1st Malaysian Catholic Clergy Assembly 16th – 20th July 2018

Majodi Centre, Plentong Johor Bahru,

“Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah.”  That is how Archbishop Julian Leow (Kuala Lumpur archdiocese) began his welcoming address at the 1st Malaysian Catholic Clergy Assembly held in Majodi Centre, Plentong Johor Bahru, from 16th – 20th July 2018.  It is truly a historical moment for the Malaysian Catholic Church, where 280 clergy, comprising of bishops, priests and deacons from the 9 (arch) dioceses in Malaysia gathered together in discernment, prayer and fellowship.

“May they be one” (John 17:21) i.e. the high priestly prayer of Jesus in the gospel of John was the theme of the assembly.  In his address at the opening mass, Archbishop Joseph Marino, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia highlighted the call to follow Jesus in our humanity as priests and to be conscious of the struggles of the people of God.  He added the Malaysian Church must continue to be a welcoming church and a sign of love after the heart of Jesus.  

Archbishop Emeritus John Ha led the assembly into a recollection the following day.  He emphasized that the Church as a community of Christ’s disciples is called to be a beacon of unity in Malaysia.  In response to this call, this first Malaysian Catholic Clergy Assembly has been convened in the belief and conviction that deeper communion among the clergy will lead to a greater unity amidst our diversity among the dioceses in Malaysia.

Thus, the first day of the assembly was a time for building new friendship among the clergy and rekindling old ones among brother priests.  Many who were classmates in the seminary years ago had the pleasure of renewing and strengthening their bonds of friendship.

In addition, the clergy were brought to visit South Johor Vicariate parishes to experience and witness first-hand, the reality of the Catholics from Sabah, Sarawak and Semenanjung living together in communion and mission.  They were welcomed by the parishioners dressed in their traditional attire and treated with local food and drinks prepared by the various ethnic groups who were part of the parish community.  This reinforces the notion of unity in diversity which is a distinct character of the Malaysian church.  

Story reported by Rt. Rev Bishop Richard Ng
Compiled by Benchang


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