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Solemn Charge ~ Year of Faith - Read the Catechism Of the Catholic Church in a Year

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Progress Report - St Martin's Pastoral Centre, Telupid

By Lawrence Matusin, SOCCOM Telupid
Telupid : St Martin's Pastoral Centre, Telupid is into its sixth month of construction. It is estimated that more than 75% of the project has been completed. 
All roller shutters have been installed and walling surface applied with prime coat. 
Currently, the contractor is installing steel trusses, 'C' channels purlins and electrical truncking. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Provide Space In Our Hearts For Those Who Have Less in Life

Photos by courtesy of GBell 
Rogena RS and Sharon Tan

Sandakan :  Our faith in Christ, who became poor, and was always close to the poor and the outcast, is the basis of our concern for the integral development of society's most neglected members. (Evangelii Gaudium #186) God's heart has a special place for the poor, thus we are called to find Christ in them.
Throughout the four Sundays of Advent faithful are reminded to be aware and to stay focus on anticipating the coming of Christ which is also an anticipation of our spiritual renewal, to be born anew. A way of which to gain newness is to serve others, especially the poor in the community. In preparing for the feast of Christmas, may we be inspired to share who we are and what we have with the needy.

During the Sandakan Christmas Celebration on Sunday 21st December 2014 at the Piazza Sandakan Harbour Mall, Bishop Julius called on all Christians as they approach Christmas to provide space within their hearts for those who have less in life. 
The prelate said, 'Let us share Christ with others. Let His light shine on those in need. Let us go forth to be bearers of hope and light. If we take up the challenge to proclaim Christ, we will experience the genuine spirit of Christmas.'
The event, jointly organized by the Sandakan Municipal Council, Sandakan Harbour Mall and Sandakan Inter-Church attracted close to 2,000 attendees.

Beginning this year, the Diocesan Staff has embarked on a ‘One-Ringgit-A-Day’ program during the 40-day Lenten period, taking the cue from Bishop Julius’ homily, urging the people of God to extend a hand to people who encounter hardship in life. The money collected was used solely to distribute daily provisions to needy families.
This Advent season, again, the One-Ringgit-A-Day program was adopted for the whole 4 - Sunday period.  Apart from that, the pastoral office through the Human Development Commission started the chilly paste project. The diocese has some 70 chilly plants, planted and nurtured by Joseph the gardener behind the Pastoral Centre. The harvest of which are made into chilly paste by Sr Maria Dipal rgs and members of the commission attached to the Diocesan Pastoral Office. 
The product is then marketed at the Cathedral and sub-parishes. The proceed close to a thousand ringgit from the sales and the amount collected through the ‘One-Ringgit-A-Day’ program,  is then used to reach out to the poor and needy; the feeding program for the homeless, contributions of daily provisions to needy families and contributions to the Children Learning Program for children of migrant workers.
Feeding program for homeless people
Twenty-two young people of St Mary's Cathedral Parish Youth Apostolate were out in the streets to distribute packed dinner to some 30 homeless people on Sunday, 21st December 2014. 

Contribution of daily provisions to those in need
Sr Veronica Kandaung fsic led a 4-member team of the Diocesan Pastoral Office, distributed daily provisions of rice, oil, sugar, eggs, biscuits and cereal drinks to 7 families this morning, 22nd December 2014.
Children Learning Program designed for children of migrant workers
Part of the proceed of some one thousand ringgit was given to the Children Learning Program for the purchase of some learning and teaching aids.
Our concern for those who have to undergo hardship and suffering during this Advent season seek us to provide space for them in our heart as we talk about love, about compassion and mercy. This is an occasion challenging us to show and do it, practice what we preach, walk the talk.

Let us channel the time and energy into practical love befitting our baptismal calling. If we paused to search our hearts right now, we would find there a person and situation whose poverty cries out for our response. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Taman Indah Jaya BEC Brings Chistmas Cheers And Joy To Those In Need

Photos by courtesy of
Dominic Sintar, Dalius LL and John Tan
Sandakan :  Pope Francis in his exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel (#48) said Today and always, 'The poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel. There is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them.' 
During the 3rd Sunday of Advent, 13th December 2014 at St Mary's Cathedral, Bishop Julius in his homily shared that doing little good deeds for the underprivileged are signs of us preparing the path for the Lord's coming. Caroling definitely brings us joy, the joy of Christmas but we must endeavor to move beyond that. We need to reach out to those who have less in life. That act of charity will bring deeper and greater joy to the less fortunate, a much meaningful Christmas.

It has been the practice of Taman Indah Jaya BEC for the last three years to bring Christmas joy and cheers to at least one needy family within the community during the Advent season. The message of Love invites us to open our heart, to care about others, encouraging one another to practice charity, to do good work.
This Advent, Indah Jaya BEC has assisted to repair and renovate a 1960's dilapidated wooden house without toilet facilities at Sungai Manila, some 30 kilometers from town.
They have constructed a toilet and bathroom at the back of the house, put up a 10 feet by 18 feet veranda with proper zinc roofing, repaired the staircase, changed wooden windows to louvers and painted the frontage of the house. It may not be a complete renovation but with the little assistance extended, the family of eight may at least enjoy the little comfort of life.

Dalius, (left) Chairman of Indah Jaya BEC presenting Bibles to Haslinda and her husband, Thomas
John Tan (3rd left), the Vice Chairman presenting the Daily Reading to Thomas (left) witnessed by Sr Veronica fsic (right)
Christmas 'ang paws' to the family
On 17th December 2014, members of the Taman Indah Jaya BEC visited the family. They presented among others, Bibles, Daily Reading and Reflection, Christmas 'ang-pows,' clothing and some tit-bits to the family. Also present was Sr Veronica Kandaung fsic, the person who raised the plight of the family to the attention of the mentioned BEC.

Dominic Sintar presenting mattresses, tables and chairs to the family
A Good Samaritan touched by the plight of the family, contributed two mattresses, a plastic banquet table and six chairs. The Samaritan who wished to remain anonymous said, 'I am happy to be able to contribute to others. Reaching out to the needy is in fact giving light and hope to them especially during this season of Advent.'
Dominic Sintar, the out-reach coordinator of Taman Indah Jaya BEC shared, 'Advent is a time to touch those in need. By doing so, we are sharing God's love with others. Our yearning for the Kingdom of God may be renewed within us. I hope every individual or community will commit to help someone else during this season of Advent.' 
Haslinda,a parishioner of St Peter's Chapel, Sungai Manila, the owner of the house expressed her sincere appreciation to all those who had come forward to assist her and her family.

She has this to say, 'This is the greatest Christmas gift my family and I have received from the community. We want to say thank you to Indah Jaya BEC and kind individuals for their contributions in cash or in kind and above all for sharing God's love with us. We will cherish this special day. We will treasure your kind deeds. Hopefully, one day we may be able to touch others like you have touched us today. May the Lord shower upon all of you his choicest blessings.' 
Putting in place the toilet and bathroom
It is out of this kind of little acts of charity during the Advent season that we learn to cooperate and move forth together to do something beautiful for God and worthy of our Catholic faith. May we live to be bearers of  light, giving hope to those in need within our circles and beyond.


New Advent