Kota Kinabalu (Agenzia Fides) - The dioceses of Malaysia have decided to suspend streaming in parishes to encourage the faithful to participate in liturgies and celebrations in presence. In a note issued by the Diocese of Kot in Kinabalu, in the Malaysian state of Sabah (on the island of Borneo), Archbishop John Wong has informed the clergy, religious and laity to stop broadcasting masses on the Internet, to reactivate the normal participation mode in presence.
Since government measures allow it, and since the country seems to be entering the endemic phase of Covid -19, the note states that "everyone must physically attend Mass again, as in the times before the pandemic." During the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government also placed restrictions on religious services. The dioceses began to hold celebrations, applying the prescribed procedures.
In a second phase, churches with limited capacity were allowed to attend again. Today, the measures once again allow the full capacity of the faithful in churches and chapels, but recommend the use of masks. "With the return to physical participation in masses, greater communion and fraternity will be fostered in our communities", says the Archbishop in the note sent to Agenzia Fides.
In the state of Sabah, but in the diocese of Sandakan, the priestly ordination of the seventh local priest, Father Raymond Lee Seng Huat, celebrated a few days ago in the Cathedral of Santa Maria, and presided over by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, was a solemn and moving celebration, in the presence of about 500 faithful.
"With Baptism and Confirmation, all Christ's faithful are called to be prophets to announce the Good News. Whenever God calls, he sends Christians on mission. Some, like Father Raymond, are called to the priestly ministry. The sacrament of Holy Orders imparts a permanent grace: this gift cannot be taken away because it is the work of the Holy Spirit, who is faithful forever", said Msgr. Julius Gitom. Fr. Raymond said that "his priestly vocation is a manifestation of God's grace and love, and it is a blessing to be a priest forever". The Catholic faith was brought to Sabah by the priests of Mill Hill in 1883, when missionaries established the first Catholic mission. (SD/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 25/5/2022)