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Thursday, May 28, 2015

ST MARY'S CATHEDRAL PARISH WELCOMES THE NEOPHTYTES

BY DALIUS, SOCCOM ST. MARY
PHOTOS BY GEORGE LAWADIN

Sandakan : St. Mary's Cathedral Parish welcomed 52 newly baptized members into their fold with a dinner reception at the Parish Hall, Sunday 24th May 2015. This year around the Catholic Cathedral of St. Mary's Parish received 35 members from the Bahasa speaking community, 12 and 5 members each from the Chinese and the English speaking community. 
'Walk in the Light of God'
Before they are ready to become Catholics, they will have to undergo the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) process for one year. This is a process where the adults or older children interested in the Catholic faith to build and develop their relationship with God. They are to journey with the Catholic community in prayer, catechesis and dialogue. During Easter Vigil, those who are ready to embrace the faith are baptized and fully initiated into the Catholic faith community. The newly baptized, are called Neophytes (newly planted) a term used to describe our newest Catholics and the celebration in welcoming them are held during the Feast of Pentecost.
In his welcoming address to the audience, the Rector of St Mary's Parish, Fr. Thomas Makajil expressed his gratitude to everyone for coming together this evening in welcoming the neophyes into the Catholic family. He encouraged everyone to give them the support, the help and companionship while journeying together with them in faith. At the same note he encouraged the neophytes to join the many ministries and communities in the church. 
He added, that our talent is essential to the mission of the Church, our gift is to be shared to build up His body, the Church.
During the dinner, a wide range of entertainments was presented to the audience. The highlight of the evening were the personal testimonials by the neophytes themselves. They shared on how they had changed after having encountered God, how they were healed and restored.
The reception, attended by more than 300 people, concluded at exactly 9.30 pm with a Closing Prayer led by Rev. Fr. Phillip Muji.

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