everything is in
our hands,
God-willing, to be fo
llowed through
with my obedience.
Roy
about the
I have learnt more
g obedient to
importance of bein
rding the tasks
our superiors rega
cially if the
given to me, espe
sibility.
matter is my respon
Elden

Obedience is the foundation


that helps me to grow wiser as
a person.
Bryan Yeong

Obedience is not only


obeying someone,
but also listening to
someone not only with
the ears but also from
my heart.
Konstend
Obedience is a virtue that can be easily
described, but its difficult to follow.
Obedience is the bottom line in my life.
Michel Dass

Initially, I sa
id No to m
y parish prie
asked me to
st when he
join the sem
inary. Later,
my obedien
I showed
ce when I sa
id Yes at la
Henrry Um
st.
ar

obedienT
Be His Heart . Be His Hands . Be His Voice.

CELIBACY
When I was invited to write an article on
celibacy, two incidents ran through my mind
immediately. Firstly, I was taken back to the
moment when I first told my parents that I
wanted to join the seminary. My mother, like
most mothers, had a great concern about who
would look after me in my old age since I will
not have a family of my own as I would have
to take the promise of celibacy. The second
experience that came to my mind was while
in the seminary, I had hurt my back playing
football and needed physiotherapy to help
with the recovery process. In one of the
sessions, the therapist, a Muslim, discovered
that I was studying to be a priest and was
interested to know more. In the course of
the conversation, he was shocked to discover
that Catholic priests do not get married. He
innocently asked me, How is it possible for
you to live alone for the rest of your life
without a wife and children? He could not
perceive such a life and gave me a blank look.
I guess for many people, the word
celibacy is associated with loneliness.
Although it is no fault of theirs, because the
media portrays that being alone is unnatural
and therefore concludes that aloneness is
loneliness. Celibacy is aloneness but never
loneliness. It is not my intention here to give
a theological discourse on celibacy but rather
to share one aspect of celibacy as experienced
by me in living out this promise that I made at
my ordination.
Traditionally, those in formation for
priesthood are reminded that the promise
of celibacy is for the purpose of loving those
entrusted to the care of the priest. If the priest
had his own family, it would not be possible for
him as a priest to give himself unconditionally.
Celibacy cannot only be a practical way of
living for the sake of ministering effectively.
The centrality of celibacy is love - to love and
to be loved. Love cannot just be unilateral
but to be complete, has to be bilateral. To
love those entrusted to priests can at times
turn out to be purely functional but to allow
one to be loved can be transformational. In
my experience, it is this that makes me more
human, less functional but more relational;
and good relationships transform. Celibacy
must embrace the totality of this love whose
source is in Jesus Christ.

For many newly ordained priests, the


enthusiasm of the ministry takes precedence
over everything else because this is what we
were prepared for. However, the realization
of this other dimension of celibacy only comes
much later. In my early years I was afraid
to be loved by others probably because in
my mind it had been registered as a sign of
weakness and sometimes the fear of being
accused of showing favouritism. However, at
some point in ones journey, this fear must be
confronted or else priests
can remain functional and
not relational. It does not
help in any way when we
put up a wall around us
and not allow ourselves to
be loved by others, as this
can only be detrimental
to the living out the
wholesomeness of the
ministerial priesthood. It is
only when I allow people
to love me that I can love more. It is not that
I go out seeking to be loved for this is selfish;
but the willingness to journey with others. As
much as the community needs a priest, the
priest also needs the community. Seen this
way, in choosing the life of celibacy, I may be
alone but I am not lonely.

I may be
alone but
I am not
lonely

Celibacy is not something to be


feared but to be embraced. For us who
choose the celibate life, the capacity to love
and to be loved is founded on the love of God.
It is a love that is pure and life giving.
Celibate love not only empowers those
whom we encounter and minister but it
is also life-giving to the one who is called
to love - the priest.

REV. Fr. Clarence


Devadass
Priest in Residence
Church of the Sacred Heart,
Kuala Lumpur.
Director of Archdiocesan
Pastoral Institute (API).

We Seminarians
say chastity is ...

Purity of our heart,


body and soul, a
balanced and good
attitude and clean
mindedness - all this
lead towards chastity.
Dannie Luis

Chastity is a vow that


shows the beauty of
a promise by which
a person offers his
sexual life to God.
Bryan Yeong

The experience of love,


light and the cross from
Christ will guide me to a
chaste life.
Bonaventure

Chastity is to live a pure


life. I am opting out from
a sinful life for the greater
glory of God.
Konstend

Chastity is not just about


giving up sexual intercourse;
its about giving up your life
to God happily and open
heartedly.
Roy

To be chaste is to embrace the


kingdom of God by choosing
to live in a pure atmosphere,
standing firm in maintaining
moral purity and virtues.
Henrry

Chastity is the virtue


by which a person
who is capable of
passion deliberately
loves with an
undivided heart.
Desmond

The root word is Chaste.


For me it means being pure,
honest and true. No mask
wearing. I am who am I.
Michel Dass

Chastity is a gift of God,


we humans can pray for
the gift, but God is the
one who grants it.
Cyril Ian George

Evangelical Counsel
of Poverty

A wealthy older gentleman had just
recently married a lovely young lady, and was
beginning to wonder whether she might have
married him for his money. So he asked her, Tell
me the truth: if I lost all my money, would you still
love me? She said reassuringly, Oh honey, dont
be silly. Of course I would still love you. And Id
also miss you terribly. No Money! No Honey!
Evangelical poverty is a clear and concrete
way of manifesting, that God is the only true
wealth for the human person. Lived according
to the example of Christ who being rich became
poor, it is the expression of the total giving of
self that happens reciprocally among the three
divine Persons. The consecrated person, imitating
Christs poverty, acknowledges Him as the Son who
receives everything from the Father and divests
Himself of everything out of love.
We are poor in order to be, like Christ, Totally
Free, Available and United. Evangelical poverty has
an apostolic meaning because, in a society marked
by a materialistic greed for possessions that blinds
people to the needs and sufferings of those who
are the weakest and that lacks any consideration
for a balanced use of natural resources, it appears
as a charism of simplicity, austerity and solidarity.
No Money or Hidden Treasure?
No money this is the definition of poverty
the world will give you.It seems no more than
renunciation and sacrifice. But for those of us
who have faith in Jesus, can we put a positive spin
on poverty? If faith is alive, then, yes!Where the
world sees it as material wealth, we see a hidden
treasure.Yes, we give things up, but for the sake
of clinging to God.Poverty, in the first place,
doesnt mean I spend no money.It means I spend
all my money on him. I spend all my resources
on him.All my faculties and possessions, even my
time, become his property and my free gift.And
because every free choice necessarily implies a
renunciation of what I dont choose, poverty
entails sacrifice.But wouldnt we be foolish to
miss the treasure and see nothing but the price
tag?

are we to wear?All these things the pagans


seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you
need them all.But seek first theKingdom
ofGod and his righteousness, and all
these things will be given to you besides
(Mt 6:31-33).
Dont let the world get you down.Be strong
and know that if you long to give yourself fully
to God through poverty, you aspire to a noble
way.Such was the path chosen by Our Lord.Such
is the way he chooses for many privileged souls
who come after him.
If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what
you have and give to the poor, and you will
have treasure in heaven.Then come, follow
me (Mt 19:21).
Clement
of
Alexandria,
describing the person who has
come to know God, wrote, He
impoverishes himself out of
love, so that he is certain he
may never overlook a brother
in need, especially if he knows
he can bear poverty better
than his brother. He likewise
considers the pain of another as
his own pain. And if he suffers
any hardship because of having
given out of his own poverty, he
does not complain.

God is
the only
true
wealth
for the
human
person

Diocesan priests are consecrated to God by


their ordination. This consecration is of the nature
of a charism, in that it is ordered towards the
sanctification and salvation of others, not directly
to the sanctification of the Priest himself. This
consecration brings with it a particular obligation
to live the evangelical counsels, in order that he
might grow in his spousal love for Christs Church.
Regardless, the spirit of the counsels, the spirit
of mortification, must be lived by every priest, so
that the priest who offers sacrifice at the altar is
also offering the sacrifice of his own life.

Povertyproclaims that God is mans


only real treasure(John Paul II, On Consecrated
Life, n. 21). Ultimately, it is faith in Jesus
word and example that unveils this hidden
treasure. So do not worry and say, What are
we to eat? or What are we to drink? or What

18

Rev. Fr. Martin Arlando


Parish Priest
Church of Divine Mercy,
Sungai Ara, Penang.
Director of Penang Diocesan
Youth Network (PDYN).

Valentine
For me, poverty
is not only in
terms of money
and belongings,
but also poverty
in spirit
leading us to
experience the
love of God.

Elden
I am learning
more about life
and poverty;
Challenges will
come, but so
also will ways to
face them.

Desmond
A person who is
poor in material
things but rich
in faith has
salvation in the
kingdom of
God.

Aaron
Poverty is about
what you have
and dont have,
such as money,
material things
and nonmaterial things.

Roy
Poverty is not
just about being
poor but also
humble and not
asking for what
does not belong
to us.

Henrry
Poverty is
to renounce
everything that
may lead me
away from our
Creator, to care
for the world
rather than
living a selfish,
worldly life.

Bonaventure
Emptying
myself fully and
becoming fully
available to
God will help
me to embrace
poverty.

Bryan Yeong
In my understanding,
poverty is living
a simple life and
allowing God to
decide what is
needed in our
life.

Konstend
Poverty is not
just about
things of the
world, but
it is about
something
within that
I am able to
share my life
with everyone.

Dannie Luis
Poverty is all
about what
is necessary
according to my
state of life and
being aware
of my total
dependence on
God.

Cyril Ian
George
Poverty can be
seen not only
in terms of
money, but also
in terms of faith
if we find lack
faith in Jesus.

Michel Dass
Poverty is to
live with what
we need and
not what dont
need; living in
simplicity.

Wh
at i
s
Pov
ert
y
to
us
19

Bishop Emeritus Selvas Anniversary

Marriag

e Encou
nt

er 2014

yrs Feast
Korean Mart

IC Pari
sh Fami
ly

r 2014

emina
Care S
Borneo

Day

rty
CHS Youth Pa
Merdeka Eve

Manual Labour

College General Street Soccer


Friendly

al
Mooncake Festiv

Temple
Visit to Hindu

Sathiyas Farewell

Archbishop Julians Episcopal Ordination

Fr Julians Fa
rewell

Archbishop Julians
20Ordination
Dinner

Merdeka Eve CHS Youth Party


Immaculate Conception Parish Family Day
Bishop Emeritus Selvas Anniversary
Mooncake Festival
Visit to Hindu Temple
Migrant Sunday @ CDM
Malaysia Day @ PCC
Korean Martyrs Feast
Borneo Care Seminar 2014
Sathiyas Farewell

A ct i v i t
i es

August
30
31
September

1

9
13
14
16
19
26
30

a
in

Glimpse
y
s Da

Soul
All

Inter Fai
th Memori
al Servic
e

Deepavali

in Sathiy
as House

All Souls Day


morial Service
Inter Faith Me

Visit to Gurdwa
ra

lebration in
Deepavali Ce
Community

October

6


6


8
18
25


November

1

2

7


8

27

Archbishop Julians
Episcopal Ordination
Archbishop Julians
Ordination Dinner
Fr Julians Farewell
Visit to Gurdwara
College General
Street Soccer
Friendly

hari
ree Kunji Bi
Visit to Sh
Temple

All Saints Day


All Souls Day
Visit to Shree
Kunji Bihari Temple
Inter Faith Memorial
Service
Penang Bridge
Marathon

21

ra
Visit to Gurdwa

Penang Bridge Marathon

n
a
s
ioce

o
d
o
h
t
s
e
i
r
P

Dear Friends

I was 19 when I joined the major seminary of
my Diocese. Now in every seminary there were some
students who had heard again and again a powerful
call from Jesus to include in their lives, as part of
their secular vocation to priesthood, the preaching
of the Gospel in some non-Christian country. Some
organizations had been set up to take care of such
young men; MEP (Missions Etrangeres de Paris) was
one of them. I joined the MEPs.

They trained us, purified our Apostolic Zeal
and sent us to one of the countries of Asia. Paris
would remain in touch with them, told them to
remember who they were, sent them occasional bits
of money and they left them under the care of their
local Bishops. From now on, they lived and served
like the other priests around. In their ministry, they
were 90% or 95% Secular Priests while the rest
(still precious) MEPs. I was sent to the College General
of Penang. In future I was to preach to the Pagans,
but only, or mostly through the local priests; I was
helping to form new Christians but would do it
through the preaching of local priests.

After 20 years at the College, in 1970, having
now become a Malaysian Citizen, I joined the parish
ministry of K.L.

My joys: more or less like the other priests
around, I was meeting people, working with the
FMM sisters, with SVP, with Marriage Encounter
(Joyful Time) with the Charismatics, with the BECs
and I enjoyed all this. I enjoyed the Sunday liturgy.
I never preached any retreats all the convents
would know from the start it was not my gift! I
enjoyed writing Parables for the parish bulletin.
My joy was to be a friend and to be a co-worker
with the other priests: Among the MEPs, Fr. Gilbert
Griffon so gifted, so zealous was my model. Who
could forget the never ending hospitality of Msgr.
Aloysius? Who could forget Fr. Sullivan S.J. and his
living out of Evangelical Poverty? My joy was to be
with the children as well as married couples.


My sorrows were those of other priests
sometimes burdened by periods of discouragement,
the coldness of some of those I met at times It
was also the fact that I was unable to speak other
languages except English. My sorrow was when one
of my best friends left the ministry for a girl of his
parish without saying a word. He is not the only one
who went away without leaving an address. You are
afraid to be lonely; half of the people are in fact
lonely for long periods. A priest once told me but
how come we have so many friends?

Do,
and
light
will
come


About sex... You have done
pretty well so far after a long, very
long time of training. Sex activities
without friendship do not fill your
heart. Friendship and Prayer can
feel it.
Too demanding? ask some priest.


Demanding moments? Yes,
mostly it is ordinary things you can
do with ease or can learn.

Losing my faith, my vision, Do, and light will
come says the Bible. Pray. Meet people who pray.

Keep doing what you do well and rejoice
when you have healed the heart and soul of
someone in the confessional, for example.

God is closer to you than you think!


Goodbye Friends, let me pray for you with
joy I have spoken mostly about myself but always
having you in my mind.

23

Rev. Fr. Andrew Volle MEP


Retired in Church of
the Assumption,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Jo

alleng
h
C
&
es o
ys

f the


I am Fr. John K.L. Chong from Kuching Archdiocese, Sarawak. I entered St. Peters
Seminary, Kuching in 1980 and was ordained a priest on 26 August 1987. I am currently
serving at St. Stephens Parish, Bau, Sarawak.

The day of ordination was a day of great joy for me. It strengthened my desire to
promote Gods kingdom of peace and justice. It was also a day of joy for the parish and
the diocese to have another priest and it showed clearly in the faces of all who attended
my ordination.

A ministry
in the parish
can become
boring or dull
if one does
not see Christ
or His mission


The ministries in the various parishes gave me great joy too. It was a joy
to visit a community for the celebration of the Eucharist or Baptism. It was
a joy to bring communion to the sick, the house-bound and the aged too. It
was a joy to be part of the life of the community in which I served.

It was also a joy to be sent by my bishop for further studies and to
experience the Christian faith in other parts of the world. It proved that the
love and grace of God transcend all cultures, languages and races. The faith
in Christ Jesus proved that we can live as one family, with a common goal.

It was also a great joy to be able to train young men for the priesthood,
to journey with them and to help them seek their vocation. And it was a great
joy to see some of them being ordained to the priesthood.


Some of the challenges that I faced was firstly, when I got my transfers. After
getting to know the faithful in a parish, it was painful to move to another parish. The
truth of detachment becomes a reality, not a theory anymore. Another challenge that
I faced was with the change of parish, the change of priests that I worked with also
changed. After coming to work well with the priests in a particular parish, a change
would mean having to start again. The same goes with the places, environment and
situation. But the challenges are overcome with the desire to serve Christ and His church
whenever I am or will be.

Another of the challenges that I faced as priest in the parish is the routine - day
in, day out, the same type of ministry, people, and place. A ministry in the parish can
become boring or dull if one does not see Christ or His mission. It calls for a deeper of
faith and trust in the Lord Jesus through daily prayers, meditation and the reading of
Gods Word.
PAX KRISTUS
Rev. Fr. John Chong
Parish Priest
St. Stephens Church,
Bau, Sarawak.

24

n
a
s
ioce

o
d
o
h
t
s
e
i
r
P


I was sent to the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes at Silibin, Ipoh under the guidance
of late Fr. Alexander Edwin in the year 1991. My experience with him was very inspiring.
He was offering more than he could after years of service at the parish. I know he
had much experience and this made him indeed valuable. Determined to gain as much
as I could from my first pastoral experience, I observed to make sure that I learned
everything I could from him.

After becoming a priest, I served as a temporary administrator at the Parish of
Christ the King for a few months. I was under the guidance of Fr. Maiccal Sinappan
who was then the parish priest. I also served in other parishes mainly in giving
formation and celebrating the Eucharist.

Ive pondered on events in parishes so often and so deeply. I know if
I dont Ill never move forward. Some of my experiences have tried me. More
importantly, I wasnt going to gain anything by not looking back. While no two
days are exactly alike, each day is a new chapter in the life of a priest. Theres no
typical day for a priest. My experience with diocesan priests taught me that it is
not much about what a priest does, but what a priest is.

... it is not
much about
what a
priest does,
but what a
priest is


I am able to integrate my previous experiences with diocesan priests in
forming the Church of St. Francis of Assisi as a mission-oriented parish which
seeks and invites others to friendship with Jesus. We listen to each others view on
matters concerning pastoral works. Good communication with priests is essential
to the life of the church since it paves ways to the growth of an active community which
focuses on evangelization. There were times I was huffing and puffing in fulfilling my
pastoral duties; nevertheless, the presence of the diocesan priests made everything
possible. Although we are assigned to serve in a certain geographical area, there is a
close bonding among us with an evangelical spirit of Christ.


I couldnt thank enough all those priests for lending help by celebrating mass in
my parish; demonstrating the Gospel by words; attitudes and deeds. I would like to end
my sharing by quoting what Pope Francis has written on his latest Apostolic Exhortation
Evangelii Gaudium: If we can help one person live a better life, that justifies
the offering of my life. Our heart becomes filled with faces and names.

Rev. Fr. Andrew Manickam OFM, Cap


Parish Priest
Church of St. Francis of Assisi,
Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
Member of Archdiocesan Vocation Promotion Team.

25

The Experience
of Working with
Diocesan Priests

It is with gratitude that I take this opportunity
to share my experiences while working for Gods
greater glory.

Over the past 20 years I have been blessed to
have worked in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur,
the Diocese of Melaka-Johor and now in the Penang
Diocese. Currently, I am helping out at College
General working with the seminarians and in the
formation programmes of Diocesan Pastoral Care
Ministry.

Throughout this period I
have encountered many bishops and
priests and I have been encouraged,
enlightened and enriched by the
passion and commitment of some of
them. The presence of God in their
lives has challenged and inspired me
in tangible and intangible ways. Allow
me to share some of my experiences.


On the other hand, I have also experienced
sadness and pain in many situations fear,
unexplained rejection, strange behaviour which
were discomforting and hurting. However in all the
negativity, I learnt to be realistic, expect less, accept
human weakness, to forgive and to let go. As these
negative experiences continue, they remind me that
I am vulnerable and that I need the Lords strength,
courage and guidance to take small steps to keep
going daily. Yes, I am vulnerable and I still have
lots of work to do on my own
growth.

There is so
much synergy
when the
religious, the
priests and
the laity work
together


I was privileged to have worked
with a few I remember especially
an elderly priest, who was physically
ill for many years. He exemplified
beautifully what perseverance and
sacrifice meant. Although he could
hardly bend and was in continuous pain, he still
celebrated daily Eucharist with great devotion. I
witnessed him one Maundy Thursday Mass during
Holy Week. As difficult as it was, he would go down
on his knees to meaningfully wash the feet of the
12 people. This brought tears to many who were
present. That experience had and still has a great
impact in my life to give and not to count the
cost.

Working with the seminarians


has been a great joy and a
challenge as well. This is so when
I see them coming to greater
awareness of self and choosing
to challenge themselves and
responding to what God is asking
of them. Seeing their positive
changes to have the courage
to be really human, to discover
the awesomeness of their
true self without putting
on a mask is a tremendous
milestone towards building the
Kingdom of God for them and

for me.

I praise God for all these years and experiences
working in the Dioceses. I pray that our Church will
explore more opportunities to work together as one
people of God. There is so much synergy when the
religious, the priests and the laity work together and
support one another to build Gods kingdom.


I also learnt the warmth and tenderness from
a number of priests in their dealings with people,
especially towards the poor and their initiatives to
help them experience Gods presence in their lives.
These experiences encourage me to do likewise.

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Sis. Cyrilla Baptist FMDM


Currently serves in
Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital
Formation Programmes of
Diocesan Pastoral Care Ministry

The Charism
of the Secular,
Diocesan
Priesthood

It is said that if you want to discover the character of something, you need to
return to its roots, so having been asked to write something on the secular priesthood, I
have chosen to look at how Mill Hill came into East Malaysia, for it is a Society of secular
priests.

140 years ago, Fr. Herbert Vaughan, the Founder of Mill Hill, was waiting
outside the Office of Propaganda Fidei in Rome, having been lobbying for a mission
for his infant Society. There, he fell into conversation with Mgr. Cuarteron, the Prefect
Apostolic of North Borneo, who was there to tender his resignation
he was old, sick and the work had got too much for him. He told Fr.
Vaughan how Borneo was a difficult mission thick forests, sickness
and head-hunters and no priest wanted to work there. On hearing
this, Fr. Vaughan went back into the Office of Propaganda and said,
Then, give me Borneo and shortly afterwards, it was granted.

Their lives
witness to
what the
Gospel is


The Mission proved to be as difficult at Mgr. Cuarteron had said.
The missionaries endured great hardships, had very little money, but
wherever they went, they reached out to in mercy to those in need. They
started small schools and clinics and helped the people in whatever way
they could and slowly small communities grew up communities that
were always open to those in need, no matter what race or religion they belonged to.
Their lives witness to what the Gospel is it is mercy in action, especially towards those
whom no one else wants.

Those early missionaries would be astonished to see the thriving communities
that have grown up from their early work, but it is not enough for us just to have
thriving parishes. The greatest gift those old pioneers gave us was their inspiration to
love and serve all those in need no matter what race or religion. This, I believe, is
the heart and charism of the diocesan priesthood and without it although our parishes
may thrive, they will have lost their soul. Here, moreover, is the distinction between the
diocesan priest and the Religious. The Religious feels called to serve God in a certain way
of life, but the secular priest must allow for no boundaries all who live in the area
assigned to him are given by God into his care. This charism marked out the missionaries
and it still stands as the way the diocesan secular priest is faithful to Gods call.

Rev. Fr. Terry Burke MHM


Lecturer in St. Peters College (SPC),
Kuching, Sarawak.
Writer of Padi Seed in Todays Catholic
(Kuching Archdiocese monthly Publication)

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Our College Community

Sitted L to R: Aaron, Fr. Stanley, Fr. Julian, Fr. Gerard, Fr. Ignatius, Henrry.
Standing from L to R: Roy, Desmond, Elden, Dannie, Konstend, Bonaventure, Cyril, Michel, Valentine, Bryan.

Mr Raju
English teacher

Behind: Jacob, Bonaventure, Konstend


Front: Geraldine, Anne, Megan

Mission History
Dr. Steven (Lecturer), Konstend, Bonaventure

William
Behind: Faye, Angeline,
Middle: Bonaventure, Fr Stanley,
Lazarus
Front: Konstend

Sylvia
Lawrence

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College General Staff and Lecturers

Fr Ignatius Huan
Developmental Psychology
and Siritual Growth
Lecturer

L to R: Vincent (Administrator), Maryanne (Admin Assist.), Michele (Librarian)

SR Margarete Sta Maria


Salvation History
Lecturer
Francis Loh
Volleyball Coach

Edwin Johnson
Speech Teacher

Lim Seong Hoon


English Teacher

Sundra Raja
General Worker & Security

Lucia Ooi
English teacher

Suk Bahadur Tomang


Gardener

Tan Paik Choo


Cook

SR Cyrilla FMDM
Counselor

Madam Marieyspuspon
Tamil Teacher

Bal BahadurEnglish
Gardener
Fr Edmund Woon
Counselor

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Dr Francis Loh
Introduction to Malaysian
Social Realities
Lecturer

Remembering Our Martyrs


Called, Chosen and Sent Even Unto Death
Farewell letter of St. J. CHASTAN
to members of MEP Society

Korea, 6th Sept. 1839

Dear fellow members, bishops and priests Divine Providence who has directed us through
so many obstacles in this mission, has allowed the peace we were enjoying be disturbed by a
violent persecution. The description of it given by his Lordship (Mgr IMBERT) before being
taken to jail, and to be sent if possible together with this letter, will let you know the course
and consequences of it: twenty-five Confessors have been beheaded, five died in the midst of
tortures or as a result, more than a hundred and fifty are in chains, the number of apostates
is not small. On several occasions, his Lordship thought of surrendering himself so as to save
his flock. Since we were not concerned ourselves in such torments and cries, Renounce the
faith and save your life! We were afraid of making things worse by giving ourselves up.
Towards the end of July we were happy to meet together. His Lordship intended to send us back to China and
to receive the palm of martyrdom himself alone! Such proposal afflicted us greatly; the obvious danger of death to
which the boat owners and their families would be exposed made us abandon the idea.
Today, 6th September, for the second time, we receive the order from his Lordship to present ourselves for
martyrdom. We have the sweet pleasure of going off after having celebrated the last sacrifice. It is so comforting
to be able to say with St. Gregory: UNUM AD PALMAM ITER PRO CHRISTO MORTEM APPETERE
(There is only one way to the palm, that is the desire to die for CHRIST). Since we are happy to obtain such
beautiful palm which is said to be sweet to the taste, shady for resting and honourable for triumph, please offer
many thanksgivings to the good Lord and do not fail to send help to our dear converts who are about to find
themselves like orphans once again.
If this could give courage to those of you who are to take our place, I have the honour of making the announcement that the Minister Y, the actual great persecutor, had three big swords made to cut off more heads. If there
is something which could make us less happy than we are at this moment of departure, it would be to leave these
fervent converts whom we have been happy to serve during three years and who love us as the Galatians loved
St. Paul. However, we are on the way to such a great festival that we cannot let sadness enter our heart. We have
the honour to recommend these converts to your warm charity.
Receive our humble good-bye, unite in prayers, good works, sufferings and holy sacrifices; I remain with great
respect, your very humble and obedient servant and colleague.
J.H. CHASTAN
6-9-1839

30

hbishop

rc
t of the new A

men
The announce

Archbishop Julia

n Leow Beng Ki

Congratulations
Archbishop
Julian Leow Beng Kim

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COLLEGE GENERAL COMMUNITY PRAYER 2014


God, our Father,
Your Son, Jesus calls us
to take up our crosses daily
and follow Him as His disciples.
Help us to appreciate
your choice of each one of us
in the gift of our vocation.
Aid us to discern and choose
Your will in our lives.
As we strive to integrate
our worship, study and life,
help us to listen and be led by the Spirit.
Send us to share with others
through word and deed
what we hear and see in the Scriptures,
in all that we have learnt
and what You have done in our lives.
Thank you Father,
for giving us each other
as companions on this journey.
May we remain always one with You
and each other and all of creation.
May Mary, whom you called, chose and sent
intercede for us
that we too might faithfully respond to Your call.
Amen.
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