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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Diocese of Sandakan Celebrates Palm Sunday, Ushers in Solemn Holy Week

Article by DS / dll and rrs
Sandakan : Bishop Julius celebrated Palm Sunday at St Mary's Cathedral Saturday, 28th March 2015 with more than 700 parishioners in attendance. The celebration commenced at the open space in front of the Parish Hall with the Blessing of the Palm leaves. He then sprinkled the leaves with holy water. 

The Bishop invited the faithful to commemorate the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem, with faith and devotion, following His footstep and that by His grace we may have salvation, a share in His resurrection.

The prelate said, 'Let us commemorate the event with our heart open and receptive of His love, which usher us into Holy Week. Let us pray that our faith will never fail even in the face of challenges and problem in our life.' The parishioners holding the palm leaves then entered the Cathedral in a procession.
In his homily, he began by citing Isaiah 53 : 7, 'He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so he did not open his mouth.'
It calls for reflection, seeing how it applies to God's only beloved son and how he died for all of us. In the words of St. Peter, 'without having seen Him you have come to believe in Him. You are already filled with the joy so glorious that words could not describe.'
We are called to deeply appreciate his suffering, out of love for us, through the narration of the passion. It reminds us that Christ was no stranger to hardship and sufferings. Despite His compassion for the people, He met with indifference, hatred and rejection. 
Palm Sunday Celebration in BM, presided by Fr Sunny Chung at St Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan on Sunday 29th March 2015
Jesus was deeply grieved. He was deeply troubled waiting for His death in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing that one of His own is going to betray Him and his disciples will desert Him. And even Peter swore that he has never met Him. But most terrible of all was His spirit of being abandoned by God.
His inner spirit was surrounded in darkness as His end draws near. He says in a loud voice, 'My God, My God why have you forsaken Me.' His bodily feature was so disfigured, His feet and hands nailed to the Cross and His side pierced with a lance; the sight of the Eternal God, Jesus.
Palm Sunday celebrated by Fr Phillip Muji at Holy Trinity Church, Tawau
The question we are asking is,'why such suffering.' We can only say with Isaiah, 'For our sins He was brought low. On Him lay a punishment that brings a spirit that saves us. May the Lord grant that Jesus' death be not in vain.'
Palm Sunday at St Dominic's Church, Lahad Datu with Fr Simon Kontou as the main celebrant
Fr Jasery, celebrating Palm Sunday at St Martin's Church, Telupid.
When we look upon the passion and death of Jesus with eyes of faith and love, we see the divine love that is stronger than sin, divine light that shines in all our darkness, divine power that brings new life over our own death, the divine poverty that enriches us. 
Let us enter that journey. We are to listen deeply to all that is taking place so as to recognize the Good Shepherd who lay down His life for us all, that we might have life and life to the full.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Marian 2nd Chance Celebrates 3rd Anniversary

Article by Seah Patrick 
Photos by Helen John

The dedicated volunteers of Marian 2nd Chance
Sandakan : It is by the Grace of God, that the Marian 2nd Chance is able to advance to its 3rd Anniversary Celebration today, Sunday 28th March 2015.
The annual sales of Marian 2nd Chance from 31st March 2014 to 31st March 2015 amounted to RM 12,817.00. (RM Twelve Thousand Eight Hundred Seventeen Only)
The Marian 2nd Chance had to close for business for a month in September 2014 due renovation work to its new premise.  Business at its new premise commenced in October 2014. The month of February 2015, saw a record sales of RM2,426.00. The shop is open on every Sunday for a 4-hour business transaction (0830am-12.30pm)
The business is of ZERO cost with parishioners contributing used items to the shop. The shop is managed by volunteers and all revenue derived from the sales is channeled to the parish coffer.
The Marian 2nd Chance wishes to acknowledge and extend its appreciation to kind Samaritans for the following contributions making the new premise a conducive and friendly stop over after mass; Elba 2.5 hp air-con, iron-tray tables, display hooks and stands, glass panels and wooden cupboards, mannequins, LED blue light and photocell sensor (to shine on the Statue of Mother Mary at night), circular display hook-stand and small round table, ceiling boards, floor tiles and hanger stands. The Committee is grateful to faithful parishioners who continuously contribute assorted items and others who keep patronizing the shop Sunday after Sunday.
This season of Lent saw many parishioners patronizing the Marian 2nd Chance, readily spending and buying in support of their parish. Many have benefited in acquiring their 'treasures' found at the Marian 2nd Chance. Many have also stepped forth to contribute to the shop, making Lent a moment of giving.
Rev. Fr. Thomas Makajil, the rector of St Mary's Cathedral expressed his appreciation to the Committee, all kind donors and parishioners who patronize the Marian 2nd Chance. The collaboration of all parties involved is a clear sign of unity that prevails  in the parish. He hoped that the Marian 2nd Chance is here to stay as an integral part of the parish. 
The volunteers with Patrick Seah, (2nd right)
Fr. Thomas wishes to thank volunteers, Honeyla Johnny and Ruth Richard, who have left the service for their hometowns in Kota Kimabalu and Tambunan respectively. Currently the Marian 2nd Chance is manned by eight volunteers; Seah Patrick, Catherine Edwards, Alice Chew, Sylvia Yulus, James Lee, Allison Hendrikus, Sylvia Lidus and Vanessa Pinso
Wishing all a 'Blessed and Happy Easter.' 

Bishop Julius Celebrates Chrism Mass at St Mary's Cathedral Sandakan

Article by DS / rrs and 
photos by Bell, Helen and Hilda
Sandakan :  Rt. Rev. Julius Dusin Gitom, the Bishop of Sandakan celebrated Chrism Mass at St Mary's Cathedral at 7.30 pm, Thursday 26th March 2015. Seven diocesan priests from across the diocese con celebrated the Mass, one of the most solemn and significant liturgies of the Church. Two seminarians on pastoral exposures were present to assist in the liturgy. More than a thousand parishioners attended the tri-lingual celebration.
Fr Sunny Chung, proclaiming the Gospel reading
In his introductory note, Bishop Julius spoke of the Chrism Mass as a reminder that we are all priestly people; clergy, religious and laity. By virtue of our baptism, we share in the priesthood of Christ.
The prelate in his homily shared that it is always a joy to gather as a Church, especially when faithful assembled for the Chrism Mass. However this year around, Chrism Mass was celebrated in the absence of Msgr Nicholas Ong who is currently undergoing medical treatment. He urged everyone to pray that the Good Lord will grant him speedy recovery.
On Holy Thursday before Christ died, He instituted the Eucharist and we commemorate His institution right till now, till eternity. The Eucharist is always at the centre of the churches' worship. By participating in the Eucharist, He leads us to Himself.
The prelate touched on the various oils to be blessed and explained its uses. We use the oil of cathecumens to anoint adult cathecumens and infants preparing for baptism. The oil for the sick for anointing those who are sick and the Sacred Chrism for baptism, confirmation, for ordination of priests, consecration of altars and churches. This celebration is in fact closely related to the pastoral activity of the church.
He called upon the faithful to transform the world by living a life as authentic witnesses of the Gospel. For that to happen we need to be at peace with God, peace with ourselves and peace with one another. Another important aspect of the mission of the church is to inculcate and nurture the culture of care and love in line with Pope Francis 2015 Lenten's message. The attitude of love and the culture of care promote healing  and reconciliation; the symbol of the oil of the sick.
We are demanded to live with courage as good Catholics especially in the world today. We should be true witnesses of the Gospel in the world, living to the status as believers and followers of Christ. As God stewards, we are called to look after God's creation. 
He said, 'And therefore I would like to remind everybody, that the most important thing as Christian is to ensure that those wounded in society will feel at home and find spiritual nourishment in our church, community and parish.'
In conclusion, the prelate asked parishioners to continue to support and pray for the Bishop and the clergy that they will continue faithfully to celebrate the Sacraments.
After the homily, the clergy renewed their priestly commitments before the Bishop, manifesting their unity with the Bishop. This was then followed by the blessing of the three Holy Oils.
Bishop Julius and the clergy

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Artikel - Julita Kantod dan 
Gambar - John Wong, Gabriel Chung dan Julita
Tawau : Kerasulan Wanita Katolik ( KWK ) Keuskupan Sandakan telah menganjurkan Retret dan Perhimpunan Agung KWK ke-6 pada 19hb  hingga 22hb Februari 2015 bertempat di Gereja Holy Trinity, Tawau.
Perwakilan dari Holy Trinity Tawau
Perwakilan dari Katedral St Mary, Sandakan
Aktiviti tahunan ini telah berjaya mengumpul 82 ahli KWK Keuskupan Sandakan terdiri daripada wakil-wakil dari St. Dominic Lahad Datu, St. Martin Telupid, St. Mary Sandakan dan Holy Trinity Tawau. 
Perwakilan dari St Martin, Telupid
Perwakilan dari St Dominic, Lahad Datu
Antara tujuan retret ini adalah untuk memberikan peluang kepada semua ahli KWK Kesuskupan Sandakan untuk meluangkan masa bersama dengan ahli–ahli yang lain di luar dari paroki masing-masing. Selain itu ianya turut bertujuan untuk merenung perjalanan dan meneguhkan iman mereka dalam pelayanan Gereja terutamanya melalui kerasulan ini.
Retret telah dimulakan dengan Misa Pembukaan pada Khamis, 19hb Mac juga sempena Hari Raya Santo Yosef, suami Maria. Misa ini di upacarakan oleh Rt. Rev. Julius Dusin Gitom, Uskup, Keuskupan Sandakan. Fr. Johnny Raju Pembantu Rektor, Paroki Holy Trinity turut bantu dalam merayakan misa tersebut.
Dalam homilinya, Bapa Uskup Julius menyentuh tentang kerendahan hati dan anugerah merenung yang ada dalam diri Santo Yosef. Keperibadian Yosef melambangkan satu keteguhan imannya terhadap perhubungannya dengan Tuhan. Seorang yang pendiam tetapi mempunyai ikatan yang kukuh dan percaya akan Tuhan. Sikapnya yang sentiasa komited akan tanggungjawabnya; melindungi, menjaga, memimpin, menyediakan, memenuhi keperluan keluarga dan juga seorang yang tidak pernah mengeluh. 
Santo Yosef merupakan satu contoh di mana melakukan kehendak Allah adalah yang terutama dalam hidupnya. Beliau mengakhiri homilinya dengan mengajak semua para peserta retret untuk merenung dan menjadikan Santo Yosef sebagai satu inspirasi dalam pelayanan.
Selepas misa kudus, semua peserta  telah bersama-sama berkumpul dalam acara makan malam sempena mengalu-alukan kedatangan semua peserta, Bapa Uskup Julius juga para penceramah yang akan membantu dalam sesi -sesi retret tersebut.
Sr Liza fsic
Sepanjang program dijalankan, terdapat enam sesi input rohani yang meliputi;
  • Teguhkan Imanmu oleh Bapa Uskup Julius
  • Tiada Jalan Keluar oleh Sdra Petrus Bernadus
  • Wanita Beriman oleh Sr Liza Augustine fsic
  • Pengampunan oleh Seminarian Walter Milter Mario
  • Wanita Yang Berharap Dan Kasih oleh Fr Johnny Raju dan
  • Cabaran Dan Realiti Wanita Dalam Konteks Gereja oleh Sdri Julita Kantod
Kesemua topik berkisarkan kepada realiti dunia semasa yang melibatkan aspek sosial, budaya dan iman setiap manusia. Antara lain, isi kandungan input-input rohani adalah;
  • Keperluan untuk mempunyai hati yang teguh dan iman yang kukuh amatlah diperlukan apabila berhadapan dengan masalah “ ketidakpedulian” sesama manusia. Keteguhan ini membuka mata dan membantu setiap individu agar sentiasa mempunyai ketelusan hati dalam menangani budaya penting diri sendiri yang mana mengakibatkan ramai manusia terpinggir. Seperti Tuhan telah mengongsikan bersama anakNya dengan kita manusia, maka kita juga harus belajar untuk mengongsikan bersama kurnia  pengetahuan, bakat, material dan kasih dengan orang lain.
  • Kebijaksanaan kita dalam membuat keputusan terutamanya dalam situasi yang melibatkan  iman kita agar masalah “tiada jalan keluar” tidak akan berlaku. Kita di tuntut untuk memahami dan memperdalamkan kekuatan iman kita agar kita tidak mudah dipengaruhi dengan agenda-agenda yang dipaparkan dalam media sosial mahupun secara peribadi.
  • Menghargai iman yang Tuhan anugerahkan kepada kita memberikan satu pengharapan yang tidak sia-sia. Iman ini harus di suburkan setiap masa dan diteguhkan melalui perbuatan kita setiap hari.
  • Berjalan bersama dalam pelayanan memerlukan keterbukaan hati dan yang utamanya adalah kerendahan hati. Sikap mudah mengampuni dan mengasihani merupakan ciri-ciri peribadi Kristus yang harus di contohi.
  • Seorang wanita dilahirkan dengan sifat semulajadi yang indah iaitu kelemahlembutan, kecantikan dan kebijaksanaan. Dalam menghadapi dunia yang tidak stabil ini, wanita harus mempunyai kesedaran akan semua realiti di sekeliling mereka. Kesedaran ini akan membantu mereka dalam menilai dan mempertahankan maruah mereka dalam keluarga, masyarakat mahupun sesama dalam pelayanan.
  • Dalam pelayanan, setiap kita harus mempunyai tiga dimensi utama iaitu Iman, Haparan dan Kasih. Ketiga-tiga perkataan ini seharusnya menjadi tunggak dalam setiap pelayanan  agar semua perancangan dan perbuatan tertuju kepada kehendak Tuhan.
Hari ketiga, 21hb Mac telah diakhiri dengan Persidangan Agung para ahli KWK dari semua paroki terlibat. Makan malam telah diadakan sebagai penutup kepada retret dan persidangan Agung Kerasulan Wanita Katolik Keuskupan Sandakan.

Dalam acara penutupan tersebut sdri. Evelyn Watson, selaku Timbalan Kordinator KWK Keuskupan Sandakan menyeru semua ahli untuk terus melayani dengan semangat kasih antara satu sama lain dengan mengongsikan bersama apa yang telah diperolehi sepanjang retret tersebut.
Sdra. Andrew Kiat, Pengerusi MPP turut memberikan motivasi kepada semua peserta dengan meluahkan rasa kagumnya dengan penyertaan yang sungguh-sungguh dari semua ahli KWK.
Fr. Johnny Raju turut memberikan keyakinan dan inspirasi kepada semua ahli untuk melakukan pelayanan dengan kerendahan hati serta meletakan kepercayaan kepada Tuhan dalam setiap pelayanan mereka.


New Advent