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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Double Celebrations - Malaysia's Hari Merdeka and Indonesia's Independence Day

By DS and photos by 
courtesy of George
Ulu Dusun : Some 800 parishioners, both local and foreign, gathered at St Paul's Church, some 50 kilometers from Sandakan, on Sunday, 31st August 2014 to celebrate Indonesia's Independence Day (17th August) and Malaysia's Hari Merdeka (31st August). The double celebrations began with the Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Fr Philip Muji, the assistant rector of St Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan.
In his homily, Fr Philip called upon the parishioners to model Christ in our daily life. He is a God of love, full of mercy and compassion. He forgives and he saves. He also gave a  brief insight to St Maximilian Kolbe's life, a legacy of marvelous example of love.

Jesus said, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.' We are to submit to the will of God in everything we do which must be of the truth and of the right value.

He said that we are to be grateful to the freedom and peace we enjoyed in our countries, both in Malaysia and Indonesia, brought about, through independence. However, the current development in Malaysia as in the spread of hatred and the practice of extremism has somehow marred the scenario of our country.

Fr Philip urged the congregation to pray for the country and those in authority to act with wisdom, just and fair. He called upon the members to remain united in Christ as in John 17 : 21, 'That they all may be one, as you, Father are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us.'

The 'Warrior Dance' by the Indonesian Catholic Community led  Fr Philip and the parishioners to the Multi-Purpose Hall for the double-joy celebration proper, beginning with a pot-luck luncheon fellowship.
The event in the hall began with the combined choir singing the national anthem of Malaysia and Indonesia, 'Negaraku'  and 'Indonesia Raya.'
Both the local and the Indonesian Catholic communities presented a few lively and colorful traditional dances to the delight of the people.

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