Photos by SOCCOM Tawau
Tawau : The 5th and final day, 10th June 2016 began with Morning Prayer followed by group sharing. Each member in the group was requested to draw their 'Mission' focused on mercy and share the meaning of their drawing within their groups.
Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu presided over the Closing Eucharistic Celebration, con celebrated by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom of Sandakan and Msgr. Nicholas Ong, the rector of Holy Trinity Parish Tawau.
Archbishop John Wong in his homily related how Elijah was commanded by God to return from where he came from. He urged the young people to go back to their places and set forth their mission, remember always to shine in the Lord by holding on to His word of life.
The prelate said, 'Dear young people of God, bring back all the experiences you have gained to your own parish and be the light and salt to others. Serve the Lord with the talent that He has granted you. Share that precious gift with others.'
He advised the young people to learn to listen to God even in the midst of their busyness. He asked them to follow the right path that the Lord has set forth for them and continue to seek the face of God.
In conclusion, he reminded them not to forget to read the Word of God, partake in the Eucharistic Celebration and obey His commandments and go forth to share the Good News.
After the Mass, Fr. Sunny Chung, the Spiritual Advisor of SYD4 expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all involved in the preparation and implementation of the event. He said, 'without your support and teamwork, there will be no SYD4. You have indeed contributed tremendously; your time, energy and talent in ensuring that the event take off as planned. On behalf of our team, we sincerely thank you for your full commitment. I cannot mention each one of you here but let God reward you for your generous contribution.'
Bishop Julius then expressed his gratitude to Msgr. Nicholas Ong who had so willingly accepted the challenge as the host for the event. Had Msgr. Nicholas declined in the first place then we would not assemble here in Holy Trinity Tawau. He thanked all involved for a job well done.
The prelate said, 'I should say that the event as a whole was a success. However, there are areas that can be improved. It is a blessing for Holy Trinity to host this event. There are some physical development carried out to cater to the needs of the event. The structure shall remain here for the benefits of the local parishioners.'
Another memorable moment was when some 200 young people responded to the call to serve in the church in the priestly and religious life. They received the blessing from Archbishop John Wong witnessed by the whole congregation.
Before announcing the next host, tokens of appreciation were presented to the rector of Holy Trinity Parish Tawau, the Bishop of the Diocese of Sandakan and to the Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu from the Main Organizing Team.
It was announced that SYD5 will be jointly hosted by Papar and Limbahau Parishes in 2020. Bishop Julius handed the banner over to Archbishop John Wong.
The 5-day event has indeed in its own way touched the hearts of the young people to be more open to others, accepting each another as what they are, caring and sharing and above all journeying together in faith.
There was a mixture of joy and sadness among the participants at the closing of the event. May the transformation gained by each of them bear fruits and make them the bearers of Christ's light and hope for others.