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December 2006 News
Chancery Notice for Curia of Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur
Fr Lawrence Andrew, SJ has been appointed Administrator of the Church of St Anne, Port Klang with effect from December 1 2006. Fr William Michael has been appointed the new Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Ministries, with effect from January 1 2007. He is the assistant parish priest of Holy Family parish, Kajang. Fr Raymond Michael, OFM Cap has been appointed the Coordinator of ASAYO Ministries as well as Director of ASAYO with effect from January 1 2007. He is currently the Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Archdiocesan Single Adult Ministry. Fr Patrick Boudville, parish priest of Good Shepherd Church, Setapak has been appointed Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission with effect from January, 1 2007. Fr George Harrison has been appointed the new Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Archdiocesan Youth Ministry (ASAYO) with effect from January 1 2007. Fr Paulino Miranda has been assigned to the Divine Mercy parish, Shah Alam with effect from January 1 2007.

Fr Jestus Pereira Chancellor December 1 2006

Catechetical formation a hit with catechists
Port Klang : The parish of St Anne recently organised a catechetical formation for 11 of its catechists, which was held on Dec 3-4. Facilitated by Dr Steven Selvaraju, the formation camp was held at the La Salle Brothers' bun¬galow in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan. Based on the Basic Principles and Catechetical Methodology in applying the learner-centred approach, the catechists were taught how to provide the right teaching environment - physically, emotionally as well as socially. The weekend formation continued with a role-play to illustrate the need for teamwork with a few fun activities included. The weekend formation ended with a workshop on lesson planning and presentation on it thereafter. The workshop was the highlight for the catechists who were attending a formation of this kind for the very first time. The catechists also felt that the two day formation was too short and hope to attend a similar programme next year.-Herald

Semarang Archbishop sends note of thanks for contributions to java earthquake fund
Kuala Lumpur : The Archbishop of Semarang has thanked the people of Malaysia for the contribution made to assist the victims of the Java earthquake. In his letter dated October 12, Archbishop Ignatii Suharyo thanked Archbishop Murphy Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese for "your concerns and care for us". A total amount of RM139,398.21 was collected from the parishioners of the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese and sent in aid of the quake victims through the Archdiocese of Semarang. The funds collected from the Diocese of Penang amounted to RM34,544.24. The amount received by the Melaka-Johor diocese was RM7,500. The donation drive conducted by the HERALD resulted in a total collection of RM28,192.69 for the quake victims. The May 27 Java earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale left about 5800 people dead and nearly 1.5 million peo¬ple homeless. About half a million homes were also destroyed.-Herald

Rayappan Anthony’s remains are finally put to rest
Kuala Lumpur : It was a mixture of relief and grief for the family of the late Rayappan Anthony, who were finally able to bury him according to his Catholic faith. It must have felt like the longest wait for Rayappan's family, especially his widow Lourdes Mary, who had told the press that she prayed everyday for his body to be returned to her. In what was to be a regular claim for the remains of a deceased, the family had gone to the mortuary of the Kuala Lumpur hospital on Nov 30 to claim his body. Instead, they were surprised to learn that there were officers from the Selangor Islamic Affairs Dept (JAIS) who were there to deny them their claim, alleging that Rayappan was a Muslim until his death and therefore, should be buried according to Muslim rites. The beginning of the tussle which appeared in national newspapers brought public outcry. Bishop Paul Tan of the Melaka-Johor dio¬cese, who is the chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, said that Rayappan's family "should be allowed to bury him according to their Catholic faith and his pro¬fessed faith." The Catholic Lawyers' Society as well as the Women's Aid Organisation also issued statements condemning the turn of events that had taken place and the grief that his family has had to endure. They could not even grieve in private, as the issue had become public. The Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (MAIS), meanwhile, tried to put together a case to prove that Rayappan was still a Muslim at his death. They even had Rayappan's daughters subpoenaed to provide evidence to the contrary at the hearing. However, as the laws of the Syariah court do not apply to non-Muslims, the women rightly did not turn up. It was obvious that, with a lack of sufficient evidence to prove their case, MAIS had little choice but to withdraw their suit to claim Rayappan's remains on Dec 7, much to the relief of his family. They'd endured great dis¬tress, uncertainty and torment in their week¬long struggle. The funeral service that was scheduled for Dec 9 at 1 pm was brought forward to Friday, Dec 8. Fr Peter Bretaudaeu, MEP met the family's request and officiated at the funeral service just before Rayappan's remains were cremated at the Sentul crematorium. The tussle may have ended, but the hearing for the lawsuit that was filed by Rayappan's family had proceeded on Dec 11. They are seeking damages as well as other costs against the government of Malaysia, as well as the Director-General of KLGH for the emotional trauma that this ordeal had caused them.

Make time for prayer and scripture reading
Tampin : It was a memorable day for 25 children who received for the first time, the Body and Blood of Christ at the Eucharistic celebration at the parish of St John B Vianney. Joining them in the Nov 26 celebration, were fifty senior and junior altar boys who celebrated the feast of St John Berchman, the patron for altar boys and girls. Fr Mari Arokiam, in his homily deliv¬ered in Bahasa Malaysia, spoke about the responsibilities of the communicants, the parents and the BEC communities. He reminded all present especially the children, to welcome Jesus and make him the King and ruler of their lives. After the post communion prayers, the communicants together with all the altar boys jointly cut a cake, and certificates were given to all the children and the altar boys respectively. Fr Mari also thanked the catechism teachers who helped to organize a half-day recollec¬tion for both the communicants and their children, which included a recap of what is the celebration of the Eucharist and the importance of the sacrament of Penance. Both parents and the first holy communicants made their confessions then.-Herald

Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas
Kuala Lumpur :The Archdiocesan Pastoral Institute (API) organised a seminar on Advent and Christmastide in Liturgy by Fr Leonard Lexson. Held on Nov 18-19, more than 80 people attended the two-day talks which focused on the liturgical expressions behind the Advent and Christmas seasons. Fr Leonard called the sessions timely as, "there is a real dichotomy in our secular and liturgical preparations and celebrations. The media and commercial onslaught has given us a false idea of Christmas. "Christmas Day is the beginning of a 12-day celebration of the season until Epiphany. Often Christmas ends before it even begins. On the second day of the seminar, the participants studied the historical development of Christmas in the church. If the Advent season is a time for preparation, the Christmas season is most definitely a time of celebration. The group also studied the various Christmas traditions and expressions and discovered the stories behind the symbols and the importance of using signs and symbols which have scriptural reference in the Mass. -Herald

Food collection drive benefits home
Tampin : A food collection drive was conducted in con¬junction with the jubilee cele¬bration of St John B Vianney's Church in August. Parish priest Fr Mari Arokiam had urged his people from the various BECs to bring some non-perishable food items every Sunday and place them in two big baskets placed inside the entrance of the Church. After two months, the food items were packed into five hampers and distributed to Pusat Pemulihan Kanak-kanak Istimewa and Rumah Sejahtera Orang Tua in the district of Tampin.

Parents should encourage kids to receive sacrements
Kuala Lumpur : Thirty¬seven communicants of Good Shepherd parish received their First Holy Communion on Oct 29. Parish priest, Fr Patrick Boudville had earlier spoken to the Communicants, giving them encouragement and mak¬ing them feel relaxed. A day camp with the theme "We are One in the Eucharist" for the Communicants, with the full support of the parents was organised by the Catechetical Ministry of Good Shepherd Church on October 14 2006. Special talks with fun activities and a special tour on vessels used in the church given by Fr. Patrick brought out the best in these children to love and serve God and to be part of the community. At Mass, Fr Patrick mentioned to the children to continue the practice of going to confession. Added to that he reminded the parents to encourage their children to receive their sacraments. He congratulated the Catechists and the parents for giving their time and dedication to the 37 students on all lessons and prayers taught for this special class, throughout the year.-Herald

New MCCBCHST Executive Secretary
Petaling Jaya : At the Nov 23 meeting of its EXCO, Mr Goh Keat Peng, pic, has been appointed Honorary Executive Secretary of the Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) until the end of February 2007. Mr Goh is no stranger to the work of the MCCBCHST, as he was for many years the Executive Secretary of the CFM, and while in that position, he had served in the EXCO. He is currently employed by World Vision. In the next few months, his primary task will be to set up a proper secretariat for the MCCBCHST, so that the work can be carried out more efficiently.-Herald

Prize-giving day for Sunday school kids
Kuala Lumpur :The Sunday School (English Section) of the Church of the Holy Rosary held its Prize Giving Day 2006 on November 12, after the 8.30am Mass. Held in Dewan Hsiong, the church hall, the event attracted Sunday School children who came in full force together with their parents and teachers after having first participated in the morning Eucharistic celebration. Parish priest, Msgr Daniel Lim, was present and led the participants in a prayer, where he expressed his thanks and gratitude to the Lord for the teachers and parents who shared their faith in God with their children. Before the prize-giving ceremony began, a surprise was in store for Msgr Lim, as a birthday cake was brought into the hall by the children and teachers who had seized the opportunity to celebrate their parish priest's 69th birthday, which fell on November 9. Msgr Lim then presented the prizes, namely the Best Attendance and Most Improved Student awards. At the end of the presentations, the children, their parents and teachers then adjourned to the back of the hall for a potluck lunch sponsored by the parents and teachers themselves. -Herald

Army personnel urged to be witnesses of Christ
Cheras : On Nov 17, Christian military personnel from the Klang Valley celebrated their 54 anniversary with a Eucharistic Celebration. Presided over by Fr Valentine Gompok OFM Cap, more than 120 personnel participated. In his homily, Fr Valentine reminded the army personnel to practise their faith irrespective of where they were posted. At the end of the Mass, Major Cheong from the Sungai Besi Camp thanked Fr Valentine for allowing them to have their celebrations at the Church of St Francis of Assisi (SFA) and for celebrating the Mass. He informed them of the willingness of the Bahasa Malaysia Apostolate from SFA as well as the surrounding parishes who were willing to be of service to them. -Herald

Putrajaya Catholic Church update
PutraJaya : A fund-raising sub-committee was recently set up for the Putrajaya Catholic Church Building commit¬tee. The 12-member sub-committee was taken to visit the site of the future church. Those visiting for the first time were overwhelmed by a sense of pride and an overflow of fund raising ideas. The serene surrounding of Plot 12154, on which the Putrajaya Catholic Church will soon be built was quite an experience. The Committee is now in the final stage of discussion with architects and respective consultants to prepare the necessary documents for submission to the authorities for approval. -Herald

Senior citizens visit home as part of outreach programme
Kuala Lumpur : Residents of Asrama Cahaya in IJ Convent, Bukit Nanas played host to some senior parish¬ioners from the Cathedral of St John. The visit on Nov 12 by the 30 senior parishioners was part of an outreach programme organised by the Senior Citizen's Ministry. The members came with lunch specially catered for the occasion. Sr Stephanie Samy, IJ who is the animator of Asrama Cahaya together with three other Infant Jesus Sisters were on hand to welcome their guests. The visit started off with a Eucharistic celebration at l lam in the hall by Fr Peter Bretaudeau MEP, the priest-in-residence at St Joseph's Church in Sentul, who had taken the time to be with the residents and guests. The youth members from St John's Cathedral were also on hand to assist in the preparation of Mass and for rendering their talents with their musical instruments and songs. Lunch was served after the Eucharist, where the residents were seen enjoying their meal with the guests, mingling with them in a true spirit of Christian fellowship. Asrama Cahaya (Rumah Wanita Cacat) was established in 1911 by the Sisters of the Infant Jesus Congregation. From 1911 till 1957, the yearly new intake was stopped. A total of over 20,000 people had benefited and passed through the home. -Herald

Give more than what we receive
Kuala Lumpur :It was a memorable day for 40 children who received their First Holy Communion at the Eucharistic celebration at St John's Cathedral on Nov 12. Msgr James Gnanapiragasam in his homily directed at the 40 communicants, spoke about the qualities of being a real giver, giving not because there were leftovers but to make a sacrifice by giving out one's own pocket money. Later after Mass, he once again thanked all who actively took part in the preparations of the camp, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, while urging the children to continue "with Jesus walking beside you and to say a prayer tonight for all those who also walked with you." The camp for the children was held earlier on November 4 at the old parish hall, where both Fr Amalanathan and Msgr James admin¬istered the Sacrament of Reconciliation to the children, after they had had a full day of activ¬ities facilitated by several of the Sunday School teachers.-Herald

Youth Corner - TAR College students have their annual camp
Port Dickson : The Catholic Students' Society of Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) college held their annu¬al camp from Oct 20 to the 22 at IJ Convent, Port Dickson. Twenty-two persons attended the camp. Five speakers were invited to give talks throughout the camp. They were Fr Christopher Wee SJ, Michael Yap, Dr Cecelia, Jennifer Vaz, and Gilbert Lai. The committee held activities for the participants such as morning prayers by the beach, movie screening, praise and worship, outdoor activities, where the youths got to have fun with each other. There was also a "Festival Night" where the youths had to dress up in costumes and perform to the rest of the participants. The camp ended with confession fol¬lowed by a Mass that was celebrated by Fr Wee. In the end, the theme of the camp was fulfilled as all the participants agreed that they did Journey Together With God as One Family. - Herald

Hindu Sangam condemns burial of alleged convert
Petaling Jaya : The Malaysia Hindu Sangam has "wholeheartedly condemned the actions of the Government (in the form of the Religious Affairs Department in com¬plicity with the police) in increasing the suffering of the family of the late Chandran Dhamadass who died on Nov 8." Chandran, 28, was buried according to Islamic rites in Gopeng, Perak by Islamic affairs religious officers under heavy police protection. A Hindu, Chandran, was alleged to have converted to Islam in 2001. A press statement issued by president, Datuk A Vaithilingam, goes on to say that, "after earlier promising the deceased's wife and mother that the family would be allowed to carry out their own prayers in their home before taking the body away for the Muslim burial, the senior police officer and religious officers in Gopeng prohibited Chandran's wife and mother from reciting any prayers or performing any rites." Chandran's family "strongly disputes the alleged conversion claim, saying that Chandran had been a practicing Hindu until his death. However, when challenged, the Majlis Agama Islam presented a copy of a conversion certificate in 2004 that contained many erasures and corrections using liquid corrector. This and other documents that supposedly confirmed his conversion to Islam are highly suspicious as there are different names written as the alleged Muslim name of Chandran; and that one of the documents did not contain a signature. Chandran had married a Thai lady in 2004 according to Buddhist rites. He leaves behind a two-year old child with another on the way."-Herald

Let Christ come alive in our BEC
Petaling Jaya : The parish of St Ignatius (SIC) saw a large turnout of parishioners at its Parish Pastoral Assembly this time around. Held on Nov 12, the assembly saw the atten¬dance of 70 Mandarin-speaking and 160 English-speaking parishioners. Parish priest, Fr Philip Tan, CDD who declared open the assembly, said that he was extremely glad to see so many parishioners from both the Mandarin and English groups at this annual meeting. The parish's theme, `Let Christ come alive in our BECs' will be main¬tained as the theme for next year, with the main focus being the continuation of the re¬structuring of larger BECs and the encourag¬ing of greater participation at monthly BEC Prayer Gatherings. Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, in his address, noted the increased attendance at this year's Assembly and congratulated the Parish Priest and all the various presenters for a very infor¬mative and interesting afternoon. He said that the attendance was a testimony that the parish- ioners were committed to Christ and to one another as Church and community and willing to contribute towards the well-being of the parish. He reiterated that priority must be given to BECs to bring about an ecclesial con¬version of the families living in a neighbour¬hood. The Parish Assembly ended at 5.45pm with a Closing Prayer and a blessing from Fr Tan after a brief question-and-answer session.-Herald

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