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It was a great joy to serve and to know them as members of the one big family of Catholics though one may not actually know them. SYCC took the opportunity to welcome the new students that they may experience the hospitality of the community, making them aware that the church cares and offers compassion. ‘Welcoming the strangers’ through action can be a great relief to people who are new to the parish. The Year of Mercy calls the faithful to be concerned with corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
The theme, “You are loved” shows that no matter where one goes, as long as Jesus is there, his love will always be there. This fellowship has indeed impacted the students. Fr Stanley William Matakim, the assistant parish priest, in his welcome speech, thanked SYCC for their love and kindness in organising this special programme for the students. He also hoped that through this kind of activity the students would have a good rapport with the Catholic community in the parish.
The ice breaker was a game called “Samson, Delilah and Tiger” where students really had good interaction and fun. Lunch was served with delicious home-cooked dishes. Most students would have missed their mothers’ cooking. Meanwhile, SYCC celebrated the birthdays of those students born in Jan-Mar. It was a touching moment for them as the organisers celebrated their birthdays away from home, siblings and parents.
The event continued with a praise and worship session followed with a talk facilitated by SYCC member, Susanna Cordova who shared on the theme, “You are loved.” She emphasised that in one’s life one needs to put Jesus first and have a good relationship with the Lord. The talk was also to help the students strengthen their Catholic faith, thus empowering them to face the obstacles in a non-Christian environment.
After the talk, students were arranged in groups to discuss about the two main questions: ‘When do you feel you are not loved?’ and ‘How do you experience Jesus’ love in your life?’ Then, a representative from each group shared their views based on the questions.
The teachers in charge of the welfare of the Catholic students in MRSM were Dominic James and his wife Marry Lalim, Monica Loh for the SMK Elopura Sekolah Seni and Michael Tan for St Mary’s Hostel. They were people committed in gathering Catholic students to ensure that they attend church every Sunday as well as to keep them close to the Church; indeed they imitated Jesus the Good Shepherd, who tenderly cares for his sheep, tends his flock and guarantees their survival. – Susanna Cordova