>The aftermath of the continuous torrential rain in Sandakan

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The fallen banyan tree that hit the Chapel
The land slip at the hill top next to the Cathedral
The damaged outer part of the Chapel
The banyan tree hitting direct to the roof of the Chapel
Sandakan : The heavy downpour that hit Sandakan for the last few days had left behind a huge task for the Sandakan Municipal Council to follow up, initially to conduct immediate monitoring and evaluation on the damage suffered by the people and to extend to them the necessary assistance for relief.
The fallen tree that missed the Diocesan Car park by inches
The fallen electrical post behind the Parish Hall
The snapped dangling electric wire next to the covered walkway

The non-stop torrential rain, since Friday 28th January which claimed the lives of two victims had brought much damage to the town and its vicinity with mudslides, land slips, flash floods, fallen trees, disruption to power and water supply. Many parts of the roads were covered with thick layer of mud making some stretches impassable to vehicles.

Land slides at the rectory to the mission house
St Mary’s Cathedral and its surrounding area along Jalan Puncak is not spared either. The staircase connecting the mission house to the rectory was damaged due to land slides, the outer part of the Chapel was also damaged by a fallen banyan tree that hit its roof. The Diocesan car part was nearly hit by another fallen tree missing it by just a few inches. The electric wires that supply electricity to the Parish Hall, the Catechetical Centre and the convent, snapped and pulled down the electric post. Power supply to the said premises. was disrupted and as of date has yet to be restored. The Fr Mulders’ Catechetical Centre was flooded and the back portion of the building was covered with mud.
The back portion of Fr Mulders’  Center  covered with mud

The Parish Property Management and Maintenance Committee (PPMMC) headed by Peter Thien had taken all necessary steps to prevent the situation from worsening. They had laid plastic sheets to cover the land slip and mud slide areas. They had arranged with the local authorities to clear the fallen trees, the clogged drains and to have electricity supply restored.

The flash flood that hit Fr Mulders’  Center

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>St Mary’s Cathedral Celebrates The Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi

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Fr Thomas blessing the statue of St Francis of Assisi

Sandakan : A commemorative mass in celebration of the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi  founder of the Order of the Friar Minors (OFM) also known as the Franciscans and known for his unbounded love for the environment and creatures was held on Monday, 4th October 2010 at St Mary’s Cathedral.



The Eucharistic celebration was presided by the rector, Fr Thomas Makajil with an attendance of more than 200 parishioners.

In his homily, Fr Thomas called on the parishioners to take a closer look into the life of St Francis, one of the greatest saints in the history of the Catholic church. He was known as the ‘little poor man of Assisi’ who took the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He invited everyone to walk with St Francis of Assisi in the path of peace, openness,moderation and reverence for nature and love of animals.

Sr Appolonia fsic extended her appreciation to one and all

 After the mass, the parishioners gathered at the front of the Parish Hall to witness the blessing rite of the statute of St Francis of Assisi by Fr Thomas. The statue donated by Datuk Geoffrey Yee of Tawau is placed amidst a well planned landscape befitting for the Patron Saint of animals and ecology.

A token of appreciation to Datuk Geoffrey Yee from Fr Thomas

The landscape setting for the statue of St Francis of Assisi will be further enhanced and the said job has been entrusted to the members of the Cathedral Parish Chinese Pastoral Committee. 

A group photo with Bishop Julius in front of the statue

  
The statue, placed at the most strategic location and visible to all who come to the Cathedral will be a reminder to all faithful to be aware and to take care of the environment and the creatures inhabiting the planet with love and concern. 

Cake cutting by Bishop Julius, Fr Thomas and Datuk Geoffrey

  
After the blessing rite, parishioners  adjourned to the Parish Hall for a ‘pot bless’ fellowship dinner. Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom was also present at the function.

The Youth with the Franciscan Sisters

Members of the BM Legion of Mary


Bishop Julius, Fr Thomas, Franciscan Sisters, Peter Thien and Jane


Parish Soccom, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan

>Lawatan muhibbah umat dari Penampang dan Tuaran ke Katedral St Mary Sandakan

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Album kenangan sempena lawatan umat paroki Penampang dan Tuaran ke Katedral St. Mary  Sandakan
 dengan Bapa Uskup Julius dan Fr. Thomas Makajil.

Sandakan – Seramai 72 peserta dari Paroki St John Tuaran dan Paroki St. Michael Penampang telah mengadakan kunjungan ke Paroki Katedral St Mary Sandakan pada 28 dan 29 Ogos 2010 yang lalu. 


Rombongan tersebut diketuai oleh Winifred dan Rita Makajil di samping mereka mempromosikan Buku Tahun Para Paderi dan CD nyanyian mazmur sahutan pembacaan   yang dinyanyikan oleh belia Tuaran.



Ketibaan mereka disambut oleh ahli-ahli Majlis Pastoral Paroki dan komuniti KKD Merak. Seterusnya mereka menghadiri Misa Kudus petang bertempat di Katedral St. Mary, Sandakan.

Selesai Misa Kudus, sesi fellowship diadakan bertempat di kantin Paroki. Wakil kedua-dua belah pihak telah menyampaikan ucapan masing-masing dan melakukan pertukaran cenderakenangan.
Winifred Wong Mansangam (Tuaran)
Rita Makajil (Penampang)
Tarian Sumazau

Keesokan hari, 29 Ogos, para perwakilan mengambil peluang untuk bersiar-siar ke tempat-tempat yang menarik di sekitar Sandakan.

Bapa Uskup memberkati makanan semasa fellowship

Lawatan diakhiri dengan kesemua pelawat menghadiri Misa Kudus pagi yang telah diadakan di Kapel St. Mary. Pelawat dari Penampang meneruskan perjalanan ke Gereja Our Lady of Fatima, Beluran, manakala, pelawat dari Tuaran pula meneruskan lawatan mereka ke Paroki St Dominic Lahad Datu dan Paroki Holy Trinity, Tawau.


Soccom Paroki St. Mary

>MISA KUDUS SEMPENA KEMERDEKAAN

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Gereja Katedral St. Mary Sandakan






Sandakan: Lebih 500 umat Katolik di Paroki St Mary Katedral menyambut Hari Kemerdekaan melalui misa kudus kesyukuran di gereja ini pada jam 8.00 pagi. Misa kudus ini dipimpin oleh paderi paroki, Fr. Thomas Makajil dan Dikon David Garaman.


Pewartaan  INJIL sempena Merdeka









Pembacaan pada hari itu adalah berkaitan dengan tema sambutan Hari Kemerdekaan, ‘1Malaysia Menjana Transformasi’ yang menyeru umat Kristian menghormati kerajaan dalam pentadbirannya.    










Pembacaan Pertama (SIR 10:1-8): Pemerintah yang bijak mempertahankan ketertiban pada rakyatnya, dan pemerintahan orang arif adalah teratur. Seperti penguasa bangsa demikianpun para pegawainya, dan seperti pemerintah kota demikian pula semua penduduknya. Raja yang tidak terdidik membinasakan rakyatnya, tetapi sebuah kota sejahtera berkat kearifan para pembesarnya. Di dalam tangan Tuhan terletak kuasa atas bumi, dan pada waktunya Ia mengangkat orang yang serasi atasnya. Di dalam tangan Tuhanlah terletak kemujuran seorang manusia, dan kepada para pejabat dikaruniakan olehNya martabatnya. Hendaklah engkau tidak pernah menaruh benci kepada sesamamu apapun juga kesalahannya, dan jangan berbuat apa-apa terpengaruh oleh nafsu. Kecongkakan dibenci oleh Tuhan maupun oleh manusia, dan bagi kedua-duanya kelaliman adalah salah. Pemerintahan beralih dari bangsa yang satu kepada bangsa yang lain akibat kelaliman, kekerasan dan uang.

Pembacaan Kedua (1PTR 2:13-17): Tunduklah, karena Allah, kepada semua lembaga manusia, baik kepada raja sebagai pemegang kekuasaan yang tertinggi, maupun kepada wali-wali yang diutusnya untuk menghukum orang-orang yang berbuat jahat dan menghormati orang-orang yang berbuat baik. Sebab inilah kehendak Allah, yaitu supaya dengan berbuat baik kamu membungkamkan kepicikan orang-orang yang bodoh. Hiduplah sebagai orang merdeka dan bukan seperti mereka yang menyalahgunakan kemerdekaan itu untuk menyelubungi kejahatan-kejahatan mereka, tetapi hiduplah sebagai hamba Allah. Hormatilah semua orang, kasihilah saudara-saudaramu, takutlah akan Allah, hormatilah raja!
Pembacaan Injil (MAT 22:15-21): Kemudian pergilah orang-orang Farisi; mereka berunding bagaimana mereka dapat menjerat Yesus dengan suatu pertanyaan. Mereka menyuruh murid-murid mereka bersama-sama orang-orang Herodian bertanya kepada-Nya: “Guru, kami tahu, Engkau adalah seorang yang jujur dan dengan jujur mengajar jalan Allah dan Engkau tidak takut kepada siapapun juga, sebab Engkau tidak mencari muka. Katakanlah kepada kami pendapat-Mu: Apakah diperbolehkan membayar pajak kepada Kaisar atau tidak?” Tetapi Yesus mengetahui kejahatan hati mereka itu lalu berkata: “Mengapa kamu mencobai Aku, hai orang-orang munafik? Tunjukkanlah kepada-Ku mata uang untuk pajak itu.” Mereka membawa suatu dinar kepada-Nya. Maka Ia bertanya kepada mereka: “Gambar dan tulisan siapakah ini?” Jawab mereka: “Gambar dan tulisan Kaisar.” Lalu kata Yesus kepada mereka: “Berikanlah kepada Kaisar apa yang wajib kamu berikan kepada Kaisar dan kepada Allah apa yang wajib kamu berikan kepada Allah.”

Upacara menaikkan bendera dengan lagu Nagara Ku
Upacara menaikkan bendera dengan lagu Sabah Tanah Air Ku






Dalam Homili, Fr. Thomas mengajak umat mendokong menjayakan aspirasi 1Malaysia, mengeratkan hubungan dan perpaduan. Fr. Thomas menyeru para pemimpin dan penjawat awam yang beragama Kristian melaksana tugas-tugas yang Tuhan anugerahkan agar menghargainya sebagai suatu pelayanan kepada Tuhan dan sesama. 









Sorakan Merdeka! Merdeka Merdeka


























Perayaan Misa Kudus sempena hari kebangsaan adalah merupakan keharusan Gereja di Malaysia untuk mendoakan Negara dan pemimpin setiap tahun. Diakhiri dengan Lagu Negara Ku dan Sabah Tanah Air Ku sambil menaikkan bendera Jalur Gemilang dan Negeri Sabah serta sorakan semangat merdeka.


DaliusLL

Soccom Paroki Sandakan

>SYCC of St Mary’s Cathedral celebrates its 26th Anniversary

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Sandakan: The Star of Yahweh Covenant Community (SYCC) commemorated its 26th anniversary with a thanksgiving mass at 7.30pm, Thursday 19th August 2010 in the St. Mary’s Cathedral Chapel. The Community is a group of lay Catholics, whose members bind themselves to one another and to the group, and made the covenant to live a righteous life.

Michael Lee

Michael Lee, the presiding elder of SYCC in his sharing said that the day was special not just an occasion for celebrating the SYCC anniversary but also to witness members pledging their re-commitment to start anew and become a shining star that God intends them to be.


Recalling the past 26 years in the community, he thanked and praised God that the community is still around, running a race as what St. Paul did. He had his share of strengths and weaknesses, of lights and darkness. Yet despite his flaws, he pressed on to the goal and bore great fruits.

He went on to say that being in brotherhood and sisterhood for such a long time, they have established a bonding love and commitment with one another and they have learnt to accept one another weaknesses and faults.

He ended his sharing by quoting Pope John Paul II in his address to the brotherhood of Covenant Community in Rome that says the Covenant Communities are the great spiritual resources to the Church and to all humanity. He called upon the members to live up to the calling and serve one another with God’s love for the glory of God. 




Phillip Mosinoh

Philip Mosinoh, one of the founding members of SYCC shared that the ups and downs in the community life is part and parcel of a journey of faith in the covenant community and through practice of prayerful life, have strongly united them in the community.  
Mary Lee reading the letter from Alice Chew

Alice Chew, a single mother of eight, who is currently working in Singapore, recommitted herself to the community through her letter to the presiding elder. She wrote that the Covenant Community through its ladies cell group and formation talks, were her actual training ground for her spiritual life. She acknowledged that in difficult times, the brothers and sisters were there to support her. Indeed, she added that they are her family in Christ and will rejoin the Covenant Community on her return to Sandakan.

Fr. Thomas Makajil
In his message, the Rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral Father Thomas Makajil congratulated the community for the past 26 years of serving one another, serving the Lord and serving the communities through the bond of brotherhood and sisterhood.


“By the act of re commitment or re consecration of oneself to the Lord, in spite of all the challenges and difficulties, will draw us closer to one another and to God in order to fulfill the great mission of Christ.” said Fr. Thomas. 

Fellowship

The event concluded with a dinner fellowship at the Cathecetical room.

 
Dallius LL

Parish Soccom

>Bidding Farewell to our German Friends

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Sandakan : Ecclesiates 3:1 – ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven’. Truly, the six German participants from Heilbron, who were here in Sandakan on 14th August 2010 were hosted to a farewell dinner reception, on Tuesday evening, 17th August 2010 at Wisma Basel.

All six German guests, putting up with host families had the opportunity to be exposed to the local cultures. Their stay, which was over a weekend, allowed them to experience the Eucharistic celebration in the Roman Catholic Church and the worship service of the Basel Christian Church of Malaysia.

The delegates were taken to a tour of the town, which among others, included the famous ‘Orang Hutan Rehabilitation Centre, the Rainforest Discovery Centre and the Central Wet Market.

The Chairman of the Church Council of BCCM Sandakan, Vun Soon Chong and the Chairman of the St Mary’s Cathedral Parish Pastoral Council, John Baptis  in their addresses, touched on the importance of ecumenism. The Sabah-Heilbron Ecumenical Partnership program, with the regular exchange of ecumenical visits from both sides had not only strengthened the partnership itself but paved the way for a closer working relationship within the Churches in Sabah.

The participants, with Eva and Catherine both Catholics, playing the flute and the guitar respectively, presented two beautiful songs in German and one farewell song in Latin. Part of the farewell song, translated, sound as follows;

I hope that the Lord will be with you,
and hold you in His hands,
Would the road lead us together,
Till we meet again, someday, somewhere

Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, presented souvenirs to the Roman Catholic delegates while Vun Soon Chong presented the same to the Evangelican-Lutheran delegates.

Eva Anding, one of the delegates,   a teacher by profession has this to say, ‘I am indeed very grateful to have come to Sabah. The people are very hospitable. Though, from a far away foreign land, I feel very much at home. I am really amazed on how the Catholic faithful of St Mary’s Cathedral come together to put up such a tremendous fund raising bazaar. It is an eye opener to me.’

Catherine has this to share, ‘I suppose we came at the right moment. We joined the local people in the celebration of the Parish Feast Day. We attended the Outdoor mass of the Feast of Assumption.We enjoyed the Parish Bazaar and the Choral Festival. It’s just marvelous!’.

They left for Bundu Tuhan, yesterday morning, 18th August 2010 where they will meet the other members from Kudat for an evaluation of their exposure.

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>Neophytes’ Nite at St Mary’s Cathedral

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Sandakan : Some 150 neophytes and their family members gathered at the St Mary’s Parish Hall to celebrate the Neophyte’s Night on Sunday, April 18th 2010. Also in attendance were the rector, Fr Thomas Makajil, his assistant, Fr Paul Lo, Deacon David Garaman and religious sisters.

This year, a total of 129 catechumens were baptized in the Cathedral Parish, during Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday on April 3rd and 4th respectively. The newly baptized are now the Neophytes, priestly persons among priestly people, going through a period of deepening of the understandings in the mysteries of the faith. Traditionally, this period is called the mystagogia, the final stage for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults which will last till Pentecost.

Fr Thomas, in his welcoming speech extended his appreciation and congratulations to the neophytes, the faith animators, the sponsors and family members who had journeyed together during the year long RCIA process. Perseverance is the key word to the successful journey towards the Sacrament of Initiation and it is perseverance that will eventually lead to maturity of faith.

He urged the neophytes to appreciate and share their gifts, fitting into the community, in building up the Kingdom of God. He also told them to put into practice the new set of life skills acquired through the process and to find time to stay close to God.

Eight neophytes shared their testimonies touching on how they were called, how they were touched and moved and the transformation that occurred within them.

Shirley Chan, among what she shared, ‘The moment has come, the calling was so strong and I was well geared to face the challenges ahead and I shall never be washed away by the waves of the ocean anymore and with that, I enrolled in the RCIA process. I now believe that one should submit totally to Him and trust that He will lead the way.’

Caroline Bryant Hernaez shared, ‘Emptiness in life led me to the RCIA process. His Words has uplifted me. I am now more forgiving. I hope the teachings will make me a better person.’

Selviana Pius in her sharing said, ‘I have never regretted for a moment to be with the RCIA process. Each RCIA lesson brought me closer to God.’

In a joint interview with Sr Lilianna Gubud fsic, the Chairperson of the Parish Catechetical Committee, Suzanna Hon, Lawrence and Gabriel Chin, Coordinator of the English, BM and Chinese RCIA respectively, having been with the RCIA for many years, shared that it is in sharing the faith with the catechumens that they also enrich and renew themselves. They expressed their joy serving in the ministry as they could be able to carry on the mission of Christ – to spread the Good news to all nations.

However, Sr Lilianna fsic lamented that the number of animators is far from satisfactory with only 17 animators tending to more than a hundred catechumens. There are only three animators in the BM RCIA process. As in Luke 10:2, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’ She hoped that more parishioners will respond to volunteer as animators for the coming RCIA process scheduled to begin sometime in June.

by: dospo

>Testimonies by Neophytes from St Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan

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   My name is Engrid Pacheco Daning Tuzan. In  the RCIA process, I was asked to choose a Christian name. With the help of my friends I chose Violette.  I was baptized very young.  I’m now fifteen years old and it has been ten months since I joined the RCIA process for my confirmation.
       I had the most enjoyable experience while being with this community. Truthfully, I was forced to join this RCIA but after some time, I willingly and was happy to attend the lesson with an open heart and invite Jesus into my life. Through this journey with Christ, I have learned a lot about how to live a better life by following God’s way.
       It has been a life changing experience since learning all about how Jesus sacrificed his life just to save mankind from their sins. It is a valuable lesson that we should appreciate life and what we have been given. Besides that, I also learned that we could make life more meaningful if we live for others by helping other people, forgiving their wrong doings and accept them just as they are. Gradually I am able to respect my parents and other people more than I usually do. 
God’s word has thought me that I should listen more to others and not judge. With God’s word as my guide in my life, I know I can overcome difficulties and forgive other people.
I’m really thankful to the animators who are willing to spend their precious time to guide us in God’s word and to walk with us in this journey of faith. I also want to thank my sponsor for going through this journey with me and helping me to find my way back to Jesus.

Now I believe and know that God will always be there for me in  times of need.  I am happy to receive my confirmation and I will journey in life faithfully with Jesus.    

Alleluia !!!  Alleluia !!!  God bless all of us.

>Clean up day at St Mary’s Cathedral

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Sandakan : ‘If you want to cultivate peace. protect creation’ - the theme of Pope’s message on World Day of Peace released on 1st January 2010 which also focused on Integral human development, closely linked to the obligations which flow from man’s relationship with the natural environment (Encyclical Caritas in Veritate)

Some thirty parishioners, mostly from the Bahasa Malaysia Speaking group responded to the message by organizing themselves to clean up the Cathedral and its compound on Sunday 21st March, in preparation for the Holy Week celebration. 
The event started at the Parish Hall with the Proclamation of the Word from Genesis 1 : 11-13 among which the text runs as follows  ‘And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed in itself according to its kind and so it was.’

We are all invited to have an attitude of respecting and honoring God’s creation. We need to play our roles as faithful stewards of the creation. Thus, we need to make fruitful use of the physical environment that God has given us.

They spend more than three hours cleaning up the Grotto and its surrounding, the waterfall, the baptismal font  as well as the frontage of the Cathedral.

The PPC Chairman, John Baptis and his fellow Committee members Patrick Seah and Richard Atilano were present during the occasion.

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