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Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's Celebrate - 4th Anniversary of the Diocese of Sandakan

Telupid :  The Parish of St Martin, Telupid located in the central part of Sabah and some 150 km from Sandakan hosted the 4th Anniversary of the Diocese of Sandakan and the 4th Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom on 14th and 15th October 2011. The Parish with some 6,000 members, mostly of the indigenous people is the last of the four parishes in the Diocese to host the auspicious event, marking a complete cycle of the celebration rotated from parish to parish.
The two-day event kicked off with a banquet dinner at the Institut Perhutanan Sabah in the evening 14th October 2011. Some 400 people coming from across the four parishes, the Arch / diocese of Kota Kinabalu and Keningau attended the function. Also in attendance were Rt Rev Bishop Datuk Cornelius Piong, the Bishop of Keningau,  Msgr Gilbertus Engan, the Vicar General of Keningau, Msgr Nicholas Ong, the Vicar General of Sandakan, Sr Grace Deosing, Mother General of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sister of the Immaculate Conception and Sister Anna Yap of the Daughters of St Paul.
The event commenced with a youthful and striking tamborine dance by members of  St Martin's Parish Youth Aspotolate to the accompaniment of an  appropriate song, 'Let's Celebrate' setting the joyial mood of celebration. In the midst of the song and dance, representatives from each parish brought forth their banner bearing individual parish logo to Bishop Julius, symbolically signifying and proudly declaring 'we are members of the body.'
The Organizing Chairman of the event, Albert Matussin in his welcoming speech extended his appreciation to all who had made it to the occasion.

"We are glad to have you, who had come from far and near to share  with us the joy of the 4th Anniversary of the Diocese of Sandakan and the 4th Anniversary of the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Julius."

He thanked Fr Jasery, the rector of St Martin for his guidance and advice, the organizing committee for their commitment, sponsors, members of the various BECs and individuals of the parish for making the event a reality.

"I didn't make this occasion possible. The Holy Spirit worked in us, and prompted us. He gave us the strength and wisdom, through our co-operation, journeying together for the good of His Kingdom. We made this possible through the grace of God"
Bishop Julius, accompanied by Bishop Datuk Cornelius, all clergy, religious, PPC Chairmen and the organizing committee went on stage for the cake cutting ceremony. The ceremony was accompanied by a beautiful and touching anniversary song rendered by Cikgu Laura Tiwon, following which dinner was served after grace.
In the course of the dinner, the Sandakan Catholic Women's Apostolate, the Cultural Club of a local School, the Sapagaya BEC of Lahad Datu, the Youth from Tawau and Sandakan presented graceful dances to the delight of the audience.
The 17-member of 'The Musical Chamber' of a secondary school presented a spiritual song, 'Sampai' with beautiful lyrics calling us, the faithful to discern and respond to God's Call. It was sang with much power and feeling by Cikgu Laura and Christopher, captivating the attention of the audience.
After the one and only lucky draw for clergy, won by Fr David Garaman of Tawau, the night's event ended with a Closing Prayer led by Bishop Datuk Cornelius Piong.
It was indeed a beautiful celebration bringing together so many faithful, not just within the Diocese but within the region of Sabah which includes the Arch / diocese of Kota Kinabalu and Keningau. Such unity needs to be preserved for our Church to grow.


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