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SANDAKAN – Pilis Malim, chairman of St Mary’s Cathedral Parish Pastoral Council here led a nine-member team of various ministries to visit St Francis Assisi Chapel, Sukang of the outpost in Paitan Mission on 19-20 Dec 2015.
Their visit to the mission outpost involved a hands-on mission in action: putting into practice the corporal works of mercy. By so doing, they rendered support to Fr Thomas Makajil, parish priest of the cathedral who is also the priest responsible for the mission area.
The group was joined by two other groups who were there a day earlier for their pastoral programme. One group, led by Sr Appollonia Gumpu fsic comprising members of the Order of the Franciscan Secular (OFS), was there for their annual Christmas programme. The other group of two seminarians and a Eucharistic Minister from Our Lady of Fatima Beluran, led by Deacon Stanley William, was there for pastoral exposure on missionary work.
The members spent their first day in informal discussion on subjects related to pastoral works of the church, issues pertaining to church physical development and planning for next year’s pastoral programmes.
The next day, being a Sunday, they attended the Eucharistic celebration in the chapel, presided over by Fr Thomas. In his homily, Fr Thomas said that the festive season of Christmas is always a joyful occasion for everyone. He reminded the people not to forget the actual reason for the season. The birth of Christ reminds us that He has come to bring salvation. He is Emmanuel, ‘God is with us.’ In the busyness of preparing for the celebration, we are to stay focus on Christ. Share the love of Christ with family members, friends and the community. Make this season meaningful in loving Him, sharing Him and making Him known.
After the Eucharistic celebration, there were performances by the various chapels in the mission area. The highlight was the distribution of Christmas gifts, which were sponsored by a kind Samaritan from Sandakan and the St Mary’s Cathedral Parish Catholic Women’s Apostolate, to some 300 children. The celebration ended with a lunch fellowship. – Dalius LL