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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Celebrating Christmas With the People of Paitan Mission

Article by Dalius L.L. and 
photos by Bell and Dalius
Sandakan: Pilis Malim, the Chairman of St Mary's Cathedral Parish Pastoral Council led a 9-member team of various ministries to the Paitan Missionary Area in St. Francis Assisi Chapel, Sukang, 19th - 20th December 2015. 
Their coming to the mission station was to be engaged in hands-on mission action and witnessing, to be involved with corporal works of mercy. They were doing their part to reach out to the rural community. Apart from that they were there to render support to Fr. Thomas Makajil, the rector of the Cathedral who is also the priest responsible for the mission area. 
The members, joined another two other groups who were there a day earlier for their pastoral program. One group led by Sr. Appollonia Gumpu fsic comprising members of the Order of the Franciscan Secular (OFS) was there for their annual Christmas program. The other group of two seminarians and a Eucharistic Minister from Our Lady of Fatima Beluran led by Deacon Stanley William Matakim was for pastoral exposure on missionary work.  
The members spent their first day in informal discussion on subjects related to pastoral works of the church, issues pertaining to church physical development and planning for next year's pastoral programs. 

The next day, Sunday 20th December, they attended the Eucharistic celebration at the chapel presided over by Fr Thomas. In his homily, Fr Thomas said that the festive season of Christmas is always a joyful occasion for everyone. The birth of Christ is a beautiful moment for all for He has come to bring salvation. He is also called Emmanuel, 'God is with us.'

He reminded the people not to forget the actual reason for the season. In our busy schedule, preparing for the celebration, stay focus on Christ, who has come to be with us and to save us. Share the love of Christ with family members, friends and the community. Make this season meaningful; loving Him, sharing Him and making Him known.
 Peter Saimin, the full-time catechist serving the Paitan Mission
Willie Pius, Chairman of  the Pastoral Committee, Paitan Mission
Pilis Malim , Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council of  St. Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan 
A presentation by the youth from St. Simon's Chapel  Rakanan, Paitan
Choir group from St. Clare Kg. Dalamas, Paitan
Presentation from the Sunday School children of  St. Francis Assisi, Sukang, Paitan
"Mamarayou Tokou Do Kinorohingan" by the youth from Kg. Dalamas, Paitan

Members of  the choir group of St. Francis Assisi Kg. Sukang, Paitan
One for the album with the parishioners of Paitan Mission
After the Eucharistic celebration, parishioners were entertained with performances from the various chapels in the mission area. The highlight was the distribution of Christmas goodies to some 300 children which were sponsored by a kind Samaritan from Sandakan and the St Mary's Cathedral Parish Catholic Women's Apostolate. After which, the parishioners adjourned for a luncheon fellowship.

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