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SANDAKAN – Four hundred parishioners gathered at St Mary’s parish hall on the Feast of Assumption Aug 15 to witness the official launching of the Marian Rosary Corridor of about 700 meters at the Marian Mount, graced by Bishop Julius Gitom.
Exactly a year ago, during the Feast of Assumption, on Aug 15, 2013, Bishop Julius declared St Mary’s Cathedral as the Diocesan Pilgrimage Center. The clergy and lay leaders responded positively and worked tirelessly towards putting in place the Rosary Corridor, in time for the annual Rosary Rally 2014.
The occasion marked another historical event for the Cathedral. The Rosary Corridor is another added landmark in promoting St Mary’s as a pilgrimage center. The Cathedral, situated on some 5 acres on a hillock at the edge of the town center, has the following to offer to pilgrims: the Cathedral which is more than 50-year old, St Mary’s School as the first school established in British North Borneo, the four tombs of the early foreign missionaries, the 3-storey Diocesan Pastoral and Worship Centre, the lush greenery and the scenic view of the town and the Sulu sea at the peak of Marian Mount where the Rosary Corridor is now located.
Pilis Malim, the PPC Chairman and the prime mover of the Rosary Corridor welcomed all who had made it to the occasion, lending support to the auspicious event in spite of it being a working day.
The event began with a reflection by Fr Thomas Makajil who related that Mary’s visitation reminds us of the element of visitation, not merely restricted to members of the community but also to holy places.
In his opening remark, Bishop Julius expressed his gratitude to all individuals and groups who had been working hard in promoting the parish as a pilgrimage center. The set-up of the Rosary Corridor marks the starting point towards the next challenge of building a chapel on top of Marian Mount. The prelate said that the dream would come true as long as we have faith and remain hopeful in prayer. The reality would please Mother Mary, who in turn would bring people closer to God.
He called upon the parishioners to make use of the Marian Rosary Corridor and hoped that they will experience God’s love, God’s graces and blessings while praying the rosary at this corridor. He encouraged all groups and BECs to fully utilize the corridor to build up one’s spiritual life as well as maintaining the natural outlook of the corridor.
After the blessing of the rosary, parishioners walked along the Rosary Corridor trail, stopping and reciting the mysteries at all the five stations.
The event concluded with light refreshment at the Parish Canteen. – DOSPO, Dallius LL