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Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Reported by Susanna Cordova
Sandakan : On Sunday, 6th March 2016, SYCC (Star of Yahweh Covenant Community) of St Mary's Cathedral once again extended their warm welcome to the new batch of MRSM Form 1 and 4 students, the  first intake of Sekolah Seni students of SMK Elopura Sandakan and boarders of St. Mary’s Hostel. Most are from outside of St Mary's Parish.
Group photo with SYCC elders at the end of the program

MRSM students
Rev. Fr. Stanley William Matakim in his welcoming speech

It was a great joy to serve and to know them as members of the one big family of Catholics though we may not actually know them. Jesus said as in Matthew 25 : 35, 'I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.' SYCC took the opportunity to welcome the new students that they may experience the hospitality of the community, making them aware that the church cares and offers compassion. 'Welcoming the strangers,' through action can be a great relief to people who are new at the parish. The  Year of Mercy calls us to be more concern on corporal and spiritual work of mercy.
Ice Breaker by Mark Lai
Samson, Delilah and Tiger game – Ice Breaker session
The theme, “You are Loved” shows that no matter where we go, as long as Jesus is with us, the love of Christ is always there. This fellowship has indeed given a great impact to the students. Fr.Stanley William Matakim, the assistant parish priest in his welcome speech, thanked SYCC for their love and kindness in organizing this special programme for the students. He also hoped that through this kind of activity the students will have a good rapport with the Catholic community in the parish. 

The ice breaker was a game “Samson, Delilah and Tiger” where students really had good interaction and fun. Lunch was served with yummy home cooked dishes. Most missed their moms' cooking. Meanwhile, SYCC celebrated the birthdays of those students born in January-March. It was a touching moment for them as the organizers celebrated their birthdays away from home, from siblings and parents.
Susanna Cordova shared about the theme, “You’re Loved”
The event continued with a praise and worship session followed with a talk facilitated by one of the SYCC members, Susanna Cordova who shared on the theme, “You are Loved.” She emphasized that in our lives we have to put Jesus first and have a good relationship with the Lord. The talk was also to help the students to strengthen their Catholic faith, thus empowering them to face the obstacles in a non-Christians environment. 
Sharing Jesus' love
Group sharing
After the talk, students were arranged in groups to discuss about the two main questions; When do you feel you are not loved? and How do you experience Jesus’ love in your life? Then, a representative from each group shared their views based on the questions.
The praise and worship session
Action songs
The teachers in–charge for the welfare of the Catholic students in MRSM are Mr. Dominic James and his wife Mrs. Marry Lalim, Miss Monica Loh for the SMK Elopura Sekolah Seni and Mr. Michael Tan for St. Mary’s Hostel. They are the people committed in gathering all these Catholic students ensuring that they attend church every Sunday; indeed they are like the Good Shepherd, Christ tenderly cares for his sheep, tends his flock and guarantees their survival.
Celebrating birthdays for those born in January to March.
Refreshment for the students after attending the BM Mass
Sekolah Seni Students of SMK Elopura Sandakan
Boarders of St. Mary's Hostel
The SYCC Youth leading one of the activities

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