Contents

Editorial Message From the President Message From the Rector Living Life, Journeying in Faith The Way of the Cross Holy Week in Tanjung Malim The Feast Day of Sts. Philip Minh & Companions Rindu... Tetapi Bergawai di Semenanjung Malaysia Street Walk Vocation Stay-In Experience Getting Down & Dirty Community Prayer 2012 - A Photo Essay Beauty Restored St. Philip Minh - A Close Encounter Taking That Next Step... In Faith! Good Shepherd Sunday (Tamil) Cabaran-cabaran Yang Dihadapi Seorang Seminaris A Tough Juggling Act Thy Will Be Done A Journey With God (Mandarin) Making a Pit Stop Missionary Wisdom College Staff & Community In Remembrance of Peter Low 1 2-3 4 5-6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 - 19 20 - 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 - 32 32

our Front Cover
Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness. Christ, be our light! Shine in your church gathered today. We express our yearning and desire for God as we gather every day in our newly restored chapel in which we welcome our Risen Lord into our lives. We are all called to be the witnesses of Christ in order to share His light with others regardless of colour, race, gender or religion. “In the same way your light must shine in people’s sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven” Matthew 5:16

Sinaran 2012

I

1

Shalom and greetings of Christ’s peace to all of you! The Editorial Team takes great pleasure in presenting College General’s annual magazine, SINARAN 2012 bearing the theme, “Discipleship Towards Evangelization”. Truly, it has been a tremendous year of identifying ourselves as disciples, living and sharing the Gospel and making Christ present to all those around us through the many events that we organized and participated in all year round. Yes, we did go to the streets, but we also lived out the Good News through our actions and interactions with the people we encountered. We decided that SINARAN 2012 should focus more on vocations. As such, each article has an underlying message about vocations. We hope that you, dear reader, would pass on this copy of SINARAN 2012 to someone who might be thinking about their call to the priesthood or religious life. Perhaps, the sparks of a vocation might be ignited! Finally, we take this opportunity to express our eternal gratitude to all our collaborators who have helped us produce SINARAN 2012 - no matter how big or small the contribution. May God’s blessings be upon you so that you,in turn, will be a blessing to others. In this Year of Faith, we pray that we will have made some contribution to your faith life, particularly in helping you to reflect on God’s personal call to you. The Editorial Team James Pitchay, Timothy Zarsadias, Fr. Gerard Theraviam, Vincent Thomas (Editor), Paul Wong

2

I

Sinaran 2012

A PresidentiAl MessAge
By Bishop Sebastian Francis Bishop of Penang and President of College General

Greetings of Love & Truth in the Year of Faith 2012 / 2013! The College General of today reminds me of the MUSTARD SEED mentioned in the Gospel of St Luke 13:19. I hope this comparison will inspire and provide us with a vision and mission of the present that smallness does not matter. We live in hope that this little seed will grow and become a tree and extend its branches to include others. Now that I am elected President of College General, I have an inseparable bond with you as a community. The President of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Vatican City, reminded me in a recent letter that as Bishop of Penang, where this regional Seminary is located, I must have a special place in my heart for this seminary. I am especially delighted that some seminarians from East Malaysia are here with us. Jesus prayed that, “The harvest is rich but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37). This text has challenged me in 4 ways: 1) That there will always be a gap between the rich/plentiful harvest and the few labourers. While accepting that there will always be a shortfall, one has to focus on the plentiful harvest which is a gift and yet pray and invite more labourers to the vineyard of the Lord. 2) The harvest is God’s work and a gift to the Church. We are not asked to pray for an increase in the harvest which is already plentiful and needs to be gathered in by the few labourers. We pray that the labourers, however few will never grow tired of gathering the harvest. 3) Jesus instructs us to pray for an increase of labourers in the vineyard of the Lord. These labourers include Bishops, Priests, Permanent Deacons, Religious, Missionaries and Lay Ministers in various services, etc. The Church must be open to all occasions and all are labourers in the vineyard of the Lord. All who are called to be labourers in the vineyard of the Lord are also, first and foremost Disciples of the Lord. 4) Jesus also reminds us, “For many are called but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). Again we see a shortfall between the CALL and the CHOICE. It should not be surprising that not all who are CALLED are CHOSEN. The disparity between the CALL and the CHOICE may remain somewhat a mystery but probably points to our freedom in responding to the CALL or NOT. But let us remember that both the CALL and the CHOICE belong to HIM. I hope the above reflection will help in the way we go about promoting and discerning vocations.

Sinaran 2012

I

3

It was my privilege to launch the Year of Faith 2012 / 2013 with you, with the simple yet profound commitment to OPEN and ENTER the DOOR of FAITH. I remind you to be focused on the: • 1 image: the DOOR of FAITH • 1 invitation: to OPEN and ENTER the DOOR of FAITH • 1 identity: as a Disciple of Christ • 1 prayer: LORD INCREASE MY FAITH As I mentioned at the Launching, each one must take personal responsibility to answer this CALL. The surprises, challenges and graces that will accompany your decision to OPEN and ENTER the DOOR of FAITH are left to HIM. Finally, on behalf of the Dioceses of the regions that are affiliated to College General, I thank Fr Gerard Theraviam and his partners for keeping the spirit of College General, ever ancient, ever new, alive in these challenging times. I also congratulate Vincent Thomas, Editor of Sinaran 2012 and his Team for yet another issue of the magazine. Love & Truth

Bishop Sebastian Francis 10 November 2012

RIBUAN TERIMA KASIH to Bishop Emeritus Antony Selvanayagam, former President of College General who retired as Bishop of Penang this year. We thank Bishop Selva for the many years of service to the seminary, his alma mater, and wish him a happy retirement.

4

I

Sinaran 2012

reCtor’s MessAge 2012
By Fr. Gerard Theraviam

At the start of 2012, we discerned as a community that we would adopt the Peninsular Malaysia Church’s theme as our very own- hence MISSION TOWARDS EVANGELIZATION was to be in our consciousness in all our seminary activities this year, including 4 particular ‘big’ ones that we set as our corporate projects to help achieve out theme. We also were of the mind that evangelization was not necessarily going out to make people think or believe in exactly the same way we did, but we would go out to tell the story of Jesus by our way of life…. Hence we reached out, and in so doing, discovered that in giving, we ourselves received! • In reaching out to young adults through our Way of the Cross, I found myself being touched by the significance of what we were doing as ‘companions on the journey’ following the footsteps of the Lord, knowing that as a community we had worked and struggled hard to come to that day…and here we were also being recipients of the love and gratitude from the participants and were ourselves encouraged by their zeal and enthusiasm to follow Jesus faithfully. • Our Street Walk, reaching out and feeding persons on the streets, was also a journey inside of ourselves, recognizing Providence within as we went out in God’s love and growing in awareness and appreciation of our role in terms of the plight of the Last, Lost and Least. • In the Vocation Stay-In, while sharing our own vocation stories with the aspirants, I found myself being affirmed in my own priesthood and inspired to continue in faith and trust by both seminarians and aspirants who strived to discern and be obedient to the call. • In our Gotong-Royong together with the staff of our neighbours, Sri Pelita International School, I discovered that God was very much in control as we were ‘forced’ to change venues (Penang’s beaches were too clean for us to clean!) , and yet it turned out to be so much fun, reaching out to our neighbours at Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital but in turn being welcomed with such warmth and also reaching out to one another in friendship and love as we worked side-by-side, even in the rain. I thank God for this opportunity this year to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel.” Much of our training in the seminary happens within the confines of our compound, but forays like these have helped us to share in “the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted.” What we are and do in the seminary is not just a preparation for our mission outside later, but the mission has already begun! Ultimately our mission is not to merely maintain existing parish and other structures but to be creative in looking at new frontiers as the Spirit leads….. And so we continue in this Year of Faith, journeying in the footsteps of Christ…. May I take this opportunity to thank my fellow formators, lecturers, collaborators and staff as well as students of College General for all that they are and do for the seminary – and for being my companions on the journey! In prayer, love & peace

Gerard Theraviam, Rev., Rector

Living Life, Journeying in Faith
By Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez and Fr. Gerard Theraviam Psalm 90:10 “The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong...” e sure is strong! Maybe less so physically, but uncomplainingly and faithfully he climbs the uneven steps up the hill for Mass each weekday. But more importantly, God is strong in him - as he spends much time in prayer daily and is our faithful intercessor and Spiritual Father in the seminary. Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez turned 80 on 22 April 2012 and the celebrations have continued through the year as people from different phases of his life have made trips to be with and celebrate LIFE with him! The community at College General was honoured to host some of these celebrations, although the clergy of Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese as well as the Archdiocesan staff and IJ Asrama Cahaya residents and religious sisters and brothers kicked off the celebrations in KL the week prior. The extended weekend of the birthday saw a triduum of celebrations. Some of Archbishop’s family came to join us for a more intimate gathering of both family and our community while on the actual day, many more joined us at a solemn mass at the Assumption Church and then later to an open-house tea at the seminary. Monday saw yet another gathering of priests and religious who came to celebrate two birthdays at the seminary - Fr. Paul Decroix was

Sinaran 2012

I

5

also celebrating his 90th birthday. Mass and an informal lunch with plenty of opportunities to mingle and reminisce were the order of the day. And the celebrations go on....

H

B
6
I

Sinaran 2012 orn in 1932, and just eight years later, for the first time, I was separated from my family in order to enter a boarding school. In December 1941, due to the Japanese invasion, my stay was interrupted and I returned to school in 1946. For ten years from 1947, I worked as a Hospital Assistant in Kedah and in Penang. At the age of 25, I entered the Minor Seminary in Singapore and for five years since 1961, I was a seminarian in College General, Penang. At the beginning of December 1966, I was ordained a priest and posted to the parish of St. Louis in Taiping. The following year, I became an assistant in the parish of St. Francis Xavier, Penang for two years and then returned to Taiping as a Parish Priest. From July 1971 to the end of 1972, I was sent to the Philippines and India for further studies and then on my return, I joined the staff of College General. Six years later, I was ordained as a bishop for the Diocese of Penang. In 1983, I was transferred to Kuala Lumpur where I retired twenty years later. Since 2005, I have been in College General as the Spiritual Father of the seminary. Looking back, I realize that God has been with me and has blessed me through so many persons, beginning from my dear parents, all along even though I may not always be conscious of His presence and purpose in my life. “To God Be the Glory!” With a grateful heart I give thanks to Archbishop Murphy Pakiam and Sr. Betty Andrew, IJ of Asrama Cahaya, Bukit Nanas, for the celebration of my 80th birthday in Kuala Lumpur and to Fr. Gerard Psalm Theraviam, the Rector of College

General, for arranging for me to celebrate the Mass on my birthday in the Church of the Assumption, Penang, and to Fathers Dominic and Michael for allowing the celebration to take place in the church. My heartfelt thanks also to Bishop Antony Selvanayagam for not only being present for the Thanksgiving Mass in College General but also for hosting the lunch on that day.

There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life
26:4

Sinaran 2012

I

7

The Way of The Cross

T

By Konstend G. and Louis Loi he Way of The Cross with Young Adults was our first community event for the year. About 70 participants came from as far as Bukit Mertajam and Kulim to join in this meaningful gathering. Even the FMDM Sisters and the Capuchin Friars joined us for this solemn occasion. We began the Way of The Cross from our residential block and ended at the front of the Shrine of Saints Imbert and Chastan. We had a huge cross made out of our durian tree which many shared the burden of carrying it and wanting to experience a taste of Christ’s suffering. After that, we all gathered in the auditorium which was only lit by candlelight, making the atmosphere a somber but prayerful one. A video clip of the Passion of Christ with the song “Above All” was played. Then, everyone wrote out their own intentions, resolutions and petitions on a small piece of paper which was later nailed to the cross which was carried earlier. This was the highlight of the event as it moved many to tears. The event ended with fellowship and light refreshments, sharing our thoughts and feelings of the evening’s encounter. Although it was a successful event, it did not come without any misunderstandings during the preparation period. Because information was not relayed properly, some of us were a little lost about the whole event which made this a learning experience for all of us. Nothing happens by chance; God allows misunderstandings to surface so we may use them as opportunities for growth. “I felt quite upset being left in the dark concerning parts of the event. That put me in a bad mood from the outset. However, I was touched when I saw my brother seminarians nailing their petitions to the cross. I stood still and watched, and felt that there was something wrong with me. I had no idea why. At the fellowship, I was glad that I had time to chat with them and pull their legs. A week later, at the event evaluation, I managed to express my anger and disappointment with the community. The whole community agreed and recognised our weaknesses in the preparation stage. It was an opportunity for us to deepen our relationship with one another and for me to learn to be open and share my thoughts and feelings honestly. Today, our friendship has moved much closer and the love within this community has begun to bloom.” Konstend G. Konstend Gnanapragasam, currently in the Pre-Initiation Year, comes from St. Anne’s Church, Bukit Mertajam while Louis Loi is a Philosophy Student in his 1st year and hails from Sacred Heart Church, Kulim.

8

I

Sinaran 2012

Holy Week In Tanjung Malim
By Dominic Tan and Peter Corneylius Rio

“Sing the Exultet? Really??”

Though we never actually said it out loud, these words were running through our heads when Fr. Anthony Pillai asked us to sing the Exultet for the Easter Vigil mass in the Church of the Holy Redeemer, Tanjung Malim. It really was a terrifying and yet, exhilarating experience - one that we will never forget. Each year, seminarians go out in small groups to various parishes to experience the Easter Triduum, enabling us insights into the life and faith of the different communities. The community here in Tanjung Malim is predominantly Tamil speaking, but with the presence of Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris (UPSI) nearby, there is a large group of East Malaysian students here as well. A group of Orang Asli (Indigenous people) and some Indonesian migrant workers make up the minority in this community. The masses here are then celebrated in three languages; namely English, Tamil and Bahasa Malaysia. Singing the Exultet wasn’t the only task that we had to do in the parish. We also helped out with the various preparations for the Easter Triduum and participated in the prayer and adoration sessions that took place after Maundy Thursday mass. We experienced a solemn and prayerful Good Friday where we assisted in leading some of the prayers besides lending our voices to the choir. The Easter vigil mass was indeed a beautiful celebration as the whole community came together to worship, pray, and celebrate the resurrection of Christ. What was also inspiring was the presence of Fr. Pillai’s mother who reminded us of Mother Theresa. She was a person of great devotion, holiness and faithfulness. Her simplicity and faithfulness to

prayer gave us the inspiration to balance our busy Holy Week schedule with elements of prayer, reflection and meditation. The Holy Week experience has been very fruitful for the both of us. It has taught us the need and the importance of spiritual preparation in the celebration of our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. In the process, we’ve learnt to see and appreciate Christ in others and this has enabled us to build fruitful relationships with members of the community in Tanjung Malim. Dominic Tan, a 2nd Year Philosophy Student, comes from the Church of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya whereas Peter Cornelius Rio hails from the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Sibu and is a Pre-Initiation-Year student.

Sinaran 2012

I

9

The Feast Day Of St. Philip Minh & Companions
By Simon Lau and Christian Levi However, the bible passage which was used for one of the readings of that day, “If we have died in Him, then we shall live with Him.” (2 Tim 2:11) gives him the courage and assurance he needs. As with all good celebrations, good fellowship and food soon followed and the famed durians of College General lived up to their reputation. But more importantly, after everything has ended, one thing remains - the impact these good saints have on all of us. They continue to inspire us to live out our calling to deepen in discipleship towards evangelization and towards holiness. With all our weaknesses and limitations, we continue to pray that Jesus, our Brother and Saviour, will strengthen us to face difficulties in our lives and to move on courageously. Simon Lau who is doing his 1st Year of Philosophy, comes from the Church of the Good Shepherd, Kuala Lumpur while Christian Levi, from the Church of St. Theresa, Serian, is a Pre-Initiation-Year student studying for the Mill Hill Missionaries.

P

ersecuted, tortured and in the end, executed - a tragedy that befell five brave men who remained faithful to Jesus. The thought that these same five saintsnamely Philip Minh, Peter Qui, Paul Loc, John Hoan and Peter Lu- once walked the grounds of College General, boggles the mind. In their honour, we celebrate their feast day each year on the 19th of June. This year’s celebration was a little bit more special - our chapel of more than 125 years, has had a face lift. The sanctuary was adorned with 2 bishops, 15 priests, and a deacon while the seminarians and a little more than a hundred friends from far and near made up the congregation. The celebration of this feast reminded us how these ordinary people had the courage to lay down their lives for the faith. It challenged us to ask ourselves if we would be able to do the same if we were in a similar situation. For Christian Levi, a candidate for the Mill Hill Missionaries, who might one day be sent to foreign countries where religious persecution is still rampant, questions like “Am I ready to face what these martyrs experienced?” and “Will I be able to stand firm and stand by Jesus when the time comes?” played on his mind.

“For all the saints, who from their labours rest, Who you by faith before the world confessed, Your Name, O Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia! Alleluia!”
“For All The Saints” by William W. How

10

I

Sinaran 2012

KAMI mungkin tidak

mempunyai padi atau hasil tuaian untuk dirayakan, tetapi Pesta Menuai mengajak kita untuk bersyukur dan membawa lebih ramai umat ke gereja. Pesta Gawai dan Kaamatan ini dianjurkan sebagai meraikan dan menghormati semangat padi selepas tamatnya musim menuai padi bagi masyarakat Sabah dan Sarawak. Inilah antara sebab utama kami merayakan Pesta ini dengan gembira. Saya dan saudara seminaris saya dari Sarawak berasa sedih tidak dapat balik ke rumah buat kali pertamanya untuk

Rindu... Tetapi Bergawai di Semenanjung Malaysia
Oleh John Johanaz Ling
meluangkan hari bahagia bersama keluarga tetapi syukurnya, Rector College General, Rev. Fr. Gerard memberi peluang kepada kami untuk merayakan perayaan tersebut bersama kominiti. Sebagai ketua kumpulan Kaul Dayak saya dan saudara saya dari Sarawak memperkenalkan budaya Sarawak kepada saudara seminaris saya dari Semenajung tentang Hari Gawai. Sebelum perayaan tersebut, saya telah membuat Ai Tuak selama dua bulan lebih. Ai Tuak adalah air tradisi masyarakat Orang Dayak Sarawak. Begitu juga makanan yang dimasak dalam buluh. Pada hari perayaan, saya mendirikan pohon pisang yang dikenali sebagai Ranyai. Ranyai didirikan untuk mengingati hari menuai dan kami perlu mengelilingi ranyai tersebut dengan tarian tradisi masyarakat Orang Dayak iaitu Ngajat. Archbishop Soter, Fr. Gerard, Fr. Julian, Fr. George dan saudara seminaris yang lain juga turut serta mengelilingi ranyai tersebut. Perayaan ini memperlihatkan perpaduan harmoni khususnya di kalangan saudara seminaris dari Malaysia Timur. Pada malam 1 Jun, kami sungguh

gembira kerana dapat mengeratkan hubungan antara satu sama lain dengan Tarian Poco-Poco selepas upacara Ngetas Ranyai (bermaksud makanan yang digantung pada pohon pisang melambangkan padi yang perlu dipotong) disempurnakan oleh Archbishop Soter dan Fr. Gerard dengan Ngiling Bidai (bermaksud Perayaan Hari Gawai tamat yang dibuat setiap hujung bulan Jun) Dengan itu, perayaan ini juga mengingatkan kita dari Sabah dan Sarawak untuk terus mengekalkan budaya, bersyukur, serta mengeratkan lagi tali persaudaraan antara sesama. Akhir kata, bersama menuai Iman kita dalam Yesus Kristus. SELAMAT HARI GAWAI 2012 GAYU GURU GERAI NYAMAI CHELAP LINDAP NGUAN MENUA..PUJI TUHAN...! (bermaksud Selamat Hari Gawai supaya Sihat dan Hidup Bersejahtera). John Johanaz Ling berasal dari Gereja St. Anthony, Sarikei dan adalah pelajar seminari dalam tahun PraInisiasinya.

STREET WALK
W
By Paul Wong & Leo Elias alk the streets of beautiful Penang at night and you will see some not-so-beautiful sights. For free, one can sleep on the corridors and sidewalks of the island and if luck is on your side, a cardboard box will make a fine bed. Hungry? A buffet of scraps is available all over! How about a bath? Well, you’d better start praying for rain. Poverty is a global problem and Penang is not excluded from it. However, we thank God for people like Bele & Stephen from The Lighthouse, pastoral workers working on a project by the Diocese of Penang that provides food, bathrooms, washing facilities and even skills training for the less fortunate. They are truly a light to those who have no homes and are forced to roam the streets at night while the rest of us are safe and comfortable at home. One of our seminary projects this year was to have what is called a “Street Walk” - to walk the streets of Penang at night as an awareness program and which is also in line with our theme for this year - Evangelization Towards Discipleship. Answering the call of Jesus in Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink”, we distributed to the homeless clothes

Sinaran 2012

I

11

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink” Matthew 25:35

and food which we had cooked and packed earlier in the evening. Although a number of them are blue-collared workers, they continue to live in the streets as they have either been abandoned by their families or they don’t make enough to pay for rent. Some families are so desperate that the parents make use of their children by getting them to beg for food and money. Seeing one such family really touched us to the core. After much reflection, we have come to realize persevere and not give up hope even when everything seems lost. We’re also thankful to God for blessing us with responsible parents and families that are caring and loving. Tired, we returned home in the wee hours of the morning. Yet, we thank God for this meaningful experience as it has made us more appreciative of the things we so often ignore and take for granted. It also helped us reflect on our own attitudes towards the last, lost and least in society, inviting us to befriend and help them and to also question the structures and situations that have left them out from Malaysia’s wealth. Paul Wong comes from the Church of Christ the King, Bintangor and is in his Pre-Initiation-Year while Leo Elias hails from City Parish, Penang and is in the 2nd Year of Philosophy.

12

I

Sinaran 2012

Vocation Stay-In Experience
An honest feedback from one of the aspirants through Facebook. ..

By Kelvin Leo and Vincent Thomas THERE are not many who actually get the chance to live the life of a seminarian. This year, 5 brave young men answered Jesus’ call to “Come and See” and to find out what it is like to be in the seminary and to also enkindle and deepen their discernment in considering their possible vocation to the priesthood. Hence these 5 young men, whom we call “aspirants”, followed the routine of our daily lives. They faithfully joined in with us for all our prayer times - morning, afternoon, evening and night prayers, daily Mass, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Examen of Consciousness and also praying the Rosary. They were also led to experience other forms of prayer such as guided meditation and Taize prayer. We also had time for presentations by some seminarians and priests to share their vocation stories which were each unique in their own way. Through these sharings, the aspirants were able to

see the different ways God calls and how He helped them overcome their obstacles. The aspirants even had the unusual opportunity of having dinner with Penang’s new bishop, Bishop Sebastian Francis, who especially came to meet and dine with them. During manual labour, the aspirants experienced the brotherhood and the togetherness in the community. On Saturday evening, we had a game of handball.. “It was fun and enjoyable, but tiring!”. On Sunday morning, they were given some exposure to pastoral work at the Little Sisters of the Poor which is part of our seminary formation. This Stay-In experience is an annual event for single young men above 21. E-mail rector@ collegegeneral.org to be invited to the next one.
Kelvin Leo hails from St. Anne’s Church, Bukit Mertajam and is currently in the Initiation Year. However, Vincent Thomas comes from the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Klang and is currently in his 2nd Year of Philosophy.

Sinaran 2012

I

13

GettingDown&Dirty

By James Pitchay & Konstend G.

GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY something the seminarians are very familiar with... But this time, we had reinforcements. Teachers from Sri Pelita International next door teamed up with us for a selfless cause - “gotong-royong”. Even though we exchange hellos every now and then, we thought that it would be a good idea to at least get to know our neighbours a little better by working together on an outreach program. In line with our theme, “Discipleship Towards Evangelization”, we set out on this project to clean the premises of Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital. Initially, we planned to clean one of the beaches at Batu Feringghi but as the saying goes, “Man can have a thousand plans, but God has his own”. We had to switch venues to Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital instead because the beaches were actually quite clean and left no work for us! Nevertheless, we were ready for an even more challenging feat at our new location. Armed with rakes, shears, harvesters and lawnmowers, all of us from College General and Sri Pelita International marched to the adjacent hospital, ready for action. Imagine the shock the hospital’s visitors had when they saw us with our weird and wonderful equipment! Not only were we armed appropriately for the event, we also had a strategy. We divided into three groups and swarmed the hospital compound leaving no room for unkempt bushes, uninvited creepers and overgrown grass. It was a good experience for those who took part for the first time in such an activity. Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez was an inspiration to us all as he was the oldest - but young at heart - participant there. Though we still had much enthusiasm to carry on working, the weather did not permit it. At least the rain cooled us off after about an hour and a half of good work! The management of Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital

treated us to some food and drinks in the cafeteria soon after. This gave us the opportunity to engage in conversation while savouring good food. Finally, the management thanked us for our great effort and they looked forward to seeing us in the near future. Some of the participants shared their views that we should have this kind of joint projects more often in order to love and care for nature. We were tired but it was a fruitful and memorable event for all of us as we managed to reach out to our neighbours - Sri Pelita International and Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital staff and patients. James Pitchay, from the Church of the Sacred Heart, Kulim, is in his 2nd Year of Philosophy whereas Konstend Gnanapragasam, currently in the PreInitiation Year, comes from St. Anne’s Church, Bukit Mertajam.

14

I

Sinaran 2012

God,our Father,
Your Son, Jesus

calls us
to

follow Him as His

disciples.

We hear His call
Mission & Evangelization:

Sinaran 2012

I

15

towards

“Go into the whole world and

proclaim the gospel.”
Inspire and enkindle in us the continuous desire to

of Jesus by our way

tell the story

of life.

16

I

Sinaran 2012

Sinaran 2012

I

17

As we strive to integrate our

worship, study and life,
so that we may

what we hear and see in them and what You have done in our lives

share with others

help us to listen to the Spirit

Lead us through the

to appreciate the gift of our vocation
and

Spirit

mission.

18

I

Sinaran 2012

for giving us each

Thank you Father,
other

as this journey.

companions on

May we remain always one
Sinaran 2012
I

19

with You

and each other

and all of creation.
May Mary, the Star of Evangelization intercede for us.

Amen.

20

I

Sinaran 2012

Beauty RESTORED

I

By Fr. Julian Leow remember way back in 1994, stepping into College General as a 1st year seminarian (gosh that was 18 years ago!), I fell in love with Mariophile and the magnificent view from the ‘top of the world’. I reminisced seeing ships cruising in the distance, seen through the doors of our chapel, as the sun was dawning during our meditation and celebration of the Eucharist after morning prayer. The Chapel of the Sacred Heart perched on top of Mariophile held breath-taking views. But I also remember the peeling off of paintwork from the walls of the chapel, around the sanctuary area and on the internal as well as the external

received by April 2011. We then began the mammoth task of removing all the artifacts from the museum to the St Imbert classroom on the 1st floor for safe-keeping.

The seminarians were great in tagging, packing and transporting these historical objects and relics. This painstaking exercise took some time to accomplish amidst the other normal activities of the College. Tenders were called in Sept 2011 and we had 3 quotations for the restoration works of the museum and chapel.

walls at the entrance of the chapel. There was also efflorescence (to become encrusted or covered with crystals of salt or the like through evaporation or chemical change) with unsightly mould stains. Even though the Chapel was re-painted throughout the years, the moisture still made their way up the walls from the ground as there was no proper waterproofing or barrier to prevent water from seeping up into the walls, damaging the paintwork again and again. Arriving back from Rome in October 2010, I heard that there were plans to restore the chapel and museum, undertaking extensive work to ensure our heritage is preserved for future generations. The bishops had also given the ‘green light’ to request funds from Rome for this restoration work which we

Sinaran 2012
The scope of work included: • salt treatment to existing walls and columns, • repair and make good damaged doors and windows or change where necessary, • remove existing ceiling and damaged timber roof members.

I

21

for the whole premises, new Intercom system, and varnished all the timber members and valuable artifacts in our possession.There was also general sprucing up of the surrounding areas. The Chapel was officially blessed on the Feast of the Sacred Heart on June 16 with the Feast of the Vietnamese Martyrs being celebrated in the Chapel on June 18. The Certificate of Practical Completion was issued in August 2012 with a Defects Liability period of a year. Currently defects rectification is being done to both buildings, removing powder-like substance from certain parts of the walls. The birds are still causing a headache, nesting and donating their droppings despite efforts to prevent them from coming back! We would like to record our gratitude and thanks to our resident architect, Edmond Khoo who oversaw

The contract was awarded to Westox in October and the contractors took possession of the site on Dec 1, 2011. The plaster of the affected walls and columns were hacked off to about an average height of 1-1.5m. Then a “cocoon system” was applied, paper-like material to absorb the moisture and salt from the affected walls. After 2 weeks, the first coating was replaced with the second coating and left for another 2 weeks. Holes were drilled above the first brick and chemical/fluid injected into the brickwork to create a barrier that prevents moisture from rising up into the walls. The walls were then re-plastered and painted. Damaged doors and windows were repaired and where necessary, changed. The ceiling of the museum was also replaced together with some timber roof members that were damaged by termites. Besides these main works, we also installed new lightings to the chapel, a new coat of paint to the inside and outside of both buildings, new sound system, CCTV

the whole restoration work, our main contractor Westox and all the other traders and suppliers that completed this restoration work. Our sincere gratitude to all the foreign Bangladeshi & Indonesian workers who helped complete this project. Our sincere gratitude also goes to the Pontifical Society of St Peter the Apostle (Penang Fund) which financed the project. Last but not least, to all our beloved seminarians who sacrificed time and talent to ensure our Chapel is once again used to worship and praise God. Fr. Julian Leow is the Dean of Studies in College General and is trained in Church History. He is also the Initiation Year Director and teaches History of Philosophy and Mission History among other subjects.

22

I

Sinaran 2012
church, a large edifice, where we were greeted by the elderly parish priest and assistant who soon took us on a walk through little lanes and byways to finally reach a monument dedicated to St Philip Minh, close to his actual birthplace – allowing us some time to pray and reflect and to light not candles, but rather Chinese-style joss-sticks which we found were popularly used in all the shrines we visited. Thankfully, they had insisted that Archbishop Soter be carried pillion on a motorbike as it was very humid, and certainly not as ‘very near’ as we had been led to believe earlier but it was lovely to see the humble homes of the mainly Catholic people who called out to us and their parish priest in greeting. On return, we had yet another sumptuous Vietnamese meal (the entire trip was a gastronomic adventure- but that is another story!) Then it was time to visit the location of St Philip’s execution, some miles away, beside a river, again through some lanes fairly close to the main road. Here a simple shrine had been built in the grounds of a Buddhist temple and it was a place of serenity. While the precise location of his execution is unknown, it was with awe and quiet joy that we spent time in this truly holy place. We returned to the nearby simple chapel, alongside a magnificent new church which was still in the early stages of being built. Here we were able to celebrate the Eucharist, giving thanks for the saints like Philip Minh who had journeyed far from their birthplaces to be trained in Penang and then to return for ordination and ministry in a most uncertain and dangerous epoch, to soon be beheaded for being faithful to Christ - right to the very end! We returned that night exhausted but with our hearts full – not just with what we had seen and experienced in our pilgrimage, but also with thanksgiving and an added impetus to walk the faithful way of the martyrs. Under Communist rule and with limited resources and with so many canonized saints and other martyrs, the local church in Vietnam has perhaps not as many monuments or churches dedicated to each of these ‘heroes’, but what is evident is the Tertullian’s (d. 225 AD) adage, “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church”. However, what is evident is the fervour of the Catholic faithful. This was seen in the full capacity and joyful participation of a local parish church for a weekday mass in the evening, complete with full choir and a host of altarboys. One hopes that as the country now moves towards a more liberal prosperity, people may not lose sight of the Lord in their lives. Fr. Gerard Theraviam is currently the Rector of College General and specializes in Scripture.

St. Philip Minh - A Close Encounter
By Fr. Gerard Theraviam OUR journey to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) was a dream that became a reality. Four of us formators wanted to somehow come to a deeper understanding of our Vietnamese martyrs, particularly St Philip Minh, better and so we decided that we would use part of our holidays to travel there and see things at first-hand. Besides, we also wanted to build up our own camaraderie. On arrival, we were received by our gracious host, Cardinal Archbishop Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man, who had previously visited College General and had assigned Fr Ignacio Ho Van Xuan and Sr Elizabeth Wu LHC to be our guides and interpreters. Their gracious hospitality and personal kindness which was extended to us over the days truly made us feel welcome. We were pilgrims, rather than mere tourists, and so it was to the various religious sites, particularly churches and shrines, that we were taken to. Here we were welcomed warmly by the clergy, religious and laypeople whose smiles and warmth made up for the difficulties of language – and even these were easily dealt with by our interpreters. Love is truly a universal language! Among the many priests we met was an alumnus of College General, Fr Stephen Huynh Tru who ministers particularly to the Chinese-speaking in Ho Chi Minh city. The highlight of our trip was the trip to CaiMong, over 3 hrs away along a picturesque countryside. On arrival, we headed to the parish

Sinaran 2012

I

23

Taking That NEXT Step... in
By Kelvin Leo and Timothy J. Zarsadias

Faith!

N

o one wakes up one day and decides, “Hey, I wanna be a priest!” and neither did it happen to the both of us. This huge decision comes after spending much time in prayer and discernment - and even then, uncertainty is still present though the degree of it may have been reduced. But it is then that we decide to take the step to enter a process of “deeper discernment” among like-minded people in the seminary. This initial process can take many months, or many years, depending on the individual. For Kelvin, it took him about 10 years or so - including spending 2 years as a Capuchin Postulant - and as for me, it took me about 5 years or so. But how did it all begin? Well, for the both of us, it started with the desire to serve and actively participate in church ministries and activities- be it through teaching in Sunday School, charismatic groups, the Legion of Mary, the Youth Ministry, and so on. I suppose that through our involvement in these activities, we started feeling the call to dedicate our whole lives to the Church that we love, and ultimately to God through the ministry of the Priesthood. It was at this point that we asked ourselves, “Is God really calling me to be a priest?” How do we answer that question? Well, we do not really know the answer. But what we did was to try looking for the answer by attending vocation camps and retreats. Did we find the answer there? Not really. But at least we then knew that the next step that we should take was to journey with a Spiritual Director for about a year or so.

During this period of discernment, we also attended daily mass and began to reflect daily on the Word of God and spend quiet time in prayer with Jesus, for it is in the silence that God speaks to us. Once we felt that we were at peace with the decision to enter the seminary and to discern more deeply our vocation through the formation that College General has to offer, we sat for the psychological test held at the seminary. Some time later, our respective bishops interviewed us, and welcomed us as students of College General. As mentioned earlier, the discernment process does not end once we enter the seminary - it is here that we enter into a process of “deeper discernment”. Although we do not know for sure if we will be ordained priests, what we do know is that we are where God wants us to be right now. If you, or someone you know, have been having thoughts of becoming a Catholic priest for a long time, but have not yet been able to make a decision, then perhaps it is time... Time to take the next step... Kelvin Leo hails from St. Anne’s Church, Bukit Mertajam while Timothy Joshua Zarsadias comes from the Church of the Divine Mercy, Shah Alam. Both are classmates in their Initiation Year.

24

I

Sinaran 2012

nufuapof ]apsT
By James Pitchay

kof FOhikfdk ltftiafjysglf hjsafnfK wjayfiK Aonfklf. Woei Sdtpd[hfdhhf htfts hstasglf hjsafnfK wjayfiK WojfJ lsJnfk ljs[fmfms FysjfjstK. Vifwia: i:gLlf naof Wof SdtpOhfhikfdk ‘nufuapof ]apstsuf hjsafnfK wjayfiK i[jfjlf. Sdtiof Wofdo V: joI culaj Fd[kfK Lkuf J:kfKilgkfksuf jauf hkskfkK id;psuf Sdghfhgfg VofhK AbfGjyf naof hu eha;agfg_fjdyPlf miaufjdyPlf Wksafenajfjseoof. Wof kapaaf Wof culaj klf eh;hfhsyfdyjdyjf jab eibfGlf Woft Fiaisoauf Wofdojf J:kfKijf jufUzasjfJ FOhfh mstsKlf mlflksjfjisufdu. Sdtpd[hfhstfJmf wmiswjaGjfJlf Wofdohf ehaoft Sdy]afjYjfJkf kapflaafjysof Fyitft FofH LgfGjgfdgpajei S:jfjsoftK Wofhdk naof FhfehaK Dbafnfekof. Snfk VofhK AbfGjYlf naof Abfgiosglf hu ja;b_fjyf rts Fi:jfJhf hbs wmpfpkf kalkskfK infekof. 2006-Alf AbfG naof L{dlpaj Sdtiosglf m;bdgnfk ehaK Wof kapaaf jaulaoaf. SKei Abfgiaf WojfJjf jagfGlf Caf FtsJts Wojf j:ks naof J:kfKijf jufUzasjfJmf wmufukf kpa;aeoof. naof jufUzas iamusuf jauf hksjfj S;bfeg lak_fjyf S:jfJlfehaK Wof knfdkPlf 2007-Suf jaulaoaaf. SZK Caf Fksafmfmspao wmpfkspaj S:nfkaUlf SKei jgIyf WojfJjf jagfxp S;bfgaiK FtsJts Wo EtfT DTksPgof jufUzaspsuf jauf dikfekof. SifiabfG J:iaoiaf e<aaf<f hajfjspmals ks:hfhusdpjf wjabfgag, Fiasof hs;m_fjkfkstfJhf hstJ Abfgiaf Wofdo Fi:jfJhf hbs wmpfp Fd[kfk SifiOhikfdkhf Hoskaf e<aof hsasgfega h_fJ ljfjysglf hjsafnfK wjayfYlf iapfhfH jsgfxpK. Wof Sdt FOhikfdkmf wmislGkfk ljfjysuf msuaf wlpfltnfK ehapsoaf. ltfTlf msuaf AmfmaspldgnfkekaG ^askfKlf ehapsoaf. Wof jdkdphf hjsafnfK wjabfg en;lf hkfek nslsg_fjyf ApsOlf naof FdgnfkK ehasofhlf Woualf. STkspsuf lakfekP 9: 37-‘FTidgepa lsJks eidypagfjeya JdtI’ WofOlf rtfTjfJ Etfh JTkfKi labiafjYjfjaj nayfekaTlf V: “l_fjuiaafkfdk w<hlf wmpfpjf wjabfG Wof hjsafdi nsdtI wmpfekof.
James Pitchay, from the Church of the Sacred Heart, Kulim, is in his 2nd Year of Philosophy.

Sinaran 2012

I

25

Cabaran-cabaran yang di hadapi seorang seminaris
By Dominic Tan “Kehidupan seminari adalah sukar,” saya teringat pengarah rohani saya memberitahu saya. Katakata ini mengingatkan saya bahawa saya diberkati dan dipanggil oleh Tuhan untuk menjadi seminaris di kalangan beribu-ribu orang lain. Ia membuka pemahaman saya kepada kesusahan yang akan saya alami semasa formasi di seminari. Kesusahan dan cabaran adalah sebahagian daripada kehidupan seminari. Saya percaya bahawa kebanyakan seminaris mengalami pelbagai cabaran terutama sekali dari segi fizikal, emosi, mental, dan rohani. Saya ingin berkongsi beberapa kesukaran dan kegembiraan yang telah saya alami di seminari. Cabaran fizikal Kerja-kerja am dan sukan adalah dua aktiviti saya bergelut dengan apabila saya datang ke seminari. Saya datang dari latar belakang yang sangat terlindung. Jadi, saya mendapati aktiviti ini menuntut dan meletihkan. Pengarah rohani saya mengingatkan saya bahawa kerja-kerja am membolehkan kita berhubung dengan realiti. Kerja-kerja ini membantu kita merendahkan diri dan mengajar kita bahawa Tuhanlah yang memberi kehidupan dan kita cuma instrumen semata-mata yang ditugaskan untuk menyediakan tanah untuk Tuhan bekerja. Sekarang, sebagai penyelaras “Material Life” saya mengetuai kerja-kerja am ini. Saya telah belajar untuk menikmati kerja dan untuk melihat bahawa terdapat maruah dalam semua kerja. Kerja-kerja yang kita lakukan akan membuahkan hasil apabila kita melakukannya untuk kemuliaan Tuhan. Cabaran mental Dalam seminari saya juga tertekan oleh permintaan akademik. Kami mempunyai banyak kertas kerja dan tugasan dan masa kami adalah terhad. Seminaris yang boleh melakukan tugasan mereka dengan mudah dan cepat mempunyai kelebihan berbanding orang-orang yang perlu tidur lewat malam untuk menyelesaikan semua tugas. Tetapi dalam pengalaman ini, saya belajar untuk menguruskan masa saya dengan lebih baik. Cabaran emosi Berada jauh dari keluarga, kawan-kawan, dan orang tersayang amat susah sekali. Kehidupan di seminari telah memenuhi saya dengan kerinduan. Apabila saya berasa sedih, saya mahu dihiburkan oleh ahli keluarga saya dan ingin merasakan penjagaan ibu saya dan kasih sayang keluarga saya. Namun melalui kasih sayang dan penerimaan yang ditunjukkan oleh komuniti di sini, saya telah belajar untuk menganggap komuniti ini seperti keluarga saya. Cabaran rohani Seminari adalah tempat suci di mana paderi-paderi masa depan dipupuk. Ini adalah apa yang saya fikir. Dalam kajian Falsafah, kami telah dicabar untuk membuktikan bahawa Tuhan wujud. Semua hujahhujah yang telah dikemukakan mudah dibalas, dan saya merasakan seperti saya telah mengecewakan Tuhan. Keraguan saya mendorong saya untuk mencari kebenaran tentang iman saya. Falsafah telah mengubah perspektif dan kepercayaan saya. Tetapi seperti yang saya dapati, cara terbaik untuk mengatasi segala kesusahan ini adalah doa. Akhir kata, walaupun kehidupan di seminari amat mencabar, tetapi saya yakin bahawa Tuhan Yesus Kristus akan selalu besama saya dalam perjalanan ini. Dominic Tan, a 2nd Year Philosophy Student, comes from the Church of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya.

Jangan takut, sebab Aku menyertaimu, jangan cemas, sebab Aku Allahmu. Engkau akan Kuteguhkan dan Kutolong, Kutuntun dengan tangan-Ku yang jaya.
(Yesaya 41:10)

26

A Tough Juggling Act:
By Fr. Edwin Paul

I

Sinaran 2012

Life Experiences as a Formator and Parish Priest
Imagine, balancing being a formator in Penang and a parish priest at the same time. Yes, these last three years. For this you have got to imagine that life is a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them as health, family, friends, work and spirit And you’re keeping all of them in the air. Sooner or later you will understand, Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will surely bounce back. But the other four balls – health, family, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop any one of these, they might be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They might never be the same. College General seminary and St Paul the Hermit parish It is not about five balls but three, if Marriage Encounter is taken into account. I have to be careful with the glass but need not worry about the rubber. But still, which is made of glass and which is of rubber? I do not know. A discerning mind and heart is needed in aiming for a balance. And how do I do that? I need to remember and never forget that: I must not to undermine one at the expense of others. It is because each is different and each is special. One’s goals must not be set by what others deem important. Only each one knows what is best for one’s own self. I must not to take for granted the things closest to each one’s heart. To cling on to them with all life is what gives life meaning. I must not give up when there is still something to be given. Nothing is really over until the moment I stop trying.

Life must not be left to slip through my fingers by living in the past or for the future. Only by living today fully, is all life truly lived. College General, Penang and St. Paul the Hermit, Bestari Jaya and Worldwide Marriage Encounter. No worries about balance. Since as institutions, organisations and movements, they are all just rubber. But with every human person within them? Say seminarian – Johanaz, parishioner – Vanathamal, and couple – Joseph & Lorni Gan Never drop any of these. Each is glass. Fr. Edwin Paul, Formator and Philosophy Lecturer at College General is also the Parish Priest of St. Paul the Hermit, Bestari Jaya, Selangor. He is also the National Ecclesiastical Assistant of Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

Sinaran 2012

I

27

THY WILL BE DONE – Fiat Voluntas Tua
By Fr. David Arulanathan

TO respond or not to respond to the call to the difficult for me but Archbishop Murphy Pakiam stood
priesthood was indeed a struggle that took me many years to overcome. The struggle was both the fear of my unworthiness and also my personal experiences of the priesthood founded on my own perceptions. After many years of struggling it was my experiences of my parish priest, Fr. Gerard Theraviam, that my perceptions changed and my unworthiness was now perceived as a stepping stone towards a journey of purification and holiness. I became more engaged with him in sharing my life and him sharing his priesthood with me, along with a lot of reading that put me on the path to yet another long process of discernment. Just when I was further convinced and empowered that this stirring within me was indeed a genuine call which made me apply to be admitted to the seminary, I was very vaguely and obscurely informed that I did not fit in and was not selected to further my discernment process in the seminary. This left me hurt and broken and surely I cried and cursed whoever I had to curse. However, to my pleasant surprise, I came out of this situation very fast with a stronger conviction of my call to the priesthood. In fact, I found myself consoling those people around me who were feeling very sorry for me. The greatest surprise for me was I found myself telling my parish priest, Fr. Gerard that “there was no need to feel bad or sorry for me for if it is truly God who is calling me to the priesthood, then I will surely be a priest one day”. These words that I spoke were indeed a surprise for me and more that these words gave me the assurance and encouragement to keep discerning, praying and persevering in my endeavour. My perseverance led me to continue my journey of discernment. I planned a retreat with Fr. Naden which for some reasons did not materialise but not wanting to let go of the time I found a place suggested by Fr. Julian Leow to withdraw myself into seclusion and quietness. It was surely very good and it led me to a discernment retreat at the (Seven Fountains Jesuit Retreat Centre) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Eventually, the Archbishop offered to admit me to the seminary to pursue further discernment and the formation process to the priesthood. I had to face a lot of obstacles along the way before reporting to the seminary. These obstacles and my own baggages continued to haunt me while in College General that on one occasion I told my Rector that if I was seen as a misfit to the whole formation process to tell me so that I could pack and leave. However, I found my way again and my greatest assurance while in College General was the ‘Vietnamese Martyrs’ Shrine’. They somehow invited or rather challenged me to look beyond my troubles and struggles, to keep my focus on Jesus and no one else. The transition period from College General to St. Francis Xavier Seminary in Singapore was also quite

up for me and I was admitted to the Theologate in Singapore. The Archbishop as I perceive surely had his confidence in the person I was and had expressed his concern for my personhood on many occasions. He made sure that I was free, comfortable and had the space to be the person I truly was and called to be. With these assurances, and having sorted out a lot my own baggages and idiosyncrasies, my time in Singapore was smooth sailing. The Seminary Fathers and Rector in Singapore offered me further support, encouragement and were in their own peculiar ways, a great model of the priesthood for me. Today, I stand before the people of God as a priest serving them in many ways which continue to challenge me and empower me to do more. Taking the theme, “Thy will be done” for my priestly ordination has kept me focused on my tag line, “to love God and love the people of God”. The priesthood has truly brought me great joy, solace and freedom to be the person God wants me to be. My soul Glorifies God, My spirit rejoices in my saviour... Fr. David Arulanathan, a College General alumnus, was ordained on 16th January 2012, and is currently the Parish Priest of St. John Vianney, Tampin, Negeri Sembilan.

Thy will be done” for my priestly ordination has kept me focused on my tag line, “to love God and love the people of God”

28

I

Sinaran 2012

一个共同与主同 赴的旅程。。。。
『作为基督门徒的信仰旅程绝不是单单个人的旅 程,而是一个与整个信仰团体及全人类共赴的旅 程。』 这论点绝不是一个理论或构思,它是一个活生生的 事实,一个我亲身的体会。 从2004年踏入槟城的大修院直至2011年在新加坡圣 芳济大修院完成神学培育的过程中,我深深的体会 到天主如何藉着圣事、神长、一起接受培育的修士 们、教友及我周遭的朋友及家人陪伴我。这绝不是 一个孤独、寂寞及“个人”的旅程。 多少次当我个人面对挫折、挑战或遇到难题时,圣 体内的耶稣,不离不弃的陪伴我、指引我及坚强 我。还有,修院里的神师及神长们就如天主派遣来 的“先知”以圣言、以属神的话语、以丰富的牧灵 经验来激励我、帮助我分辨天主的旨意。至于一同 在修道旅程的“兄弟”们,他们就是我的良伴,一 同前进、彼此扶持、共同勉励;多少次的膝足谈 心、真心分享,成为彼此继续忠实回应天主召叫的 推动力。在堂区牧灵实习时,教友的热诚、支持及 鼓励也是我们这旅程的推动力及强心针。 八年培育的旅程是一个具体“共同”的旅程,或许 曾有障碍、挑战的经验,但这旅程不曾是绝望的。 因为天主在每一个不明朗的“转弯”处,都预先为 我准备了“明灯”。 在近十个月内,从离开修院、在堂区实习、晋升执 事、晋铎、服务堂区的快速改变中,虽然环境改变 了,生活及使命性质转变了,但天主仍然在我回应 祂的召叫过程中,从未让我单独行走,堂区里一同

服侍的司铎“弟兄”、教区的其他司铎“弟兄”、 堂区的教友们成为我忠实回应天主的旅程中新的旅 伴。他们与我每天在圣事里会面的耶稣,一同亲密 的陪伴我,一同穿越“信德之门” (宗十四27) 是的,我的这一篇分享,就是一个旅程的见证。这 旅程就是由那位“群羊伟大的司牧”(希13:20) 所带领的。祂的应允:我同你们天天在一起直到 今世的终结(玛28:20)从未落空,这承诺永存不 朽。这承诺的肯定是我们每一位基督徒,无论是神 职人员、修会会士或平信徒回应教会新福传的动 力,因为我们的牧人亲自引领、滋养及坚强我们。 Newly ordained Fr. Aloysius Tan, an alumnus of College General is currently serving at St. Michael’s Church, Ipoh. He is also the Penang Diocese Vocation Director.

I

Sinaran 2012

I

29

stayed at College General, in Penang from 4th January till June, 2012 to do my studies through distance learning. I just could not return immediately after Christmas and New Year break to continue my studies in Pune, India due to some issues with my visa. Initially I felt a little upset for not returning to Pune at once but I realised that it was not my will, but His will. Thank God, my studies were not interrupted. I must be grateful to my college dean and my lecturers for allowing me to do distance learning. I am also grateful to the Rector of the College

the college programmes closely as part of my daily routine such as rising, attending morning and evening prayers, studies, games, and other activities. Now, I am back in Pune. Next to my campus,

Making a Pit
By Fr George Packiasamy General, Penang, Fr Gerard Theraviam, Fr Julian Leow, Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez and most of all Archbishop Murphy Pakiam for permitting me to stay in the seminary. During my stay in the seminary, the college Fathers used to refer to me as a “Theologian in residence” or “post-graduate student.” But I was more comfortable to be seen as one of the old college students. I stayed here for eight years during my priestly formation (1995 – 2002). Many lecturers and formators have formed my life in this seminary. This college has great sentimental values for me. She taught me what life is all about and I have found meaning in my life here. During my seminary days I loved reading spiritual and psychological books. One of the books that really touched my life during my early formation was “Man’s Search for Meaning” written by Victor Frankl, a psychologist. When I was a resident for 6 months in the seminary, I spent most of the time in the library doing my studies and research. During the weekends I helped out by celebrating Masses in the nearby parishes in the Penang Island. I kept

Stop
there is a seminary consisting of almost 500 seminarians doing their philosophical and theological studies. I have noticed that their formation is more exam orientated rather than forming future priests. Here, I would like to take my hat off to the past and present College General formators, lecturers and staff. They have really given care in forming our future priests in the area of human development, pastoral, spiritual, intellectual and community life for the task of “Discipleship towards Evangelisation.” My dear brother seminarians, you have chosen to offer your lives to serve Christ and His people as disciples and priests in the future, do allow yourselves to “grow… until Christ is fully formed in you,” (Gal 4:19). Fr George Packiasamy , an alumnus of College General, came to live with us for six months having encountered immigration difficulties in India while he was studying at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Religion). Congratulations Fr George on attaining your Masters in Theology and Welcome Home!

30

I

Sinaran 2012
join her Catechism class. I was present at the Baptism ceremony and afterwards the presiding priest, Fr. Fitzgerald S.J. said to me: “Congratulations, you have brought one more into the fold.” which I quickly replied: ‘’Not me Father! It was Sr. Ernest; I have not brought in anyone.” His comment was: “One person alone does not bring another to the faith. It is the faith of the community, and how they express it through love and concern for their fellow men that really attracts people.” Today both the “converter” and the “nonconverted” often shy away from direct evangelization, or preaching, but that does not mean that we cannot or do not evangelize. Sometimes just asking for a service from another (like Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the well) can open up a whole new world for someone who thought he had nothing to give or to receive. Or by saying a kind word or doing a good deed for someone else may move them deeply and they ask themselves: “Why is he so kind? What makes him tick?” We can share God’s love in the community where we minister or work, by loving and serving people and developing a relationship of trust with them. Where there is trust, people are open to listen. We cannot really reach those we do not understand. So getting to know people on a friendship basis is a good starting point. If you ask them about their beliefs, they may ask about yours or may tell you how they view Christianity. Watching a recent Hollywood

I

t has been many years since I taught Salvation History (Old Testament) to the Initiation Year and English to I don’t remember who, in the seminary. It was certainly after 1988, the year I retired from school in Convent Green Lane. I was a specialist in neither subject!! I was always interested in the Old Testament but never had the chance to study it, possibly because when I was young it was considered a dangerous book for Catholics. When I went to Corpus Christi Catechetical College, London in 1966, I got a taste of the Old Testament, so when I retired in 1988 I collected a lot of Old Testament literature and set about self-study. It was Fr. Ignatius Huan who invited me to help him out with Salvation History, and being a bit daring by nature, I took the challenge to teach the Old Testament. Let the students be the judges of how I performed! Fr. Michael Chua was among them and I soon realised he knew more about the Old Testament

Missionary Wisdom
By Sr Aidan Fitzgerald IJS than I did. His companions once told me that he always had a Bible under his arm when he was in secondary school. I think I also taught mainly oral English and to prove my expertise, let me say that I managed to correct one student who always mispronounced words like ‘’grasp’’ and ‘’clasp’’. He used to say “clapse” and “grapse”. Whenever I met him afterwards, he would ask...’’may I grasp your hand.’’ I did enjoy my time in College General. It seemed to me to be a very happy and welcoming place then - and I am sure it still is. As the theme for this year is “Mission Towards Evangelization”, I would like to say a few words about how all of us, especially seminarians, can set about evangelizing people today. Let me begin with a story… When I was a teacher in Light Street Convent, one of my students asked for Baptism. She had been a Catechumen under another Sister who used to invite non-Catholics to film release that incorporates a few Christian values, with a group, and analysing it afterwards may be a spring board to deeper discussion. Unless we understand what outsiders think about the Christian faith, we can never really understand them. Let us also not forget that many of our Catholics today are experiencing a crisis of faith in this secularized world and need to be re-evangelized. Finally we need to devote more time to prayer for if our hearts overflow with the love of Christ, we will have more to give to others. Sr Aidan, an Infant Jesus Sister, was a familiar figure in Penang, particularly in Convent Green Lane, from where she retired as Principal but remained an educator, even making a foray into teaching at College General some years back. This year, she returned to her native Ireland, not without the promise to return to vote in the next General Elections.

Sinaran 2012
ran da
Ig Fr. na s tiu an w Ed in on Lil on W th g

I

31

J Fr.

ud

i eM

Hu

h Jo

ns

wa yK

n Eli za be

Liturgy Lecturer

Psycho-Spirituality Lecturer

Speech Lecturer

English Lecturer

English Lecturer

ym Ra

on

d

Lim

S

j aro

ini

T

hi

a rup

thy . Fr Dr a nc

oh is L

pti Ba la ril M Cy MD F Sr.

st m Ed Fr. d un

o Wo

n

Mandarin Lecturer

Tamil Lecturer

Sociology Lecturer

Counselor

Counselor

Back Row: Kelvin Leo, Konstend G., Christian Levi, Vincent Thomas, Fr. Edwin Paul, Fr. Stanley Anthony, Leo Elias, Timothy Zarsadias, Dominic Tan, Fr. Gerard Theraviam. Front Row: John Ling, Simon Lau, Peter Rio, James Pitchay, Archbishop Eme. Soter Fernandez, Paul Wong, Louis Loi, Fr. Julian Leow.

32

I

Sinaran 2012
iya th lay Sa rma a An s Mi ch Qu ah

Ma

r

o kJ

ne

ele

Administrator

Admin Assistant

Librarian

Ba

lB

ah

u ad

r Ta

C ik Pa n

ho

o

Gardener

Cook

PETER LOW LAM KIM R.I.P. Earlier generations of seminarians were familiar with the figure of Lam Kim or Ah Pek or even Monacus, as he was affectionately known as. Lam Kim, a former fisherman, spent over 50 years working in our kitchen and dining room among future ‘fishers of men’ and had a store of stories about priests and seminarians whom he had encountered. Nuggets of earthy wisdom would often come from his lips. “Vocation discernment? Ask Lam Kim and he would tell you!”- this was the view of Fr Edwin Paul, our former rector. Sathiya Anarmalay, our Administrator, remembers him as hardly ever going on leave or falling sick. In his homily at the funeral, Bishop Sebastian Francis remembered him as having followed Jesus in being a humble servant. Clad in his singlet and shorts, Lam Kim faithfully performed his various tasks, starting with brewing the coffee for breakfast each day. He retired from service in 2003, and 4 years later suffered a massive stroke while in Singapore. This left him speechless, unable to swallow and severely paralysed on the right side of his body. In the next 5 years he was totally dependent on others for everything. Difficult as it was for him, he delighted in his family and the occasional priest and seminarian who would visit his son’s home in Singapore. Last year, he and his wife Irma celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary at the seminary. On 21 August this year, he died at 89, three weeks after an aggressive form of cancer was diagnosed. He is survived by Irma, three children and their spouses and grandchildren. Many priests and seminarians continue to mourn his passing. Archbishop Emeritus Anthony Soter Fernandez remembers him as ‘a gentleman, a man of wisdom and great love.’ By Fr Gerard Theraviam

Young men...
 

Jesus is inviting you to

Come & See
Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ’What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi’ - which means Teacher - ‘where do you live?’ He replied, ‘Come and see;’ so they went and saw where he lived, And stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour. Jn 1:38-39 Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese Father Christopher Soosaipillai Tel: 03-92819973/92849973 cwsoosai@gmail.com Penang Diocese Father Aloysius Tan Tel: 04-254 0176 aloytanys@yahoo.com Fr. Gerard Theraviam Tel: 04-8902002 rector@collegegeneral.com

If you wish to know more about the

Diocesan Priesthood,
please contact:

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful