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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Brothers of St Gabriel to Manage St Mary's Youth Centre, Sandakan


L-R : Sr Lilian FSIC, Raymond Wong, Dr Henry Ong, Fr Thomas, Bishop Julius, Bro. Stephen Tee SG, John Pang, Michael Tan and Daniel Pang
Sandakan : The agreement for the management of the St Mary's Youth Centre, Sandakan between the Titular Superior of the Brothers of St Gabriel, Malaya and the Registered Trustee of the Diocese of Sandakan was officially sealed on Tuesday, 18th February 2014. Brother Stephen Tee SG represented the Brothers of St Gabriel while Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, the Bishop of Sandakan represented the Diocese of Sandakan. Present to witness the event were Fr Thomas Makajil, the rector of St Mary's Cathedral Parish, members of the Board of Governors and the Centre's Management Committee.
With the agreement being formalised, St Mary's Youth Centre located at Batu 2.5 Jalan Utara, Sandakan will be managed through the Monfort Youth Training Centre (MYTC) as part of its extension programme for the care of youth.
The Brothers of St Gabriel and MYTC will implement residential care systems and programme activities. Apart from providing staff development programme, they are committed to build up the Centre conducive to learning, character formation with spiritual animation. The Management Committee will see to funds necessary for the sustenance of operating the centre and to over-see to the management of the Centre.
Sitting L-R : Sr Lilian FSIC, Suzanna Hon, Fr Thomas, Bishop Julius, John Pang
Standing L-R : Francis Tan, Raymond Wong, Dr Henry Ong, Daniel Pang, Michael Tan, Bro. Stephen SG, Bro James SG
Currently there are 19 boarders coming from across the diocese; 6 from the Paitan Missionary Area, 4 from Lahad Datu, 3 each from Tawau and Sandakan, 2 from Beluran and 1 from Telupid. All boarders are enrolled in St Mary's Secondary School, one of the 5 Catholic Mission Schools in Sandakan.

Michael Tan, the Chairman of the Centre's Management Committee announced that a prominent and esteemed company has pledged to donate a 14-seater van for the centre. It is expected to be delivered to the centre before the end of next month.

The boarders presenting the Montfort 'Thank You' song

Sharing by two boarders

Glen Albert Yong, a 14 year old, Form Two Sino Kadazan boy who hails from Lahad Datu has this to share. 

When I was offerred a place at the Youth Centre, I had mixed feelings. Happy because I will move to a new place. Sad, as I have to leave my parents and siblings. I was confused and had deep fear. I had a hard time deciding whether to accept or reject the offer.
I think I made the right choice. I have extended my circle of friends. The wardens and staff are good guardians. They take good care of me, just like my parents. I am beginning to be independent. I help in the kitchen. I do my own washing. I keep my bed neat and tidy. I help clean the centre; its compond, toilets and all interior space.
I like the discipline enforced in the centre. There is time for everything. Time for games and recreation, self and guided study, prayers and personal free time. All of us in the centre converse in English and I hope to be proficient in the language in time to come.

Jeremy Gerard Kinti, a Kadazan Dusun boy aged 17 years old and currently in Form Five, hails from Pamol Estate, Beluran. He has this to say.

I am happy to be a boarder here. The set up and the environment is very conducive to learning.  The staff are friendly, caring and supportive. All boarders interact well with one another. 
We are trained to be independent. We help in all areas to keep our centre always in tip-top condition. We make the centre as though it is our own. We want to belong to the centre and to one another.
The spiritual formation sessions, prayers and weekly masses have strengthened my faith. I am glad to offer my service as a choir member at St Joseph's Church where we attend mass. I hope to be a changed person, transformed and renewed. Thank you for the opportunity given to me to be part of St Mary's Youth Centre.

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