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Thursday, April 18, 2019

“Jesus should always be our point of reference”

by SOCCOM Sandakan

Sandakan : Right Reverend Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of Sandakan, nine diocesan priests and a deacon, gathered for the annual blessing of the oils at the tri-lingual Chrism Mass in St Mary's Cathedral on 11th April 2019. The mass was well attended with more than a thousand faithful participating in the celebration.
Bishop Julius shared that the Eucharist is the focal point to the life of the church, meant for the sustenance of life of all members. In the recent concluded Diocesan Pastoral Assembly, the mission statement on ‘active church participation with the Eucharist as the source and summit of Christian life’ was given priority. It was most appropriate that the Eucharist be taken up as a means of evangelization during the Extraordinary Year of Mission.
The prelate called upon his fellow priests to come together to renew their ordination pledge, as to strengthen their faith in carrying out their pastoral activities. He urged all the priests and all the parishioners to focus on the Lord in all activities. Jesus our Lord should always be our point of reference.”
In the renewal of the pledge, priests are to think about holiness, commitment to Holy life, sacred celibacy and faithful service.
He added that the Lord is in fact the source of unity in life, the source of strength in our personal life as a priest, in the life of the family and the community. Losing focus on Jesus will only lead us astray.
The prelate cited the words of Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Month (Year) of Mission, “I believe if we work as a team, encourage one another, support one another, and help one another, we can carry out the mission of the Lord. We can announce the Gospel in our society using of course our charism values, talents and time that each of us has. I believe if we can do that the church become truly alive and become really a missionary church. In fact, the church is alive because of its missionary activities.”
He thanked all the clergy for their commitment in providing faithful service to the people in the diocese. He also thanked the lay faithful for the sentiment of gratefulness and called on them to continue to support the priests and the bishop and to pray for them.
During the celebration, the Bishop blesses the oils that benefit the people of God. This oil is use to administer the sacraments; Sacrament of baptism, confirmation and anointing of the sick and Holy Order. The celebration reflects the pastoral activities of the church throughout the year.

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