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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Order of Franciscan Secular Annual Retreat 2015 ~ 1st Day (31st July 2015)

By Helen John and Helda Laurencius
Sandakan : A total of 133 members of all the 11 local fraternities convened at St Mary's Cathedral to attend the just concluded 3-day Order Franciscanus Saecularis (OFS) Annual Retreat 2015 from 31st July to 2nd August.  OFS of St Mary's Cathedral hosted this year's annual event. 
The 11 fraternities from across Sabah included the OFS Fraternities of Holy Rosary Church Limbahau, St Joseph's Church Papar, St Francis' Cathedral Keningau, Sacred Heart Cathedral, KK, Our Lady of Fatima's Church Beluran, St Mary's Cathedral Sandakan, St John's Church Tuaran, St Joseph Husband of Mary Kiulu, Church of the Blessed Sacrament Labuan, Stella Maris' Church, Tg. Aru and Holy Cross Toboh Tambunan.
The retreat, themed 'Fraternity is a fundamental element of a Franciscan Life has the following objectives;
  • To remind all the brothers and sisters of their sense of belonging to our own Order, namely the Order Franciscanus Saecularis or Order Franciscan Secular.
  • It s also a reminder and renewal of commitment to our profession to the Order, and
  • It is our opportunity to give praise and thanks to the Almighty God for His blessings.
Fr. Michael Teng, OFM, Cap. the retreat master is a Franciscan priest from the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.  He is the current National Spiritual Assistant to the Emerging OFS National Fraternity of Malaysia-Singapore.  
After registration, participants attended the Opening Mass, presided over by Fr Thomas Makajil, rector of St Mary's Cathedral, con celebrated by Fr Michael Teng and assisted by Deacon Stanley William Matakim. 
In his homily, Fr Thomas reminded OFS members to be intentionally aware of their responsibility as authentic Christ's faithful. To effect change, one need to experience change. We need to be renewed and live life as Christian, individually, in the family and the community. Unless guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, our endeavor would be in vain.
He hoped that the 3-day annual retreat at St Mary's Cathedral would provide the right spiritual environment for participants to refresh, renew and re-energize to be better Christian, serving in the vineyard of the Lord. 

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