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Monday, April 19, 2010

Neophytes' Nite at St Mary's Cathedral

Sandakan : Some 150 neophytes and their family members gathered at the St Mary’s Parish Hall to celebrate the Neophyte’s Night on Sunday, April 18th 2010. Also in attendance were the rector, Fr Thomas Makajil, his assistant, Fr Paul Lo, Deacon David Garaman and religious sisters.

This year, a total of 129 catechumens were baptized in the Cathedral Parish, during Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday on April 3rd and 4th respectively. The newly baptized are now the Neophytes, priestly persons among priestly people, going through a period of deepening of the understandings in the mysteries of the faith. Traditionally, this period is called the mystagogia, the final stage for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults which will last till Pentecost.

Fr Thomas, in his welcoming speech extended his appreciation and congratulations to the neophytes, the faith animators, the sponsors and family members who had journeyed together during the year long RCIA process. Perseverance is the key word to the successful journey towards the Sacrament of Initiation and it is perseverance that will eventually lead to maturity of faith.

He urged the neophytes to appreciate and share their gifts, fitting into the community, in building up the Kingdom of God. He also told them to put into practice the new set of life skills acquired through the process and to find time to stay close to God.

Eight neophytes shared their testimonies touching on how they were called, how they were touched and moved and the transformation that occurred within them.

Shirley Chan, among what she shared, ‘The moment has come, the calling was so strong and I was well geared to face the challenges ahead and I shall never be washed away by the waves of the ocean anymore and with that, I enrolled in the RCIA process. I now believe that one should submit totally to Him and trust that He will lead the way.’

Caroline Bryant Hernaez shared, ‘Emptiness in life led me to the RCIA process. His Words has uplifted me. I am now more forgiving. I hope the teachings will make me a better person.’

Selviana Pius in her sharing said, ‘I have never regretted for a moment to be with the RCIA process. Each RCIA lesson brought me closer to God.’

In a joint interview with Sr Lilianna Gubud fsic, the Chairperson of the Parish Catechetical Committee, Suzanna Hon, Lawrence and Gabriel Chin, Coordinator of the English, BM and Chinese RCIA respectively, having been with the RCIA for many years, shared that it is in sharing the faith with the catechumens that they also enrich and renew themselves. They expressed their joy serving in the ministry as they could be able to carry on the mission of Christ – to spread the Good news to all nations.

However, Sr Lilianna fsic lamented that the number of animators is far from satisfactory with only 17 animators tending to more than a hundred catechumens. There are only three animators in the BM RCIA process. As in Luke 10:2, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.' She hoped that more parishioners will respond to volunteer as animators for the coming RCIA process scheduled to begin sometime in June.



by: dospo

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