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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Courtesy call to Bishop

Sandakan: On the 27th August 2009, the National Minister of SFO Oceania (covering Australia, Singapore, Sabah), Mrs Helen Briton sfo, Regional Minister of Singapore, Mrs Patricia Tan, Sabah SFO Steering Committee headed by Petronella Munting sfo and Friar Arul Mariadas, ofm the Regional Spiritual Assistant of Singapore and Sabah as well as Sr Frances Mani fsic the Spiritual Assistant of the Sabah SFO together with several other team members paid a courtesy call to Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom at the Diocesan Meeting Room.

The aim of the visit was to have a better understanding, collaboration and participation of the SFOs in the local church as well as to brief the Bishop on the existence of the Sabah SFO steering Committee. Apart from that the team also sought the Bishop’s blessing for future canonically establishment of the regional fraternity in Sabah especially in the Diocese of Sandakan.

The Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) is a community of Roman Catholic men and women who seek to pattern their lives after Christ in the spirit of St Francis of Assisi. Secular Franciscans are members of the third order of Franciscans which is approved and recognized by the Holy See entrusted the pastoral care and spiritual assistance.

Currently there are four canonically established fraternities in Sabah;

  • Sacred Heart Fraternity, Kota Kinabalu
  • St Joseph Fraternity, Papar
  • Holy Rosary Fraternity, Limbahau and
  • St Francis Xavier Fraternity, Keningau.

There are another five emerging SFO fraternities;

  • Our Lady of Fatima, Beluran, Sandakan
  • St Mary, Sandakan
  • St John, Tuaran
  • Stella Maris, Tanjung Aru and
  • Blessed Sacrament, Labuan

After the courtesy call, the visitors had lunch at the Parish Hall. On hand to welcome the visitors were Sr Appolonia Gumpu fsic, Adriana Sampog sfo of the local emerging fraternity of St Mary and about 20 professed members and inquirers.

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