PAPAR – May 1 was an unforgettable day for 180 confirmands who were conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation by Archbishop John Wong during Mass in conjunction with the feast day of St Joseph’s Church here. At the same time, the parish also celebrated Easter and the Kaamatan.
The Mass was concelebrated with parish priest Fr Thomas Yip, Fr Jalius Sading, and assisted by Deacon Joshua Liew. It began with a procession from the youth centre, comprising altar servers, 32 flags bearers from the parish’s various committees, communities, churches and chapels under the care of St Joseph. The flag bearers were attired in colourful traditional costumes of the different communities. The possession was also accompanied by traditional musical instrument togunggak by the parish youth.
The Holy Mass was enlivened by the singing of the choir from St Kenneth Kelatuan, assisted by St Joseph’s choir.
In his homily, the archbishop reflected on how far our thoughts, the words we utter, our attitudes and behaviour mirror our embracing and following the teaching of Jesus Christ.
At the end of the Mass, the prelate proposed to the faithful twelve words on which they could base their actions daily, which were divided as follows: a) Read God’s Word; b) Receive the Sacraments; c) Live God’s Commandments; d) Proclaim the Gospel.
After Mass, the Kaamatan and Easter celebration continued in Fr John Tsung Hall with traditional music and dance performances from the churches and chapels, and lucky draws. Competitions were also organised, such as traditional cooking, paddy winnowing, news reading in Kadazan and children’s traditional costume and best costume.
During his pastoral visit to the parish, Abp Wong was briefed by the priests and the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) on the ongoing construction of the Sunday School building, which is expected to be completed by the end of May, PPC activities, and challenges faced by the parish.
The celebration concluded with the presentation of Confirmation certificates to the confirmands by Archbishop Wong. The prelate himself was presented with a memento by PPC chairman Johnny Sitamin, witnessed by Fr Yip. – William Charles