Sandakan : Sabah Youth Day (SYD) is the coming together of Catholic youths from the three dioceses in Sabah. This five-day long experience enables the young people to celebrate the Catholic faith in the oneness of God. At the same time, the gathering aims to remind the youths that Jesus Himself is the Kingdom of God and it is a gift in a person, empowering them to become the agent of change in preaching the Gospel with joy.
The 4th Sabah Youth Day (SYD 4) will focus more on the Catholic Social Teaching (CST) scheduled to be held in Holy Trinity Church, Tawau in 2016. The theme of the event ~ "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy" - Mt. 5:7 echoing the theme for the next World Youth Day in Poland, also in 2016.
"I am indeed happy to see what you have planned. It is an opportunity for us to share, to tell and create awareness among the young people concerning the Good News of the Lord. It is also a time for the youths from the other dioceses to come together, to learn and to understand more about the diversity of the various ethnics, cultures and customs that we have in the Diocese of Sandakan" - Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom.
Sr Terry Loukang, the Co-ordinator of the KK Youth Office has this to say to the LOT ~ "You are needed to lead the way"
The Main Organizing Team (MOT) visited Holy Trinity Church, the venue for SYD 4 on 9th June 2014. They had their first meeting with the Local Organizing Team (LOT) of Tawau and to see on hand the facilities and infrastructure available for the event.
"I am giving you my assurance that the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) will always be with you throughout your journey towards SYD 4. We give you full support for this program" - Msgr. Nicholas Ong
A series of courtesy calls were made to the arch / bishops of participating arch / dioceses and the rector of the host parish of Holy Trinity, Tawau. The first courtesy call made, was on Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom of the Diocese of Sandakan at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, Sandakan on 26th April 2014. The second courtesy call was on Msgr. Nicholas Ong, the rector of Holy Trinity Church, Tawau at the Basement Hall of Holy Trinity Church, Tawau on 10th June 2014. The team, made the next courtesy calls on Bishop Cornelius Piong of the Diocese of Keningau at the Tatal Retreat Center, Keningau on 18th June 2014 and Archbishop John Wong of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu at the Catholic Diocesan Center, Kota Kinabalu on 19th June 2014.
"Catholic faith should be expressed through the Catholic Social Teaching. Many Catholics know only how to pray but are not committed to put the teachings into action or promoting justice for humanity. Therefore we should start from our own young people instilling in them that faith without action is in fact dead. Not only that, we should also emphasize on their genuine calling / motive in coming to SYD 4." - Bishop Cornelius PiongDuring the courtesy calls, Anna Teresa Peter Amandus, the Director of the Sandakan Diocesan Youth Office and the Co-ordinator of SYD 4 introduced the members of the Main Organizing Team (MOT) followed by a briefing on the tentative program and groundwork in preparation of the event by Roselinah Francis of the Diocese of Keningau. It was a very fruitful encounter and we received not only full support but also assurance from the Arch / Bishops, parish priest and the Parish Pastoral Council who will journey with us towards SYD 4.
|Seated L-R : Fr Ronnie, Archbishop John Wong and Anna Teresa|
Standing L-R : Sharon Tan, Roselinah, Doreen Peter and Sr Terry fsic,
"I encourage the team from each parish to come forth and join SYD 4. My hope for the young people is that they will be more serious about their life." - Archbishop John Wong