Church


Malaysia sent a contingent of about 100 delegates to the 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD7) in Indonesia and 50 were sent to the Archdiocese of Palembang (KAPAL) for the Days in the Diocese (DID) from 30th July until 1st August. I was one of them.

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Malaysia delegates arrived at Palembang airport for Days in diocese

The moment we arrived at the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport in Palembang, I could tell the AYD committee and parishes in Palembang were so happy to receive us. Our first stop was at St Peter’s Church where all the delegates were gathered. We arrived before noon and was there until the Opening Mass and Opening Ceremony in the evening. It was only that night that we were brought to our respective live-in parishes and handed over to our foster family.

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My family

I was assigned to the family of Bpk Andreas Sutarman from St Stefanus Parish, together with another delegate from the Diocese of Sibolga. We now had parents and 2 siblings (a sister and a brother) in Palembang and another sister in Jogjakarta as their elder daughter was studying there.

While in Palembang, I had the opportunity to interact with the local communities within my host family, host parish and the community at large. My fondest memories is how caring my foster parents were. I just wish I had more time to spend with them. We would arrive home late every day, after a long day full of activities, so I would be very tired and sleepy but my foster dad would already be waiting to take us home and my foster mom would prepare hot water for shower and hot tea before I go to bed. And in the morning, my foster mom would prepare a lovely breakfast before sending us to the neighbour’s house so we can carpool with 2 other delegates (from Medan and India) to our parish.

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Romo Tugiyo & Pastor Alex

I also loved having daily mass and prayers at and meeting the priests and seminarian of St Stefanus, especially Romo Tugiyo. It was also a blessing to meet Pastor Alex from Medan, who was also having his Days in Diocese in the same parish. What truly inspired me was the youth, the OMK of St Stefanus, who really did their best to take care of us during the whole program. A special thank you my dear brother, Andreas Jona Situmorang, for being our personal driver during the Days in Diocese.

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Outside of St Stefanus parish, I really enjoyed the exposures to the Catholic Church’s presence especially in healthcare and education, specifically the Charitas Hospital and the minor seminaries, schools and universities which were run by the Church. I was so impressed that Charitas Hospital have their own dance crew (see videos at the bottom of this post) – but what was more inspiring was how the Charitas Hospital was formed and how they contribute to the church mission in caring for the sick, regardless of religion.

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At St Paul Minor Seminary; seminarians in blue jacket

I also really enjoyed the visit to St Paul Minor Seminary. It was my first time to visit a Minor Seminary so it was really interesting to meet these young men who are already answering the call to the priesthood by being in a seminary. I loved talking to them and listening to their stories of how they decided to enter the seminary and what seminary life was like for them. I pray that these fine young men all become priests and will visit the church in Malaysia one day.

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AYD delegates learning to make “pempek”

Finally, I also acquired the taste for Palembang’s “Pempek” (or “empek-empek”) and “Tekwan” among others. Honestly, if it had not been for AYD, I probably would have never have gone to Palembang and would miss out on the lovely food, the rich culture and especially the warmth of the people there.

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Some of the committee members for DIDKAPAL2017 (only those from my parish in this one)

And so, my deepest appreciation to all of the committee for DIDKAPAL2017 for making our stay in Palembang memorable and we hope to one day return the favour should you visit us in Malaysia.

God bless!

Note: The above was a testimony I wrote for the DIDKAPAL2017 organisers.

And for those who have not been to Palembang, do consider visiting it in 2018 when they co-host the 18th Asian Games alongside Jakarta!

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And…as promised above, the Charitas Dance Crew!!! Enjoy!

Part 1

Part 2

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The 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD7) in Indonesia concluded on 6th August 2017 with the Closing Mass that was held at the Airforce Complex in Jogjakarta. The theme for AYD7 was “Joyful Asian Youth! Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia” and a week prior to that, thousands of young people from 20 Asian countries (Korea, Laos, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Macau, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, China, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Brunei and Cambodia) had gathered together with the young people of Indonesia for a spiritual and cultural experience that would not be forgotten.

Malaysia sent a contingent of about 100 delegates and 14 were from Miri Diocese. For the first part of the program which was the Days in the Diocese, the 14 were sent to the Archdiocese of Palembang.

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Malaysia delegates arrived at Palembang airport for Days in diocese.

From 30th July until 1st August, the delegates were assigned to host families that belonged to the many different parishes (namely, St Stefanus, St Mary Katedral, St Maria Ratu Rosario, St Francis De Sales, St Paul, St Yoseph, St Sacred Heart and St Petrus) in the Archdiocese. While there, we interacted with the local communities within our host family, host parish and the community at large, with exposures to the Catholic Church’s presence especially in healthcare and education, specifically the Charitas Hospital and the minor seminaries, schools and universities which were run by the Church. We also acquired the taste for “Pempek” (or “empek-empek”) which is a savoury fishcake delicacy from Palembang, made of fish and tapioca.

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Delegates from Miri diocese show their tradtional costume during JOYFUL gathering in Palembang

But it was during the 2nd part of AYD7 that saw all the delegates from the 20 Asian countries gather in Jogjakarta for the Asian Youth Day “proper” from 2nd August until 6th August 2017. This was the time when the delegates were truly exposed to the wonderfulness that is Indonesia, especially in terms of its multicultural and multireligious community. There were opportunities for inter-religious dialogue when young people of other faiths journeyed together with the delegates during the cultural exposures to Sant’Egidio School of Peace (in the squatter area), Mangunan Elementary School, Traditional Art Festival, St Peter Canisi Minor Seminary, Tunggal Hati Seminary and Pencak Silat, SAV Puskat (a Non-Profit Organisation owned by Catholics and run by Islams) and Inklusi Centre Bhakti Negeri Kachamatan Karanganom. A few of the delegates even had the opportunity to experience first-hand of how it was like to be a patient at Rumah Sakit Panti Rapih.

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Miri diocese delegates in JOGJAKARTA

Overall, the delegates were all very much impressed by the multicultural diversity and religious tolerance and harmony in Indonesia. This was evident in the support given by the government to the AYD7 Coordinators to run the week-long program, be it in terms of accommodation, logistics and even healthcare. No expenses were spared to ensure that the delegates, especially those from outside the country, had a wonderful experience throughout. There is simply too much to be able to be shared in one simple article as such we would be more than joyful to share with you our experiences in person! Just simply ask away when you see us around, we would love to tell you more!

And, if you are interested to join the next AYD, keep your schedule open: the next Asian Youth Day will be in India in 2020!
– the AYD7 delegates from Miri Diocese.

Note: The above was a sharing on behalf of the delegates from Miri Diocese for the Diocese of Miri Facebook Page.

For more stories and photos, you can check out the albums below:

AYD7 Jogjakarta, Indonesia (Days in the Diocese in Palembang)

AYD7: Day 1

AYD7: Day 2

AYD7: Day 3

AYD7: Day 4

AYD7: Day 5 (Final Day)

 

It was year 2001, May*.

Fresh out of highschool, I stepped foot into a local university – MARA University of Technology / University Technology MARA (UiTM) along with thousands of others at the Sarawak Branch, specifically at Samarahan Campus, in Kuching, Sarawak.

That’s where I met Galvin.

Always a fun-loving and jovial person to be around, with a positive attitude and a boisterous laugh, he quickly became a friend – so quick that I don’t even remember how it happened. We were taking different courses and therefore were not classmates, but we were both Catholics and belonged to the Young Catholics Undergraduates (YCU) community – which was more like a family – in UiTM Samarahan Campus. Our much awaited activity every semester was the Singai Camp, where we would spend a spirit-filled weekend at the Catholic Memorial Pilgrimage Centre (CMPC), located at the Slope of Mount Singai, Kampung Tajong Singai, Bau. The weekend would consist mainly of Mass, Sacrement of Reconciliation, Counselling sessions, Talks by invited speakers, Praise & Worship, Prayers (eg. Taize) and of course, fellowship among our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Apart from the Singai Camp, there were weekly gatherings (with Praise & Worship, Bible Sharing/Talks etc and Fellowship) and also main activities like the Christmas Caroling and Final Exam Blessing Mass.

I left Samarahan Campus for the main campus in Shah Alam, Selangor in 2004, thus leaving YCU behind – physically but never spiritually or emotionally. I was and always will be a YCU alumni and be part of YCU Family. That is why, even after my days at YCU, whenever we would bump into fellow YCU members even long after we physically left YCU, the bond is still there.

Forward a few years, we were both already working, neither in Kuching. At that time, I was working in Brunei and him in Sibu. Since I was in Sibu at one time, we met up for a quick catch up at Farley Foodcourt (of course) in Sibu. After that, it got a bit fuzzy for me. I believe it was a few years later that I found out that he went to Taize, France and then entered seminary (or was it vice versa) but I do remember visiting him while he was in St Peter’s College, the seminary in Kuching once.

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In Kuching, 2012 (he was already a Seminarian then)

Actually, I remember it vividly as it was quite an awkward experience for me, as a lady, to visit him, a man, in a seminary. We were sitting in the canteen (is that what it’s called, Gal, err, Fr Gal?) and when his fellow seminarians or formators would pass by he would wave to them and introduce me as his friend… and I would give an awkward wave back to them. He’s the only seminarian (now priest) I had ever visited in a seminary. Hahaha.

So of course, I would be at his Ordination!

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23.04.2017 – Diaconate Ordination of Deacon Galvin

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22.09.2017 – Sacerdotal Ordination of Rev. Fr. Galvin

I am used to having priests becoming my friends, but this is the first time I have a friend who is now a priest! 😍🙏

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Congratulations once again dear friend, on your priestly ordination and on this new journey in your priesthood.

Your ordination is just the beginning of the blessings that He will pour out on you, your family and loved ones and all those around you – for you and through you. I pray that you be blessed continually in your ministry.

And as Pope Francis and AB Simon Poh mentioned: “Be a Shepherd that smells like his Sheep / Jadilah Gembala Berbau Domba”

P.S. Hope to see you visit the sheep in Bintulu one day. Once again, Félicitations!!! 😊 #ycufamily

*sorry, no photo as that was pre-Facebook period (shocking!)

This year, the 30 Hour Famine is held from today Thursday 13/3/14 until Saturday 15/3/14 and the theme is “Release The Feast”.

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The theme-titled poem can be found here on my other blog and I took the liberty of transcribing it (Accuracy is 90-99% guaranteed) so even if you can’t watch the poem on video, you may still benefit from the message.

Enjoy!

Release The Feast – a poem by Propoganda

Theme for “30-Hour Famine” 2014

(Transcribed by Mar)

So when they’re closing all the curtains to convince you that it’s night time

Don’t believe ‘em

Don’t believe ‘em

And when they tell you “It’s a must have” and “You can’t live without it”

Listen

You don’t need it

You don’t need it

And when they tell you that “The Feast is full” and “The underdressed ain’t invited”

Listen

Tell them “That’s not what the King said”

He said “Release The Feast”

Don’t believe ‘em

You don’t need it

Release The Feast

Release The Feast

Took us so long to get here

And here really ain’t that special

I remember the daydreams of a preteen boy on grandmama’s porch

*[A motley crew of SUV coloured boys]*

Yelling “That’s my car!” when a nice one rolls by

Bathed in the summer Cali afternoon sunset

Heads back on the driveway

Eyes straight up into the clouds so as to drown out the smog of drug transactions we were obviously surrounded by

“One day, Imma make it”

But what is “it”?

Objects. Things. Comfort. Calm.

And it’s all to realize that “calm”

Really ain’t that calm

And that struggle is much more enjoyable

When the end they clutch more

The moment you realize you’re consumed with First World Problems like

Is it a really a party if there’s way too much food and plenty of empty chairs?

You up in there licking your fingers while there are thousands of starving stomachs

Right outside the door

This is “making it”?

This is “it”?

It’s eerie how uncomfortable it is

We get too comfortable

I mean

Are we ignoring the obvious?

Were we not blessed to be a blessing?

Can you not spare one day and 6 hours to change a lifetime?

When did we become the prodigal son’s older brother?

“Son, everything I have is yours. Just come join the party.”

Release The Feast

But you’ve “done enough” right?

Like the notion that if you accept these set of notions then your soul’s premium is secured

You searching new mountains to climb like you conquered the first one

Like that car you pointed out right?

You been saving your money right?

You “making it”

But the work of the Gospel’s not done

You’re just comfortable

Like this journey to “okayness”

That’s what we been working for

To “homeostasis”

That we mistakenly see as “peace”

Only to realize that “making it” is so anti-climactic

Because this type of “perfect” is just ain’t working

Don’t you dare close them curtains in the night time

You don’t need another object

You’re already in the party

Release The Feast

There’s no “making it”

There is no there

Because there is here

With us

We are in this together

Act like it

No comfort till we’re all in the party

Release The Feast

Release The Feast

*This part may be inaccurate

 

For the video of the poem and more details, pls visit http://30hourfamine.org/

Lent is here.

It began yesterday with Ash Wednesday and after a the day of fasting and abstinence, it was nice to “break fast” together with Bishop & the VYAs  with soup (mushroom/pumpkin) & bread after Mass…and a bit of Taize practice afterwards as well! 😉

And so began these 40 grace-filled days

What are you giving up (meat, coffee, TV, etc) or, taking up (go to daily mass, daily rosary, etc) for Lent?

To be honest, I never actually really did much for Lent years ago (beyond the “standard prescription” of attending Stations of the Cross, abstaining from meat on Fridays etc etc) but 3 years ago I decided I’d start taking Lent more seriously, as should be the case if I may add.

So I decided to give up meatNOT just on Fridays but for ALL 40 days! The first 2 weeks I think was bearable then but as the 3rd week started I was having cravings. Then, just a few more days till I reached the 40th day, I failed to temptation… 😦

I NEVER felt SO bad about eating a piece of chicken before…It felt SO bad, I actually included it in my confession! :O

And so, I resolved I’d give up meat again the following year and was determined to go all the way this time. AND I DID! The “suffering” of my 40 (meatless) days helped me reflect more on how much MORE Christ suffered – to the point of death! What is giving up meat in comparison to Christ dying on the cross for our sins?!

Similarly, when Easter came & I had my first minuscule piece of pork in my kolo mee after 40 days, it truly felt like a celebration! If just that was able to stir such feelings within me, what even more reason is there to CELEBRATE & REJOICE on Easter morn but that Christ rose from the dead and in effect, gave us everlasting life?!

Last year, I gave up meat again but this time I decided to give up something else as well – social networks. Or more specifically, Facebook and Twitter. Verdict: Similar with the first Lent when I gave up meat. For the first few weeks I was SO tempted to just “sign in & see what’s happening”, but knowing how disappointed I was with myself when I succumbed to that delicious hotel-cooked piece of chicken the first year, I was determined NOT to falter.

And I survived! 🙂

40 whole days without social netwroks. It IS possible, inspite of the myth that one would “die” if they didn’t log in for a day. I mean, HELLO, social networks only came about in the last decade! 😀 And you know what? Because all social networks are somehow connected, I also gave up Foursquare too.

Yeah…I lost a number of Mayorships, but I didn’t care. Nothing trumped the fact I successfully said NO to social networks – on the first try too! 😀

So THIS year, I decided I would still give up meat & social networks but I also wanted to take up something too…I just wasn’t sure what. I was mulling over 2 possibilities:

1) To go to daily mass EVERYDAY for the whole of Lent

2) To go to ALL the Stations of the Cross during Lent (I never really kept track before but I think over the years, I have missed a few…)

And then I found this:

It’s a campaign called “40acts” and what it does is that it will encourage us to do Lent generously…please have a look and if you would like to participate, just sign up on the website: http://www.40acts.org.uk/

By signing up, you’ll receive 40acts emails from 22/2 (yesterday) until 5/4 -these are reflections from guest contributors like Nicky Gumbel, Rob Parsons,etc and ideas and inspirations to keep your challenge going, and a featured act for you to try that day. And don’t worry that you just read about this now, you can still do those “acts” that you “missed”! (Pls just see the website for more details.)

Lent is all about Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving…and this website seemed to give “practical” daily tips & suggested “acts” to do all that! So, I signed up.

Therefore, I shall be updating this blog more frequently (hopefully) during this Lenten Season to reflect on all the “acts”. So, until then, I hope you too will join me (and hundreds of others all over the world) on this 40acts journey! 🙂

40 days, 40 reflections, 40 simple acts…

HAVE A BLESSED LENT!

In our office, we have this culture of playing the “season’s tunes”...ie. when it’s a festive season, we would play songs of that festivity so since about 2 weeks into December, we’ve been playing Christmas songs =D

However, when I got back to work on the 27th, I overheard a colleague saying: “You can stop playing Christmas songs now” or rather, “You can start playing (another festivity coming up in January) songs now”.

I was like HELLO! It’s only the 2nd day of Christmas! We still have 10 days left!

A Catholic would (should) know that the official Christmas season starts on Christmas Day and ends twelve days later on the Feast of the Epiphany…thus the song “12 Days of Christmas”…but did you know that that song wasn’t just to remind us that the season is 12 days long? No. Rather, I just found out that “The 12 Days of Christmas is a catechism song that was originally meant to teach the faith to children!” – I’ve Jeff Cavins to thank for sharing this very interesting fact! =D

However, I did stumble across the meaning of the 12 “things” given on the 12 days of Christmas some Christmasses ago, which I’d forgotten until I read it again…but let’s see if you ever thought of them. =)

In summary (for further explanations please visit  Jeff Cavins on his website) they are:

Partridge in a Pear tree: Jesus Christ.

Two Turtle Doves: Jesus’ natures & the Testaments.

Three French Hens: the Trinity/Faith, Hope and Charity.

Four Calling Birds: the Gospels

Five Golden Rings: are the first five books of the Bible

Six Geese a Laying: Six days of creation

Seven Swans a Swimming: the Seven Sacraments/gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Eight Maids a Milking: the Beatitudes

Nine Drummers Drumming: fruits of the Holy Spirit

Ten Ladies Dancing: the Ten Commandments

Eleven Pipers Piping: the eleven Apostles (excl. Judas)

The Twelve Lords a Leaping: the twelve basic beliefs of the Catholic Church

WOW! Kudos to the guy who came up with the song!

For most of my life, I never put a second thought into it, but now I know better – and so do you! =D

So, BLESSED CHRISTMAS EVERYONE & HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!

Today is Christ The King.

That means it’s the end of this Liturical Year.

Next Sunday will be the 1st Sunday of Advent, the start of the new Liturgical Year.

But this time, it will be more than just any start of any new year. Come next Sunday, 27th November, we will start using the New Translation of the Roman Missal.

Which means today was the LAST Sunday we will be celebrating Mass as we have celebrated it since 1973 – for me personally, the way I celebrated Mass since Day 1! I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda melancholic…

BUT I am excited for the New Translation! =)

And the responsorial psalm today was Psalm 23, one of my fave psalms – The Good Shepherd. And a little girl when asked to recite it hits it on the spot!

“The Lord is my shepherd, that’s all I (need to) know.”

Have a Blessed Week all & see you next (liturgical) year! =)

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