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Monday, February 22, 2010

Bishop Julius celebrates Ash Wednesday at St Mary's Cathedral

Sandakan : All parishes throughout the Diocese of Sandakan celebrated Ash Wednesday Masses which also included the distribution of ashes to the faithful on 17th February 2010.

Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom celebrated the bi-lingual Mass (English and Malay) in the evening at St Mary’s Cathedral with an overwhelming attendance. The Cathedral was packed with many, having to stand at the entrance and the open space outside, throughout the celebration.

The prelate, in his homily said that the 40-day period of the Lenten journey is a time for faithful to discern prayerfully that together we may enter into moment of grace in God’s presence to a deeper understanding of our relationship with God.

He called upon the faithful to refocus on the threefold process of self-denial ie pray, fast and almsgiving. The Lenten observance, practiced and exercised will recall us to our own baptism promises to recommit and to rededicate ourselves to Christ. We also do it in solidarity with those preparing to be baptized in Easter.

He reminded the faithful that the ash to be marked on their foreheads in the sign of the cross symbolize a sign of repentance, mortality and connection to God. We need to acknowledge our weaknesses and limitations and for that we need God’s help. Only God can lead us to conversion and return to Him.

He added, ‘It’s all about conversion and change of heart as we journey towards the joy of Easter.’

 Susanna Cardova / Bell

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