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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

“My Soul Magnifies the Lord”

by DS

Sandakan: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated on Tuesday, 15th August 2017. The feast began with the tri-lingual recitation of the Holy Rosary and the blessing of the statue of Mother Mary by Rt. Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of Sandakan at 6.30 pm at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre.
More than a thousand parishioners gathered for the procession and the outdoor mass in front of the grotto. The solemn procession highlighted the statue of Mother Mary being carried from the Pastoral Centre to the grotto.
The mass was presided over by Bishop Julius and con celebrated by Fr David Garaman, Fr Christopher Ireneus, Fr Thomas Makajil and Fr Stanley Matakim.
In his homily, Bishop Julius explained that God has preserved Mary from original sin and chosen her to be the Mother of the Savior.My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour’ (Luke 1 : 46-47) is the theme of this year’s 134th Parish Day celebration.  It’s a very simple saying, but it reflects the attitude of Mary towards God.
The prelate continued, that to test the quality of our faith, we need to ask ourselves, “do my ideas resemble that of Mary’s vision of God?  Mary combined sincere worship of God with deep joy in his presence. In fact, St Paul advised the first Christian community at Thessalonica, “rejoice always, pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonian 5:17)
In her Magnificat, Mary is totally captivated by the love of God. She submits herself unto God. She thinks only of the goodness of God. She is the most pure because she is chosen to be the handmaid of God, a willing and joyful servant of God. God has taken her, body and soul, into heaven.
This year marks the hundred years of her apparition at Fatima. Mary herself appeared at Fatima to the three humble children, to tell them and to bring the message of peace so that peace may avail in this world. And her other message in Fatima is conversion. We need to be converted to God. Pope Francis says “hope is the virtue of those who experience conflict, those who are struggling between life and death, struggling between good and evil and still believe in the resurrection of Christ, still believe in the redemption of Christ.  And that is the victory of love.”
We are called to be like her, to share Christ’s glory. We are to be willing and joyful servants of God in our parish, serving our community with dedication and love. Mother Mary is a model of a dedicated life bringing Christ to the world. if we are dedicated and possess strong faith, we too can magnify the Lord. And like Mother Mary, we too can bring Christ to the world in our particular ways.
Due to unfavorable weather condition, the Eucharistic celebration continued in the Cathedral.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Prepared by
Parish Soccom

Novena Mass
St. Mary’s Parish embarked on a 9 day devotional novena Mass from the 4th - 12th August 2017 in preparation for their 134th Feast day celebration which falls on 13th August 2017. The nine day period of prayer was an avenue for all the parishioners in St. Mary’s Cathedral to come together for a joint prayer to implore special graces, intentions and petitions for their coming Feast day.
Novena mass the sick, poor, needy and the suffering in the parish
The attendance of the parishioners has doubled compared to that of last year's turn-up. Except for Saturday Sunset Mass and Sunday Mass, the average attendance was 800 people who came together in a united community to pray together for a common purpose. Those attending the daily novena Mass had the opportunity to go for a Sacrament of reconciliation, half an hour before the mass, started at 7.30pm.  On Day 1, the Mass was offered for the leaders of the Church and the leaders of the diverse communities in the parish;  Day 2 , for the young people in the parish; Day 3 for all the faithful in the parish; Day 4, for the sick, poor, needy and the suffering in the parish; Day 5, for peace, love and unity among the communities and groups in the parish; Day 6, for families in the parish; Day 7 for children of the parish; Day 6 Mass  for the departed souls of the parish and finally, Day 9 Novena Mass was offered to promote peace and justice, and the needs of the country.
Rosary Rally
Apart from the devotional prayers, the Parish Pastoral Committee also organised a Formation Talks and Catechesis on Mother Mary as a spiritual preparation for the Parish Feast day Celebration. The objective was to enrich the understanding on Marian subject . The topic was based on the theme for this 134th Parish day, “My Soul Magnifies the Lord”(Lk 1:46), conducted in Chinese by Seminarian Raymond Lee, Bahasa Malaysia by Fr. Stanley William and English by Fr. David Garaman.
Rosary Rally
The last day of preparation for the Feast day celebration is marked in the calendar annually with a spiritual program known as the Rosary Rally, a 12 hours rosary recitation by the parishioners. The rosary rally has been organized by the parish for 5 consecutive years and this is a half day rosary recitation marathon by the many groups, communities and ministries in the parish. For this year, the outdoor rosary recitation along the Rosary corridor was halted temporarily at 10.00am at the peak of the Marian Mount to give way for an outdoor Mass and solemn blessing of the opening of the Meditation Hut cum Chapel for visitors. The memorable and joyous occasion of the opening ceremony of the Hut was solemnised by His Lordship Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom. As soon as the Mass ended, the recitation continued until the last group recitation concluded at the Cathedral itself at exactly half an hour before the Sunset mass.
Not only all the events and programs organized bring spiritual benefits and coming closer to Christ the Lord, but definitely the preparations also unite all the faithful and the many groupings and communities in the Church.
Blessing of the opening of the Meditation Hut

Monday, August 28, 2017

21st National SPM Bible Knowledge Quiz & 17th National Bible Knowledge Quiz Tahun 2017

oleh Jamini Francis & Rogena Sining

Sandakan: SMK Konven St. Cecilia dibawah persatuan Christian Student Movement telah menghantar enam orang pelajar untuk mengikuti dua pertandingan Bible Knowledge peringkat kebangsaan iaitu 21st National SPM Bible Knowledge Oral Quiz dan 17th National Bible Knowledge Quiz yang telah dijalankan pada 5hb Ogos 2017 (Sabtu) yang bertempat di SMK Assunta, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur. Program ini dijalankan bagi semua pelajar Kristian anjuran The Malayan Christian Schools’ Council (MCSC).

Taklimat kepada pelajar pada 3 Ogos 2017 oleh Pengetua (Encik Soo Tian Hock)

Bertolak pada 4 Ogos jam 6.15 pm di Lapangan terbang Sandakan

Dua pelajar bagi pertandingan 21st National SPM Bible Knowledge Oral Quiz dan dua guru pengiring yang mengiringi pelajar kedua dua pertandingan telah mendapat sumbangan daripada pihak Lembaga Sekolah SMK Konven St.Cecilia SandakanManakala 4 pelajar lagi yang mengikuti 17th National Bible Knowledge Quiz telah ditanggung oleh ibu bapa mereka masing masing.
Praise and Worship

Taklimat sebelum pertandingan bermula

Objektif utama program ini ialah
  • Memberi pendedahan kepada murid tentang cara menjawab soalan Bible Knowledge dengan betul.
  • Memberi keyakinan yang lebih kepada pelajar dari segi akademik.
  • Memberi kesedaran kepada murid tentang kepentingan subjek Bible Knowledge.
  • Memberi motivasi kepada para pelajar tentang tanggungjawab mencapai kecemerlangan dalam SPM Bible Knowledge.
         Penyampaian hadiah (Top Ten Award) – Crissy Albert Liow mendapat Tempat ke-6 Kategori tingkatan 2
Gambar kenangan bersama Kordinator program,  Ms Satkunamary Gnanakkan    
 (T-shirt biru)

Berikut adalah senarai peserta dan keputusan.



Melalui penyertaan ini, para pelajar Kristian mendapat perkongsian ilmu tentang teknik menjawab yang betul. Selain itu, dapat menerapkan keyakinan yang tinggi terhadap keyakinan mereka menjawab soalan SPM Bible Knowledge serta memupuk sikap bekerjasama dalam kumpulan.

Gambar beramai-ramai semua peserta bersama juri dan penganjur

Guru Pengiring dengan pelajar selepas program selesai

Oleh yang demikian, program seumpama ini perlu diteruskan dari semasa ke semasa  bagi menjana kualiti dan peribadi sahsiah pelajar sama ada dari segi intelek mahupun rohani. 

Dengan adanya program sebegini, para pelajar juga dapat mengetahui teknik berkesan dan mampu menjana idea yang mantap dalam meraih kecemerlangan yang lebih gemilang dalam subjek Bible Knowledge.

Selain itu pihak ibu bapa juga diharapkan agar dapat mengalakkan anak - anak mereka untuk mengambil Bible Knowledge di sekolah dan memberi sokongan dalam penyertaan mereka dalam pertandingan seumpama ini.

2 pelajar SPM Bible Knowledge – Mendapat sijil penyertaan

 4 pelajar BK 17 – Mendapat sijil dan piala penyertaan

Saturday, August 26, 2017


by Raymond Wong

SANDAKAN: A half day faith formation talks were held on 19th August 2017 at the Parish Conference Room for all catechists in the St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish. The target group is the Sunday School teachers and facilitators of the RCIA from the 3 language groups. A total number of 50 catechists from St. Peter Sg. Manila, St. Mark and St. Mary’s Parish attended the talks.
The talk was conducted by Sister Martina, who is the Chairperson of the Diocesan Catechetical Commission.
The talks were divided into 3 sessions: Firstly, on the General Directory on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) followed by the Methodology and Structure where the area on the catechism, structure and time frame was given. The third session was on the 4 Pillars of the CCC where Sister Martina emphasized on the important points of each part: The Profession of Faith-The Creed, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery-The Sacraments, Life in Christ-The Commandments, and lastly, Christian Prayer-Our Father.
Group sharing was on methodology and structure where the Sunday School teachers and the RCIA facilitators gathered according to their language group to discuss and share on the subject. A report was then presented at the end of the session.


by Raymond Wong

SANDAKAN: After journeying for 11 weeks on the RCIA precatechumenate period, the inquirers were accepted into the Catholic Church through the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens on 20th Aug 2017 where the candidates will now be addressed as “catechumens”.
This year 2017, the St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish has 65 candidates with 52 BM speaking candidates and the English and Chinese speaking having six candidates each.
The Rite was conducted by Fr. Stanley in the BM Mass as delegated by the Bishop.
The candidates were welcomed by Fr. Stanley in his opening address to the congregation.
The Rite commenced after the homily by Fr Stanley where the candidates with their respective sponsors came forward to the front of the church. At this Rite, they are asked to more fully embrace the Gospel message with the help of God, and are also signed with the Cross to show that they now belong to Christ, the Shepherd of souls. The Rite of signing on the forehead, eyes, ears, lips, heart and shoulders were also repeated by their respective sponsors.
Immediately after the signing, the handing over of the ‘Bible’ to the candidates was performed where each candidate received the bible which is the “Word of God” being presented to them.
The prayers of the faithful followed and the dismissal where all the candidates were allowed to return to their seats. This is just the first phase of their journey of initiation.  We encourage all parishioners to pray for these souls as well, as they continue in the initiation process over the coming months, and to reach out to them as fellow members of the Household of Christ.


New Advent