Veteran missionary impressed by youthful church in Malaysia
A missionary visiting his former mission has praised the active participation of youth in the eastern Malaysia Church, in contrast to the situation in his native England.
"In England, a small number of elderly people come to Mass, whereas here I have to look for such people," Fr Brian Coogan told the press during his recent visit to Sabah state.
The Mill Hill missionary said that during the last 50 years, young people in England have lost interest in the Church, which they find "lifeless".
Young Catholics there, he said, are neither invited nor brought into "a strong and loving" community, so they do not know God in a personal way.
The Church in Sabah, the priest commented, is "strong, alive, flourishing and full of youth and energy."
Fr Coogan, who was on his fifth visit to Sabah, urged young Catholics to know the Bible so as to strengthen family ties, find meaning in the Mass and counter Protestant queries about the role of the Pope in the Church and devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mill Hill Missionaries
Aid to the Church in Need
The Roman Catholic Church in Sabah
Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, Kota Kinabalu
3 Sep 2002