Catholic Nurses Guild of Malaysia

1st September 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters

You Did Not Choose Me: I Chose You

Peace be with you all!

In a short while you will be gathering together for your Annual General Meeting in Sabah. As I have had occasion to stay previously in Pace Bene in Papar, I can say that is a very conducive place for the meeting. The atmosphere and surroundings are sure to facilitate a prayerful and contemplative spirit.

The theme for this year’s retreat is “You did not choose me: I chose you” (John 15:16). I hope that it will encourage us to consider how God has called each one of you to your special vocation as Catholic nurses. This is a very unique and challenging call but God will equip and sustain you in this special role.

Of course we try to understand that we are first of all called as disciples of Jesus. This means to be with the Master and to learn from him how to be like him as the model for our way of life. We will be encouraged to reflect on our journey thus far and seek enlightenment on how to continue in the future.
God is always near to us. He constantly reaches out to us as his beloved though we need to be reminded often about it. At times, this becomes mixed up with other messages from our society, creating confusion and distress within us. Hopefully our retreat will refresh our memory and give us new energy for our mission.
Let us therefore entrust this precious time to the Lord who is generous beyond measure to all his children who seek him with a sincere heart. May your time together strengthen your bond as brothers and sisters who encourage and support each other in appreciating your vocation as healers and caregivers.
God bless you all and reward you richly for your faithfulness to him and his people.
Yours sincerely in Christ

+ Cornelius Sim
Commission for Health Care
Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Malaysia Singapore and Brunei

I would like to thank the organizing committee for coming up with this program book.

I was wondering what would be the theme of our retreat for this year, I attended an Advent retreat in November last year, it was there that this inspiration came to mind. I shared with the group that I was having the retreat with, “that our association the Catholic Nurses’ Guild Malaysia is also in need of pruning in order that the Christian orientation is maintained”.

It is important to understand that we as Catholic Nurses are not in this profession by chance, we are chosen, chosen to be God’s instrument in healing. Thus in line with this, we have chosen the Theme: taken from John 15 : 16, “ You did not Choose me I chose you, go and bear much fruit”.
I hope that this retreat will help us better understand our calling as Catholic Nurses. Catholics must be spontaneous to the call of Christ. We must live up to certain catholic values and be well rooted in our faith because the vitality of our association depends on the intensity of faith of our members.

We are not members of an exclusive club where everyone is expecting some benefits from one’s membership. It is what we can offer to the association to help and encourage members to have the opportunity to be God’s instrument in His ministry of healing.
It is a great privilege for us healthcare personnel to be in contact with the sick in our daily lives. Members must be updated professionally and religiously inclined in order to be able to give professional and spiritual care to the communities that we serve, be it our patients, be it our members.

I thank His Lordship Bishop Cornelius Sim for being the Retreat master for this 46th AGM of the Catholic Nurses’ Guild Malaysia. I also applaud the organizing committee for their hard work in making this AGM / Retreat happen.

Francisca Malantin.

Sir Richard Lai has been a great inspiration to me, having known him all my nursing life. He sees the potential in each and everyone of us. It is no wonder that he is well known nationally and internationally because of his great contribution to Catholic nurses Guild worldwide and to CICIAMS. Your Life has been greatly Blessed by the Lord, Rest in Peace Sir Richard. We Love You.

- Francisca Malantin

I got to know Sir Richard , through CNG activities.
He was always guiding , grooming, inspiring, encouraging us. The
last time i saw him was at the CNG annual dinner in Kuching, he was a little
frail then, doing presentation promoting CNG. I am amazed at his zeal
and enthusiasm and admire him greatly.
i missed his presence last year at the CNG annual dinner in kuching as he was not fit to travel.
Now he ( i never called him 'Sir Richard', he is always my dear friend and mentor, Richard) has gone back toGod the fatherand be with his wife and eldest daughter.
i can imagine Jesus welcoming him , saying to him : well done, my
good and faithful friend...

- Mary Lu

May Richard rest in Peace. His great work in Nursing and the Catholic Nurses Guilds will be remembered always! We will pray for the family, esp Pauline and family members so that the loss and suffering can be softened!

Love in Christ,

- Angel Lee, on behalf of HKCNG

Dear Francisca
it is with sadness that we, the CNG of Singapore recieved the news of Sir Richard's demise.
He was a great leader, working and promoting our causes for us Asian Catholic nurses in CICIAMS; we have lost a good friend indeed
We will offer a Mass for him inSingapore
Warm regards
- Susan Loh

Thanks Fransisca, He was one of thegreat and very committed persons I have ever known.

- Henny, Bernadethe Marheni Luan. Indonesia

Thank you for sending this sad new about our beloved and dedicated CICIAMS member, Sr. Richard Lai. Our Lord surely opened his arms and welcomed him into heaven. CICIAMS members will remember him in our prayers.

Thank you for Pauline's e-mail address.


- Marylee Meehan. International President of CICIAMS


After my mother passed away, my dad and I grew very close. We travelled the world to Catholic Nurses and Catholic Pharmacists functions. It was during these wonderful years that I learnt of the man that he was. He became my confidante and my friend.

Through his work as International President for CICIAMS, dad was knighted by the Pope in 1990. Yet, he remained a humble and simple man. He had the greatest respect and love for Fr Volle, who shared his passion to promote the spiritual welfare of nurses around the world.

In addition, he (and my late mom) were also the pioneer members to promote the Billings Ovulation Method and were involved in other church activities.

My father also helped set up the Catholic Pharmacists Association of Malaysia. That was his legacy to me – so that the spiritual welfare of pharmacists would also be looked after.

On 2 March 2011, dad had a stroke and fell down the stairs at home. He was bedridden for 10 days and passed away due to his long term history of liver failure. Dad was such an independent and active man. He would have been miserable had he lived in that state longer. Mercifully, God called him home after 10 days from the stroke.

My father’s greatest wish was to see that the work of the Catholic Nurses Guild, the Catholic Pharmacists Association of Malaysia and the Natural Fertility Awareness Society of Malaysia should continue after he has passed on. We will carry on. Thank you dad, for your leadership and vision. We are glad that you are now together with mom. You will be missed by many, and most of all by your daughter. Rest in peace. We love you.

By: Pauline Lai

In an effort to respond to the Holy Father's call to promote a culture of friendship and unity among the people of God, the Catholic Nurses Guild of Malaysia had launched a website for all Catholic Nurses in Malaysia since 2007 Pope Benedict XVI has invited us all to communicate in a new way, the digital way. 

As the world is connected through the internet for instant transmission of information catholic nurses have to step forward so that we can be everywhere and reach everyone in our goal to serve the sick in our community with compassion and love. 

Pope John Paul II with Richard at the Vatican 1990
Pope John Paul II with Richard at the Vatican 1990

CNG website is focusing towards the student nurses, young nurses and the not so young catholic nurses who are ever thirsty for knowledge, information in upgrading their nursing profession according to the Church doctrines.

This website gives the catholic nurses the opporunity to search for information which normally could not have been possible a decade ago. This website enables you to link directly to the Vatican the local churches and globally.

Other useful links are Malaysian Catholic Media ( and other catholic health care organizations like Catholic Doctors and Catholic Laywers Associations of Malaysia. Check them out especially The website has something for everyone young and old, happy surfing and check out the links on the link page.

by Richard Lai