Sandakan: 15th August 2013 marked a momentous moment in history for St. Mary's Cathedral. The Cathedral not only celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and its 130th Parish Day anniversary but also the official announcement of St Mary's Cathedral as a Pilgrimage Center for the Diocese of Sandakan.
The triple-joy celebration started with the Rosary recitation at the Parish Hall at 7.00 pm thereafter a procession of the statue of Mother Mary attended by some 1,000 parishioners with lighted candles walking to the Grotto. The statue was then elevated to the grotto signifying the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary followed with an open air Eucharistic Mass. The Mass was presided over by Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of the Diocese of Sandakan concelebrated by Mgsr Gilbert Enggan of the Diocese of Keningau, Fr. Thomas Makajil, the Rector and his assistant Fr. Philip Muji .
This year, the prelate in his homily said that, 'We are blessed with the privilege to celebrate Assumption during the Year of Faith, an opportunity to develop a personal encounter with God in our life, involved in the life of the Church, and proclaiming the Word of God. This year's celebration is special because it also marked the day of the launching of St Mary’s Cathedral as the Pilgrimage Center for the Diocese in conjunction with its Parish Day.' He reiterated that if we are to claim children of Mary, we must imitate her in our life, obedient to God’s will and live our life according to His divine will.
After the Eucharistic celebration, the prelate officially announced the launching of the Rosary Rally programme in this Parish, a two-day event (16th – 17th August) in conjunction with its Parish Day and to commemorate the establishment of St. Mary's Cathedral as a Pilgrimage Center. He also took the opportunity to thank all the committee, volunteers and individuals who had worked tirelessly in organising this historic event.