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Keningau prelate opens holy door at St Patrick Membakut

membakut holy door

KENINGAU – Bishop Cornelius Piong opened the Holy Door at St Patrick Membakut in the presence of about a thousand parishioners from Keningau and Kota Kinabalu on 22 Jan 2016.  Recitation of the Rosary and catechesis on the meaning of the Holy Door preceded the rite of opening and Eucharistic celebration to officially launch the Year of Mercy in the interior diocese.

The prelate presided over the Mass which was concelebrated with 17 priests from the two arch/dioceses.  With the opening of the Holy Door, the parish has become a pilgrimage site for the diocese throughout the Year of Mercy (8 Dec 2015-20 Nov 2016).

Prior to the event, Fr Charles Chiew gave two catechesis, one on Jan 17 and the other just before the rite of opening to prepare the faithful and help them understand the symbolic act of opening the Holy Door as understood in the Bible and how passing through the Holy Door (with proper dispositions) will enable them to encounter the mercy of God and draw near to God.

In his homily, the presider explained that the Holy Door is a symbol of the relationship between God and humanity.  Passing through the Holy Door with humility and openness of heart should lead one to see others with mercy when there is a need of mercy.

He also reminded the congregation that the journey of faith is not only centred on just receiving the Sacrament of Baptism.  Without experiencing mercy, he continued, one would not be able to help others to come to a relationship and unity with God, as well as not being able to experience the real presence of God in one’s life.

In his speech after the Mass, MPP chairman Osmund Osmin Benati expressed appreciation and gratitude to the prelate for choosing St Patrick as a pilgrimage centre during the Year of Mercy, and hoped that the faithful would be strengthened in their faith and be “merciful as the Father is merciful ” towards others.

Then all adjourned to the dinner fellowship and were entertained with performances from various parish and outstation groups. – KOMSOS Membakut/Patricia Bai/George Pansiol

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