By Raymond Wong
SANDAKAN - In the middle of December 2016, the Parish Family Life Ministry together with the Catechetical Commission discerned to conduct catechesis for married Catholics who, due to certain circumstances, were not able to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The target group is for those in their thirties, baptized but not confirmed and those who are married but have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
With the Bishop’s advice and instructions, a small committee initiated by Sister Martina, Chairperson of the Catechetical Commission together with the couple, Caesar & Eva Siruno from the Parish Family Life Ministry undertook the duties of organizing the sessions together with members from the Catechetical and Family Life Ministry under the Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and the English sections.
It was given a time frame of 4 weekend sessions of catechesis in January 2017 where all candidates must attend the full course of 4 Sundays. Whereas on 31st January 2017, was allotted solely for the recollection, confession and rehearsals of both the confirmands and the sponsors. It was in preparation for the mass at 4 pm by His Lordship Bishop Julius. A total of 23 candidates ranging from the age of 27 to 83 years participated in the sessions.
The catechism began from 8th Jan 2017 with four consecutive Sundays and the last session was on 29th January 2017 held in the Parish conference room.
In the first Sunday session, Sister Martina gave the talks on “Sacraments in the Catholic Church” and the importance and effect of the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The second Sunday, Catechist Pius Gorohom talked about the strengthening of the Sacrament of Confirmation through the power of the Holy Spirit that makes the Catholic Church alive.
Catechist Lionel Randasan, on the third Sunday session, touched on the subject of the challenges of the confirmed person as children of God in today’s setting.
The couple, Caesar and Eva emphasized on the role of the family as “the domestic church” where baptized and confirmed parents have the responsibility to form and educate their children in the Catholic faith.
The Sacrament of Penitential service was done by Fr. Christopher Ireneus .
The mass was celebrated in the afternoon of 31st Jan 2017 at St Joseph Church by His Lordship Bishop Julius with the presence and support of family members of all candidates.
The certificates of confirmation were then presented to all candidates before the fellowship dinner after the mass.