MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE, BRUNEI
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
Regional Biblical Commission of
Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
The following are the members of Regional Biblical Commission (RBC) of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei :
- Archbishop John Ha of the Archdiocese of Kuching as President of RBC.
- Fr. Alphonsus Tang of Sibu Diocese, Malaysia as secretary of RBC.
- Other members: Bishop Cornelius Sim (Apostolic icariate of Brunei), Mr. Richard Wong (Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu), Mr. Fredoline Umis (Diocese of Keningau, Malaysia), Fr. Simon Kontou (Diocese of Sandakan, Malaysia), Fr. Andy (Diocese of Miri), Msgr William Sabang (Archdiocese of Kuching, Malaysia), Bro. Paul Saw (Diocese of Melaka-Johor), Fr. Gerard Theraviam (Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur), Sr. Margarete Sta Maria (Diocese of Penang), Msgr Eugene Vaz and Fr. Ambrose Vaz (Archdiocese of Singapore)
RBC meets once a year in different Dioceses which take turn in hosting the meeting.
The normal agenda for the meeting:
- Minutes, amendments and matters arising
- Communication from Archbishop John Ha
- Reports of Dioceses
- Bible Sunday
- Other business
4. Bible based Activities in different Diocese
4.1 Apostolate Vicariate of Brunei
Bishop Cornelius introduced Great Adventure in the Vicariate, a re-adapted EWTN TV series of Dr. Tim Grey and initiated the use of LD of Jeff Calvin’s “Walking towards Eternity” at the beginning of all parishes’ meetings. The response was good
Parishes and families were encouraged to do ‘spiritual’ reading of the Bible beginning with NT.
The people were also encouraged to study the biblical and doctrinal aspects of the Creed.
East Malaysia-Brunei Chinese Bible Association held its once in two years Convention in the Vicariate.
4.2 Diocese of Miri
Fr. Andy gave “Word of God” seminar that was both spiritual and intellectual for Adult and Youth. Other activities were the Scripture reading of the Word of God according to the Liturgical year, inter-parishes Bible Quiz, 8 weeks Great Adventure, quick journey through the Bible and 11 weeks on the Book of Psalms.
4.3 Diocese of Sandakan
Fr. Simon reported that they had the first meeting of the formation of the Biblical Apostolate on 25th February, 2012. The Diocese is organizing Basic Bible Seminar (BBS) with materials from Katolicitas.
For Bible Sunday, each parish took initiative to organize its own activities.
4.4 Diocese of Keningau
For the Bible Sunday, the Diocese organized a 3 days activities with talks, Bible Quiz and installation of lectors.
For the year of Faith, the faithful were encouraged to hand writing the different books of the Bible in BM, in different parishes through BEC. Guidelines were provided and the people were encouraged to do the project as a spiritual exercise as if they were the Biblical authors .
There was a suggestion to promote the 7 steps Bible Study.
4.5 Diocese of Penang
Sr. Margarete was just posted to Penang in December, 2012. She was still helping out in Malacca-Johor Diocese with the Scriptures in a 2 years Catechetical Course.
4.6 Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu
Mr. Richard reported that they had the Great Adventure on “1 Corinthians”: January 17 – April, 10, 2012. The BM Castechists had Seminar on Alkitab on February 5-7, 2012 conducted by Fr. Francis Tsen and Fr. Johnny Raju.
For BCL second round, Fr. Ambros gave the course on the Letter to the Hebrews and Revelation on 18-24th March, 2012.
Others activities were Great Adventure on Exodus on March 18-24, 2012 and Revelation on September 4 – November, 2012; Biblical Formation Seminar on the Life and message of St. Paul by Dr. Sherman Quek on August 2-3, 2012; Seminar Alkitab for Wardens facilitated by Fr. Johnny and Mr. Richard Wong and “Life and Word” retreat by Fr. Gerard on November 30 – December 2, 2012.
4.7 Diocese of Melaka-Johor
For English Biblical Apostolate, Sr. Margarete gave 10 sesssions on the Gospel of Mark and Faith & Revelation.
For the Chinese Biblical Apostolate, Bro. Paul Saw gave sessions
a) in February-July, 2012 on Genesis in 9 classes of 2 hours each.
b) in September-November, 2012 on social World of the New Testament in 4 classes of 2 hours each.
Sr. Susan Dulang gave “Introduction to Bible” in BM in Majodi and Deacon Sherman Quek gave an apologetic session on “The Splendour of the Truth”.
4.8 Archdiocese of Kuching
His Grace, Archbishop John Ha told the meeting that the new Pastoral theme for the Archdiocese in 2013 was:
Church – Disciples of the Word in communion for mission. 400 participants came for the facilitators and Delegates Assembly for 8 sessions that were distributed in 4 Saturdays of 2 hours each. Fr. Richard gave the inputs from the Gospel of John while Archbishop John presented the main elements of the Pastoral theme, namely, Disciples, Word, Communion and Mission.
Msgr. William Sabang reported a list of activities as following;
a. Bible Course for the Laity (BCL): The course to be done in BM for the city parishes was still in the planning stage. For English BCL, 42 participants completed the 10th module on Historical Books in December, 2012. The 11th module on Wisdom & Psalms would commence on 15.2.2013.
b. Archdiocesan Biblical Association: Bro. Paul Saw conducted two sessions for the Genesis Seminar in Chinese on 1-3.9.2012 and “The Social Value of New Testament World: Honour and Shame: New Testament Personality” which was also conducted by Bro. Paul Saw on 19-20.1.2013
c. 90 participants came for the Great Adventure on the Gospel of Matthew. The next module would be on Acts at Holy Trinity parish.
4.9 Diocese of Sibu
Fr. Alphonsus presented at the meeting a very brief run through of some of his recent Biblical based power points presentation like the mystery of the Cross in relation to Eucharist (with materials mostly from the Gospel of John and the Letter to the Hebrews), the Mysteries of the Rosary (for Little Rock) and the Year of Faith (for the priests in Sibu Diocese).
He presented talks (Biblical themes and CCC in power points) in Chinese at the East Malaysia and Brunei Chinese Biblical Conference held in Brunei.
5. Some RBC activities
a. RBC has a Web site: RBC-CBCMSB
b. RBC has a 3 years Bible course for Laity which is being conducted in all the Dioceses.
c. RBC is carrying out “Survey on Youth and Bible” in all the Dioceses.
d. RBC has an article written for the Bible Sunday. 2013’s theme is “THE SENSES OF SCRIPTURE IN INTERPRETATION” written by Msgr James. The article will be written in English and translated into Mandarin, Tamil, Bahasa Malaysia and Iban.
The possible theme for Bible Sunday 2014: “The priceless evergreen Treasure, well kept and faithfully handed down” which is related to “Sacred Scriptures, Sacred Tradition and Magisterium” in continuation to the theme of 2013 .
Reported and Updated: June 09, 2013