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Monday, June 24, 2013

ER EMPOWERED RISE UP CONFERENCE (DAY 3)

Reporting from Sandakan
By: Shawn Ian Dalius Lobinjang
Pictures by: Jonathan Fabian,Timothy James Michael, Mark Nethanel Michael


Participants from Sandakan
Kuching: The third day, 8th June 2013 began with the Eucharistic celebration   in Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The celebrant of the mass was Fr. Larry from the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur.
The Gospel was taken from Luke 2: 41-51. People nowadays are lost in the  tremendous pace of modernization. They lost focus unlike Jesus, then at a very young age had already started proclaiming the Good News at the temple and they were astonished by Him. We should live and emulate Jesus as a role model in our lives. Mary and Joseph were worried and with much anxiety they sought everywhere for the boy Jesus. The care of a mother towards her son is a call for all of us to always honor our father and mother. Fr.Larry further explained that, Mother Mary’s love and compassion towards her son is the reason we celebrate this mass today to give honor and appreciation to her.

We began our plenary session around 9.30 AM at the Main Hall. The plenary session was conducted by Jude Antoine. His talk centred on “Living the purpose”. Jude began his session by asking, 'what is the purpose of your live?' People would tend to live on what is important to themselves, a very selfish attitude. We should become peacemakers of divine nature. 'Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of our Lord. By his divine power, he has lavished on us all the things we need for life and for true devotion, through the knowledge of him who has called us by his own glory and goodness.' (2 Peter 1: 3-4)

To conclude his talk, he said we should choose our destiny but leave it always at the hand of the Lord. The human heart may plan a course, but it is Yahweh who makes the steps secure (Proverbs 16: 9).
The 11th session at 2.00 PM was facilitated by Fr. Felix Au on “The door of Faith”. Fr Felix Au is currently the Spiritual Adviser to the Empowered Ministry in Kuching. He is the rector of St.Joseph's Cathedral and the chairperson for the Archdiocesan Youth Commission.
Fr. Felix Au, explained the 1st journey of St. Paul and Barnabas in chapter 13 of the Acts of Apostles. Many miracles had happened during their journey in their endeavor to proclaim the Word of God. Fr. Felix explained the whole chapter, using words easily understood by the young people. It was presented in a very interactive way, engaging the participants most of the time.
Session 12 began around 3.30PM. facilitated by Mrs. Leoren Heah. Apart from being a regular speaker, she is also a worship leader and a facilitator. Leoreen serves as the Assistant Chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and is a member of the Catholic Education Committee. She is a catechist for   the Confirmation class. She was the key speaker for last year’s Empowered Camp 2012 and this year she facilitated a session for Empowered Women of Faith Conference                                             
Leoreen’s main talk was about the difficult questions about being a Catholic. She began by posing a few random questions to the participants about, 'Who is Jesus? And why do you believe in Christ?' She told us in today’s society, it is tougher for us to answer and speak about the truth about Catholicism especially among our Catholic youths. 
To end her session, she then led us to a moment of prayer. Those who accept Christ were invited to the center of the stage to pray for those who are yet to accept Jesus as their Savior. It was really a touching moment for us to pray for those who are still seeking Christ.

To end the day of day 3, the Empowered Ministry held an open air concert at the Kuching Amphitheater, Jalan Budaya. The concert began with an opening praise and worship from guests worship bands of Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Limbang, Penang and from the Empowered Ministry, Kuching. Although, it was drizzling and wet, but the Holy Spirit empowered the people to even worship more. 'Alleluia! Praise the Lord!' were resounding all over the venue. It was truly an amazing day for us and with a loud “Bang” of fireworks display, it marked the close of beautiful day 3.

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