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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Diocese of Sandakan Organizes the 3rd Diocesan and Parish Staff Recollection

Article by DS, photos
by G.Bell and Helda J
Tawau : Twenty-six staff of the Diocesan Pastoral Office and the four Parish Offices across the diocese attended a 3-day and 2-night stay-in recollection at Holy Trinity Church from 19th - 21st September 2015. Apart from boosting their morale in their performance and enhancing their spiritual growth, the recollection also aim to foster a closer relationship among the staff.
Anna Teresa, the Coordinator of the Staff Recollection
Francis Tan, delivering Bishop Julius' message
In his message to the participants, read by Francis Tan, the Executive Secretary, Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, the Bishop of Sandakan hoped that the 3-day event would enable the staff to experience a mental shift to that of the right attitude as servant of God. As church workers, we are to assist the priests in all ways possible to gather and never to scatter.

Serve with humility and always bear in mind that our preferential option for the poor must translate into action. Reach out to the little ones and extend pastoral care for the vulnerable ones.

The prelate said, 'I hope this recollection will enable you to be effective hands and feet of Christ to serve with compassion and love. Continue to build bridges and break down the wall. Go forth to sow seeds of love and peace as in John 13 : 34, 'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.' 

The 1st recollection in 2012 focused on 'Church' while the 2nd recollection in 2013 on 'Sacraments.' The 3rd recollection this year around focused on the 'Catholic Social Teaching,' a sequence which is most appropriate. CST prompts us to look outside of ourselves and the church to reach out to others.
Dominic Lim
Dominic Lim, the Executive Secretary of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu facilitated the recollection. He touched on several social encyclicals to help participants understand that each was written to address social issues of that particular time. He expounded on the first social encyclical, Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII in 1891 right to Sollicitudo Rei Socialis of Pope John Paul II in 1987. He also spent sometime to discuss on the latest encyclical of Pope Francis, 'Laudato Si' on care of our common home.

After having run through the social encyclicals, Dominic moved on to introduce the 7 themes of CST. Among which, he explained in details, 'Life and Dignity of the Human Person,' 'The Dignity of Work and the Rights of the Workers,' and 'Care for God's Creation.'
There was also a session on group discussion based on the 3 themes. The outcomes of which were presented to the large group. Participants are motivated to move out of their confine of their office to reach out to those in need.
The recollection ended with a para-liturgy, inviting and leading participants to faith and reconciliation.

Social night on 20th September with sporting staff members going on stage to present their performances spontaneously.

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