Sandakan : A group of concerned parishioners of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan hosted a Jogathon, a fundraising event in aid of the Diocesan Catechists’ Fund. Fr. Sunny Chung who represented the Bishop of Sandakan, flagged off the event on 06th August 2016, 7.30am at Sandakan Rainforest Park. The Jogathon attracted some 370 participants in 6 categories, boys and girls sections, veteran men and women, and the open men and women categories.
Participants were not only confined to Catholic parishioners. There were some from other Christian denominations. Although the distance covered only a 2-km run, the route was quite challenging as it required skill and energy to go uphill and downhill. The participants considered the Jogathon as a charitable cause and for them it was a fun run. Most in the veteran category walked all their way, more on socializing, exercise and recreational intention.
Whatever their intentions, the prizes awaiting them were fabulous sport bicycles for the first, second and third runners, medals for the forth to twentieth runners and certificates for all who participated. Not only were the runners generously awarded but all those who came to support had the opportunity to win some prizes through the raffle tickets. The prizes were given away by Fr. Sunny Chung, Fr. Stanley William, Sr. Appollonia Gumpu, Mr. Paul Lohuji, Mr. Phillip Mosinoh and Mr. Michael Lai as the Vice Chairman of Parish Pastoral Council.
The idea to support the catechists’ work was raised by the PPC Chairman, Pilis Malim after Paitan Mission has its own resident priest stationed in Sukang, Paitan. He shared the idea to a group of parishioners and when Paul Leo Lohuji became the ad-hoc leader, the idea picked up momentum. The understanding of the daunting pastoral work of a priest serving alone in the vast area prompted them to find ways to support the mission.
Paul Lohuji, being the son of a catechist who served during the 60’s in Kinarut, understood the struggle of catechists in reaching out to the lay faithful. The role of a catechist is vital in the life of the church because through the catechists the message of Christ continues to take root and grow in the hearts of the people.
Open Category winner for Teens
Winner of the Men's Open Category
Winner of the Women's Open Category
Paul hoped that the Jogathon will enkindle others to lend support towards the catechists’ cause. He shared that efforts are in place and hoped by God’s grace they will be able to deliver in supporting the Diocesan Catechists’ Fund.
Winner of the Men's Veteran Open Category
Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’ (Matthew 9:37-38). In mission work, it’s a partnership where some will be supporters while others go forth. All will pray, some will be sent, and some will go. Those are the options that are implied in Matthew 9 and those are the options we have before us. Our sending may happen through our prayers. It may happen as we sacrificially give of our financial resources as practised by this group through the Jogathon event.
Winner of the Group's Open Category