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Thursday, April 7, 2016

60 Days To The 4th Sabah Youth Day

Article by Julita Kantod, SOCCOM Tawau
Tawau : SYD or Sabah Youth Day is a church event in collaboration with the youth, for the youth and of the youth. Upon the beautiful fruit during the Youth Jubilee Celebration in 2000, the need for it has led to an agreement between the Youth Commission of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu and the Youth Apostolate of the Keningau diocese to continue this program once in four years.
Prior to the event proper, the symbolic journey of the Youth Cross will be brought to the identified churches in the entire arch/dioceses in Sabah before its final destination at the host of the event.
This time the Diocese of Sandakan is hosting the 4th Sabah Youth Day 2016 at Holy Trinity Church Tawau. The said event will begin from 6th to 10th June 2016. The Youth Cross is about to reach its final destination, merely 60 days as of now.
St. Jude Semporna an outstation church under Holy Trinity Parish, Tawau is the first station for the Youth Cross in the parish. The handing over ceremony was on Sunday 3rd April 2016 starting at 3pm. The handing over process was witnessed by some 400 parishioners, including the youth of St. Jude Semporna, representatives of the Holy Trinity Church, St. Dominic Lahad Datu and St. Peter Kunak.
The handing-over ceremony of the Youth Cross and Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary began with the formal addresses from both the youth leaders of the handing over and receiving churches.
This was followed with the handing over of the Youth Cross to the young people of St Jude. The selected youth carried the Cross and the Icon of Blessed Virgin Mary and thereafter in solemn procession followed by all parishioners marched from the main gate to the entrance of St. Jude's Church.
A sketch depicting the meaning of the Cross in the life of today's youth was presented by the local youth upon entering the church as a reflection for all parishioners present. 
The Symbolic Youth Cross was later placed inside the church. This was then followed with the Eucharistic Celebration, presided over by Rev. Fr. Philip A. Muji, the assistant rector of Holy Trinity Church, Tawau.
In his homily, Fr Philip spoke on the meaning of the Cross in the life of a Catholic faithful.
"Life without the Cross is meaningless," he said. The cross symbolizes humility, faith, determination, strength and hope. As you go about with your daily life, you need time to understand your own "Cross." Recognize it and learn on every part of your Cross so that you will prepare spiritually and mentally to face the reality of "Youth " in today's environment. With this, you may recognize the meaning of the Cross in your life and sustain your faithfulness in God. 
He concluded by calling upon all youth, "Dear young people, you are the pillar of the Church now and in the future. Learn to recognize your cross each, lift it and embrace it so that you may be prepared to face the situations of life around you."
Right after the Holy Mass parishioners witnessed the handing over of a book called "Buku Harapan" which among others include the hope, aspiration and expectation of each participant in the upcoming SYD4.
A short testimony on the meaning of the cross from the representatives of both St. Peter's Kunak and St. Jude's Semporna were inspiring.

Elizee William of St Peter's Kunak
"The presence of the Youth Cross in our parish of St. Dominic Lahad Datu gives us a different and deeper meaning. What I have experienced and seen through the Cross is that it has indeed touched more youth especially involving in pre-prepared activities, such as silent moment and reflecting on the meaning of the Cross and other spiritual sessions. It has given me the inspiration and strength to get to know Christ and I am preparing myself spiritually for the upcoming SYD 4 in June."
Yasinta Dominicus of St Jude, Semporna
"While awaiting for the arrival of the Cross, I have this to share. The coming of the Youth Cross is an opportunity for all of us here, regardless of age, race or culture we are all united in our spiritual preparation for the event. I believe that while the Cross is here we will be able to strengthen our relationship with one another and with God. I thank God for giving me this opportunity to know him through the Cross."

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