BSC KUCHING: “Wonderfully Made”, a one-day programme based on Saint Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, was organised by the English Sunday School of Blessed Sacrament Church on Saturday, 11 June 2022, in collaboration with the Kuching Archdiocesan Youth Commission (KAYC). It was held at the parish hall.

Persons FIRST… sex follows

Who thinks about ‘sex’? God does… It’s His idea. The Creator started it all for men and women to be His ‘co-creators’ until some men and women in society have dirtied its connotation. Poor ‘sex’… from sacred it has become profaned.

As Malaysian Catholics, most of us grew up never learning about this truth. “Don’t have sex until you’re married”, we are often told; without any further explanation and often implicit warnings about its ‘dangers’.

Prevented from learning more about sex, generations of young Catholics grow up believing sex to be ‘taboo’ or ‘a bad thing’.

Deprived of information or clarification and often out of curiosity, many young people end up experimenting on their own; unaware of the spiritual, emotional and physical consequences of pre-marital and/or unprotected sex—oftentimes losing sight of the person in the act.

As a result, more and more young people are left hurt and broken, leading to damaged relationships with friends, family and most importantly, God.

The Wonderfully Made Programme seeks to address this by helping our young people better understand and appreciate ‘sexuality’ (theirs and others’) in the light of one another’s views and God’s values.

Facilitators and speakers from KAYC encouraged an interactive, casual and participative atmosphere, in the pursuit of creating a safe space for the 28 participants (aged 17-18 years old) to express and learn from one another about one another’s views on sexuality, relationships and marriage.

Topics covered by facilitators from the Youth Commission included ‘God’s plan for Sex and Marriage’‘Persons FIRST… sex follows’ and ‘The Physiological Side of Sexuality’, the latter of which was facilitated by Dr Phillip Kho (Sarawak Family Planning Association).

Issues related to sexuality were also discussed such as same-sex attraction, abortion, contraception and pornography.

Based on feedback, it was an “eye-opener” for many of the participants as many commented that the programme created an awareness in them about the sacredness of their bodies, as well as the importance of love and understanding for each other in a relationship; more important than the act of sex.

The programme concluded with a Q&A session led by Fr Ramon Borja and Dr Phillip Kho and a photo-op. Tokens of appreciation were also given to the team of facilitators, namely, Maria Amella, Joan Lau, Julian Sim and, a volunteer youth, Charlene Patrick Arjunan.

We do hope to have more of this… in its improved version; one that is more open to young people’s feelings and views and more faithful to God’s teachings and values as imparted by His Church, which journeys in today’s realities towards life in its fullness… one that is truly Wonderfully Made!

By Fr Ramon Borja, SDB / Julian Sim
Photos: KAYC