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Solemn Charge ~ Year of Faith - Read the Catechism Of the Catholic Church in a Year

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Saturday, October 19, 2013


Julita, SOCCOM Tawau
Tawau : Some 1,000 parishioners from across the four parishes of  the Diocese of Sandakan braved the heavy downpour to attend the 9.00 am Eucharistic celebration for the 6th Sandakan Diocesan Anniversary and the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Datuk Julius Dusin Gitom on 15th October 2013. 

The Thanksgiving Mass was presided over by His Lordship, Bishop Datuk Julius Dusin Gitom and con celebrated by His Grace, Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu and His Lordship, Bishop Datuk Cornelius Piong of Keningau.
Bishop Julius was inspired with the huge turn out in spite of the heavy rain. Perhaps it is the spirit of wanting to celebrate the anniversary, an occasion to thank God Almighty for all the blessings showered upon the Diocese that has drawn the people of God together. The prelate invited all faithful to continue to move forward and for that to happen we need to establish a closer and intimate relationship with the Lord.

The prelate said that the anniversary celebration falls exactly on the Memorial of St. Teresa of Avila, that is 15th October. He touched briefly on the life history of St Teresa; how she chose the life of a nun and learn to live a contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite order and founder of the Discalced Carmelites. Her many writings included the popular 'Interior Castle' on meditation practices and mental prayers. He then called upon all parishioners to emulate the life of St. Teresa of Avila, a saint who renewed her life through her many writings and a model of prayer to the world.
The Gospel reading brings to light the hypocrisy of the pharisees as "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness. The saying of St Teresa has an impact on us as regard to the reading of the day; 'The Lord does not look so much to the grandeur of our works as to the love with which they are done; and if we do all we can, His Majesty will see to it that we are able to do more and more every day. We offer to Christ, inwardly and outwardly, what sacrifice we can, for His Majesty will join it with the one He made to the Father for us on the Cross, that it may have the value which our will would have merited, even though our works may be small.”
He quoted Pope Francis who said that the one “defect” the Curia has is that it is “too Vatican-centred”. He said, 'We are very much inward looking forgetting the rest of the world. Do not just look at ourselves. We should return to our original state, being in community with God's people. Listen to the needs, desires and disappointment of those around us. Extend a hand where necessary.'
After the Eucharistic celebration, Bishop Julius delivered his anniversary speech. The prelate hoped that all parishes in the Diocese have moved forward in pastoral pursuit, the core business of a missionary church. The increased number of BECs (some 150 BECs) is a clear sign that the people are receptive towards the pastoral thrust of the Diocese in building community.

He went on to say that more time is needed for discernment and journey together to put into effect the perceived pastoral priorities before moving onto the next level in formulating the eventual vision and mission statement for the Diocese. He extended his appreciation to all parishioners who had contributed to the construction and completion of the new HTC Catechetical and Pastoral Centre which would be officially blessed and declared open shortly.

He said, 'We have just one month remaining in the Year of Faith, so during this time, let's give Jesus prime time daily and deeply that we may grow in union with Him and thereby in faith.'

He urged the people to be one, united with a bond that can never be broken as in Ephesians 4 : 16, 'From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grows so that it builds itself up in love.'
This was followed with a group photo session of all Arch / bishops and priests while the choir sang the happy anniversary song for the Diocese and Bishop Julius. St. Dominic's Church, Lahad Datu will  host the 7th anniversary next year.

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