Sandakan : The 15th of August is an important day for Catholics around the world; it is the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today this holy day of obligation is also being celebrated in St. Mary’s Cathedral Sandakan with the recitation of the Rosary and the Crowning of Our Lady in the Parish Hall followed with the tri-lingual Eucharistic Celebration at 7.30pm. St. Mary’s parishioners traditionally celebrated this special occasion by a procession carrying the statue of Blessed Mary starting from the Parish Hall way up to the Cathedral’s compound whereby the statue is lifted up to the Grotto, symbolically marking the assumption of the Blessed Virgin to heaven. For the past years the Feast of the Assumption mass is held outdoor at the open space in front of the Grotto. This year around, some 1500 faithful attended the event.
The recitation of the Holy Rosary in the Parish Hall
Our crowning queen (Veranelisa Julian) and page boy (David Tann) for the Assumption Day Mass on 15 August 2011 (Picture by Cecilia Chai)
The procession 

His Lordship Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom presided this beautiful mass concelebrated by the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Thomas Makajil and the assistant Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Phillip Muji. In his homily, His Lordship Bishop explained the Catholic belief is in accordance to Pope Pius XII, exercising papal infallibility, that it is a dogma of the Church “that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into Heavenly Glory”.
The prelate called on all faithful to emulate the Blessed Virgin Mary in her total acceptance in faith and trust of doing God’s will. We ought to be thankful to the Lord for the gift of our Mother, a perfect example of motherhood for all of us. She is also our model of Faith, Love and Mercy who intercedes with her Son Jesus, her children on earth.

He called upon the faithful, as a family of God to continuously pray to Our Mother to intercede for us to remain faithful disciples finding the right path for our Parish to flourish.
The pledge by the new PPC members
The celebration also witnessed the commissioning of the new PPC (2011-2013) in the presence of His Lordship Bishop Julius, the Rector of the parish, his assistant and the faithful soon after the homily. Patrick Seah, the chairman led his councilors to pledge their promise to discharge their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Our clergy, sister with crowning queen, page boy and flower girls
The Knight of Altars with Bishop Julius, Fr Thomas and Fr Phillip
Parish Pastoral Council Members with Bishop and Priests
The Assumption of Mary gives us hope that one day, we, too, shall enjoy the glory of God in heaven.  May Mary continue to guide us in this journey of faith and life.  May she show us the true path that will lead us to God our loving Father. Amen

Soccom SMCat Sandakan

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