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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Coadjutor Archbishop John Wong's Home Coming Visit

Welcoming the Coadjutor Archbishop of KK, Most Rev John Wong

Sandakan : Most Rev John Wong, the Coadjutor Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu ordained on 1st October 2010 made a 'home coming visit' to St Mary's Cathedral Parish on Saturday 27th November 2010. Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, accompanied by members of the Cathedral Parish Pastoral Councilors and more than 80 parishioners from the four parishes who were coincidentally in Sandakan, attending the 'Facilitators' Training Program' were at the airport to welcome Most Rev John Wong.
Bishop Julius lighting the 1st candle of the Advent wreath
Most Rev John Wong presided the Sunset Mass, the 1st Sunday of Advent at the Cathedral con celebrated by Rt Rev Julius. In his homily to a packed Cathedral he explained about the season of advent, the wreath and the four candles. The candles represent the four weeks of Advent. Three of the candles are purple, reminding us of the penitential nature of the season. A rose or pink candle is lit for the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete (rejoice) Sunday.The wreath should be in a circle, a symbol of eternity, and a reminder that God has no beginning nor end. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He called on the people to stay awake, be vigilant and pray always.
After the celebration he took the opportunity to address the congregation. He said that he is a man of few words and would just like to mention three things.

'First, I want to thank Bishop Julius for granting me this privilege to preside the Eucharistic celebration at the Cathedral. Second, I am really honored to be accorded a warm welcome by so many parishioners at the airport. I am simply overwhelmed. Third, I thank God that the people of my home parish had grown much in faith'.

Right after mass, Bishop Julius, Fr Thomas Makajil, Deacon David and the Cathedral Parish Pastoral Councilors led the Coadjutor Archbishop to the Parish Hall for a subscribed dinner, attended by some 400 parishioners. Also present at the event were Bro John D Cruz, who was facilitating the 'Facilitators' Training Program', the Franciscan and the Good Shepherd Sisters and representatives from Tawau, Lahad Datu and Telupid.

The setting of the reception in the Parish Hall

The eleven aspirants from the Catholic Diocesan Centre (CDC) were at the event

Fr Thomas saying Grace before meal

Most Rev John Wong, is a man of few words, preferring and believing to show his service and love through action and not words. He shared four points when called upon to address the people.

He said, 'Firstly, I was shocked to learn of my appointment as there are more senior and capable priests. Why me? Secondly, I fear because of the challenges ahead and the heavy responsibility awaiting me. Thirdly, I feel sad because I am suppose to come home to serve my own parish. Now, it seems that's not possible. Finally, I am excited in a way as I prepare to shoulder the thrust bestowed upon me. God has chosen me and I am confident He will lead and show me the way'.

Bishop Julius in his address acknowledged that Most Rev John Wong as he had known him, has all the making as a Bishop for he is a very humble, gentle, loving and a caring priest.

He went on to say, 'We are very proud that Most Rev John Wong who hails from the Cathedral Parish is now the Coadjutor Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu. Should you take a break from your heavy schedule, please come home. We welcome you'.

'I hope the Coadjutor Archbishop will help us by sending us a mandarin speaking priest or if that's not possible any other priest would be most appreciated, as that would mean a great relief to our priests'.

He said, 'As we thank God for His blessings, I call on the people of God to respond to the call to work in His vineyard'.
Bro John D Cruz and the religious sisters.

Most Rev John Wong greeting the people

Presentations by the youth, BEC members, prayer group and the Chinese community

In the course of the dinner, there were performances presented by members of the various BECs, the Chinese community, the prayer group and the youth apostolate.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Album Kenangan Bapa Uskup, Fr. Marcel dan penerima Sakramen sedang memotong kek.
TELUPID - Misa Kudus khas sempena  Hari Paroki  Santo Penaung St. Martinus  yang  ke 44  di Gereja St Martin Telupid pada 7 November lalu.  Selebran oleh Uskup Julius Dusin Gitom,  Fr. Macelinnus Pongking  (Paderi Paroki St Martin Telupid) dan Rev. Fr. Bruno Yasun  (Paderi Paroki St Claver Ranau).
Sekitar 500 umat  datang dari seluruh outstasi Paroki Telupid.  Tema perayaan bagi tahun ini adalah  “ Melayani sesama dengan kasih Allah ”  ia adalah merupakan motto Bapa Uskup sendiri. 

Bapa Uskup Julius dalam pesanannya amat menghargai kerjasama Komuniti Kristian Dasar (KKD) yang telah menjayakan perayaan ini.  Seterusnya beliau mengingatkan bahawa  pembangunan fizikal gereja adalah tanggungjawab umat.
Bapa Uskup telah mengurapi minyak Krisma dalam upacara Sakramen Penguatan kepada seramai 60 orang.  Dalam homilinya beliau  menyeru agar mereka terus melibatkan diri di dalam pelayanan supaya  krisma yang mereka terima menjadi hidup.
Paderi Paroki,  Rev. Fr. Marcellinus Pongking merasa gembira kerana semangat bersatu padu, iman yang tumbuh, persekutuan yang erat dan cintakasih yang berterusan dalam Komuniti.  Perayaan tahun ini adalah atas bantuan dan kerjasama sepenuhnya daripada semua KKD.
Bishop Julius Menerima penhargaan daripada sdra Albert Matusin
Pengerusi Majlis Pastoral Paroki (MPP)
Mengulas mengenai genapnya 44 tahun Paroki Telupid, Fr. Marcellinus menyatakan bahawa setakat ini paroki Telupid telah menghasilkan beberapa orang 'aspiran' dan seorang sister. Beliau berharap agar dalam beberapa tahun akan datang, akan ada individu yang akan ditahbis menjadi paderi .
Sementara itu, Pengerusi MPP, Sdra Albert Matusin di dalam ucapannya mengucapkan berbanyak terima kasih kepada Bapa Uskup Julius kerana sudi hadir.  
Beliau juga turut merakamkan penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada Rev. Fr. Bruno yang pernah bertugas sebagai paderi di paroki Telupid.

Fr. Marcellinus Pongking menyampaikan sesuatu tanda penghargaan kepada Fr. Bruno 
Selepas Misa Kudus.  Majlis Makan bersama diadakan di Dewan Bishop Datuk Simon Fung.  Pelbagai acara menarik dipersembahkan oleh KKD.

Hildy boy Albert / Foto  Miansun /SOCCOM

149 candidates receive the Sacrament of Confirmation

A group photo of the confirmands with Bishop Julius

Tawau : Holy Trinity Parish celebrated the feast of Christ the King – end of the Liturgical year, on the 21 November 2010 with a mass organized by the Basic Ecclesial Communities and presided by His Lordship Rt. Rev. Julius Dusin Gitom con-celebrated by Msgr. Nicholas Ong and Fr. Philip Muji.

A total of 149 candidates received the sacrament of confirmation from his Lordship during the mass.

In his homily, the prelate told the congregation,” in this feast of Christ the King, we are reminded that our God is the only King who rules our lives, He is the Almighty and the all powerful God.”

“We need to constantly ask ourselves,’ do we allow Christ to lead us in our daily lives or rather, do we want to be the leaders ourselves?’

“In other words, are we trying to take over Christ’s rule and authority over our lives? When we were baptized we are given the dignity as priest, prophet and king , receiving it from Christ himself, by acknowledging Christ as our King and acknowledging that we really are sinners and Christ the savior of the world.”

Bishop Julius anoints the candidate

The prelate then told the confirmands," when Christ rose from the dead – He promised to send an advocate, the Holy Spirit, the exhale of Christ to help us in strengthening our faith. And so in confirmation we are too called to be Christ’s witnesses. Confirmation is not a ritual but a requirement for us to be witnesses of Christ - the Church is kept alive by us through the Holy Spirit.”

After Mass all the confirmands together with their parents and God parents proceeded to the Parish Hall for fellowship.


Monday, November 22, 2010


SANDAKAN, 19th. November 2010, for the first time, members of  the St Mary's Cathedral Parish Catholic Charismatic Renewal groups congregated  for  a Charismatic Mass, celebrated  at St. Joseph 's Church.. Members of the English Prayer Group, Star of Yahweh Covenant Community (SYCC), Bahasa Malaysia Doa Kelompok and the Chinese Prayer Group  gathered  to celebrtae this special mass. The mass was also attended by the PPC members headed by the Chairman, John Baptis and elders of the various BECs.
Prior to the celebration, there was a half an hour vibrant praise and worship session led by  members of the SYCC choir. The Mass was presided by Fr. Thomas Makajil, rector of the Cathedral.

In his homily, Fr. Thomas stressed that as we worship the Lord in deep prayer, without realising it we  are indirectly being  absorbed into the light of God, just like praying the rosary, a sure ladder to Christ, a sure ladder to God because we reflect in the mysteries of Christ's salvation. 

He further said that as we gather to praise and worship God, let us open our hearts wide, let the spirit of God enter into our hearts and let the Spirit renew us. He quoted from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians: “Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” and “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God?”
He concluded the mass by thanking all the members of  SYCC, English, BM and Chinese prayer groups, followed by the commisioning and blessing of all  leaders of the CCR  groups. The celebration ended with a fellowship refreshment at the entrance of the church.

Parishioners interested in journeying with any of the CCR group can do so by attending the prayer group gathering/session;

  1. Star of Yahweh Covenant Community – Friday 8.00pm (Parish Hall Room C)
  2. English Prayer Group – Friday 8.00pm (St Joseph Church)
  3. Bahasa Malaysia Doa Kelompok – Saturday 3.00pm (St Joseph's Church)
  4. Chinese Prayer Group – Friday 8.00pm (Catechetical Room)

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a movement within the Catholic Church. Worship is characterized by vibrant Masses, as well as prayer meetings featuring prophecy, healing and "speaking in tongues." This movement is based on the belief that certain charismata (a Greek word for gifts), bestowed by the Holy Spirit, such as the abilities to speak in tongues and to heal (which Christians generally believe existed in the early Church as described in the Bible) should still be practiced today. 

In March 1992, Pope John Paul II stated “At this moment in the Church's history, the Charismatic Renewal can play a significant role in promoting the much-needed defense of Christian life in societies where secularism and materialism have weakened many people's ability to respond to the Spirit and to discern God's loving call. 

Your contribution to the re-evangelization of society will be made in the first place by personal witness to the indwelling Spirit and by showing forth His presence through works of holiness and solidarity.” (Wikipedia)

Dalius LL

St Mary's Soccom

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Sandakan : The building up of BECs has become the pastoral thrust of the Diocese of Sandakan ever since its erection some three years ago. Today, that dream is becoming a reality with BECs being formed across the four parishes of the diocese. The parishes are moving into the concept of being 'communion of communities' with faithful actively participating in the life and mission of the Church which is vital in shaping the Church of the future.
Children and teenagers receiving Holy Communion
The St Mary's Cathedral Parish Sandakan, yesterday 17th November 2010 saw another BEC being established. The BEC of Taman Indah Jaya located some 7 kilometers from the town held its launching ceremony with a Thanksgiving Mass at the residence of a committed member, Andrew Onggip. The mass was presided over by Fr Thomas Makajil, rector of the Cathedral, attended by some 120 members and invited guests. Also present at the function were Sr Lilian Unsoh fsic, Sr Veronica Kandaung fsic, John Baptis, PPC Chairman and representativesof the various BECs of the Parish.

Fr Thomas in his homily said that as members of a community we need to use our gifts fully and wholeheartedly to do the work of the Lord in building up His Church. We should never hold back our gifts  if we know it will serve to further God's kingdom. Living in a community provides the best venue to combine our abilities and talents so that it will be resourceful and effective.

Members of the BEC of Taman Indah Jaya had been journeying together as a community since April 2010 and today has a membership of 38 families.The committee is s follows;
  • Chairman      :      Leonie Degullacion
  • V- Chairman :      Andrew Onggip
  • Secretary      :      Ezekiel Kunti
  • A Secretary  :      Agnes Gaduka
  • Treasurer      :      Mary Mojulat
  • Committee    :      Francis Tan, Moses Yong, Dominic Sintar, Jacius, Johnny Francis, Walter Mahibol
Ezekiel Kunti
The Organizing Chairman, Ezekiel Kunti in his welcoming speech said that the launching of the BEC signals the true witnessing of community life and hoped that every member especially the youth would be willing instrument for the great mission and that is to make Christ known to all.

Suzanna Hon receiving the mock cheque
The members of the BEC of Taman Indah Jaya contributed a sum of RM2,900 (RM Two Thousand Nine Hundred Only) towards the cost of the RM2.9 million Diocesan Pastoral and Worship Centre.project. The money was handed to Suzanna Hon, Treasurer of the said project by Leonie through Fr Thomas.
The youth performed several items during the launching ceremony and there were lucky draws as well.

Fr Thomas giving away lucky draw prizes to the winners

Monday, November 15, 2010

Phillip Lee of HTC Tawau to head the Sandakan Diocesan Education Commission

1st row (L-R) Alice, Theresa, Bishop Julius, Jaisi and Phillip Lee
2nd row(L-R) Henry Wong, Sebastian Francis and Francis Tan

Sandakan : The Sandakan Diocesan Education Commission was officially established Saturday 13th November 2010 with its inaugural meeting held at the Diocesan Retreat Centre in Ulu Dusun, some 50 km from the town centre.

Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom , Bishop of the Diocese of Sandakan presided over the meeting and in his opening address urged the commission members to seriously attend to and move in tandem with the ‘Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education’ in making school as a place of integral human formation. This could be achieved through a systematic and critical assimilation of knowledge, faith and moral values as well as cultures.

Phillip Lee of Holy Trinity Church Tawau was appointed as the first Chairman of the Commission and currently he is also a member of the Federation of Councils of Christian Mission Schools, Malaysia (FCCMSM) and Sabah Council of Christian Mission Schools (SCCMS).

Phillip took the opportunity to brief the members regarding the set-up and functions of both FCCMSM and SCCMS. He also touched on the progress of both the said bodies and their commitment to ensure that the quality of education contributes to a holistic education.

The meeting touched on the organizational structure, roles and functions, objectives and the vision and mission statement.

The line up of the commission is as follows with Phillip Lee as Chairman, Francis Tan as Secretary, Alice Kok, Henry Wong, Rosaline Pinso, Theresa Chong, Richard Woo, Sebastian and Jaisi Gunting as committee members. They will serve for a term of two years


Friday, November 12, 2010

Formators from IFFA visit Sandakan

L-R : Abraham, Charles, Bishop Julius, Becky and Francis
Sandakan : Three formators from the Institute of Formation, Fondacio Asia (IFFA) in Quezon City, Phillipines paid a courtesy call on Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, yesterday morning, Thursday November 11 2010 at the latter's office. They are Charles Bertile from Peninsular Malaysia, the Director of the Institute, Abraham from Zambia, in charge of internship program and Becky from the Phillipines is overall responsible for formation at IFFA.

They discuused on the one month Mission Program for the 25 students, interns and staff of IFFA to be held in the Diocese of Keningau and Sandakan from 18th January 2011 - 17th February 2011. The IFFA team will design the mission program according to local needs, beneficial to IFFA students and the local youth.
IFFA offers a 11-month formation program for young leaders and professionals between the ages of 20 - 30 years of age. It fosters an integrated human and spiritual life and as they journey along they will be equipped with social and pastoral skills enabling them to respond to the challenges of the times.On their return they are to serve their sending Diocese, Parish or community for two years, part time or full time.
The formators arrived the previous night, Wednesday November 10 and had a fruitful discussion with members of the St Mary's Cathedral Parish Pastoral Council. They held an open dialogue and through the exchange of views about the challenges of the church, had in a way mutually enriched  both parties. Prior to that, they visited Keningau from the 8th - 10th November.

Session with the youth
Later in the evening yesterday, the team had a session with the youth leaders. Also in attendance were Sr Lilian Unsoh fsic, the spiritual assistant and John Baptis, the PPC Chairman, Together they explore ways on how to attract  teenagers and youth to participate in Church base activities.



New Advent