BY DALIUS LL SOCCOM SANDAKAN
Sandakan : In conjunction with the Year of Faith, the Parish Biblical Committee organized the very first Bible Seminar for the year in St. Mary's Cathedral on Tuesday, 13th November 2012. The event started at 8.00am with the Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Fr. Anthony Mikat concelebrated by Fr. Simon Kontou, the main speaker from St Dominic's Parish Lahad Datu.
In his homily, Fr. Anthony made it a point to the 200 participants that their attendance in the seminar is for them to understand the importance of the Bible, the living word made flesh through Christ himself. He reminded them that our belief and faith will remain strong if we have the word impregnated in one’s life. He added, “We cannot be good witnesses to others if we do not have the understanding of the Sacred Scripture, the living word”. He related that with the Year of Faith ~ it is timely to check on ones’ faith and to rekindle and enliven it which shall be backed by the many programs of the Church.
The Parish Bible Committee under the chairmanship of Ezechiel Kunti was formed two months ago with its objectives to inculcate the faithful in this parish the need for Bible reading in their daily lives, to provide them the basic and correct understanding of the Bible, to enlighten them on the authenticity of the Catholic Faith based on the Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and Magisterium, and finally to make them aware of the science and the art of Catholic apologetics.
The seminar started at exactly 10.00am with a welcoming address from the Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, Patrick Seah. He commended the Bible Committee for taking the initiative to organize the first faith filled event since the launching of the Year of Faith about a week ago. He called upon the participants to take the opportunity to gain as much knowledge as possible from the seminar.
The seminar consisted of 5 sessions facilitated by Fr. Simon Kontou the Chairman of the Sandakan Diocesan Biblical Commission and his committee Teodulfo Rosalia.
The subjects covered are:
- An Introduction to the Bible
- The Origin of the Bible
- Basic Reading of the Bible
- Lectio Divina
- Sola Scriptura
|Fr Simon Kontou|
The seminar was very informative and enlightening to the participants especially on the history of the Bible; the relation of the Old Testament and the New Testament; the differences of the Catholic and Protestant Bibles; guidance in interpreting the Bible, the Sacred Tradition and Magisterium; how to do reading, reflection, meditation and contemplation of the Bible; and the Biblical foundational doctrinal principal of the Catholic faith and that of the Protestant Churches.
The Biblical Committee hoped that the first series of such seminar in this parish will deepen the participants understanding of God’s Word, strengthen their faith and bring about renewal, transformation and eventually the salvation of souls. The one-day Bible seminar concluded at 4.30pm with a Closing Prayer led by Fr. Simon Kontou.
Photos by Bell and Dexter