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Thursday, February 2, 2017


Reported by DaliusLL
Photos by Rogena Sining

Sandakan: The Parish Pastoral Councillors (PPC) of St. Mary Cathedral organised a 2 days workshop entitled “Planning workshop to Identify Key Pastoral area and Prioritise Pastoral Activities towards Achieving Vision and Mission” on Monday and Tuesday, 23rd – 24th January 2017 at the Parish Hall. A total of 150 lay-leaders, priests and religious representing the various parish ministries, communities and groups attended the workshop.   
The organising cum PPC Chairman, Pilis Malim in his welcoming address explained that the objective of the workshop is to assist the PPC in formulating the pastoral plan for this parish. In order to have a comprehensive pastoral plan, the PPC feels that the participation of the many ministries, communities and groups are imminent in getting their ideas, feedbacks and opinion in shaping an effective framework of the pastoral plan of this parish. One such effective approach is by an interactive workshop whereby it requires the involvement of lay-leaders, priests and religious.
In his keynote address, the Diocesan Bishop and Parish Rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom said, “Without a vision, the people perished” (Proverbs 29:18). He related that the parishioners’ attendance in this workshop reflects of their love to the church, their love to see a vibrant parish and their coming is inspired by the Holy Spirit. He shared that the just concluded Sandakan Diocesan Delegate Assembly on 4th-5th January 2017 has unveiled the Diocesan Vision and Mission Statement (V & M) after a long and tedious process undertaken by the then four parishes in this diocese. However, the V & M statement will only be launched officially in its Diocesan 10th anniversary on October this year in Tawau. The prelate is pleased to note that St. Mary’s parish being the mother Church of the diocese took the first initiative to have their workshops to explore and understand the V & M and align its pastoral planning to that of diocese. He hopes and expects through this workshop all the attendees will participate actively in the sessions and discussion and the ideas generated will become the integral part of the pastoral planning for the parish.
The session on the “Understanding and Ownership of the Vision and Mission Statement” was facilitated by Francis Tan, an experienced former executive secretary to the Diocese of Sandakan. He briefed on the chronology of the process of V & M which took seven years to be formulated which came from the ideas and experiences of the grassroots and having the V & M now is for the respective parish to chart their pastoral direction through the workshop.
Based on the V & M statement, the participants were divided into six groups and presented their views and ideas to the floor.  The participants’ views and concerns will then be documented and would become the basis of the parish PPC pastoral planning.

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