MJD News Update #17

The Christmas Eve Masses may need to be adjusted so as NOT to exceed the 10.00 pm requirement. Additional Masses because of numbers and language needs, have to be looked into. This Holy Season can bring hope to the suffering, the frightened, the deprived and the poor.

Nov 21, 2020

Greetings and Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you, dear People of God.

1.0 A Thought for the Week
Anthony, a middle-aged monk, was on pilgrimage, visiting his good friend Benedict, a monk in another country. Arriving at the monastery, Benedict, a gracious host and friend, welcomed Anthony, and as they started climbing a long flight of steps, said, “We have no elevators here. I apologise for the many steps we have to climb to get to your room.” Anthony, with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, answered, “There are many steps in my home monastery, too.”  Then he added, “I count them as I climb. This is how I count them: one, one, one and one.”                                                     

Something to think about: In the spiritual life, it is always the beginning. Paul, the Apostle called it “running the good race as if the end is not in sight”. It is like handling 10 tasks before us, and by focussing on one task till it is completed and that makes us say: ONE DOWN. MINUS ONE. Taking one step at a time, makes the miles fly by. “Be a beginner every single morning.” - Meister Eckhart

2.0 Announcements for this week:

2.1 Responding to the CMCO Guidelines for the period Nov 8 to Dec 6, the following SOPs apply for all parishes of the Malacca Johore Diocese:

a) Masses, services and prayers will continue as permitted. Any cancellation of Masses requires approval from the bishop for now.

b) Weddings and funeral Masses or services continues, but limited to 30 persons and compliant to SOPs.

c) Confessions must be provided before Masses at confessionals or at the office by appointment. There will be no Advent Penitential Services. But Advent  Confessions are being arranged by each Vicariate.

d) The RCIA Rite of Acceptance can be held on the 1st Sunday of Advent, provided the parish candidates are ready and properly instructed. The SOPs must be followed.

e) The Christmas Eve Masses may need to be adjusted so as NOT to exceed the 10.00 pm requirement. Additional Masses because of numbers and language needs, have to be looked into. This Holy Season can bring hope to the suffering, the frightened, the deprived and the poor.

f) The following are the prohibitions: receptions, feasting or celebrations in church premises; all forms of face-to-face formations; BEC gatherings and catechism. g) Those aged 70 years and above and 12 and below are discouraged from attending church gatherings and activities.

2.2 The Advent Fridays, till Christmas, are declared Days of Prayer and Fast, for all Catholics of the Diocese of Malacca Johore. Let this be a time when we identify ourselves with the “cries of the poor and the earth”. God entered and became one with human suffering. Let us enter into the sufferings of our neighbours.

2.3 The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia (CBCM) invites all the faithful to donate generously to the DISASTER RELIEF FUND, set up to help the 32 million people of the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, affected by the tropical cyclones. Send your donations by the 30th November 2020 via cheque or online transfer to Titular Roman Catholic Bishop Malacca Johore Diocese, Alliance Bank account: 51126-0010011964. All donors, please indicate “Disaster Relief Fund” on the back of the  cheque or in the comment section for online donations.

3.0 This Week’s Questions & Queries? A Follow-up: Leadership Models in Faith Communities
We have three models to look at. They are the transformational, true formational and prophetic models. Some characteristics to ascertain where our communities or ministries are or which model is commonly used.

a) Transformational leadership is marked by a leader or leaders with power to influence and lead, with a vision-mission statement and a need-based agenda as focus, and incorporate a democratic decisionmaking process.

b) True Formational leadership relies on ‘God speaks — We encounter’ dynamics. They view faith groups as living organisms, covenanted and discerning. Their mission includes discipleship, faith-building, submission to the word and the cross, pointing out places for service, sharing in pain, practising personal and corporate repentance.

c) Prophetic leadership is seen to be exercised by individuals, church leadership, ministers and prophetic team ministries. They are community-based with emphasis on team work. Their decision-making occurs within the context of worship, where the agenda is offered to God, and they wait to see ‘where the Spirit rests’. All discernment is personal but not private, and made in community but not in isolation. Next week, we will be following up with the elements of prophetic leaders. Let us continue to build God’s Kingdom together. Have a great week. God bless you all. 

Bishop Bernard Paul
November 20, 2020

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