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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2nd Day of the 3rd Sandakan Diocesan Day

Lahad Datu : The Diocese of Sandakan celebrated its 3rd Diocesan Day and the 3rd Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom with a two-day celebration. The auspicious celebration kicked off with a subscribed dinner at the Lahad Datu Chinese Secondary School Hall on Friday evening, 15th October 2010 attended by some 850 people.
Getting ready for the Eucharistic celebration
The entrance and sequence of the celebration
Celebration in progress
The following morning, Saturday 16th October 2010, the Eucharistic celebration held at St Dominic’s Church, was presided over by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom and con-celebrated by Archbishop Datuk John Lee of Kota Kinabalu and Msgr Nicholas Ong of Sandakan. Joining in the celebration were all the Sandakan Diocesan priests as well as priests from Kota Kinabalu and Keningau. Parishioners coming from across the four parishes, packed the church that could seat slightly more than 800 people.Many had to sit at the outside of the Church's entrance.

The opening hymn ‘The Feast’ sang by the 30-member Parish Youth Choir, put in place the atmosphere for the sacred celebration.

The trumpets sound, the angels sing
The feast is ready to begin
The gates of Heaven are opened wide
And Jesus welcomes you inside

In his homily, the prelate touched on the importance of being authentic witnesses of God in our daily lives in all circumstances. He called upon the faithful to lean on His teachings and to draw strength from the Holy Spirit at all times.
More pictures on the celebration
He went on to say that the Holy Spirit is the guiding force to have transformed the Diocese over the years both in physical and spiritual development. He urged the faithful to continuously pray for a strong community life that will eventually shape the future of the local Church.
Offertery, Holy Communion and the choir
The recessional hymn which is the accepted Diocesan theme song, ‘Serve One Another With God’s Love’ composed by the Holy Trinity Parish Choir was sung for the first time.
The rector, Fr Simon Kontou
Right after the close of the Holy Mass, Fr Simon Kontou, the rector of St Dominic’s Church in his address extended his appreciation to all who came from far and near to lend them support, as host of the occasion.

He said, ‘Though there are four parishes, distance separates us. This event, therefore provides the opportunity for us to come together and celebrate our oneness, instilling in us the spirit of unity and a strong sense of belonging to the one Diocese’.

Bishop Julius
Bishop Julius in his speech called on all faithful to remember the Diocesan Day and make it a basis for building a stronger and unified community. Apart from relating the progress and development of the Diocese, the prelate highlighted three other important upcoming happenings.
  • Work on the RM2.9 million ‘Diocesan Pastoral and Worship Centre’ sited within the St Mary’s Cathedral compound had begun and he took the occasion to remind among members that building such a massive structure requires the collective efforts of everyone.
  • Its time that the Diocese sets its Vision and Mission Statement and for that, parishes have been directed to hold its parish assemblies to listen to the voices of the grass root, early next year. The outcome of which shall be deliberated at the Diocesan Assembly. The eventual Vision and Mission shall then be owned by every faithful. A facilitators’ training program will be conducted next month to equip the leaders with the right tool and skill in conducting such assemblies.
  • BECs are now an in thing of the Diocese and people are much aware of the importance of community life. He thanked all the priests to have been instrumental in setting up BECs in line with the Diocesan pastoral thrust announced two years ago.
Willie of Lahad Datu handing over the Diocesan plaque to Albert  of Telupid, witnessed by Bishop Julius
He then announced that the 4th Diocesan Anniversary Celebration for 2011, will be held at St Martin's Parish, Telupid.
    The celebration continued with stage presentations from the various parishes and local BECs held at the open space behind the rectory. Stalls selling local dishes were also set up by the BECs.

    Soccom members in action
    Bishop Julius (centre) with Archbishop Datuk John Lee (left), Msgr Nicholas (right) and all clergy


    1 comment:

    1. The Soccom people are working silently and sincerely behind the scene to ensure events are posted in the blog and in printed media. The published events if done consistently could project and reflect on the life of the local church and could have an impact on the people. We may even establish an internet Catholic community contributing to the well being of the Church. We appreciate your effort.


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