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Friday, April 30, 2010

A visit to Bishop Julius D Gitom

Sandakan : 24 members of the St Mary’s Cathedral Parish Pastoral Council, Finance and Property Committees, formed some one year ago, led by Fr Thomas Makajil, rector of the Cathedral, paid a visit to Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, yesterday 29th April 2010 at the Diocesan Office.

The purpose of the visit was to update Bishop Julius regarding the progress and development of pastoral matters and the current financial standing and property matters of the Cathedral.

 John Baptis, Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council briefed the prelate through a power point presentation, regarding the development of pastoral affairs for the past one year in the Cathedral Parish. He specifically touched on the response to the recent Bishop’s pastoral letter concerning parish assembly to eventually formulate the Diocesan Vision and Mission statement. A task force for that matter has been formed and will meet soon to draw up the process for its implementation sometime towards the end of the year.
Suzanna Hon, the Chairperson of the Parish Finance Committee said that the committee will launch two parish fund raising projects in conjunction with Parish Day in mid August and the other, in conjunction with Diocesan Day in mid October.
Peter Thien, Chairman of the Property Committee, in his briefing, touched on repair work, maintenance and upgrading work to five chapels carried out and completed towards the end of 2009. The upgrading work to the Cathedral, which took some two months, was completed in time for Easter. Their next project, the construction and completion of 3 unit double storey labor quarters will commence in June.
The prelate commended the members of the three main parish teams, for their commitment, in ensuring the growth of the Cathedral. He called upon the members not to forget to place ‘pastoral affairs’ as the top priority of the Cathedral. He further went on to say, that as we journey along in building the Kingdom of God, we are bound to face difficulties and challenges. He called upon the members to work collaboratively, together with the clergy and the religious, and to persevere in all circumstances for the good of the Church.

At the end of the session, John Baptis presented a souvenir, the PPC t-shirt, to Bishop Julius.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bishop Julius graces St Mary’s Primary Schools’ Integration Sports Day

Sandakan :  In the multiracial Malaysian society, education is a strong platform for promoting racial integration and as such, schools are common grounds for bringing together the children of different ethnicity, race and religion. Participating in sports, an integral part of the system can promote active integration, a very much needed ingredient in nation building.

 This morning, April 29th 2010, Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom graced the 5th Annual Integration School Sports of the three Catholic Mission Primary Schools; St Mary’s Convent, St Mary’s Labuk and St Mary’s Town at the St Mary’s Secondary School field, some 5 km from the town centre.
In her welcoming speech, Rose Solibun, the organizing Chairperson and also the headmistress of St Mary’s Convent welcomed Bishop Julius and extended her appreciation to the prelate for taking time off to be with the school community. She thanked the school staff and the parents for their collaborative effort in making the event a success. Such partnership is vital for the progress of the school.

According to her, the 4 day event is part of the Education Ministry’s RIMuP (Rancangan Integrasi Murid untuk Perpaduan) ‘Solidarity through Children’s Integration’ program. Participating schools stand to benefit in the sharing of human resource, expertise in related fields and facilities.

Bishop Julius in his speech said that sports, as part of the school co-curricular activity is not just a healthy physical pursuit but also a social tool towards producing balanced individuals. It is a venue for the children to build and solidify friendship networks, improving skills and developing self esteem and confidence.

The prelate, accompanied by the three headmistresses of the said schools, inspected the three contingents. They then adjourned to the school hall for reception.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

3 in 1 celebration at St Mark's Church, Sandakan

Sandakan : St Mark’s Church, some 20 km from the town centre held a 3 in 1 celebration, Tuesday April 27th 2010, celebrating the Feast of St Mark, the patron Saint of the Church, the 17th anniversary of the Church and the 1st anniversary of the Indonesian Catholic Pastoral Committee (ICPC)

The event began with the bi-lingual Eucharistic celebration in Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia, celebrated by Fr Thomas Makajil, rector of St Mary’s Cathedral and assisted by Deacon David Garaman. Some 400 local parishioners and parishioners of the Cathedral attended the celebration.

According to Fr Thomas, St Mark’s gospel, though the shortest among the four gospels, it might seem as insignificant as the mustard seed, but it can become a great tree in whose branches we can all find shelter. He urged the faithful to emulate St Mark, as in all his weaknesses, he saw in him the opportunity to persevere and endeavor to spread the Good News. Mark 16:15, ‘Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all mankind.’ He eventually ended up being a great evangelist.

After the Holy Mass, the faithful adjourned to the Church Hall for a ‘pot-luck’ dinner fellowship.

Fr Thomas, together with Demeh Koyopo, Chairman of the Pastoral Committee, Petrus Beam, Chairman of the Indonesian Catholic Pastoral Committee, religious sisters and local lay leaders cut the anniversary cake to the music of the happy anniversary song.
Demeh, in his welcoming speech said, though the celebration was moderate but it bore much meaning to the local community. He was happy to note that the close working relationship of the community is a good sign of strong solidarity. The acceptance of one another is an excellent reflection of the gospel value.

Petrus shared that since the establishment of the Indonesian Catholic Pastoral Committee a year ago, much had been done to draw the community closer to God and to one another. More than 100 families had registered with the ICPC and he expected that the number would double by year end.




山打根聖瑪莉堂華文聖經班為感謝羅志康神父多年來的帶領和指導,特於四月十九日晚上七時三十分假English Tea House舉辦謝師宴,當晚共有十五位團員出席。







2nd Conference of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care for Migrants and Itinerants (EMI)

Penang : The Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants  (EMI) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference  of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei held its 2nd conference at Stella Maris, Penang on 23rd – 25th April 2010 attended by 18 Commission members and appointed consultants from the following arch/dioceses;
  • Kuching archdiocese
  • Kuala Lumpur archdiocese
  • Singapore archdiocese
  • Kota Kinabalu archdiocese
  • Penang Diocese
  • Melaka-Johor diocese
  • Sandakan diocese
  • Keningau diocese
The conference on Friday, April 23rd 2010 began with presentation of reports from the participating dioceses, giving an insight into the different scenario of the plight of the migrants and itinerants.
The Opening Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Anthony, Bishop of the Penang Diocese, Bishop Paul Tan, Bishop of the Melaka-Johor Diocese and also the President of EMI, Fr Simon Poh of Kuching Archdiocese and Fr Benedict of Keningau Diocese.
On Saturday, April 24th 2010, Commission members and the appointed Consultants discussed at length future EMI plans from April 2010 – March 2011 touching on formation program, roles of the media and resource materials. 
Joachim Xavier, the Chairperson of EMI from the Penang Diocese, presented a paper on 'The Penang Diocesan Migrant Ministry (PDMM) Experience' which gave an overview of the services and activities carried out in 2009, the challenges and the hopes of PDMM.

Towards the later part of the day, participants were deeply engaged in group discussions paving the way to establish networking with other dioceses.
On the final day of the conference, Sunday, April 25th 2010, participants deliberated on the Diocesan Migrant Ministry guidelines and EMI constitution.

The EMI Executive Committee line up for 2010-2011 is as follows;
  • President         -       Bishop Paul Tan  (Bishop of the Melaka Johor Diocese)
  • Chairperson     -      Joachim Xavier (Penang Diocese)
  • V-Chairperson -      Fr Simon Poh (Kuching Archdiocese)
  • Secretary         -      Josephine Tey (KL Archdiocese)
  • Treasurer         -      Ken Chua (Melaka Johor Diocese)
  • Committee       
                  Francis Tan (Sandakan Diocese)
                       Dominic Lim (KK Archdiocese)
                       Josephine Chua (Melaka Johor Diocese)
                       Sr Angelina RGS (Melaka Johor Diocese)
  • Consultants 
                      Media -  Diana (Kuching Archdiocese)
                      Formation – Cheryl Lee (KL Archdiocese)
                      Resource – Patrick Neo (Singapore Archdiocese)



New Advent