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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sandakan Diocesan 'Facilitators' Training Program'

Sandakan : 73 participants representing the four parishes in the Diocese converged in Sandakan to participate in the three - day 'Facilitators' Training Program' held on 26th - 28th November 2010  at the Diocesan Centre. The program is to equip the participants with the necessary skills to conduct assemblies at community / parish /diocese level to hear from the grass root their thoughts and hope of being Church.
The program started with a Eucharistic celebration held at St Mary's Chapel, presided by Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom con celebrated by Fr Marcellinus, Fr Jasery and Fr Simon Kontou. In his homily, the prelate likened the people to the fig trees and all other trees which symbolizes the concept of community life, a new way of being Church through the communion of communities.
He called on the participants who had come to seek knowledge and skills through the training program  to bear fruits and fruits to the plenty, so that the Diocese may flourish.
In his Opening address, the prelate said 'The time has come, as we move into the fourth year, to seriously look into the pastoral direction of our Diocese and that calls for the formulation of the Vision and Mission statement.'

He admitted that there are constraints as the potential facilitators move forward with the tedious and time consuming process of drawing views from the grass root on the realities and hopes of  the Church.

He invited the participants to ponder on the words taken from Joshua 1:9 'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go ..'
On the first day, Friday, 26th November 2010, Bro John D Cruz started the session on Basic Life Skills and the Use of Basic Life Skills. The session provided an avenue for the participants to become more aware of some basic life skills and the application of such skills through small group sharing and discussion exercise.
The practical session on 'Face-to-Face' through the traffic jam game exposed the participants to the concept of communicating our way through problems. It involves the basic skills on focus, see/perceive, remember, think/questions, listen/speak, share/discuss, handle feelings and do/act.
The second day, Saturday 27th November 2010 was more towards Understanding of Church emphasizing on moving away from 'teaching' to 'learning' in order to build a learning community rather than a teaching organization. The afternoon session provided an opportunity to the participants on conducting a survey, doing documentation and holding assemblies.

Bro John on the final day, Sunday 28th November 2010 consolidated all topics presented on the 1st and 2nd day. The participants were divided according to parish grouping to work out a year long program on achieving the Vision and Mission Statement.
A token from the Diocese to Bro John
In winding up the program, Bishop Julius called upon the participants to put into practice what they had acquired from Bro John throughout the three days. He asked them to start with  small groups, the grass root in their parish what they perceive as being Church. This way, the people will own the eventual 'Vision and Mission of the Diocese.


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