By: Richard Artilano
Sandakan : A one-day recollection was held on 16th March 2013 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan conducted in English and Bahasa Malaysia. The participants of the Diocesan Family Life Commission (DFLC) and the Parish Family Life Ministry's (PFLM) recollection were from the English, Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese speaking groups from St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. Mark's Church.
Rev. Fr. Thomas Makajil in his topic, ”Family and Church Mission“ and the “Role of the Family in the Year Of Faith“ stressed that the family plays a very important role in evangelization. The power given by God to pro-create (Gen.1:28) is accompanied with responsibility to be rooted in Him and to reflect God in every individual and family. He also mentioned that we are constantly shocked by the news about gang rapes, shooting, broken marriages and women’s lack of value in the society but rather than looking further, we should look at our own family first.
Recollection and discussion ~ Family Life Ministry
He stressed that to become an effective servant and evangelizer, one must go back to their own respective family. “The family is the arena or the field where we can first serve life. Only then can we participate in the development of the community and carry out Church Mission. “ We also learned from him about the 3 'I's' to help strengthen our faith. These are IDENTITY, knowing that we are made in the image of God, INTIMACY, our personal relationship with God and lastly, INTEGRITY, of being true to our faith, vocation and our mission.
The Good Shepherd Sisters, Sr. Lidwina RGS and Sr. Barbara RGS, on the topic, ”Good Shepherd”, also brought the participants into a clear and challenging role of the ministry. They pointed out that the scope of this ministry is from “the womb to the tomb”. Parents lack of self-awareness and lack of the desire to deepen and understand one’s faith reflect the attitudes of children nowadays. The outcome of the discussions will be brought forward at the forthcoming family life mini assembly of the Sandakan Diocese.