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October 2006 News
Good Shepherd Sisters celebrate 50 years in Malaysia
Ampang : "The Eucharist makes the church. We are proud to be Catholics if we have this devotion and attachment to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament." These were the words of Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Most Rev. Murphy Pakiam at the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Malaysia on Oct 7. The celebrations, which began on October 5, were held at the Chapel of Mary, Mother of God in Madonna Heights, which is the base of the Good Shepherd Sisters. The theme for the golden jubilee was "Gratitude is the Memon qf the Heart". The Eucharistic Celebration for the Golden Jubilee was presided over by Archbishop Pakiam with parish priest, Msgr James Gnanapiragasam, Frs A. Amalanathan, Valentine Gompok OFM Cap, and Paul Tony OEM Cap, a visiting priest from Indonesia, concelebrating. Among the large congregation that were present for the jubilee celebrations were many religious sisters from the FMM and FMDM, the Marist Brothers, Bro Peter Foo (La Salle Brothers), Bro Mathews Girbert, Bro Dominic Francis, OFM Cap, as well as Bro Julian Augustine (FSC). The Ambassador of Zimbabwe, Lucas Pande Tavaya and his wife were also present. -Herald

Seremban parish emerges champion at Goodwill Games
Seremban : The parish of Visitation, hosts of the second biennial Archdiocesan Inter Parish Goodwill Games, emerged champions, after having collected 102 points at the Games. Held on Saturday October 14, the one-day event saw 17 parishes participate in seven team events. Chapel Kurnia Kristus (CKK) and the Church of the Assumption Petaling Jaya were first and second runners-up respectively with 42 and 27 points. The expected hazy conditions and extremely high humidity did not dampen the spirit filled participation by more than 1500 athletes and players at the well-coordinated meet. Preparation towards the staging of the games had begun in October 2005. Working well within the projected budget, Games Committee Chairman Anthony Dass expressed his gratitude to the parishes, the host of donors, and local parishioners for their support. The opening ceremony in the morning held at Seremban's Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi near here, saw a colourful assembly of participating parishes, games officials and supporters. Fr Simon Labrooy, of the Assumption parish, the founder parish of the games, was on hand to launch the 2006 Games. Also present were Fr Albet Arockiasamy and Fr Michael Chua, Frs Mari Arokiam (St John Vianney, Tampin), Francis Tsen (Immaculate Conception, Port Dickson), Clarence Devadass (OL Fatima, Brickfields, KL) and Julian Leow (Holy Family, Kajang).-Herald

Community home organises treasure hunt for fundraising
Kuala Lumpur : The Welcome Community Home which is already reputed as the largest charity-based residential care service in Malaysia for people with HIV/AIDS now wishes to upgrade and expand its facilities to better serve more of the most vulnerable and affected. An old bungalow on a hill has been acquired and renovation is under way to transform it into a 36-bed hospice. Called the Welcome Hospice Services, it will serve men of all races and religion who are in advanced stages of AIDS; those mentally, physically or emotionally handicapped due to HIV/AIDS and drug addicts with HIV/AIDS in need of rehabilitation to access treatment from government hospitals. RM 1.2 million is needed to finance the redevelopment of Welcome Hospice Services. To meet the budget for this improved nursing facility, several events have been lined up in the coming month, one of which is a Charity Motor Treasure Hunt to be held on Saturday, November 4, 2006. For further details on participating in the Charity Motor Treasure Hunt please contact your respective Parish Integral Human Development Councils.-Herald

Clear Mission and goals first step in successful social marketing
Kuala Lumpur: A clear vision, mission and goals of organisation are the first steps to successful social marketing. This was emphasised by Premesh Chandran, CEO of who presented a session on social marketing to participants of the Second Integrated Social Communication Course from Oct 2-6 at Cahayasuara Communications Centre. "Your perception of your target audience's need, and the group's own perception may be different," said Chandran, who co-founded, an independent online newspaper, in 1999. He added that social marketing was also to increase `reach', build a brand, or to modify perceptions among a target group towards realising a social goal. Chandran reiterated that the needs of the community would be the basis for social marketing efforts, and that the organisation wishing to do social marketing (or SMO) should look for needs that were closest to what the SMO could offer.-Herald

Assumption's Willing Hands celebrate first anniversary
Petaling Jaya : Villing Hands found time to celebrate their first year anniversary of existence amidst a busy schedule preparing and organising the Assumption Ball 2006. The group recognised September 25, 2005 as the day Willing Hands was established. This was at the first Chamber of Secrets, a camp held to promote bonding among young adults. In April of 2005, a group of 10 young adults came together to brainstorm on what they wanted in a group for young adults. All of them wanted to add spice to their parochial life and to make a difference. They proposed Willing Hands to be a place rather than a group. A place where the young can come to be free and to belong; where they can get to know people and make new friends and where they can share their many talents and make a difference in society. To culminate the year, Wlilling Hands is organising the Assumption Ball 2006 on November 25, in aid of building funds for the Welcome Community Home. Tickets are priced at RM75.00 per person or you can book a table at RN1750.00. Donations are also welcome. Interested parties can contact Dorothea at 012 6555691 for bookings.-Herald

BECs active in breakfast mornings to raise funds
Kuala Lumpur : When parishioners of the Sacred Heart Church heard that the parish's Building Fund was still short of funds, they went into overdrive. BECs including the Chinese and Tamil Apostolates, pooled their resources together to organise breakfast mornings every Sunday to raise the balance required. Some BECs even organised tea breaks after the Sunset Masses. Jumble sales were also organised. Many of these items were new and were donated by the BEC members themselves. Parishioners who patronised the stalls happily shopped as the items sold went for a song. They were also happy to contribute to the building fund. The stalls that were set up each weekend attracted hundreds and even exceeded a thousand over the weekend. According to Perry, a member of the SHC Building Fund Committee, the new building is 80 per cent completed and the rest of the work involved fittings, fixtures and other minor work including painting. The RM3 million 5-level Community Centre will house mainly classrooms for Sunday School. There will also be a large hall with a stage at the ground floor level.-Herald

Graduation ceremony for Pastoral Care volunteers of Assunta Hospital
Petaling Jaya : Love-Care for Others was the inspiring theme of the Pastoral Care Graduation held on Sept 8 at Assunta Hospital. The celebration was held to recognise the time and energy of the volunteers who have completed the Pastoral Care Education and appreciate their commitment to serve people who need emotional support. The Pastoral Care Education (CPE) is a continuity of Assunta Hospital's caring tradition that was initiated by former Chairman of the Assunta Board, Dato' Dr Sir Peter Mooney. The education programme is essential to nurture people to serve the community voluntarily. Organised by Assunta Hospital, the event was officiated by Chairman of the Assunta Hospital board, Dato' Francis Huang, CEO, En Azhar Harun, Sr Mary Anne Fletcher, a sister of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) and Pastoral Care supervisor who trained the Pastoral Caregivers. The Pastoral Care department in Assunta Hospital was established to provide voluntary service through education run by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary sisters since 1988. Assunta Hospital is the first hospital in Malaysia to offer Pastoral Care service to its patients. The Clinical Pastoral Care programme is a unique education course that gives emotional and spiritual support and also offers courses on a part-time or full-time basis. Interested participants are welcome to register. For more information, kindly contact the Pastoral Care department, Assunta Hospital: 03 - 7680 7000 ext. 4152.-Herald

Apostolic Delegate to Malaysia
Most Rev Murphy Pakiam
Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur
Rumah Uskup Agung 528
Jalan Bukit Nanas 50250 Kuala Lumpur

Your Grace,

Having returned from the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Convention, I wish to record my thanks for the hospitality I received in Kuala Lumpur. Thank you for your personal care as the Bishop hosting the Convention.

It was a fascinating experience and revealed to me just how dynamic the Church is in the three dioceses of the Malaysian Peninsula. I look forward to receiving the minutes and postconvention documentation, for my own interest and so that I can forward it to the competent organs of the Roman Curia.

Please reiterate my thanks to your fellow bishops of the Peninsula: Bishop Antony Selvanayagam of Penang and Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing, SJ of Melaka-Johor.

In the aftermath of the Convention, let us pray that the Holy Spirit will bear fruit in the lives of the Peninsula Church.

With kind regards and best wishes, I remain,
Yours sincerely in Christ,

Archbishop Salvatore Pennachio
Apostolic Delegate

cc: Bishop Antony Selvanayagam
Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing, SJ

Muslims engage Pope Benedict in dialogue
Vatican : Thirty-eight Muslim scholars from around the world have delivered an unprecedented open letter to Pope Benedict XVI pointing out errors in his Regensburg speech last month but expressing appreciation for the Pontiff's clarifying comments and expression of regret over the misunderstandings of his text. The scholars' letter also focused on perceptions of forced conversion, jihad versus holy war and the relationship between Christianity and Islam. But those who signed the letter, including the Grand Muftis of Egypt, Russia, Kosovo, Oman and Istanbul, also said they appreciated the Pope's personal expression of sorrow over his citing of anti-Islamic quotes by a 14th-century Byzantine emperor. The scholars also said that by following the Koranic precept of debating "in the fairest way," they hoped to reach out so as to increase mutual understanding, re-establish trust, calm the situation for the sake of peace and preserve Muslim dignity.-Herald -Herald

Build bridges of friendship with followers of all religions
Following the teaching of the Vatican Council 11 and continuing on the path taken by Pope John Paul ll. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, when receiving the representatives of other religions who attended the celebration tier the beginning of' his Pontificate. stated: "I am particularly grateful for the presence in our midst of members of the Muslim community, and I express my appreciation for the growth of dialogue between Muslims and Christians, both at the local and international levels. I assure you that the Church wants to continue building bridges of friendship with followers of all religions, in order to seek the true good of every person and of society as a whole." So "our efforts to come together and foster dialogue are a valuable contribution to building peace on solid foundations. It is therefore imperative to engage in sincere and authentic dialogue. built on respect for the dignity of every human person, created, as we Christians firmly believe in the image and likeness of God" (cf. Genesis 1:?6-27) - Ramadan message of 2005.-Herald

First migrant invitational games
Kuala Lumpur : The first St John's Migrants Invitational Sportsfest 2006 was officially launched at the grounds of St John's Institution (Secondary School). Msgr James Gnanapiragasam, parish priest of St John's Cathedral, launched the games on September 24. Prior to the launching, a parade of some 200 participants comprising migrants and some local Catholics marched around the school field. They were led by the St John's Institution marching band. In his address, Msgr James said that everyone was gathered together for this special event to enhance relationships between fellow Christians - Migrants and local Malaysians - in the true spirit of sportsmanship and friendly participation. He also thanked the organiser and those who came to cheer and support all the participants. Apart from the Filipinos, Myanmarese and Vietnamese, other participating teams were migrants from Africa and Indonesia as well as locals from Sabah and Sarawak, and some from Peninsular Malaysia. Archbishop Murphy Pakiam was the surprise guest at the Games. He showed up towards the end of the first day to render his moral support and meet the participants while he mingled with the crowd. The Games, which go on for four Sundays, will end on October 15. -Herald

Prayer and recollection for vocation promotion team
Kuala Lumpur : About 30 participants from the KL South District Vocation Promotion Team (VPT) were treated to a day of recollection and prayer on September 16 at the Little Sisters of the Poor (LSP), Cheras. Fr Valentine Gompok, OFM Cap, the Ecclesiastical Assistant for the VPT insisted that the team should not only be giving their service but should occasionally also be recharged spiritually. Sr Agnes from LSP, who is a member of the VPT, explained a little on the history of the building. Donated by the late Archbishop Tan Sri Dominic Vendargon in 1967, the home takes care of the sick and elderly. The residents are blessed with the presence of Fr Henriot, resident priest, who celebrates mass daily. Fr Michael Chua from the Visitation parish in Seremban also graciously volunteered to spend half the day with the team. Fr Chua taught us how to listen to God and receive His message through the Lectio Divina which is a method of reading the Sacred Scripture, and then meditating and praying over its meaning. After lunch, the team came together to watch a movie on "St Francis of Assisi". Mass was then celebrated exclusively for the participants by Fr William Michael from Holy Family Church. The day ended with a fellowship given by the LSP sisters.-Herald

Parish of St Francis of Assisi celebrates Feast of Stigmata
Cheras : The Church of St Francis of Assisi celebrated the Feast of the Stigmata of their patron saint on September 17. It was organised by the Franciscan family and the KL South District Vocation Promotion Team. The evening began with Vespers and readings in commemoration of our Patron Saint, St Francis of Assisi. Assistant parish priest, Fr Valentine Gompok OFM Cap, led the Divine Praises and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, after a short period of silence and reflection. All were then invited to a fellowship after which they were treated to a movie about the life of St Francis entitled, "Brother Sun Sister Moon". About 150 parishioners from KL South District inclusive of Secular Franciscans from Seremban, as well as the parishes of St Anthony's, Assumption and Holy Rosary participated in the celebration.-Herald

Pope's statement debated in Parliament
We are beginning a new column, From the Parliament. From time to time when an issue which concerns practice of religions is raised at Parliament, we will print the statements/comments made by the Members of Parliament. In this issue, we present YB Teresa Kok's (Member of Parliament for Seputeh) speech during the debate on motion 18 (1) moved by YB Salahuddin Haji Ayub (Member of Parliament of Kubang Kerian) regarding Pope Benedict XVI's statement on Sept 16. This motion was debated on September 19, 2006.

Honourable Chairman (Datuk Yang DiPertua), I attended the emergency motion moved by Kubang Kerian MB. I feel sad and heavy hearted and regret that this House is still debating this issue which in no way corresponds to the actual intention of Pope Benedict XVI. Besides this, we are also debating an issue, in which Pope Benedict has twice issued his apology on his speech, which was misunderstood by the media and certain quarters. Before we debate on the Pope's talk, we must read his entire text and comprehend the contents. This particular speech, which created a lot of controversy, was an academic lecture delivered at a forum in Regensburg University in Germany. Pope Benedict was a professor of theology. He was invited to deliver an academic lecture entitled Faith, Reason and the Universiity,: Memories and Reflections. September 19, 2006. The thesis of this intellectual speech was "reason has an important role in faith, thus theology has an important role in the university." During this lecture, the Pope quoted a dialogue between Byzantine Emperor Manuel II and a Persian theologian about Christianity and Islam. Pope Benedict only quoted the dialogue between these two persons which concerned faith. If we scrutinise the text carefully, we will realise that the Pope does not agree with the Emperor's opinion on Islam but used it to clarify the role of reason in religion and faith. In other words, the Pope's speech did not intend to belittle the teachings of Islam or Holy War (jihad). His speech was wrongly interpreted by the media and certain quarters. When his speech was misunderstood on Sept 16, 2006, the Secretary of State of His Holiness at Vatican issued a statement explaining the Pope's speech and apologised on behalf of Pope Benedict. This Vatican statement also expressed the Catholic Church's respect for Islam. The statement read, "The position of the Pope concerning Islam is unequivocally that expressed by the conciliar document Nostra Aetate: "The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth..." The Vatican statement also states that the Pope is very much committed to interreligious and inter-cultural dialogue. In his meeting with representatives of Muslim communities in Cologne. Germany on August 20, 2005, he said that such dialogue between Christians and Muslims cannot be avoided. He added, "The lessons of the past must help us to avoid repeating the same mistakes. We must seek paths of reconciliation and learn to live with respect for each other's identity."-Herald

Seremban to play host to inter-parish Goodwill Games
Seremban : The Visitation parish is all set to host the Inter Parish Goodwill Games 2006 scheduled for October 14 in Seremban. The one-day event is expected to see a participation by more that 21 parishes in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur. In conjunction with a meeting of team managers of participating parishes in Seremban recently, Visitation Parish Priest Fr Albet Arockiasamy unveiled and blessed the games banner marking the countdown to the games. Present at the meeting were 2006 Games Chairman Anthony Dass and Technical Chairman Andy Low besides other officials who would be coordinating the event. The games would include participation in badminton, volleyball, netball, table tennis, football besides athletics and tug-ofwar. All games venues were reported to have been confirmed. Seremban's well-known sports venue, the Tuanku Jaafar Stadium in Paroi, besides staging the official opening ceremony for the games at 8pm on October 14, would also serve as the venue for athletics. The closing ceremony in the evening is expected to be on the Negeri Sembilan Padang.-Herald

Mini ASEAN gathering at Community Service Centre
Kuala Lumpur : It was akin to a mini ASEAN convention at the Community Services Centre on Sept 10, when local and foreign migrants gathered to celebrate Migration Sunday 2006. A bunch of blue balloons was released into the air to mark the launch of the celebrations. Amalanathan, assistant parish priest of St John's Cathedral, Bro Rogers of the AOHD and Sr Marianna FMDM from Singapore, joined the hundreds of migrants of mostly ASEAN nationalities for this annual event. Also present were VIP guests - Bishops Leon Tharmaraj of Kottar, India, as well as Isaac Danu and Raymond Po Ray, both from Myanmar. Bro Rogers then introduced the various Communities and participants of the National Consultation on Migrants and Refugees in Malaysia. This was followed by an exhibition of the various activities that were conducted by the different migrant communities. Those who took part were the Migrant Workers Ministry of St Ignatius Church, PJ, Myanmar Catholic Community in Malaysia, Filipino Ministry of St John's Cathedral and the Vietnam Migrants.-Herald

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