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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Parish Lenten Recollection: Journeying Together as A Big Family

By Susanna Cordova

St Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan: A Lenten Recollection from 23 to 24 February 2018,  was organized by the Star of Yahweh Covenant Community with the theme "Journeying Together as A Big Family" as the parishioners observed the Season of Lent. The event started with a welcoming speech by the PPC Chairman, Pilis Malim, who emphasized the Diocesan Pastoral Plan towards achieving the Vision and Mission. "This kind of event shows the active participation of parishioners in the church. All the church groups need to participate and work together to fulfill them", he said.
Registration of participants
Pilis Malim gives his welcoming speech
The parish rector, Fr. David Garaman, in his introduction of the Lenten Recollection "Lent is our preparation time to celebrate the greatest feast of our church. Lent is an important season for spiritual renewal because during lent we are journeying with one another in following the Lord in our deepest humanity and focus to mirror Christ. This Lent Season is also a stepping stone to journey together as one community united in Christ, without looking at the differences. Although several groups and communities in this parish, still we have to look at it as one under the same Lord. Each one has to work and accept others regardless of which community or ministry they came from. He also mentioned that each group has to break the 'individualistic wall' that separates one from the other".

In his talk, Fr David quipped "to grow spiritually is the significance of Lent. Having that in mind, one should be energetic and full of enthusiasm. Retreat or recollection bears the three R's meaning Rest, Reflect and Renew. It obviously means, a time to rest, to reflect and renewed".
Fr. David the main speaker during the 2-day recollection
He continued "the word Lent refers to the days of fast preceding, Easter, which is used to mean in Latin term "quadragesima" meaning the "forty days" or more literally, the "fortieth day".  Remarkably, the season of Lent is more to penitential prayer, fasting and alms-giving as taught by the Church. Besides, healing of relationship through the Sacrament of  Reconciliation is made possible by God's grace, even though we do not deserve it. Next is, to  commit to change. Through this gift of God's love, a conversion of heart would eventually bring about a revolutionary decision of doing work differently and putting priorities in everyday life. As a result, Easter becomes meaningful as we too, experience Good Friday for our sins and ‘re-born' to a new life in Christ through the Baptism.
Participants from various groups in the parish listen attentively at the recollection
On the second day, Fr. David explained comprehensively the DPP logo which symbolises all the parishioners journeying together with one common vision and mission. He invited them to develop a Christ-centred community by serving one another with love and to foster unity in the spirit to help achieve the Vision and Mission of the Diocese.
Group discussion based on the questions given
Henry Solibun as one of the participants shared his view on the vision and mission of the diocese
Below were several prepared questions for reflection, followed by group discussion and sharing.
1.Will you die to yourself as a member of the body of Christ?
2.Do you understand that you are called to share in the unity that comes from your union with Him?
We must put Christ in the centre of life as we journey together to achieve our vision and mission.
Miriam Lee said that we have to be like Christ to serve with love and accept one another
On the final day, Fr. David acknowledged that the sharing based on the reflection was uplifting. He encouraged the participants to purchase the Diocesan Pastoral Plan as a guide to understand properly the Vision and Mission. "A sense of belonging, instilled  in every parishioner, will attract more participation. This would develop into humbly serving others, with Christ as the center , to minister like Him. As a body of Christ, there is a need us to unite in order to become "the church",  he concluded.
SYCC elder, Michael Lee gives thanks and gratitude for the participants' attendance as well as to Fr. David Garaman for his great input in this recollection.
The session finished at 12.30 noon with a concluding prayer by Fr David, followed by lunch.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Pelayanan SOCCOM Saluran Kreativiti Dalam Penginjilan

Artikel dan gambar oleh Airene AG / Rogena

Sandakan – Komiti SOCCOM Paroki telah mengadakan ‘SOCCOM Fellowship’ pada 13 Februari 2018 bertujuan beramah mesra dengan ahli-ahli yang baru, mengenali skop pelayanan SOCCOM dan pembentukan Komiti Komunikasi Sosial Paroki bagi Sesi 2018-2021.
Tayangan Video tentang Sejarah Soccom di Paroki Katedral St. Mary, Sandakan
Paderi Paroki, Fr. David A. Garaman mengalu-alukan kehadiran semua yang hadir dan mengucapkan terima kasih di atas respon dan menyahut panggilan melayani dalam pelayanan Soccom di Paroki. "Pelayanan Soccom memerlukan ramai kakitangan dan penglibatan semua pihak dalam memberikan idea demi pembangunan iman di Paroki. Pelayanan Soccom kelihatan ‘simple’ tetapi rumit juga kerana memerlukan kreativiti dalam misi penginjilan." Fr. David juga mengajak semua yang hadir untuk sama-sama memiliki Visi dan Misi itu kerana ianya adalah milik bersama – ‘make it your own’.
Barisan belakang: Lovink Prinze James, John Tan, Dalius L. Lobinjang, Romeo Francis, Marshall Owen, Veronica Amzah, Gin Wulen Marcus, Euthalia J, Airene AG
Barisan hadapan: Francis Tan (Penasihat Soccom), Fr. David A. Garaman (Paderi Paroki/Penasihat Rohani Soccom), Leonard Christopher Sabinus (Kordinator Soccom)

Selesai acara makan malam, acara diteruskan dengan sesi suaikenal dan perkongsian mengenai kemahiran setiap ahli. Pengalaman dan kemahiran setiap ahli Soccom yang hadir diharapkan dapat membentuk satu team yang dapat bekerjasama dan melayani melalui bakat yang ada seperti dalam bidang penulisan, mereka 'banner', mengambil gambar, menyunting video dan sebagainya.

Sesi disambung dengan Penerangan Sejarah Soccom di Paroki Katedral St. Mary, Sandakan disampaikan oleh Leonard Christopher Sabinus. Penasihat Soccom iaitu Francis Tan mengongsikan pelayanan beliau dalam pelayanan Soccom kepada semua yang hadir sebelum penyusunan semula dalam Komiti Soccom Paroki dijalankan agar semua yang hadir memahami peranan masing-masing dan dapat bekerjasama dalam melaksanakan tugasan yang bakal dilaksanakan nanti.
Penyerahan Tugasan daripada Kordinator Soccom Sesi 2016-2018, Dalius L. Lobinjang kepada Kordinator Baharu bagi Sesi 2018-2021, Leonard Christopher Sabinus dengan disaksikan oleh Paderi Paroki, Fr. David. A. Garaman

Fr. David A. Garaman bersama dengan Ahli Komiti SOCCOM Paroki Sesi 2018-2021

Thursday, February 22, 2018

PURIFY YOURSELF THROUGH PENANCE AND REPENTANCE

By: Julita Kantod
Photos by John Tendahal

Holy Trinity Tawau: Ash Wednesday marks the first day of lent in 2018 which falls on February 14. It is an important day in the Christian calendar as it marks the first day of fasting, repentance, prayer and self-control which are essential in making a meaningful Lent observation.
Holy Trinity Parish Tawau began their Lent Season with a Eucharistic celebration on the 13th February 2018 at 7.30 in the evening, the eve of the actual day of Ash Wednesday, attended by some thousand parishioners from all languages. The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Msgr Nicholas Ong. Parishioners gathered with faith and hope to the love and mercy of God  by wearing the symbolic mark on their foreheads, “the Blessed Ashes”, made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, as a sign of repentance and to return to the Lord God.
"Remember, man is dust, and unto dust you shall return” a profound word that is familiar during the distribution of ashes. When coupled with reflection, prayer and penance, parishioners will experience deeper the unceasing love of God Who created mankind out of love and through Him all the graces and blessings are granted to us. Hence, without His mercy and forgiveness, life has no meaning, no purpose.
Msgr. Nicholas in his homily, drew the attention of the congregation by explaining the deepest meaning of Lent “  the penance you receive during this period of  Lent is not the penalty for your sin or for the mistake that you have done, but it is an opportunity to purify yourself and hope for God's mercy. Penance means not only repenting from sin and wrongdoing, but rather to turn to the beloved God. Him who has loved us unceasingly and faithfully awaits us because He is Love, so that you may experience a new life in the resurrection of Christ during the Easter vigil. By turning to God with all your hearts in humility could transform us into His faithful children while not taking advantage of His unconditional love. This Lent season is an opportunity to rebuild your relationship with God, turn to Him   and not on the earthly things” he said.
Msgr. Nicholas ended his homily by reminding us the importance of living up the Social Teachings of the Church in the care and concern for those who are in need,  accompanying the lonely and the practice of alms-giving. 

Parishioners then received their Ashes smoothly before the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and finally the mass ended at 9 in the evening.

Misa Rabu Abu ~ Katedral St. Mary, Sandakan

SOCCOM PARISH
14 February 2018

Misa Rabu Abu di Katedral St. Mary
“Remember you are dust and to dust you will be return. Genesis 3:19”. Misa Rabu Abu adalah permulaan bagi memasuki musim pra-paskah dimana kita semua diingatkan untuk bertaubat, berpuasa selama 40 hari dan berpantang serta berdoa mempersiapkan diri untuk kebangkitan Juruselamat kita, Yesus Kristus.
“Let your heart be broken, not your garments torn.~Joel 2:12-18”
“Be Reconciled to God...Now is the favourable time.~2 Cor 5:20-6:2”
“Your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.”
Di dalam homili Bapa Uskup Julius Dusin Gitom mengatakan "semua umat katolik memulakan pra-paskah dengan mengingatkan diri sendiri sebagai orang yang memerlukan pertobatan. Maka dengan itu, kita ditandai dengan abu di dahi yang menandakan bahawa kita ini hanyalah abu dan kepada abu kita kembali. Tetapi sebenarnya abu yang ada di dahi kita adalah datang daripada daun-daun palma tahun lalu yang menandakan atau memperingatkan kita tentang kesengsaraan, kematian dan kebangkitan Kristus. Maka tujuan kehidupan kita sebenarnya bukanlah hanya menjadi abu tetapi kita akan mendapat  kehidupan dalam Kristus yang telah bangkit dengan mulia." Selain itu, Bapa Uskup juga berkongsi tentang 3 perkara yang disampaikan oleh Bapa Suci Fransiskus iaitu berdoa, berpuasa dan memberi. "Bapa Suci Fransiskus berpesan kepada kita agar tidak terlalu terikat dengan peraturan-peraturan berpuasa yang sebenarnya memberi kesenangan kepada diri kita sebab kita telah mematuhi peraturan. Tetapi Bapa Suci mengatakan apabila kita berpuasa kita melihat lebih kepada diri kita untuk datang kepada Tuhan serta dapat memperhatikan  keperluan-keperluan orang lain dengan cara berpuasa. Dengan demikian, kita lebih mengetahui kelemahan kita sendiri dan kelemahan orang lain. Bapa Suci juga mengatakan tentang doa. Doa adalah kekuatan orang-orang beriman. Doa juga menandakan bahawa kita hanyalah bersandarkan kepada Tuhan. Maka, kita boleh mempersatukan diri kita dengan Tuhan dengan cara berdoa. Selain itu, kita juga orang yang lemah yang memerlukan kekuatan daripada Tuhan sendiri. Tentang memberi sedekah, Bapa Suci mengatakan segala yang diberikan kepada kita adalah percuma yang datang daripada Tuhan termasuklah kehidupan kita sendiri. Kita telah diberikan segala sesuatu maka dengan itu marilah kita memberikan kepada orang lain yang memerlukan. Segala 3 perkara ini bukan sahaja menguatkan iman kita tetapi menjadi sesuatu yang mulia apabila mendatangkan kebaikan kepada orang lain."
Upacara Komuni
“Remember you are dust and to dust you will be return. Genesis 3:19”~Penerimaan Abu 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

CNY 2018 with the RCIA

Article by Euthalia

What is the meaning of Chinese New Year for Catholics?
For the first time RCIA (English) 2017/2018 celebrated CNY at St. Jerome’s room in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan with all their facilitators, the catechumens and their family members on 9th February 2018. The gathering started with an opening prayer from Mr. Raymond Wong.
Most of us were wondering, “What is the meaning of CNY for Catholics?”. We all live in a multi-racial community and we have many festivals. Being a Catholic does not mean that we only celebrate Catholic festivals, but we also follow our customs in celebrating other festivals such as Chinese New Year for the Chinese and Kaamatan for the Kadazans. One activity is to watch a lion dance in our church compound during the first day of CNY which is the custom of the Chinese community. Catholic as a religion does not forbid its members to respect other customs/culture rather it values the unity in our diversity.  This is what being shared by Mr. Raymond Wong. 
Potluck style being served while CNY songs being played.
Games and singing hymns were the activities. Solving riddles and passing mandarin oranges were some of the games being played. Amusingly, the penalties are to finish the mandarin orange and saying some good words to their love ones. 
The beautiful and memorable celebration ended with a closing prayer by Mr. Alban.
Closing prayer by Mr. Alban
Wishing everyone a wonderful Year of the Dog from RCIA (English) 2017/2018. 

2018戊戍年新春彌撒

文:楊玉娟
图:黄以轩

 ( 山打根讯 ) 2018戊戍年新春撒于216早上8时举行由山打根圣玛莉主教座堂Julius主教主祭David神父Christopher神父及Thomas神父共祭
    弥撒开始前有精武醒狮团鼓手鸣鼓迎宾,强劲有力的鼓声象征着充满活力的新一年,也掀开了新春弥撒的序幕。紧接着歌咏团响亮欢乐的歌声,带动了全体教友手持十字架和蜡烛的辅祭员带领读经派送圣体员和神职人员在喜气洋洋的新年气氛下步向祭台。
    圣堂内早聚集了一年才回家乡一趟的游子们,与家人一同在这农历新年的第一天到天主台前敬拜天主接受天主的祝福
    Julius主教祝圣新年柑橘后,然后与神父修女及教友们举行团拜礼首先向祭台行叩首礼,感谢天主在过去一年的祝佑,然后教友们向神职人员拜年最后是教友们互相拜年祝贺华协主席卢姵伶姐妹及圣马尔谷堂华牧主席黄士凌兄弟代表中文组致送红包予主教神父和修女。过后,主教及三位神父派发红包55以上的长者孩童、学生及青年们。圣堂内一片欢乐融融教友们欢欢喜喜地从神父手中领取祝福红包。在派发红包的同一时间纠察员也将祝圣了的柑橘分发给每一位教友以示祝福
弥撒后有精武醒狮团舞狮助兴。主教神父修女教友们齐聚圣堂门口观赏精彩的舞狮表演。过后教友一一向主教神父修女们拜年,并赠红包致意。同时,教友们也彼此祝贺。

CATHOLIC APOLOGETICS

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