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Friday, September 21, 2012


Dallius LL SOCCOM Sandakan

Sandakan: 17th September 2012 marked a special day for the lay members of BECs (Basic Ecclesial Communities) in St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish when they organized a Family Day for the very first time. The formation of BECs in the Cathedral Parish started some two years ago in response to the pastoral thrust of the Diocese, focusing on the building of communities. These communities are  communion of families who are united to each other by faith (spiritual bonds) and lived in the same local proximity. There are 10 registered BECs in the Cathedral Parish.

The half-day celebration commenced with a Thanksgiving Mass at 8.00 am presided over by Rev. Fr. Anthony Mikat.  In his homily, Fr. Anthony related to more than 300 attendees on how the BECs can emulate faith building as practiced by the early Small Christian Community. They lived in unity and solidarity with one another. He spoke of how the early Christian gathering always centered on the Eucharist (as it was known “agape meal” in those days). He encouraged the BECs to attract more members because BECs will become the foundation of building one's faith through small Christian communities. At the same time it will also act as a channel to reach out to members in times of difficulties and needs. BECs set a vision of a new way of being Church.

After the photo session, members adjourned to the Parish Hall for a luncheon fellowship. The Chairperson of the Parish BEC Core Group, Leonnie Degullacion welcomed the members and shared that it was beyond their expectation that so many families would turn up in support of the occasion. He encouraged the members from the BECs of Chi Hwa, Taman Indah Jaya, Sunny Estate, Cathedral, Merak, Taman Fajar, KKD Batu 10, KKD Sg. Obah and Sri Taman to foster and strengthen their relationship. He was happy to note that the coming together of the various BECs signals the Church as Communion and the Church as Mission. 
After the potluck luncheon, the crowd was then treated to live performances by the BECs  ~ choirs, dances, traditional gong beating and a sketch presentation. It was a day of much laughter, cheering and fun to the children, young and old. Fr. Anthony spent his time mingling with the members from start to the end.
Receiving a gift from Fr Anthony Mikat
Patrick Seah presenting gifts to the lucky winners
In the closing address, the Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, Patrick Seah congratulated the organizing committee for a wonderful job and he hoped that the Family Day will become an annual event in the parish. He hoped that the good time BEC members spend together will strengthen the church through the process of community building. The Family Day concluded at 2.30 pm with everybody doing their part in cleaning up the hall.

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