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Friday, January 22, 2016

FILIPINO COMMUNITY OF HOLY TRINITY CHURCH TAWAU CELEBRATES THE FEAST OF STO NINO DE CEBU

By Julita, SOCCOM Tawau
Tawau : Some 800 Filipino parishioners together with other communities gathered to celebrate the yearly event of the Feast of Infant Jesus, Feast of Sto. Nino De Cebu in Holy Trinity Church, Tawau  on 17th January 2016. It marked the 18th year of celebration, themed, Transform us by your Mercy.' The image of the infant Jesus is the symbol of hope and protector.
The Thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Msgr. Nicholas Ong and con celebrated by Fr. Johnny Raju, the assistant rector, at 11.00 am. The event began with a procession of the statue of Child Jesus from the entrance to the Sanctuary.
The homily, themed ‘marriage' according to the Gospel of John 2 : 1-11, the wedding at Cana, reminded the congregation on the purpose and obligation as husband and wife and as parents. Msgr Nicholas continued to say, “You must invite God into your marriage for He is the source of life that strengthens and sustains your love. You are the reflection of Christ's love to the Church. Continue to be fruitful in union between husband and wife just as the Church that has yielded much fruits through the Holy Spirit.'
Christ is present in your marriage. Lean on Him, trust and depend on His grace and mercy. As we celebrate the Feast of the Child Jesus, it reminds all of us that we must be like children, totally dependant on God's guidance and blessing throughout your marriage life.
The Gospel teaches us about how God extends his invitation to us to be in his company as husband and wife. He calls us to stay close to him and to know him personally. God wants us to know and experience his love and forgiveness. By responding to His call, we are serving him.
Members of the Filipino community from St. Mary's Cathedral Sandakan, St. Peter Kunak,  Sacred Heart Kota Kinabalu and from the Persatuan Kababayan Sabah ( PKS )  were present at the event. Their presence made the occasion more meaningful.
After the Holy Mass, parishioners participated in the procession of the Infant Jesus, from the church entrance to the Parish Hall. A luncheon fellowship was held with many more members of the Filipino community joining in the celebration, thus making it merrier .
Rufino Pontilas, the Chairman of the Filipino Pastoral Committee expressed his gratitude to all his organizing committee for their effort and commitment. He said, 'Your continuous support and commitment in this yearly event proved that we are all granted the blessings and grace from the Almighty. He continues to lead, strengthen and care for us.' 
In his short address to the parishioners, Msgr. Nicholas  thanked the community for the effort to celebrate the event yearly for the past eighteen years. He said, "I believe you have been through many challenges in your struggles to unite your community but yet to date you have proven that with God’s grace everything is made possible. Continue to serve one another and live in communion with other communities so that together we will live as one big family." 
The event was made lively with colorful presentations from the various groups of the Filipino community of the parish. Apart from presentations, there was also lucky draws.
The program ended at 2.30 pm with a closing prayer led by Fr. Johnny Raju.

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