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Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Call to Build Families

Sitting L-R : Sr Appollonia fsic, Msgr Nicholas Ong, Bishop Julius, Fr Thomas Makajil
Standing L-R : Patrick Seah, Mario Domingo, Henry Solibun, Leonie, Richard Lobinjang, Thadeus, Francis Tan
Sandakan : Members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council for the term of 2012 ~ 2014 convened at the Diocesan Retreat Centre in Ulu Dusun on Saturday 14th April 2012 for its inaugural meeting, presided by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom.
In his welcoming address, Bishop Julius emphasized on building the local community in the parishes as they are the acting subjects of mission. He briefed the members regarding the development of pastoral matters in the Diocese since its inception some five years back. The Diocesan Pastoral Working Group set up in 2008 was replaced with the Diocesan Pastoral Council towards the end of 2009. In response to pastoral needs, the Diocese has embarked on demographic survey, conducted several seminars and formation programs and drawn up the guidelines for PPC. 
The prelate hoped to see a truly local church owned by the local faithful as authentic community of faith, communion of communities in BECs. Through the family units in the community, he wished that a new sense of mission ie an active integral evangelization would flourish. He also emphasized on the priority of the family, the renewal of which is paramount as it is the focal point of evangelization. He called on each parish, that apart from BECs, the youth, the migrants and the Paitan Mission, efforts ought to be directed to build families.
Fr Thomas 1st from right, chairing the meeting
The line-up for the new term comprises the following;

President  :  Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Sandakan
Chairman  :  Fr Thomas Makajil, Rector of St Mary's Cathedral
Secretary  :  Francis Tan, Executive Secretary of the Diocese of Sandakan
Ex-Officio :  Msgr Nicholas Ong, Vicar General of the Diocese of Sandakan
Ex-Officio :  Sr Appolonia Gumpu FSIC (representative of the religious)
Committee: Patrick Seah, Leonie Deggulacion, Mario Domingo, Thadeus, Richard Lobinjang, Herman Soibun, Willie Binati and Patrick Chong

The Council deliberated on the demographic survey exercise which is to be done according to ways and situations of each parish. Apart from getting an authentic statistic, parishes could utilize it in mapping out their pastoral plan. Some 140 BECs have been established across the four parishes in the Diocese. Efforts in promoting the ecclesial communities are ongoing. All parishes are geared up to conduct the Parish Delegate Assembly in the formulation of the Diocesan's Vision and Mission statement which is to be launched in October 2013 in conjunction with the 6th Diocesan Anniversary. The Family Life Commission is set to be formed within the year.

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