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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pilgrims at St. Mary's Hill Sandakan

The word pilgrim normally inferred one travelling to a distance and well known destination like the many famous around the world. So when Sandakan receives it's first "pilgrims" for 2013 it was something to think about. This being the year of faith make it more special.
Rev.Fr. Cosmas Lee the Rector of the St. Simon Church led fifty two(52) of his parishioners to visit what used to be known as St. Mary's Hill, now the St. Mary's Cathedral Sandakan.
On hand to welcome them were our Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, Mr. Patrick Seah assisted by his Vice Chairman Mr. Pilis Malim and Mr. Alban Lagan. Rev. Fr.Thomas Makajil the Rector of St. Mary's was also on hand for the welcome.
We managed to asked Rev. Fr. Cosmas a few questions during refreshment. According to Fr. Cosmas, it is their own "pilgrimage" during this year of Faith to re-trace the roots of the Catholic Faith in Sabah. At the same time it is also to renew their own faith.
They will spend one night in Sandakan and on their way back, they will be dropping in to visit St. Mark's Church and also St. Martin Telupid. They started form Kota Kinabalu at around 6.40am in the morning and arrived in Sandakan at 2.00pm.  The members of their group comprises a cross section of their parishioners.
According to Fr. Cosmas it is important to know that St. Mary's Sandakan was the 1st establishment of the Catholic Church in Sabah. Since then Sandakan has went through many changes. He recounted the names of all the Missionary names of the priests who have served in Sandakan during the beginning of the establishment and the trying times through the war and the lack of infra structure. He recalled the sacrifices of the Missionary Fathers'
He later brought his group to visit the graves of some of these priest and religious who were buried in the Church's land. They also stopped over at the now Fr. Mulders' Catechetical Centre which was once the St. Mary's Bandar primary school. Later in the evening during Mass Fr. Cosmas gave further hint of his knowledge of the local history of the Church. He read a letter to the Superior of one Rev. Fr. J Byron who despite ill health chose to come back to serve in Sabah after a short recuperation in Australia. Fr. Cosmas also recounted the contribution of Fr. Mulders, the Man who built the St. Mary's Church.
Led by Rev. Fr. Cosmas Lee, fifty two (52) "pilgrims" from the St. Simon's Church Kota Kinabalu visited the St. Mary's Cathedral Sandakan on the 10-08-201

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