Abp John Wong marks with chrism as he confers the Sacrament of Confirmation on a candidate at CMI Dec 27
By CMI SOCCOM
Dec 30 2020
KOTA KINABALU – After a few postponements with the closure of the church due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 30 boys and girls finally received their Sacrament of Confirmation at Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI), Bukit Padang on Dec 27.
The memorable occasion took place during the 8.00 am Sunday Mass on the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, which was celebrated by Archbishop John Wong and assisted by Fr Joshua Liew.
In his homily, Archbishop Wong led the congregation to examine the Holy Family not only as a whole but also the individuality of Mary, Joseph and Jesus who had formed this Model Family for Catholics, especially for those who fear the Lord and who constantly walk in His Way.
Looking at this “family in the manger”, it could be easily concluded that this Family of Nazareth constantly listened, pondered, accepted, obeyed, fulfilled and lived the Word of God in their lives. The Prelate invited parishioners to let the Word of God be their guide just like Mary, Joseph and Jesus did by listening, pondering, accepting, obeying, fulfilling and living the Word of God.
In addressing the candidates for Confirmation, Archbishop Wong said that in receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, they would be receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit. ‘Who is this Holy Spirit?’ he posted this question to them.
In this season of Christmas as we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, the second person in the Holy Trinity, we should not forget that we are also celebrating the Holy Spirit because it was through the Holy Spirit that Mary was conceived. It was the Holy Spirit, as recorded in the today’s Gospel that inspired Simeon and Anna to recognize the baby Jesus as the Messiah.
He added, not only the candidates need the guidance of the Holy Spirit but all of us need the Holy Spirit to know, recognize and accept Jesus as our Saviour and to constantly proclaim Jesus Christ in our day-to-day living.
Before the closing prayer, Archbishop Wong addressed the confirmands once again, that starting from today it would be a new chapter in their lives which will be guided by the Holy Spirit. In the future, he hopes that they will consider a religious or priestly vocation, and may even see them preaching before a congregation.
Secondly, referring to this special ‘Year of Saint Joseph’, Archbishop Wong encouraged parishioners to visit the Vatican website and read the Apostolic Letter titled ‘Patris Corde’ written by the Pope on the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. This letter, according to the prelate, was beautifully written and has intimately described St Joseph.
Abp John Wong blesses the new rectory at the Church of Mary Immaculate Dec 27
After Mass, Archbishop Wong blessed the new rectory, followed by simple breakfast fellowship with members of the CMI Parish Pastoral Committee (PPC).
Meanwhile, at the beginning of the week, on Dec 21, parish priest Fr Paul Lo gave First Holy Communion to five children with special needs during the 6.30 am daily Mass at CMI. These children, due to their condition and to ensure their safety, were not allowed to join with the rest of the candidates who had earlier received their First Holy Communion on Nov 26 and 27 at Sacred Heart Parish Centre.
Fr Lo reminded parishioners that Christmas is about love – about God’s love for each of us that he was willing to let go the glory in heaven and became man to live among us.
Moved by the sight of the children, and knowing the struggles and challenges that their parents have to undergo, the parish priest spoke with compassion to the parents that they should not feel scandalized by their children’s condition because God has a special love and care for these children.
He said that parents need to look at it with the eyes of faith and that they were chosen and blessed by God to possess love greater than other parents in taking care of these special children.
CMI congratulates all Confirmands and First Communicants on the celebration of their important milestones, and commended the teachers and parents for their love, commitment and efforts.
Fr Paul Lo gives First Holy Communion to candidate with special needs at CMI Dec 21