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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sharing The Love Of Christ

By Susanna Cordova
Sandakan : St. Francis of Assisi, Sukang, Paitan was selected as an outreach station by a group of 21 members from the Star of Yahweh Covenant Community (SYCC) and one representative from The Servant of the Lord Covenant Community (SLCC) of Papar. 

The 2-day program on 27th and 28th July was not an ordinary visit but more of a pastoral concern, sharing the love of Christ with fellow faithful in this remote missionary area under the purview of St. Mary's Cathedral. It is the obligation of the Church to reach out to the poor, disadvantaged and oppressed.
The Star of Yahweh Covenant Community, formed some 30 years ago in 1984 is a group of Christians, led by the Lord to express their love and commitment to Him and to one another. Members bind themselves to one another and to the group, and made the covenant to live a righteous life in community
The two-day outing saw them engaging in several community works; fixing mosquito netting to the Chapel’s Rest house and clearing the undergrowth around the water reservoir area; the source of water supply to the mission house. 
They also conducted sessions on liturgy for the children through an interesting colouring activity. The youths were enlightened on sacred music for liturgy and they were given ample choir practice for Sunday Service or Holy Mass. SYCC presented a guitar to the choir members. 
Apart from that, faithful attending Mass were given free blood pressure check and blood sugar level test by SYCC members with medical background.
Fr. Thomas Makajil, the rector of St. Mary's Cathedral presided the Sunday Mass. He commended members of SYCC, Sandakan and SLCC, Papar for their outreach activities in Paitan. In his homily, he encouraged the faithful to work and cooperate in developing St. Francis of Assisi's Chapel in Sukang as the centre for Paitan mission. He added that with the basic infrastructure and other resources in place, this would indeed facilitate the development and expansion of the Paitan missionary area. 

To date, Paitan mission has 12 Chapels and a few others are expected to be built in the near future. There is an urgent need of pastoral workers to reach out to the local faithful. 
Peter Saimin a full time Catechist in Paitan mission shared, “The faithful here are increasing in numbers but are in a fragile stage. They are thirsty for God’s salvation but at the same time they are also susceptible to the claws of dark forces”. 
Paitan mission is in need of more shepherds and he welcomes fellow Catholics to assist in pastoral care and material contribution.

The SYCC outing is indeed a blessing. They not only practice what St. James said, 'faith without action is dead' (James 2:26), but it affirms what St. Paul said (Eph 2:10), 'God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.'

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