“Our Lenten theme Ignite Hope, is a call to be…
KOTA KINABALU – More than 400 members from the Neocatechumenal communities in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu participated in a pilgrimage to the Holy Door of Mercy at the Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) on 2 May 2016, a public holiday.
The pilgrims, from parishes of St John Tuaran; St Paul Dontozidon; St Thomas Kepayan; Stella Maris Tanjung Aru; and those from the SHC parish itself, gathered at the car park behind the Emmaus House.
After listening to a Word from the Gospel, Fr Paul Lo, spiritual adviser of Lay Associations and Movements in the archdiocese, led them in procession to the entrance of the Cathedral singing songs along the way.
Upon reaching the main entrance of the Cathedral, the pilgrims knelt momentarily in silence before entering the Door of Mercy and chanting the Litany of the Saints as they moved to take their places inside the Cathedral for Holy Eucharist.
Fr Edward Raymond, Rector of St John Tuaran, concelebrated the Mass with Fr Paul, who told the pilgrims that it was through the grace of God that they were able to enter the Door in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.
The pilgrimage took place on the feast day of St Athanasius, a bishop and Doctor of the Church who tirelessly combatted and rebutted the heresy of Arius that denied the divinity of Jesus.
Noting that St Athanasius was expelled many times, Fr Paul told members of the Neocatechumenal communities doing the pilgrimage that they too would have to experience rejection and sufferings before they could enter into the kingdom of God.
“That is why God the Father has to send the Holy Spirit who defends us. That is why the Holy Spirit is also known as the Advocate.
“The evil one does not want us to believe in God and today at this pilgrimage, God reminds us not to believe the devil but to take courage and learn from St Athanasius to be strong in faith in the face of many hardships,” said Fr Paul in his homily.