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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DYA establishes link with the youth of Kunak

ds / st
Kunak : The Diocesan Youth Apostolate (DYA) in collaboration with St. Dominic's Parish Youth Apostolate of Lahad Datu and together with three youths from St. Mary's Cathedral, Fradely Brandon, Fraderick Leon and Fardy Baryan visited the youth in St. Peter, Kunak from 22nd till 24th June. Kunak is a sub parish of St Dominc's Parish, some four hours drive from Sandakan.

The team arrived St. Peter's, Kunak on Friday 22nd June around 8.00 PM and started the gathering with a praise and worship session. It was then followed with action songs and games in order to link the participants closer ~ breaking barriers and establishing friendship. 55 youth from St Peter's Kunak, St Angeline's Chapel Madai and the Divine Mercy Chapel of Sapang. "Friendship is a treasured gift from God"
Action songs by the three brothers; L-R : Fardy, Fradely and Fraderick 
Reflection on the video ~ the Youth Cross
Group sharing : My first encounter with the Youth Cross.

On the second day, Saturday 23rd June we started the program with morning prayer, some action songs and praise and worship. Anna Amandus facilitated the first session, focused on the Youth Cross and Sharon Tan conducted the second session on the challenges faced by the youth in the globalized world.
After the two sessions, we had lunch prepared by the Women's Apostolate. In the course of our luncheon fellowship, we not only share the food but we also share our story with our new found friends whom we just met the day before. After a good rest, we continued with a "refresher" by singing action songs and hearing some sharings from our friends.
The third session, conducted by Rikkie of St Dominic's Parish Youth Apostolate focused on the objectives of the 3rd Sabah Youth Day to take place in August in Tambunan; called to live a life of holiness, witnessing and to be leaders in the Church. Participants, in groups discussed on how to go about achieving the objectives. 

The participants had a great time playing "Paralytic Man" - Mark 2:1-12 

Only four participants were allowed to carry the paralytic man - just the way it was in Mark 2:4. 'and they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four" No names were mentioned nor praise given unto them.They didn't act with pride for their main concern was merely to bring their sick friend to Christ and allow Christ do His work. The four 'friends' ~ COMPASSION, FAITH, DETERMINATION and LOVE; if it was only compassion or faith or determination or love holding to one corner of the mat, they would not have made it. It takes all of us doing our part to get our job done - to get to JESUS.

Youth from St. Angeline Chapel Madai, Divine Mercy of Sapang and St. Peter, Kunak. 

The prayer session, themed 'I Surrender All' led by Anna saw the youth falling on their knees, deep in silence and stillness, surrendering their worries, fears, pains and hurts unto Jesus Christ. It was a session that healed, built-up and strengthened.

After the night prayer, we played a game called 'Teeth' where everyone had to say out their favorite fruit without showing their teeth. It was a game filled with much laughter and joy.
On our last day, Sunday 24th June 2012 everyone gathered in front of the grotto to recite the 'Holy Rosary'.

The following session was the evaluation exercise where all participants in groups listed the successes, shortcomings of the program and suggestions for improvement. It gave the participants the opportunity to look at and acknowledge weaknesses, strengths and charting the way forward for more effective programs. Some shared that they hoped the program would be prolonged and others said that they were more confident with themselves - we dare to stand and speak out in front of our friends"

The 11.00 AM Eucharistic celebration for the Feast of St John the Baptist was presided by Fr. Marcellinus, the assistant parish priest of St. Dominic, Lahad Datu. In his homily, he called on the people to come out of their comfort zone like Elizabeth in her advanced age carried John in her womb and like John, prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. He went on to say that we are created as a blessing for other people. 
The local parishioners not only celebrated the Nativity of St John the Baptist but also the anniversary of the Chapel. 
Anna receiving a memento from Clarens, youth coordinator of St. Peter Kunak

On our journey back, together with the Parish Youth Apostolate we stopped by at Bukit Silam some 15 minutes from Lahad Datu. We went up to Menara Kayangan and reached the peak where we enjoyed the beautiful scenery of nature and the small town of Lahad Datu.
Hebrews 10:24-25 ~ 'and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near'


by dalius ll
Sandakan: On Tuesday, 19th June 2012, the St Mary's Cathedral Parish Delegate Assembly (PDA) Task Force presented a 250-page report on the outcomes and findings derived from all mini assemblies in the formulation of the proposed Diocesan Vision and Mission statement to the Parish Pastoral Council.
Fr. Thomas Makajil as advisor to the PPC was on hand to receive the report, witnessed by the Parish Pastoral Councilors. The report would then be tabled for deliberation by the PPC during their upcoming monthly meeting in July.
The Chairman of the PDA Task Force, Jacob Chin shared that it took the Task Force close to a year to conduct 14 mini assemblies reaching out close to 500 parishioners representing the various church groups, communities and individuals. He extended his appreciation to his committee for their commitment in organizing the many assemblies, evaluating, compiling and documenting the views and aspirations of the parishioners. He also thanked all participants for their active participation in realizing the Vision and Mission Statement.

The Task Force aimed to reach out to 5% of the 18,000 registered parishioners, however, about 3% responded to the exercise. Nevertheless, the findings gathered from all the 14 mini assemblies were substantial as it covered  a cross-section of the faithful at the grass root. The documented feedback formed the basis in the formulation of the Vision and Mission Statement. Representatives from the three language groups spend a full day in their individual language group to deliberate and formulate the initial Vision and Mission Statement. Another session was held to consolidate and refined all proposed statements taking into account the common elements found in the different language Vision and Mission statements.
Jacob Chin (2nd left) handing over the report to Fr Thomas (3rd left)
The documents would be tabled for adoption and endorsement in the next meeting on 9th July 2012, after which the report would then be submitted to the Diocese.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Courtesy Call On Bishop Julius

Sitting L-R : Mr Ariel, Mr Bernard, Fr Thomas, Mr Renato, Bishop Julius, Mr John Francis
Standing L-R : Josephine, Mirasol, Mary Anne, Cecilia D' Souza, Patrick Seah and Francis Tan
Sandakan : The Consul-General of the Embassy of the Philippines, Kuala Lumpur Mr Renato P.O. Villa accompanied by three embassy officials, Vice Consul John Francis Herrera, Social Welfare Attache Bernard Bonia and Assistant to National Attache Ariel Esparto paid a courtesy call on Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Sandakan Sunday, 24th June 2012 at the Diocesan Conference Room.
During the visit, both sides discussed and explored on issues of mutual interest, particularly the concerns of Filipino migrants in the Diocese whose children have no access to education and health care and the possibility of establishing some form of partnership on combating human trafficking.
Mary Anne Baltazar of PKGS raising a point regarding collaboration in combating human trafficking
The Consul-General and delegates listening and responding to questions raised by representatives of Church groups
Joining the discussion session were Fr Thomas Makajil, rector of St Mary's Cathedral, Patrick Seah, the PPC Chairman, Cecilia D' Souza, the PPC Asst Secretary, Mary Ann Baltazar of Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd, Josephine Rosario and Mirasol of the Filipino Pastoral Committee and Francis Tan of the Diocesan Pastoral Office.
Mr Renato presenting a souvenir to Bishop Julius
Mr Renato signing the visitor's book

Monday, June 25, 2012


Soccom Tawau

Tawau : Fathers' Day was celebrated for the first time at Holy Trinity Church on Saturday 16th June 2012 right after Sunset Mass. Some 300 parishioners from the four main communities namely TUKAD, Chinese Community, Indonesian Community and the Filipino Community attended the event. The unity among the communities showed that Holy Trinity is a good sampling of the concept of communion of communities, flourishing together as One Big Family.

The Organising Committee led by Jerome Lim seated front row 2nd left. 

Msgr. Nicholas Ong, the rector presided over the Mass, 11th Sunday in Ordinary time. Towards the end of the homily, he took the opportunity to address all fathers, 'As a father one must be aware of the obligation and focus towards the family. Spending precious time with your spouse and children is always a meaningful moment to everyone in the family. Your presence in the family as the head is crucial for the growth and development of the growing children. We can’t deny the fact that as head of the family, one has to look for money but never allow this to be an obstacle for your presence in your family.'

He continued to say that sharing meals and spending time together in prayer is a good example to show your children regarding our faith. He then proceeded to give a profound blessing by sprinkling holy water unto all fathers. 
Msgr Ong and Sr Aquinas Voon fsic 
Father's Day Cake cutting ceremony 

Father and son in an acting scene 
Father of the night ~ Melvin with wife, Linda
A daughter cherishes her father ~ expressing her love and gratitude 
Father's Day ~ a celebration honoring fathers 
After the Mass everyone involved adjourned to the Parish Hall for a dinner fellowship and some entertainment and family games which ended at 10 in the evening with a Closing Prayer by Fr David A. Garaman, the assistant rector.
Rev. David leading the Closing Prayer 


New Advent