Advent Programme 2012

The MAS Jesuits Vocation Director's Office recently organized a week long Advent Programme (10 December - 16 December 2012) for men who are discerning their true calling in life. Participants spent a week living a life of prayer and apostolic work at the Loyola Jesuit Novitiate, Kingsmead Hall in Singapore. 

The programme started with a three day silent retreat on the theme "The Giver, the Receiver and the Gift". The participants were asked to reflect on themselves, their relationship with God and their purpose in life - essentially, it was an invitation to meditate on the Principle and Foundation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

From 13 to 15 December, we went to the "Gift of Love" home, "Willing Hearts" soup kitchen and the Christmas party organized by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at Risen Christ parish. The participants were encouraged to "live out" the graces they had received during the three day retreat and share them with others. It was also a good time, while serving others, for them to reflect deeper on their gifts and limitations, and what the Lord is asking of them. At the "Gift of Love" home, we helped the sisters with preparation for their annual Christmas family day and also to assist in serving residence. During the afternoon spent at "Willing Hearts" soup kitchen, we assisted in washing and cleaning, and preparing food for the next day. At Risen Christ parish, we pitched in to help the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in their Christmas party for their friends-in-need (FINs).

On the last day of the Advent programme, the participants reverted to grand silence once again to recollect their experiences over the three days of apostolic work. A number of young men who could not come for the Advent programme, nonetheless, took the time and effort to join us for the day of recollection. The programme ended with a closing mass celebrated by Fr. Leslie Raj, SJ and an early Christmas dinner.

We thank the Lord for his guidance and love during the programme. The vocation director's office hopes to organize similar programmes in the near future.

More photographs of the programme may be found at the MAS Jesuits Vocations Facebook page here.

   
 
 

Songs by one of our Jesuits

Deacon Mark Aloysius, SJ, a Jesuit from the Malaysia-Singapore region has recently published two songs for use with the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

The first song, "Lord of Salvation", an entrance hymn, is an individual effort. The second song, "Lord, to Whom Shall We Go", is a communion song, written in collaboration with prolific Jesuit song writer, Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ.

These songs are published by the Jesuit Communications Foundation Inc., in the Bukas Palad Music Ministry's "Light from Light" songbook. Audio excerpts of these songs, and others from the same album can be found here.

   
 
 

Our Newest Jesuit Priest

 

Fr. Francis Lim Chin Choy, SJ was ordained by Bishop Paul Tan, SJ to the priesthood at St. Theresa's Church, Melaka on 11 August 2012. Fr. Francis entered the Society of Jesus in 2001. He received his Jesuit and priestly formation in Singapore, Jakarta, Melaka-Johor and Toronto. He is now the principal of St. Joseph's Private Secondary School (SJPSS) in Kuching, Sarawak.

For more information on Fr. Francis Lim's ordination, please see the Herald Malaysia article here.

To view photos of the ordination, please visit our facebook albums here and here.

Three New Jesuit Deacons from Malaysia

Jesuit diaconate ordination

On the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8, 2012), 17 Jesuit scholastics were ordained to the diaconate at the Church of the Gesu on the campus of the Ateneo de Manila University. Among the 17 were three Malaysian Jesuits - Sebastian Koh (Johor), Mark Aloysius (Sibu) and Alvin Ng (Kuching). Mark and Alvin have been in the Society of Jesus for 10 years and Sebastian for 9.

We congratulate our new reverend deacons! Praise be to God!

To view more photographs of the ordination please visit our facebook album here.

MAS MAGIS 2012

Three Jesuits (James Tan, Jerome Leon and Jojo M. Fung) accompanied sixteen participants who are university students and graduates from Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia. They participated in the second MAGIS MAS programme from July 23 till 30, 2012 in Sabah, East Malaysia, based on the theme God as Sustainer of Creation and Liberator of the suffering migrants. This theme focused on reconciliation with creation and migration, the two priorities of JCAP (Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific). In the first part of MAGIS known as pilgrimage, the participants underwent different experiences which culminated in a weekend Ignatian retreat known as Grand Silence.

The first part called pilgrimage enables the participants to have a lived-experience with the Kadazandusun community of Tampasak village with ample opportunity to engage in an interactive learning with the displaced villagers who are indigenous people (IP) and who were relocated since the commissioning of the state-condoned mega-dam that flooded their ancestral homeland, incurring a lost of land, livelihood and identity. The evening dialogue with the migrant workers from Flores gave them a personal insight of how the employers exploited them as cheap labor. In addition, the sharing of four of the staff of PACOS TRUST, a NGO founded to empower more than 50 villagers throughout Sabah, and subsequent talk on illegal human trafficking enabled the participants to realize how important it is to grow in a faith that does justice on behalf of the displaced IPs, victims of human trafficking and exploited migrants.

The canopy walk and dip at the hot spring in Poring, near Ranau gave the participants a chance to appreciate the gift of God's creation in its magnificence and splendor. The talk on the legends and community involvement in the management of Sabah Park intimated the participants to the sacredness of Mount Kinabalu. Sessions on critical prayerful analysis deepened the participants' awareness of systemic evil otherwise known as structural/social sins and how such evil is related to the personal sin of greed and lust for profit and power. The session on discerning theological reflection gave them the occasion to learn the “skill” of “theologizing” based on a theme that emerged out of their lived-experience.

Upon completion of the pilgrimage, the participants were amply prepared to enter the two-day guided silent retreat. All the participants took to the silence with great generosity of heart. They blessed all those involved in producing the food at meal times and all things that made their retreat possible – from the room to the building and the environment. Besides they were taught the Ignatian method of praying when they actually learnt by doing the guided prayers. The creative and environment-sensitive celebration of the daily Eucharist was a source of great consolation for all the participants. A few of the participants were gifted with “tears” during the mass and guided prayer sessions. Besides the time given to silent reflection and personal prayer of the bible passages and the daily journaling deepened the participants’ awareness of God’s omnipresence as Sacred Spirit in everything and everyone.

Anne Balthazar, a social worker with Youth Link, felt that MAGIS, especially the GRAND SILENCE rejuvenated her spirit as she was experiencing a “burn-out” syndrome.

Yvonne Lim, also recent graduate, remarked that it is so important to have a personal experience of the displaced IPs and migrants so that they do not remain mere issues or news items disseminated by mass media.

“The retreat has made me aware that I am one with creation and that my faith is inseparable from a right relationship with creation and with the migrants,” Romney, a third year university student added.

“This is the best retreat I ever had, including the mass too,” chuckled Nigel, another university student. “I am glad to know that I have a real and intimate relationship with Jesus as I clarified my calling to the priesthood,” Damian a university student from Kuala Lumpur shared, his face beaming with joy.

All the participants descended from the “mountain experience” with gratitude in their hearts, knowing that God has encountered each one of them through fellow human beings and the environment.

(To view more photos please visit our facebook album here.)