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Friday, July 3, 2009

Closing Of The Pauline Year

St. Paul's Church Ulu Dusun Sandakan

Sandakan: The Pauline Year, a year long celebration of the bi-millennium of St Paul’s birth, was started by the Holy Father on 28th June 2008. He urged all Dioceses to undertake activities to help the faithful come to know the great apostle better and ‘to make ever more widely known the immense wealth of teaching they contain.’ Following that, the Diocese of Sandakan opened St Paul’s Church of Ulu Dusun some 50 km from the town centre as the diocesan pilgrimage centre for the Pauline year on October 19th 2008 with a Eucharistic celebration concelebrated by Bishop Julius and Fr Thomas Makajil, rector of St Mary’s Cathedral. Thereafter, sixteen ministries from the local parish and the archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu had made pilgrimages to St Paul’s Church. Close to one thousand faithful participated in the pilgrimages. In conjunction with the Pauline year, the diocese had also organized talks on the teachings of St Paul in the three main languages at all the parishes. Dr Jeffrey Goh and wife, Angelina from the Archdiocese of Kuching spoke on ‘Living the Gospel’ in English, Fr Lukas Jua from Indonesia spoke on the life and journeys of St Paul in Bahasa Malaysia and Fr John Yeou from the Malacca-Johore diocese spoke on the teachings of St Paul in Chinese.The year long celebration of the feast culminated to the climax on Sunday 28th June 2009, the closing of the Pauline Year.

The entrance

Unveiling of the Statue of St. Paul

Blessing of the Statue of St. Paul

The celebration began with the beating of gongs accompanying the entrance procession led by the local kadazandusun girls performing the liturgical dance. Bishop Julius then blessed the new statue of St Paul accompanied by William Gabriel, Chairman of the Pastoral Committee and Nicholas Molijol, Chairman of the Pilgrimage Committee. In his homily, Bishop Julius asked the parishioners, ‘What have we learnt from St Paul, the great evangelist and missionary of all time throughout the Pauline Year? ’Often, we are just too distracted with the ‘instant’ culture, wanting things to happen immediately and failing which we put the blame on God. We ought to build an intimate relationship with God but in our own whims and fancies we want God to follow our rhythm. Again, we are too much focused in the world of consumerism allowing lesser time for God and family. He urged the parishioners to strike a balance in life, time for spiritual development and time for material gain.In his summary, Bishop called upon all members of the faith family to love and continue to support one another making that ‘love’ visible in the world. He also urged them to emulate St Paul to bring the good news of Christ to others. In conclusion, he announced that ‘though the Pauline Year has come to an end, the door is wide opened to all activities that enriches and enhances the richness of the Word of God transmitted to us by the Apostle of the Gentiles.
The Congregation

Eucharistic Celebration

Offertory Procession
Holy Communion
After the Eucharistic Celebration, parishioners adjourned to the community hall for lunch. They were entertained to a number of traditional dances and songs by the local youth.
Pilgrimage Chairman: Nicholas Molijoh


Timorese Dance 'Poco-Poco'

The New Creation-Kadazandusun Dance

By DS

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