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Thursday, May 21, 2015

1st and 2nd Day ~ 7th Annual Conference EMI

By DS / sj
PORT DICKSON: The 7th Annual Conference of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants (EMI) (Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei) was held at the Marist Brothers Campagnat Youth Centre, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan on 7th - 10th May 2015. 
Twenty participants of the incoming and outgoing EMI members from across the region attended the 4-day event. Sr Maria Dipal, rgs and and Shirley Joseph, Chairperson and Secretary of the Diocesan Human Development Commission respectively represented the Diocese of Sandakan.
1st Day, 7th May 2015
The Opening Mass was presided over by Fr Arin Sugit from the Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei Darussalam. In his homily, he said that in order for us to be fruitful in our ministry, we have to always remain with Jesus. Serving in the migrant ministry is proclaiming God's love that is constant and will remain unchanged in our life. Christ's love will give us strength to keep this ministry alive even when we encounter obstacles, hardships and problems. 
"In the end, we and the people we have touched will receive joy in our life if God's love flows from our ministry. We pray that through this conference, we may be able to comfort, to support one another and to share the joy, also sadness with one another."

2nd Day, 8th May 2015

Mark Goh, a lawyer by profession and currently serving as the Chairperson of the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ACMI), Singapore presented the summary report on the trafficking position paper discussion.
After the presentation, there was a Question and Answer session. Members came up with a proposed EMI Trafficking Position statement which will be presented to the CBC-MSB for their consideration in July 2015.
The next session was 'Volunteer Management' facilitated by Michael Charles Loh, a Founder Member and Chairman  of the Managing And Organising Volunteer Efforts, Executive Director of Catholic AIDS Response Effort and a Member of Caritas Singapore Volunteer Resource Committee. He touched on how to work with volunteers, emphasizing on;
  • Why People Volunteer 
  • Why Volunteers Leave 
  • The DPH (Dover Park Hospice, Singapore) Experience 
  • A Catholic Perspective

He concluded by saying, "A volunteer is not necessarily a disciple but a disciple must be a volunteer in order to do God’s will."

The next slot was the presentation of the annual reports from all participating arch / dioceses. 
a) Report from EMI Executive Committee (2013-2015)
b) Reports from Arch/Dioceses
The annual report covers an introductory background to the Diocesan Migrant Ministry, activities carried out at the parish and diocesan level for 2014, planned activities at parish and diocesan level for 2015 and key areas on the development of the Migrant Ministries.
Mass on the 2nd day was presided over by Fr. Charlie Oasan. In his homily, he touched on Jesus' business (mission) on earth which is to bring the Kingdom of love, compassion and mercy to all people because God loves everybody. 

He was not afraid of the world authorities even to the extend to die because He knew where he was going. Jesus' disciples were also not afraid to die in proclaiming the Kingdom of love, compassion and mercy. We are the followers of Jesus Christ. We are chosen to be here, not by chance but chosen to work with migrants.

"So, let us, in this Eucharist ask the Lord for inspirations in times of disappointment, in facing some difficult situations and in times of giving up. May the Lord keep the fire burning in our hearts, to continue to serve in the migrant ministry."

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