Speech By Joseph Lourdes, President of CLS Kuala Lumpur During 2019 Dinner And Dance

It is an honour and privilege to write this message on the joyous occasion of the Catholic Lawyers’ Society’s 25th Anniversary, and we thank Almighty God for guiding and blessing our Society over the last 25 years.

The work of our Society began in the early 90’s with the coming together of the late Cecilia Fernandez, our first President, and the late Sir Dato’ Dr. Peter Mooney with the guidance and support of Emeritus Cardinal Soter Fernandez, and our then Spiritual Director Rev. Fr. O.C. Lim SJ.

With a 12-member pro tem committee, our Society grew as it started to play its role in upholding Justice and Peace.

Among us this evening are leading members of our Society who have given their time and effort in the pursuit of justice and peace. We will remember the “Herald” matter and our members’ contributions as solicitors and counsel, as this matter went through the High Court, Court of Appeal and finally, the Federal Court.

We also recall the role our members played in the Rev. Fr. Paulino case, and continue to do in the ongoing Jill Ireland matter. Last but not least, we note the very brave position taken by a past President, in refusing to divulge solicitor/client privileged information, which led to, in my view, his very unjust detention. In all of these cases, we can be certain that our members stood up for justice, and we thank them for their commitment.

Today, our Society continues to hold talks on topics such as Freedom of Religion, Electoral rights and responsibilities, Abolishment of the Death Penalty; and we do this by talking to members of our community in churches in the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese. Later this year, we will be organising a Dialogue/Lecture in honour of the various contributions of the late Sir Dato’ Dr. Peter Mooney.

Our Society’s focus includes reflections on the Gospel, and this year we enjoyed a very informative and thought-provoking retreat at The Haven Resort, Ipoh, where we were led and inspired by our Spiritual Director, Rev. Fr. Michael Chua.

In marking our 25th Anniversary, our Society decided to raise funds for the Positive Living Community. The Positive Living Community has, for many years, given care and attention to HIV and AIDS sufferers and we are very happy to support them.

As we look forward to the years to come, we pray that Almighty God continues to guide and bless us. Our call to our friends who are not members yet, is to join our Society; then you can support your Society in whatever way possible. No effort is too small.

We have a lovely dinner and fellowship to look forward to, and I know that you will enjoy the performances of the band “Arumugam goes to Alabama”. I must say a special thank you to the Organising Committee of today’s event under the exemplary leadership of Francis Pereira, a past President.

Please enjoy the Catholic Lawyers’ Society’s 25th Anniversary Dinner & Dance.

Thank you and God bless us all.

Joseph Lourdes
President, CLS

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