|L-R : Fr Phillip Muji and Fr David Aloysius Garaman|
Sandakan : A farewell and welcoming dinner fellowship was held on Wednesday 9th February 2011 at the Parish Hall hosted by the PPC of St Mary's Cathedral. The get together was organized to bid farewell to Fr David Garaman, ordained just over a month ago, will be transferred to Holy Trinity Church, Tawau as the assistant rector before month end.
At the same time, the dinner was also organized to welcome the new incoming assistant rector Fr Phillip Muji of HTC Tawau.
In his opening address, Fr Thomas Makajil, the rector of the Cathedral said, 'Life is but a series of hellos and goodbyes'. He thanked Fr David for his dedicated service of over a year in the Cathedral, initially doing his pastoral immersion, ordained deacon on 19th March 2010 and later ordained a priest on 31st December 2010. He is very much involved with the youth and is currently the spiritual director of the Diocesan Youth Apostolate and the Diocesan Liturgical Commission.
He welcomed Fr Phillip and wished him a fruitful and fulfilling priestly ministry in the Cathedral Parish and called on the people to render him support as he step forth to face the reality of the community life in the parish. He continued to say 'As priests we need to be in the midst of the people tending to their pastoral needs'.
'There can be no Eucharist without the priesthood just as there will be no priesthood without the Eucharist' and as such he called on the people as a community to always pray for the priests and for more priestly vocations in the diocese.
Bishop Julius in his address said that the transfer of priests within the diocese is a normal practice. It is an enriching experience for priests to tend to the flock in different parishes. They will have the opportunity to be more innovative in applying their pastoral skills to meet the needs of different community of different settings.
The prelate said, 'I congratulate both of you for your new appointment. May you continue to serve the Lord and His people faithfully with much zeal.'
Present at the function were the 24 students, interns and staff of Institute of Formation, Fondacio Asia (IFFA) of the Phillipines who are currently undergoing their mission project here in the Cathedral Parish from 1st - 12th February 2011.