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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Catholic Social Teaching Session For MOT of SYD-4

DS / st
KOTA KINABALU : Members of the Main Organizing Team of the 4th Sabah Youth Day attended a formation session on Catholic Social Teaching (CST) on 15th and 16th November 2014 at the Catholic Student Group (CSG) Center, Kota Kinabalu. 

The twelve young people from the three arch / dioceses in Sabah had earlier attended the preparatory meeting for BILA on Youth. The session was facilitated by Dominic Lim from the Archdiocesan Human Development Commission (AHDC). 

Although not all the seven themes were covered during the one and half day formation, the team found that they now have a deeper understanding about the Catholic faith. The knowledge gained ought to be practiced and shared with others.
Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is a rich treasure of wisdom regarding building a better society and living lives of holiness in the modern and challenging society. It is also known as the best kept secret of the Catholic Church and many Catholics are unaware of the existence of the CST which has been around since 1891 where in that year, Pope Leo XIII wrote the Encyclical 'Rerum Novarum' - "The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers” addressing new issues, then facing the European society.
As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has said, Christianity is actually an experience of Christ's love, not a set of do's and don'ts. However, there are still many  people thinking that CST is a set of rules that Catholics are obliged to follow. Not only that, CST is seldom preached from the pulpit.

"None of us can think we are exempt from concerns for the poor and for social justice." 
-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 2013, Ch.4, #201

After a few meetings, the main organizing team for the upcoming 4th Sabah Youth Day (SYD 4) saw the need to share the treasure of wisdom to the young people of Sabah and be the voice of the marginalized. "Truly I tell you, just as you did to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me" - Matthew 25 : 40. Therefore, the MOT desired to go through the formation session to be better prepared in organizing the upcoming SYD 4 in 2016 to be held in Holy Trinity Church, Tawau.

Some of the themes covered included the following; 

Life and Dignity of the Human Person
God looks at every person with compassion and he loves us as though we are the only creature in the world. We believe that every person (no matter what nationality and what kind of work we do) is precious and that people are more important than things. We also believe that CST is an instrument to bring back the value of a human person.

The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers / Rerum Novarum
Work is also a vocation of a human person. Through work we achieve perfection. Therefore we must work together for the common good. Economy should be a tool for human and not the other way round. Humans are more valuable than things and labor is more important than profit. Every worker has the right to productive work, a reasonable wage, safe environment and also the right to form and join unions.

Human Rights / Populorum Progressio
Every human being has the right to life and to have access to the basic necessity in life. We were given an example of the happenings to the villagers who previously stayed around the Babagon Dam area. They depended on the forest for their livelihood. However, they were forced to leave the area to give way to the project. They were relocated elsewhere where they have to start all over again. We believe that whoever are responsible for it, should return what they have taken from the people. 

Care for God's Creation
Everything created in this world is a gift from God. We are entrusted  to be a good steward of God's creation.
"An authentic faith always implies a deep desire to change the world." 
- Pope Francis, Homily on March 1, 2014 in the Church of Gesu

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