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Saturday, August 16, 2014


Sandakan: Around 400 parishioners gathered at St. Mary's Parish Hall yesterday morning, 15th August 2014 to witness the official launching of the Marian Rosary Corridor of some 700 meters at the Marian Mount, graced by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom.
Exactly a year ago, during the Feast of Assumption, on 15th August 2013, Bishop Julius declared St Mary's Cathedral as the Diocesan Pilgrimage Center. The clergy and the lay leaders responded positively and worked tirelessly towards putting in place the Rosary Corridor in time for the annual Rosary Rally.
The occasion marked another historical event for the Cathedral. The Rosary Corridor is another added landmark in promoting St. Mary as a pilgrimage center. The Cathedral situated on some 5 acres of a little hilly slope, at the edge of the town center has the following to offer to visitors; the more than 50-year old Cathedral Building, St Mary's School, the first school in the then British North Borneo, the four tombs of the Foreign Missionaries, the 3-storey Diocesan Pastoral and Worship Centre, the lush greenery and the scenic view of the town and the Sulu sea. 
Pilis Malim, the PPC Chairman and the prime mover of the Rosary Corridor welcomed all who had made it to the occasion, lending support to the auspicious event in spite of the working day. 
The event started with the Proclamation of the Gospel according to Luke followed by a reflection by Fr. Thomas Makajil, the Rector.  He related that Mary's visitation reminds us of the element of visitation, not merely restricted to members of the community but also to holy places. He called on everyone to continue to pray and with the intercession of Mother Mary as the Patron Saint of the Parish, will eventually make St. Mary 's Cathedral a popular pilgrimage center.
In his opening remark, Bishop Julius invited everyone to pray for the victims and family members of MH17, to pray for the conflict in the Middle East and to pray for the Christian persecution in Syria and Iraq. He expressed his gratitude to all individuals and groups who had been working hard in promoting the parish as a pilgrimage center. The set-up of the Rosary Corridor marks the starting point towards the next challenge of building a chapel on top of Marian Mount  The prelate said that the dream would come true as long as we have faith - stay positive and remain hopeful and surrender in prayers. The reality will definitely please Mother Mary and would bring people closer to God. 

He called upon the parishioners to make use of the Marian Rosary Corridor and he hoped that they will experience God’s love, God’s graces and blessings while praying the rosary at this corridor.  He encouraged all groups and BECs to fully utilize the corridor to build up one's spiritual life as well as maintaining the natural outlook of the corridor. 
After having graced the launching of the rosary corridor, a procession of the crucifix was made to the rosary monument at the foot of Marian Mount right in front of St Mary's Convent, where the prelate, accompanied by the Rector and his assistants hung the crucifix to a 25-foot bright yellow colored giant rosary. Right after the blessing of the rosary, parishioners walked along the Rosary Corridor trail, stopping and reciting the mysteries at all the five stations. 
The event concluded with light refreshment at the Parish Canteen.

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