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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Sandakan Diocesan Pastoral Working Group

Diocesan Pastoral Working Group with Bishop Julius

Lahad Datu : The Sandakan Diocesan Pastoral Working Group (DPWG) held its 5th / final meeting at the Parish Meeting Room of St Dominic’s Church, Lahad Datu on Saturday 6th June 2009. The meeting was attended by 18 representatives comprising clergy, religious and lay leaders from all the four parishes of the diocese.


Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom presided the meeting and in his reflection on the gospel reading from Mark 12 : 38 ~ 44 shared that the widow is a projection of the poor, vulnerable and a no body in society set against a background of the rich, powerful and influential. Just like the widow, he commended the members that they had given the best to the DPWG contributing the little they had. What matter most is the desire for selfless service through humility and love and above all, gift given out of love with a spirit of generosity and sacrifice.


He recalled that the DPWG formed on 19th June 2008 was to meet the pastoral thrust of the diocese in establishing at the grass root level the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs). In fulfilling the mission of setting up BECs, a demographic survey was carried out at all parishes. The census was also aimed to gather data and statistics as a concrete basis to tailor the pastoral programs for the diocese. Pilis Malim briefed the members about the just created web-based statistical program which can now be accessed through www.sandakan.bravehost.com. The diocese is in the process of planning and preparing for the coming BEC Seminar on 29th ~ 31st August 2009 to be held at the St Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan.


The DPWG had successfully drafted the PPC constitution which was adopted for use in the diocese. The constitution was also translated to Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese which after editing will be compiled and extended to all parishes. They had also come out with the guidelines for the selection of new PPC members where all parishes adhere to the format to get the PPC in place during the last Easter season. A formation seminar for all PPC members will be held on 27th ~ 29th November 2009.


He announced that the diocese is in the planning stage of constructing and completing the proposed Diocesan Centre and Retreat Centre at the St Mary’s Cathedral compound and Mile 25, Labuk Road respectively. He invited the lay faithful through the Parish Pastoral Council to look at the needs and requirements of both centers so that good proposals could be incorporated into the plan of the said project.

The Bishop extended his appreciation to all members who had given a hand in the DPWG and with that he officially declared the DPWG dissolved.


According to the diocesan plan, the Diocesan Pastoral Council will be formed within the year and all PPC Chairmen will be members of the said council together with 4 other lay faithful, representatives from the religious and clergy. Official letters to the effect will be sent to all concerned.

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