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.
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'