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KUDAT – PEKA (Persatuan Katekis or Catechists Association) organised a pilgrimage for 60 of their members and families to the Holy Door at St Peter’s Church Kudat from 24-25 Apr 2016.
On arrival at Fr De Wit Hall, the pilgrims were given a briefing on the meaning and purpose of the pilgrimage, as well a history of the local Church and the life of her missionary priest Fr PJ de Wit by Fr Thomas Yip, who accompanied the group on their pilgrimage.
They learned that the late Fr de Wit, a priest who diligently translated prayer books into the local language, was killed by unidentified intruders at the rectory on 2 August 1983, just next to St Peter’s Church.
After the rites of entrance, all entered through the Holy Door for the celebration of Holy Mass by Fr Yip.
In his homily, Fr Yip invited the pilgrims to reflect on the life and missionary zeal of Fr De Wit, who did not stop serving God until he met his end at the hands of intruders. May we, he said, likewise not be intimidated by any evil power in this world because the Holy Spirit is always there to give us strength and especially Jesus is always with us to gives us His mercy.
From Kudat, the pilgrimage continued to wind its way to Ranau, where another Holy Door awaited them at St Peter Claver’s Church. The long journey in transit provided ample opportunities for prayer and personal reflection.
After lunch, the pilgrims once again entered the Holy Door after the rites were prayed. Here a unique feature included an activity where pilgrims were to pick up a rolled piece of paper where scripture is inscribed for each pilgrim to take home for personal reflection.
By 3:45 pm the group arrived at Sacred Heart Cathedral and entered through its Holy Door. Fr Yip encouraged all to reflect on the entire pilgrimage. – Emma Petrus