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KOTA KINABALU – Special Ministry for People with Developmental Disabilities (SMPDD) in the Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish had a challenging but fruitful year in 2015.
To begin with, Sr Lawrencia Gompok fsic who was the spiritual director/coordinator for 2014 was transferred out of the cathedral parish.
Sr Genevieve Nicholas fsic was appointed to take over as spiritual director with Peter Siburat as the new coordinator.
Currently, 30 members are officially registered under the ministry. Regular attendance ranges between 15-20 per session.
SMPDD was able to organise 23 advocates and 19 children’s sessions during the year.
The advocates’ sessions are geared for the ‘advocates’ or ‘volunteers,’ and cater for the sharing of the Word of God, and planning and organising of activities in preparation for the children’s sessions.
Activities for the children’s sessions, held on alternate week, range from colouring to handicrafts, which serve mainly to assist the children to ‘de-stress’ in order to prepare them to receive the Word of God.
The Word of God is proclaimed normally based on the coming Sunday Gospel, following by a sharing from the advocate. The advocates take turns to share.
Liturgical events such as Lent, Advent, Christmas, are also given prominence accordingly. Yearly, the children are fully involved in the Advent penitential service, as well as in the Christmas party that would be organised for them. Special Masses are also a privilege for them.
The children end their session with an Agape time of refreshment and friendship bonding. Birthdays get to be celebrated on a monthly basis.
For 2015, the children were also blessed with an exciting and rewarding outing to Beringgis Resort.
A proud moment for the ministry when Charles Pius was confirmed and received Holy Communion for the first time during the Easter Vigil at the cathedral, witnessed by his special friends.
Other perks for the advocates during the year was the annual reflection for catechists of the parish, which has refreshed them, and enriched their service, as well as a fellowship lunch with Fr Rhobby Mojolou and Deacon Joshua Liew at Metro Town Roti & Canai.
SMPDD invites more parishioners to give their their time and energy to serve in this enriching and faith-building ministry. Feel free to drop in at Room G1 every Saturday 9:00-11:00 am to visit us and perhaps to lend a hand. – Peter Siburat