Thursday, June 24, 2010

What an Adjutor Bishop is....

It's from the horse's mouth....I managed to get hold of Rev Fr John Wong after today's Morning Mass and asked him what an Adjutor Bishop (his new post) is.

To avoid embarrassment, I first told him that I couldn't find the word adjutor in two major dicionaries. He agreed with me, saying that it's a Christian/Catholic term.

The humble and friendly as well as soft-spoken priest explained to me that an Adjutor Bishop is just like an auxiliary bishop with the right to succession to a full-fledged bishop when a vacancy arises.

Another English/Christian lesson for me. No wonder it's said that learning is a life-long and every-day process. That's why some parties (not necessarily political ones) including the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) do conduct Life-Long Learning classes.

(Footnote: Rev Fr John Wong was promoted as Adjutor Bishop of the Catholic Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu on Monday 21 June 2010; assisting Archbishop Datuk John Lee. Apart from the latter, there are two other Catholic Bishops in Sabah - Datuk Cornelius Piong (Diocese of Keningau) and Fr Julius Gitom (?) of the Sandakan Diocese.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Coadjutor Bishop John Wong

Here it is, I reproduce herewith Archbishop Datuk John Lee's letter regarding the appointment of Rev Fr John Wong Soo Kau as Coadjutor Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu.

Yesterday, I wrongly reported it as Adjutant Bishop and I apologize for the mistake. I then based it on my hearing of what was announced only and I managed to lay hands on a copy of the letter only today.

As can be seen, the letter was addressed to all Clergy and Religious communities, and care-taker Parish Pastoral Councils of the Archdiocese.

As stated in the letter, the appointment was made by none other than the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI of the Vatican in Rome.

I still don't know what a Coadjutor Bishop is but I will find out and get back to you. Can't find the word in two major dictionaries. It must be a term used only in the Catholic world. But as I said yesterday the new Bishop must be some kind of a deputy to the Archbishop.

Once again, congratulations Rt Rev Fr John or rather Bishop John!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fr John Wong now a Bishop

The Priest-in-charge of the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinablu, Rev Fr John Wong has been made a co-adjutant Bishop of the Archdiocese.

This was announced after the daily English morning Mass at the St Paul's Church at Dontozidon in Penamnpang on Tuesday 22 June 2010.

The announcement was made by regular morning Mass goer Mr Sylvester Disimon just before the concluding hymn. He was asked to do so by Sister Diana of the church.

Sylvester read out a letter signed by Archbishop Datuk John Lee which said that His Holiness the Pope has approved the appointment effective Monday 21 June 2010.

It was just a short letter and therefor most parishioners remain in the dark as to the exact duty of the new Bishop in view of the extraordinary title. At the moment, one can only assume that Rev Fr John (or rather Bishop) will be assisting the Archbishop, which he has been doing for quite sometime since being posted to the Centre anyway. But of course the new title will give Rev (or should I say Rt Rev) Wong more 'ummph' and added clout. Datuk Lee was the Bishop of KK Diocese before his promotion as Archbishop so one can assume that Fr Wong will be taking over Datuk Lee's former post.

Apart from being Priest-in-charge of the Centre, Fr Wong has also been in charge of a group of young Aspirants to the priesthood; twelve of them to be exact - just like the 12 disciples, perhaps co-incidentally. Being an Aspirant is the first step to the priesthood, after which one will enter the Formation Year of the Seminary in Kota Kinabalu before going to St Peter's College, Kuching for the study proper.

Present at the Mass this morning to hear the announcement was none other than Fr John Wong himself. He presides over the Mass most mornings as the Centre is just below the hill where the church is located. Also present were his students, the Aspirants, who served as the Choir.

The church members present gave Fr Wong an applause after the announcement. Fr Wong in his short speech thanked the Archbishop for his trust and everyone for their prayers and pledged to do his best.

The announcement took almost everyone by surprise because Fr Wong was due for transfer back to Sandakan, his hometown, at the end of this month. He infact spent last weekend there.

Bishop John Wong was born on 6 June 1968. His promotion could not have come at a better time as it is the best birthday present for him. He was ordained a deacon at Sacred Heart Cathedral on 8 January 1998 and as a priest on 21 January 1999 at St Mary Church, Sandakan. On 18th Feb 1999 he became Assistant Rector of Sacred Heart.

Congratulations to our new Bishop and a belated Happy Birthday!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What a Father's Day for me! (Part 2)

Mechanic Jo Jo did not get back into KK until nightfall. I didn't get my petrol drained and refilled them with diesel until 9pm+. He asked for RM30. I gave him RM50. It was a 'dirty' job though it looks and sound easy to most other people who are normally only good at talking. Most people would say "Itu senang saja bah tu" (that is easy enough) but when you asked them to help they would tell you to get a mechanic. This is the world that we live in or the reality that we have to face - that the world is full of people who only know how to talk and insist that they know everything. Jo Jo got his shirt soaked by petrol while underneath my Hi-Lux. Besides, he had an assistant. I figured the assistant would get only RM10 had I gave the RM30 Jo Jo asked for. So I gave RM50. As I said in my earlier post, you pay for the expertise. What is an extra RM20 to buy the goodwill of someone whose services I may continue to need from time to time, including helping a friend in need? Happy Father's Day!

(Footnote: Jo Jo's workshop is just cross the road from the Jalan Lintas Petronas station near the airport. I am tempted to put his tel no here but then I don't have his permission. Today's episode has reminded me that even a mechanic deserves the utmost respect. But if you have an emergency, call me and I'll gladly redirect you to him.)

I'll Never Dance Again by Herman's Hermits

Another down memory lane song I used to sing as a bandboy in the 60s-70s. In the mood bah, today's Father's Day bah. Apart from this one, other Herman's Hermits songs I used to play and sing included My Sentimental Friend and I'm Into Something Good. My friends who were teenagers between the 60s-70s would find this sentimental and walk down the lane with me. This was a British band whose fame was second perhaps only to their fellow-Brits, the Beatles. Enjoy.

Joan Baez - We Shall Overcome

Time flies. It has been a month since I posted We Shall Overcome sung by Joan Baez at the White House for President Obama and family.
Today, Father's Day, I chanced upon this original version sung by Joan in 1963, the year her record was released. Notice it says "Original Vinyl 7" Single" on the cover. Yes, it walks me down memory lane. Kids of today have the Internet. They have E-Mail, Facebook, Twitter, Friendster, MySpace, You Tube, blogs and what have you. They also have Astro so that they can see live World Cup matches all the way from South Africa- some in HD, mind you. My generation (I was born in 1954) - we had nothing. No telephone, let alone IPhone or Smartphone. No radio (not the first few years of my life), let alone TV. The only entertainment was the cinema. Itupun pandai putus filem dan kerusi rotan dia ada bangking! The disco was not invented yet, let alone Karaoke. Kids nowadays are using MP3. Ours was the good old Vinyl Record like Joan's, even then it was only for those families who could afford one. The tape recorder came much later, in the 1960s, using literally tapes; unlike now digital. Then you had the big catridge which you play in the car, followed by the casette which was later replaced by the CD. So I grew up (in the 1960s) listening to the Beatles, Bee Gees, Shadows, Ventures, Rolling Stones, Cliff Richard, Elvis, etc on vinyl records or what Sabahans called Piring Hitam which literally means Black Record. If you tell this to kids nowadays, their standard reply will be: "Itu dulu!" (That was before). Sorry there is no picture of the young Joan on the record cover but anyway enjoy listening to the good old Piring Hitam. Kids nowadays are lucky because they call listen or watched what their parents used to decades ago - thanks to the Internet. The guys who invented Internet and You Tube should be given the Sabah Datukship or Malaysian Tan Sriship. Happy Father's Day. Happy listening!

What A Father's Day for me!

Something happened to me around noon time, a couple of hours ago, which spoilt my otherwise Happy Father's Day.

It took me quite a while to decide whether to share this with you, for it may be embarrassing. I finally decided to share in order not to be selfish - least the information may be useful to you one day.

To cut the long story short, I went to the Petronas station to fill petrol (or rather diesel) for my Toyota Hi-Lux twin-cab, otherwise known as Vigo (a name which UMW Toyota does not recognise, although that may be the name in other countries.)

After I inserted the pump into the petrol/diesel tank, I walked into the station just to see if there was anything I could buy. As I was walking back to my vehicle, a pump attendant asked me "Uncle, you filled with petrol or diesel?"

Alamak! I was like being struck by lightning! I filled with petrol instead of diesel!!! First time in my life!

Can't blame the attendant because he wasn't around when I chose. In any case, it's now supposed to be self-service.

Instead, I should thank him for his alertness as he was trying to help me put the pump back into its place. Had it not been for his alertness, I would have started my engine and that would indeed be a COSTLY mistake!

So, for the benefit of those who do not know, Rule No.1 when you across such a situation is NEVER start your engine, even if it's just to move your car to the side.

The owner of the station (a Malay lady) instructed her workers to push my car to the side. She also gave me the phone number of a nearby mechanic who is supposed to be on stand-by, just like a doctor on call. The owner was very helpful as I am her regular customer. Loyalty pays, I suppose.

I got through to the handphone of the mechanic, whose workshop is just across the road (Lintas highway near the airport). Today is Sunday, so his workshop is closed. But just call, said the lady owner, for he would help as long as he is around.

But luck was not with me. The mechanic (Jo Jo is his name, reminds me of Father Jo Jo) was on his way to Keningau and would only be back late this afternoon. He called his friends but none of them was available, today being Sunday and eve of schooling day tomorrow.

The alert worker, prompted by his lady boss, said he might be able to help if there is a hole below the fuel tank. But this is new model Hi-Lux and there wasn't any. The only option is to pump the petrol out and he did not have a pump. He could actually use a rubber hose to suck out the petrol if he wanted to but since he didn't offer that I didn't want to force him, after all it wasn't his job.

The only other option left is to wait for the mechanic to come back from Keningau, since according to the owner it's his field of specialisation. There is no point to tow the vehicle to a workship or UMW - today being a Sunday. I need the vehicle since tomorrow schooling starts and my wife is a teacher. My two other cars are used by my sons. Nasib si bapa! Happy Father's Day!

I am about to go back to the station to wait for the mechanic. According to the station worker, it should cost between RM20-30. Even if it were RM40-50, I wouldn't mind. You have to pay for expertise or things you can't do yourself! Which reminds me a story of a tourist in Hawaii commenting to a street vendor that his straw hat was too costly at US$10. The vendor took the straws apart and said to the tourist: "What you are paying for, Sir, is not so much the straws or the hat, but rather the expertise in turning the straws into a hat!" The tourist walked away embarrassingly.

Got to go now, wish me good luck. Will report back to you later.