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KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral celebrated its fourth Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) Feast Day from 30 May to 5 June 2016 in oneness of heart and spirit. Parishioners who opted not to attend any of the week-long celebrations for whatever reason, lost out on an invaluable opportunity at togetherness – the theme being Oneness in Heart and Spirit for the Parish Family, to give everyone a sense of belonging.
Nonetheless, the organisers were happy with the participation – either as those who were part of the various committees and groups that put forward the programmes, as well as those who attended them.
“The sight of our youth, from all language groups, being actively involved in the various programmes gives us hope that the Church in Kota Kinabalu is very much alive and growing,” said Jason Joenoi, SHC Parish Pastoral Council chairman, who also headed the main organising team.
“However, there were one or two activities that could have seen better participation, and we will promote the programme more aggressively in 2017,” he said.
Jason pointed out that the Eucharistic Celebration for the Feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus (Sanctification of Priests) could have a better turnout. But the Corporal Works of Mercy Mass for the Sick, which was followed by fellowship at the canteen saw a better response.
The celebrations kicked off with the Triduum of Masses and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel from 9:00am-12:00 noon.
Mission to Love on the life of St John Bosco was the movie screened for Movie Night while the youth-organised Family Night – which included a concert and dinner – were well received, followed by the Family Carnival the next day, where the various groups were given the opportunity to set up food and jumble stalls that helped them raise funds for their activities, and fun activities for all, children concert, lucky draws etc.
Judging from the feedback received on the Mass and the events organised by the youth, as well as their involvement, one can expect to see more participation from them in the future.
There were also a couple of sports items – football and badminton – which saw the participation of the religious against selections from Sacred Heart as well as Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI). To record the actual scores may well see some red faces among the parishioners, but results are important; the religious led by Archbishop John Wong himself, was said to have outplayed the teams from SHC and CMI.
“They somehow seem to be fitter than us (the parishioners),” lamented Daniel Kong, who was involved in the badminton series, and a Borneo tennis champion in his heyday. “They can go round and round and hardly raise a sweat, but for us, it is a struggle.”
Others have requested that there should be more sports activities, and to include the women.
For the uninitiated, Archbishop John Wong who just turned 48, was very much involved in both the football and badminton events. He was also present throughout all the Family Carnival events and was seen mingling and chatting with parishioners and giving away prizes and gifts to participants taking part in the activities organised.
The Family Carnival saw active participation from the children up to the adults while those who invested in the raffles tickets, saw some with wide grins on their faces as they went up to pick prizes after their numbers were polled.
Archbishop Wong in his closing remarks at the carnival said he was happy with the participation of the parishioners and thanked everyone for ensuring its success. – SHC SOCCOM