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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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

JCK- SOCCOM Tawau 

Who is to respond to the cry of the poor? Yes, we are.
Tawau :  52 parishioners from the various groups and ministries of Holy Trinity Parish attended a half-day talk on Human Development in the light of Social Teaching of the Church. The event was held on Saturday, 17th March 2012 facilitated by Sr. Maria Dipal RGS, the Chairperson of the Diocesan Human Development Commission, assisted by  Shirley Joseph from the Sandakan Diocesan PastoralOffice.
The session began with the Proclamation of the Gospel taken from Luke 18 : 9-14, themed 'Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.' Sr. Maria, in her reflection, touched on Catholic identity reflected through the gist of the Social Teaching of the Church which promotes human development. The said teaching if adhered and practiced will lead to maturity of one's faith. It leads to the protection of human dignity, respect on their rights and total freedom to practice one's belief.   
L-R : Shirley Joseph and Sr Maria Dipal RGS
Sr. Maria continued her session, emphasizing on the importance of knowing and understanding the social teaching by saying that 'our faith as Catholic is rooted in our social communion with others.' We are called to attend to their needs involving individual or as a community by offering our unconditional concern through the act of social services and social justice, as in the Letter to the Hebrews 10 : 24-25, 'Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good work, do not stay away from the meetings of the community, as some do, but encourage each other to go; the more so as your see the Day drawing near.'
Shirley Joseph shared about the wonderful love of Christ which is reflected through the Cross. The vertical section of the cross symbolizes the participation of the parishioners in the church, dwelling much in gathering. She said, 'it is obviously  seen among ourselves that we participated much in Church programs, but failed to reach out to those in need. The cross is incomplete without the horizontal section which symbolizes the call to respond to 'inasmuch as you did to one of the least brethren of mine, you did it to me.'
After the input session, participants in groups discussed on the 7 themes of the Catholic Social Teaching; Life and the dignity of the Human Person /  Call to family, community and participation / Rights and Responsibilities / Option for the Poor and Vulnerable / The dignity of work and the rights of the workers / Solidarity / Care For God’s Creation.
In the way forward session, Sr. Maria invited the participants to discern deeply on what should be done to implement the Social Mission of the Church either individually or as a group.
Many participants admitted that it is a privilege for them to have the opportunity to hear this rich treasure of the Catholic Church that had enlightened them about the human needs in the light of our Social Teaching.
Felsa May presenting her group's report
Mary Lee on the way forward

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