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Saturday, December 22, 2018


Reported by Francis Tan  |  Photo by Margaret Lo and  Airene A. Gumanas

Sandakan: Fr David A Garaman, the rector of St Mary’s Cathedral blessed and opened the Marian Nursery, the space behind and adjacent to the Parish Office building on Friday 21st December 2018.
In attendance to witness the ceremony were Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, the Bishop of Sandakan, Fr Christopher Ireneus, the assistant rector, religious sisters of FSIC, members of the Pastoral Council, Finance and Property Committees, contributors to the nursery and parish staff.
It took some nine months to plan, put in place the basic infrastructure and develop the said area into a proper nursery. Putting up the infrastructure, landscape work and planting job were all done by the church workers. Most of the resources were discarded items which were refurbished and reused which include old sinks, toilet bowl, cisterns, used pvc pipe, used gutters and others. Cost incurred was minimal.
The 30-ft pergola for the passion fruit plant was constructed using used GI pipes and used bricks. The toilet was renovated using old doors and the plaque for the occasion was a sticker pasted onto a used television set. The 2-ft wide and 33 ft long drain was converted into a fish pond.
The event for the day commenced with the blessing of the nursery followed by an address by Fr David. He was glad to note that the hard work put in by all those involved and contributions by kind parishioners has eventually bore fruits. The nursery has enhanced the beauty of the Cathedral. It’s not merely pleasing to the eyes but a relaxation to the mind. The plants could also be used for decorations for church functions and also in the church itself, thus reducing cost.
The recently launched Marian Orchard, just beside the Cathedral and the on-going landscape work is a positive endeavour in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical of Laudato Si – a document calling individuals to take moral responsibility for their actions upon the earth and the impact: ‘to ourselves, to future generations and especially to the poor.’
Fr David then proceeded to unveil the ‘plaque’ in commemoration of the occasion followed by the cutting of ribbon by Bishop Julius, Fr David and Fr Christopher. He then switched on the filtering system of the fish pond and together with the Bishop, Fr Christopher and Sr Regina fsic, released fish into the pond.
They then made a tour of the nursery and the occasion ended with light refreshment.

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