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Friday, January 8, 2016

Sharing Experiences in Paitan Mission

Interview conducted by Dalius 
SOCCOM, St. Mary's Cathedral
St Mary's Cathedral Parish SOCCOM took the opportunity to interview some of the nine-member team, comprising of the various ministries of the Cathedral, involved in the two-day outreach trip to the Paitan Missionary Area on 19th and 20th December.  Below are some of the recorded excerpts;
Pilis Malim ~ PPC Chairman of St Mary's Cathedal Parish
“This trip was planned on invitation by Fr. Thomas to join him and to lend support to the Catholic laity in Paitan for the Christmas celebration. Since St. Mary’s Cathedral is the mother church in the diocese, by right all lay leaders in the mother church should take the initiative to reach out to its sub-parishes and outstations. In doing so, it will promote a culture of solidarity.

The enthusiastic spirit of the local parishioners coming out to greet and have fellowship with the guests to celebrate Christmas is really encouraging. They took great effort to attend the celebration despite of transportation problems; some came by the river just to be here. They represented the various chapel stations and surrounding estates across the mission area.

My best experience is that all representatives from St Mary's Cathedral extended their full support to the organizing committee in Sukang. They put in every effort to make sure that our brothers and sisters in Christ would feel the warm welcome of the church, extending the love of Christ to each and all. 

One good experience I observed is that all of us slept very well on the wooden floor in the mission house despite some of us were first timer to the mission area and not use to living in remote places.”
Jerry Lo, Chairman St Mary's Primary and Secondary
School Board of Governors
“What motivated me to come to St. Francis Assisi, Sukang Paitan is because of the call to reach out to the under-privileged in this Extraordinary Year of Mercy and also in conjunction with the Christmas season. This is not my first visit to Sukang. I recalled that a few years back, I attended the official opening of this chapel and celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Paitan mission here. 

I will continue to serve and do my best in whatever capacity I can to assist the mission. What touches me is the hospitality of the community over here. They treat us like family and provide us good accommodation. This is the first time I stay overnight here and managed to sleep well despite of the strong snoring from our members.”
David Chung ~ Chairman, Finance Committee
“Apart from the rector’s invitation, I am here to support our Paitan mission and to spend time with our brothers and sisters in Christ for the Christmas celebration. Actually, I am motivated to do missionary work after seeing my ex-classmate, who belong to the Basel Church and is now a Canadian resident, but actively doing missionary work in Pitas (about 90km from Sukang, Paitan). The great distance does not hinder one from engaging in missionary work.  What more for us, who are just a few hours’ drive away from the Mother church.”
Robert Tham ~  member of St Mary's Cathedral 
Marian Development Committee
“I came here because of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Holy Door of Mercy in Rome was declared open by our Holy Father while the Holy Door at the Cathedral was graced by our bishop. We are called to be more involved in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. We are to be merciful like the Father, always prioritizing of others; the weak, the depressed, the marginalized and the poor.

It is our duty to share the love, the mercy and the joy of the gospel with our brothers and sisters in the Paitan mission. Throughout the whole year we are called to do our utmost to share with them the joy and love we received from Christ. This Holy Year of Mercy, has moved me to take part in the mission.”
Joseph Lee ~ member of St Mary's Cathedral
Canteen Committee
“This is my first time in Sukang, Paitan. I really enjoy the greenery and the views over here. I find this place a good place for one who seeks a quiet and peaceful environment. I encourage those seeking for peace of mind to come over here. Spend a few nights here and rest assured you will encounter comfort and peace with nature. The environment promises a blissful solitude; a quiet moment with God.” 

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