Malacca Johore Diocese News Update #155

A happy new year to you. Oh! Actually, a happy New Liturgical Year. With Advent, we begin Year B.

Dec 01, 2023

Greetings to you, dear friends and faithful. A happy new year to you. Oh! Actually, a happy New Liturgical Year. With Advent, we begin Year B.

Shake-up Times: A near collapse. I was rushed into emergency at Sibu General Hospital. It was severe pneumonia. Grounded. It shook me up. The wars, the blindness and the unthinking many, are unimaginable. Racial intolerance and religious bigotry have got the better of many. Going to the courts to regain justice and safeguard our constitutional rights is the only lawful option to shake-up unlawful, prejudicial and unconstitutional decisions. Deaths and near-death experiences, crises and upsets, and media announcements and denouncements do have a similar impact. Just be still and know that He is God. Disturbing. Disrupting. Frightening. Stormy. Deafening silence. But know that He walks with us. He is in the boat with us.

A Thought for the Week:
A Blue Ribbon
A teacher in New York City decided to honour each of her graduating high school seniors by telling each of them the difference she felt they each made as individuals. She called each student to the front of the class, one at a time. First, she told the student how they had made a difference to her and the class. Then she presented them with a blue ribbon imprinted with gold letters reading: “Who I Am Makes a Difference.” She noticed a considerable attitudinal change in the class. So, she decided to do a class project to determine what impact such recognition could have on their local community. She gave each student three more ribbons, and asked them to go out and spread an “acknowledgment ceremony.”

A lesson from the teacher: A simple act of kindness. Affirmation transforms and transforms. It leaves an impact on the hearer. It humbles the ‘proud’ and raises the ‘poor’. Let those who are close — at home or in the workplace — know that they make a difference to you.

Announcements for this Week

1. The diocese has another priest. Aaron Alammalay joins the presbyterium. He will continue serving at the Church of St Andrew, Muar.

2. The Feast of Christ the King marks World Youth Day. Vicariate level celebrations (Young People Day) took place at the Church of St Louis, Kluang on Friday, November 24 at MAJODI Centre on Saturday, November 25, and at the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Krubong on Sunday, November 26.

3. The IFFAsia or Fondacio Asia offers a five-month online Self Leadership Development; 10-month on-site Leadership Development and two-year internship. Contact iffasia @gmail.com or bishop’s office: bishopbernard@mjdiocese. my or your parish priest.

4. The 25th Sacerdotal Anniversary of Fr James Rajendran will take place on December 4 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Johor Baru.

5. The Holy See’s diplomatic position on Palestine is the two-state solution with clearly delimited borders and a special statute for Jerusalem.

QnQ: Q asks?
Is it our call to preserve and protect the Church? Have we forgotten that she lives to evangelise?

Pope St John XXIII once remarked, “We are not on earth to guard a museum, but to cultivate a flowering garden of life.”

I absolutely love this quote. I think that we should have it on all of our church doors and signs. It is not enough to place those words at the front door however, if there is not a fire burning within the Church that will allow this cultivation to become reality.

Too many of our church communities have become museums that we work hard to guard, protect, maintain, and honour. We actually use those words in practice. It is not uncommon to hear Catholics say, “we must protect the Church from culture and the ways of the world.” How about a comment like.

“We cannot do that here it does not fit with our tradition.” All the while, our churches are in decline. At times I hear the words of John XXIII ringing in my ears and wonder how long before all that we have left are museums to guard?

To the youth of the diocese, you are M.A.D.! (you make a difference). The Lord walks with you.

God bless. Be safe. Be different.

Bishop Bernard Paul


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