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Friday, February 10, 2012

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IN THE LIGHT OF THE SOCIAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH

Jellferlyne Joseph, SMCC 
Sandakan : A half-day awareness program on “Human Development In The Light Of The Social Teaching Of The Church” facilitated by Sr. Maria Dipal RGS, Chairperson of the Diocesan Human Development Commission and Francis Tan, Diocesan Executive Secretary was held on Monday, February 6th, 2012 from 8.00 am till 12.00 noon at the St Mary's Cathedral Catechetical Room. Some 40 participants from the PPC, various BECs, Church Groups and Communities attended the event.
Aimed at creating awareness among the parishioners about our commitment to the demands of the Gospel, parishioners are called to be more involved in the social mission of the Church. The session began with 'The Great Commandment' and 'The Great Commission' as well as the parable of the last judgement day (Matthew 25 : 31-46) reminding us of our baptismal call, to love God and neighbors.
Francis Tan shared that, unless we respond to 'whatever you have done for one of the least brothers of Mine, you have done for Me', then we are yet to be identified as truly 'Catholic'. The number of existing ministries and the number of faithful involved in social rnission work in the Cathedral Parish is minimal. As such, there is a great need to step up effort to promote Catholic Social Teaching, moving members to serve the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the strangers, the sick and the imprisoned.
Sr Maria Dipal RGS facilitated the next session, touching on the following topics;
  • A person’s needs in the Human Life Cycle 
  • The stages of faith development 
  • The difference between Social Service and Social Justice 
  • Role of the church in the modern world
 
 
It is important to understand these in order to carry out our mission either as an individual or as a group or as a community in order to help a person develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interest. Therefore, every Catholic is called to respond to the social mission of the Church, expressed through Social Service and Social Justice. 
 
After the input session, participants in groups discussed on the seven themes of the Catholic Social Teaching, central of our mission, our purpose and our vision. Many participants admitted that they were vaguely familiar with the tradition of compassion for the poor and vulnerable. They were glad to be enlightened through such sharing and that CST should not just be in writing and spoken but ought to be lived out.
Josephine, Chairperson, Filipino Pastoral Committee
 
Petrus, Chairperson Indonesian Catholic Community
Mrs. Josephine Del Rosario, the Chairperson of the Filipino Pastoral Committee and Bapak Petrus Bean, Chairman of the Indonesian Catholic Community shared on their plight and difficulties living as a migrant in a foreign land. They expressed deep gratitude to the Church for the compassion and loving care rendered them. They felt very much accepted and the communities journey along as a part of the 'one' family of the Church.
Eva, Star of Yahweh Covenant Community 
Romeo Cardova, Parish Music Ministry
Susie Chua, a concern parishioner
Sr Appollonia Gumpu FSIC
Patrick Seah, PPC Chairman
In the 'Way Forward' session, participants shared on the various possibilities that the Church could do in promoting social mission work, the core value of our Catholic faith. In conclusion, both facilitators hope that we may continue to serve our God by serving one another through the inspiration of Jesus by the social teaching of the church and its key principles.
We are the Church! You are the Salt of the Earth. The Light of the World. We are called by Christ to let our light shine forth! Matt 5:13-16

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