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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Leadership and Skill Seminar

By Cecelia Polo D’Souza
Sandakan: It has been 11 years since the last In-House Leadership and Skill Seminar was last held for the Catholic Women's Apostolate (CWA) of the Sandakan Diocese. This time around, the Seminar was held on the 25th -26th January 2020, at the Diocese of Sandakan Conference room. The objective of the seminar was to help and assist CWA members to be more proficient in their leadership and to be skilled in their services to and in the Church. This Seminar was attended by 69 members of the CWA from across the Diocese of Sandakan - 13 from the Parish of St. Mary Sandakan, 13 from the Parish of St. Dominic Lahad Datu, 7 from the Parish of Holy Trinity Tawau, 17 from the Parish of St. Martin Telupid, 10 from the Parish of Our Lady Of Fatima Beluran and 9 from the Paitan Mission. 

The Facilitators for the Seminar were CWA Spiritual Director Rev. Fr. Christopher Ireneus and Mr. Francis Tan.
The Seminar started at 10 am with the Enthronement of the Bible which was led by our CWA Ex-Officio, Sr. Regina Kimung. Following that, Chief Coordinator Mdm. Cecelia Polo D’Souza, gave a short speech and introduced the members of each parish to the participants.
The 1st session by Francis Tan in his ' leadership and skills ' talk gave an input on the knowledge of how to become a skilled leader in the Church. “Our vision as a Catholic must be like Jesus who serves, exemplified his followers by loving deeds as in the Gospel of John. 13., Mat. 20:26-28 and Mk. 9:35. Be a good leader and shepherd in the Gospel of Jn. 10, in which we must involve personally in the life of nurturing and observing the needs of others by giving care, love and a safe place that all men may grow in faith”.

The 2nd and 3rd session was helmed by Rev. Fr. Christopher Ireneus, which addressed the verse “I am chosen”. His first words were “before I lead first, you were already chosen by me”Mk. 1.16-20. 
  1. It's not you who chose me, but I chose you John 15-16, to be with Jesus so you will be there for others.
  2. To believe in his words and loyal to Jesus so that the catch would be plentiful.
10 Steps to serve with love:
  1. To listen without interruption (Proverb 18)
  2. To talk without accusing (John 1:19)
  3. To give without hesitation (Proverb 21-26)
  4. Pray endlessly (Colossians 1:9)
  5. To answer without quarelling (Proverb 17:1)
  6. Sharing without prentending (Ephesians 4:15)
  7. Enjoy without complaining (Pilippians2:14)
  8. Believe endlessly (Corinthians 13:7)
  9. To forgive without punishing (Colossians 3:13)
  10. To promise without forgetting (Proverb 13:12)
To recap the talks of Rev. Fr. Christopher Ireneus, services in the church do not require qualification, but it is a matter of our willingness to serve and follow the teachings of Jesus faithfully. When we serve, there would always be pain or sacrifices. But if we are strong in our Faith in Him and zealous in our services, there will be a deep profound joy - a joy only felt by those who wholeheartedly serve HIM.

Rev. Fr.  Christopher Ireneus urged all CWA members to not hesitate to serve God.

All the participants attended the Sunset Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 6pm and thereafter adjourned to the St. Mary Parish Hall for a simple fellowship dinner. Those present at the fellowship dinner included His Lordship Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, Parish Priest Rev. Fr. David A. Garaman, Spiritual Director of the CWA Rev. Fr. Christopher, Deacon Stephen Esguerra, Seminarian Jescie Petrus, Sister Regina Kimung and Sister Martina James.
On the 2nd day, 26th January at 6.30am, the morning started with a prayer led by Sister.  All the participants attended mass at 9:15 a.m at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

After the mass, the CWA Committee members of the Diocese of Sandakan held a meeting at 11:00 am in the conference room, during which all the programs/events for the whole year 2020 were discussed and concurred.
The overall Seminar has given a lot of guidance and awareness to the CWA members who will certainly and hopefully share to all CWA members at their respective parish levels.

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