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Friday, August 31, 2012

Closing Mass - 3rd Sabah Youth Day

article by ds / st
photos by Claire A and Jasper A

TAMBUNAN : All good things must come to an end. There is an end to everything, to good things as well. The third Sabah Youth Day began 19th August and after five full days of faith-filled activities, the once in four-year program came to an end on 24th August. The highlight of the day's program was the Closing Mass, presided over by Coadjutor Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu con celebrated by 40 priests from the three arch / dioceses in Sabah.

The more than 400 youths from the Diocese of Sandakan were assigned to take charge of the Closing Mass. With months of practice, spiritual preparation and coordination, the choir was able to present hymns that moved and uplifted spirit of the congregation comprising of the young people of God.
And as we celebrate the Feast day of St. Bartholomew, we pray that we will have firm faith like the saints
During the homily, Coadjutor Archbishop John Wong, read out the message from Archbishop John Lee who was not able to join the young people during the Closing Mass. Archbishop John Lee congratulated all the youths for partaking in the third Sabah Youth Day. He hoped that SYD3 has given each and all a unique experience and asked to share the experience with their family members and friends.
 “As Catholic youths, you will be exposed to humiliation, mocked, despised and persecuted but you need not be afraid for you are all children of God. He has promised to be with us till the end of time. Take care of your faith. Be firm in your faith."
“Jesus is the beginning and the end, He did not change”
Coadjutor Archbishop John Wong told us not to be surprised if after SYD3, there would be more and greater challenges ahead, awaiting us in the real world. He hoped that after SYD3 we would have been already rooted, built up in Christ and firm in our faith. With a strong foundation, we will not be afraid to face the world because we are the new generation of Catholic youths.
“ HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, TAWAU will be the next host”
Towards the end of the mass, Bishop Cornelius Piong of Keningau expressed his deepest gratitude to all, organizers and participants alike who had made SYD3 a memorable occasion. He announced that  the venue for the fourth Sabah Youth Day in 2016 will be held in the Diocese of Sandakan in Holy Trinity Church, Tawau.
Youths from the Diocese of Sandakan receiving the Youth Cross and the icon of Mother Mary 
“You are not only the leaders of tomorrow but you are the leaders now and today”
Msgr Nicholas Ong, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Sandakan
“The opposite of old is not young, but NEW”
Msgr. Nicholas Ong representing Bishop Julius Gitom of Sandakan, was very happy that the next Sabah Youth Day will be held in the Diocese of Sandakan hosted in Holy Trinity Church, Tawau. He also mentioned that the fourth Sabah Youth Day will be held together with the Olympics and he said, “We cannot give you gold medal, but we assure you that we will give you Jesus Christ!”
He also mentioned about the banner of Holy Trinity Church, put up during the announcement of the next Sabah Youth Day; that the hill behind the church has no more trees. He reminded all participants that as Catholic faithful, one is entrusted to take care of nature. All creation is important because everything is from God. 

Let us return to our home base and share what we had received during SYD3 based on the theme, “Rooted, built up in Christ and firm in faith” – Col 2:7

See you in Holy Trinity Church, Tawau in 2016. Welcome to the Diocese of Sandakan. God bless!!!

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