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Thursday, August 25, 2016


Article by Dalius LL
Photo by Helda, Rogena and Leonard

Sandakan: The parish of St. Mary’s Cathedral celebrated its 133rd anniversary on Sunday, 14th August 2016, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A nine-day, devotional novenas were held leading to the commemoration of the founding day.
The novenas’ petitions were said in the prayer of the faithful in the daily mass and the turn-up of the parishioners was very encouraging. Each day of novena was dedicated for special intentions which definitely attracted many to come together as a united community to pray together for a common purpose.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated on Saturday 13th August with a whole day event. The day started with an Opening Mass at 6.00 am at the Chapel of St Mary’s Convent. It marked the beginning of the Rosary Rally, a spiritual preparation of the Parish-day anniversary.
The Rosary Rally, a 12-hour recitation of the Holy Rosary by the various groups, communities and ministries in the parish, has been organised for 4 consecutive years. For this year, the non-stop recitation is conducted outdoor at the Rosary Corridor in the Marian mount. For the benefit of seniors and the not so fit parishioners, they recited the rosary at the rosary tower or at the chapel of St Mary’s Convent which is just a few steps away from the said tower.
The concluding rosary rally was recited at 5.00 pm at the compound of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre and ended with the blessing of the statue of Mother Mary by Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of Sandakan. Right after the blessing, the Solemnity of the Assumption commenced with the crowning of Mother Mary and thereafter followed by a solemn procession to the Cathedral where mass was celebrated outdoor at 6.00 pm. 
In his homily, Bishop Julius expressed his delight on seeing the attendance and support from the faithful towards the much anticipated Parish Feast Day. He remarked that the attendance for the 9-day novenas was very encouraging and felt that the common petition has brought unity, solidarity and communion among members of the parish community. He encouraged all to seek the Patron Saint’s intercession for a spiritual and physical development of the entire parish.
The release of birds as to officiate the Parish Bazaar 2016
This year, in conjunction with the Parish Feast Day a grand food and sale bazaar was held on Sunday, 14th August. 70 stalls ranging from games to food were put up by the various church groups, communities and ministries. The bazaar was jointly graced by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, Pilis Malim, the PPC Chairman and John Pang, the Parish Bazaar Chairman at 10.00 am after the morning bi-lingual (BM and Chinese) mass.
Bishop Julius, accompanied by John Pang, Pilis Malim and other members of the Main Organizing Team visited all the stalls. It was a whole day event, whereby coupons were used to purchase food items, agricultural products or games during the bazaar.
Dress like Mother Mary competition
Lucky Draw winners
The proceed of the more than RM200,000 will be channelled equally towards the funding of physical development of the parish and the Paitan Mission Fund. The bazaar is a great opportunity to see the entire church working closely together and enjoying the companionship of each other. The event has provided a favourable platform to strengthen the relationship bond among the faithful which ended at 4.00 pm.

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