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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sandakan Diocesan Human Development Commission Formalized

Article by DS and photos by Shirley J
Sandakan : The inaugural meeting of the Diocesan Human Development Commission was held on Saturday, 18th January 2014 at the Diocesan Retreat Centre, Ulu Dusun. In his welcoming speech, Bishop Julius extended his warm welcome and appreciation to all members of the commission for their presence.  The prelate was grateful that after the third attempt, the commission was finally formalized.
The prelate added that the commission is relatively less known as it is something new in the Diocese. He hoped that the efforts of Sr. Maria Dipal, RGS, the Chairperson of the commission, through her proposed introduction and awareness programs on human development will enlighten commission members  to better understand their roles. He believed that the collaboration between all the existing commissions will further enhance the process of  integral human development of the local community.
Front row (L-R) : Nicholas, Petrus, Beatrice, Shirley, Bishop Julius, Sr Maria rgs, Rachel, Rayner, Christianus
Back row (L-R) : Hildi, Francis, Kletus and Gabriel
Among its key roles, the Commission will endeavor;
  • to promote the Catholic Social Teaching of the Church
  • to promote and implement work of the Catholic campaign for human development in fulfilling the church social mission for the benefit of the broader community
  • to liaise and enhance the function of all Parish Integral Human Development Ministries in matters related to human development / social mission of the church
The commission line-up for the two-year term (2014 - 2016);

Sr Maria Dipal RGS
Good Shepherd Welfare Centre
Shirley Joseph
Diocesan Pastoral Centre
Francis Tan
Diocesan Pastoral Centre
Francis Kamuntah
Holy Trinity Church, Tawau
Gabriel Nunang
Holy Trinity Church, Tawau
Petrus Tolok
Holy Trinity Church, Tawau
Hildi Poili
St Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan
Beatrice Jautin
St Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan
Kletus Muyuk
St Dominic Church, Lahad Datu
Rachel Antak
St Dominic Church, Lahad Datu
Rayner Guntingan
St Dominic Church, Lahad Datu
Christianus Antit
St Martin’s Church, Telupid
Nicholas Ponilau
St Martin’s Church, Telupid

The formation session was held in the evening with Sr Maria rgs facilitating the sessions on Theological Reflection ~ 'The journey to Emmaus', 'Mission Spirituality,' 'What and Why Integral Human Development.'
Francis Tan from the Diocesan Pastoral Office facilitated the session on the vision of the Diocesan Human Development Commission and the Social Mission of the Church.
The following morning, 19th January 2014, the formation program continued with the session on, 'The Way Forward', 'Team Building and Leadership Skills' facilitated by Sr Maria rgs.
Commission members were commissioned by Bishop Julius during the Sunday Eucharistic celebration on 19th January 2014 at St Paul's Church, Ulu Dusun. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. (Pope Benedict 24th April 2005) We are called to mission, serving in various ways. We are to preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery to the blind and to set at liberty those who are oppressed (Luke 4 : 18)

Each member was given the light as a sign of faithfulness of God, sealed with the Spirit of holiness that we may be blessed with wisdom and perseverance in the mission.
Members made their pledge before the prelate witnessed by local parishioners of St Paul's Church. They pledged to perform the task of faithful service, to their utmost best as willed by God. They are to serve with love and compassion, bringing light and hope to those in need, especially the poor, the oppressed and those bound in darkness. 
Group photo in front of St Paul's Church, Ulu Dusun right after commissioning
We are called to find Christ in them (the poor and vulnerable), to lend our voice to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them. This is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. (Evangelii Gaudium 198)

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