Jubilee Interviews

Vincent Oates mhm has served as a missionary in Malaysia, Pakistan, Great Britain and India. After many years absence he returned to Sarawak (Malyasia) not so long ago and is currently ministring in the parish of Sarikei.

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Lenten Meditation (5)

If all countries in the world would adopt the lifestyle and the consumption patterns of the western world, an ecological disaster would be inevitable. Already now we use more resources than our planet can renew. “Overshoot day” the date of the year when we have used what we are entitled to, fell 2015 on the 13th of August. For the rest of the year we lived off the substance at the expense of the future generations. “Green technology” alone will not solve this problem. To survive in the long run we have to change radically our wasteful ways of producing and consuming what we need for life and develop sustainable consumption and production methods. This can only succeed if we live out of a spirituality of simplicity and frugality to which Pope Francis invites us in his encyclical ‘Laudato Si´.

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A Red Sash

In 1942, the Japanese invaded what is now East Malaysia: Sarawak and Sabah. They interned all the Mill Hill missionaries as enemy aliens, except for those from Tyrol, a German speaking part of northern Italy, because Italy was an ally of the Japanese. There were two such Mill Hill men in Sarawak and eight in Sabah, but when, in 1945, Italy surrendered, the eight men in Sabah were rounded up by the Japanese and marched off to an internment camp. They never arrived. Somewhere on that journey, they were killed; we don’t know how and we are not sure where, for their remains have never been found.

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Mill Hill Missionaries in Sarawak, Malaysia (7)

The pastoral responsibilities in Sarikei, a large and well established parish in the diocese of Sibu, are shared by Frs James Ting and Vincent Oates mhm. Fr Vincent Oates mhm returned to Malaysia after many fruitful years of missionary service in Pakistan, Britain and India. Together they also minister to a considerable number of longhouses in the outlying district.

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Mill Hill Missionaries in Sarawak, Malaysia (5)

Fr John Mc Auley mhm Lapok is little more than a cluster of shops situated in a valley along the Tinjar river at just over and hour's drive from Miri. The village is defined by an elegantly arched concrete bridge across the Tinjar river. Fr John Mc Auley (aka 'Makuleh') serves here as assistant to Fr Andrew Lee, a young and enthusistic diocesan priest with a degree in Sacred Scripture, Working together with yet another young priest, they cover a wide area of longhouses in the surrounding district.

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Mill Hill Missionaries in Sarawak, Malaysia (4)

Fr Guido Gockel mhm returned to his first love, the people of the diocese of Miri, Malaysia, after more than thirty years of service elsewhere. Bishop Richard Ng asked him to take charge of the parish of St Dominic and the Rosary in the satellite town of Taman Tunku.

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Mill Hill Missionaries in Sarawak, Malaysia (3)

Philip Odhiambo Obaso mhm Philip Odhiambo Obaso mhm (Kenya) serves in the parish of Bintangor. During a recent visit I asked him his view of current pastoral and missionary priorities in this parish and in the diocese of Sibu as a whole.

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