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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Submission of PDA Report to Bishop Julius

DaliusLL Soccom Sandakan
Fr Thomas (5th left) handing over the report to Bishop Julius (6th left)
SANDAKAN : St Mary's Cathedral Parish has accomplished its mission in formulating the proposed Vision and Mission Statement for the Diocese. The process involved all the communities at grass root spread across the parish; the sub-parish and the outstations. Fr. Thomas Makajil, rector of St. Mary's Cathedral presented the document to Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom on Saturday, 14th July 2012 at 10.00 am at the Diocesan Conference Room. The handing-over ceremony was witnessed by Fr Anthony Mikat, the assistant rector, Sr Appollonia fsic, Patrick Seah, Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council and his fellow councilors as well as Jacob Chin, Chairman of the Parish Delegate Assembly (PDA) Task Force.
Jacob Chin, the Task Force Chairman 
The occasion commenced with a briefing by Jacob Chin on the chronology of the process ~ from conducting the mini-assemblies till the compilation of the final document on the Vision and Mission report. He also touched on the pastoral letter of Bishop Julius regarding the necessity and the importance of owning its Vision and Mission ~ the very foundation in charting the pastoral direction, shaping the future Catholic Church in the Diocese.

For ownership to happen, the process ought to involve the members from the grass root ~ drawing views, comments, suggestions and concerns regarding the way forward in building the 'Ideal Church.' 

The Diocese initiated a 3-day Diocesan Facilitators’ Training Program conducted by Bro. John D’Cruz, De La Salle Brother on 26th – 28th November 2010 to equip members with the necessary skills     and approaches in conducting assemblies at parish level. In June 2011, a 36-member PDA Task Force was formed, representing the three-language groups led by Jacob Chin. The Task Force took some eight months to conduct 14 mini assemblies and two other sessions to summarize and fine tune the statement.
Jacob Chin presenting the report to Fr Thomas on 9th July 2012
453 parishioners participated in the assemblies, representing about 3 % of the registered parishioners or about 10% of regular Church goers, covering a cross-section of  the parish community. The feedback received were indeed enriching and inspiring. The findings collected were reviewed, evaluated and documented.  Finally a 250-page report on the outcomes and findings was compiled, endorsed and adopted by the PPC. The handing over of the report to the Parish was done on Monday, 9th July 2012.
Vote of thanks from Bishop Julius
In his remark, Bishop Julius congratulated all those involved in the process of formulating the Vision and Mission Statement; the Parish Priest and his assistant, PPC, the PDA Task Force and the participants.  He was pleased to note that the exercise had indeed reached all the target groups within the Church, a pertinent aspect in ownership. He extended his appreciation to Fr. Thomas Makajil for being the first parish to submit their proposed Vision and Mission statement.  The ceremony concluded with light refreshment outside the Conference Room.

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