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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary: Mother of Hope

By Wendy Yong, Parish SOCCOM

St Mary’s Cathedral Sandakan: The fruitful nine days novena mass and the rosary rally culminate in the celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to prepare the faithful in its parish' 134th-anniversary celebration.
 The first group to recite the rosary at Marian Mount is Diocesan and Parish Staff.
A visitors from Holy Family Church, Telupid. This is their first visits to Marian Mount and they also take a chance to visit the historical dam.
The feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary gathered 500 people, on Wednesday, 15th August 2018, at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Prior to the mass, the Holy Rosary Prayer said in three languages filled the grotto. After which Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of the Diocese of Sandakan, blessed the statue of Mother Mary. On this auspicious day, the statue of Mary, decorated with flowers, was carried by a group of parishioners in a procession and walked down to the grotto accompanied by the choir singing Mother Mary song. The prelate was joined by all the priests,  religious sisters, and parishioners.
The parishioners gathered at the compound of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre to recite the rosary prayer and ended with the blessing of the statue of Mother Mary by Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of Sandakan.
The mass was presided over by Bishop Julius and con-celebrated by Father David A. Garaman along with Father Christopher Ireneus.
During his homily, Bishop Julius highlighted three significant words, “Struggle”, “Resurrection” and “Hope” which were the essence of the 1st, 2nd and the Gospel readings. From the 1st reading, Bishop Julius acclaimed that Mother Mary was the mother of Jesus and that she always accompanies us, struggles with us and sustains us in our fight against the forces of evil. Thus, it is important that we invite Mother Mary to pray together with us, whenever we recite the Rosary, to journey together with us. It is also important to remember that by struggling together as a community, the community becomes stronger because without people coming together as a community of faith, there is no existence of the church. Meanwhile, from the 2nd reading, Bishop Julius mentioned that it is a fact that ‘Christ has truly RESURRECTED from the dead” according to Apostle Paul writing to the Christians in Corinthians. Mother Mary shed the pain of the cross with Jesus and was given the gift of resurrection. The feast of assumption expresses a fervent hope that our faith in the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven may make our faith in our resurrection stronger and more active. Even though Mother Mary is in heaven, but all the time she is with us in the growing struggle of everyday life. Today, we sing this song of HOPE as we move forward as a parish and as a community towards our vision“Christ-centered community serving one another with love”.
To conclude, Bishop Julius with all hearts invited all of the parishioners to unite with each other with the soul of passion, the victory of struggle and hope as we carry out our mission and vision as one big family in this parish under the Mother of HOPE, Mary, our queen.

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