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KOTA KINABALU – Sixteen Aspirants with their director Fr Wilfred Atin celebrated the Jubilee Year of Mercy with a ‘Journey of Mercy’ to the six designated Holy Doors of Mercy in Sabah.
The journey started from Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese to Sandakan Diocese and ended up in Keningau Diocese, from 29 Aug – 3 Sept 2016. At the same time the pilgrims also carried out vocation promotion in the places they stayed overnight.
On the first day they entered the Holy Door at Sacred Heart Cathedral led by Fr Wilfred. From there, they went to St Peter’s Church Kudat. were Pastor Fr Jalius Sading welcomed them warmly. They stayed overnight in the parish.
They presented the Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood programme. One aspirant shared on how he responded to the calling, the challenges he faced, and how he overcame them. The pilgrims took the opportunity to sell some religious items to raise funds. They entered the Kudat Holy Door the next morning, followed by Mass.
From Kudat they proceeded to Sandakan by taking the Paitan–Sapi Nangoh road. They stopped by St Joseph’s Church, Nangoh for a short visit. In Sandakan, Bishop Julius Gitom, Fr Sunny Chung, Fr Stanley Matakim and Deacon Christopher Ireneus joined in the vocation promotion programme.
The next day, after the Rites of Entering the Door of Mercy, they went up the Marian Hill while reciting the Rosary and celebrated Mass on top of the hill. Then they continued their pilrimage to St Peter Claver Ranau with a lunch stop over at St Martin Telupid parish hall. In Ranau they were welcomed by Fr Nicholas Stephen, Fr Francis Tsen,and Fr Florian Marcus, who took part in the vocation programme.
On the fourth day, before entering the Holy Door, they were given a catechesis on the eight icons on the Holy Door. They made the Stations of the Cross outdoors before going to St Patrick Membakut. En route, they visited the new retreat centre at Nulu Sosopon, Keningau with Fr Paul Mikin present to welcome them.
From Membakut, they proceeded the next day to Holy Rosary Church, Limbahau, their last station. After entering the Holy Door the next day, they headed back to the formation house in Catholic Archdiocesean Centre Penampang. – Nelbart Peter
“A long, tiring journey but with God’s help, I gained strength to go on and also from helping each other. I learnt that we must have humility in order to be merciful like the Father.” – Nelbart Peter
“I realise that God is always with us whenever we seek Him. I’m really grateful and thankful because He has never abandoned me in my hardships.” – Wendell Wong
“Interesting things happen when there is peace within a community. Along the journey of entering the six Doors of Mercy, I’ve learned that love is a free gift from God and He tells us to follow this love and to share it with each other.” – Baxcter C
“This pilgrimage has awakened me to the meaning of sacrifice, patience and sincerity. It has taught me to be strong in my calling.” – Airon Japilih
“Through this pilgrimage, we were able to see Christ’s loving face in the persons of the parishioners that we visited. Their support enabled us to complete our journey to all Doors of Mercy.” – Yoseph Jup Matias
“This has given me a new inspiration to love others, to appreciate myself, others and God. It has helped me to continue responding to God’s call.” – Hillary
“I felt the Lord Jesus working in me when I gave my sharing in Holy Rosary Church Limbahau. Two of the parishioners approached and told me that they were really touched by the sharing.” – Switchely Michael
“I have the beautiful opportunity to experience God’s deep love and peace upon entering the Door of Mercy. The journey was quite tiring but going out in the love of Jesus made all things beautiful. Walking with Jesus means ‘You will never walk alone.’” – Jeremia D
“I have the opportunity to get to know the parishioners in the parishes we visited. We shared our faith and the different environment has refreshed my own faith.” – Freddy Nicholas
“I’m thankful to God that through His blessings, this programme has run smoothly. I’ve gained many faith-strengthening experiences especially going through the Doors of Mercy.” – Bonnyface Stephen
“Through this journey of Mercy, I’ve experienced and seen how God works in those who are willing to put in effort and be close to Him” – Scany Polycarp
“The reflection on the Prodigal Son tells me that God accepts us when we go to Him with bags of regrets of all the sins that we have committed. I am touched and awakened to continue following God.” – Jescie Petrus
“Although it was tiring but we found joy in each other because we went out with one heart. We believed that Jesus was walking with us, and we felt that this exhaustion was necessary for us to be the agents of good news” – Paddelyne Francis
“The ‘Prodigal Son’ icon has touched me deeply due to my past transgressions. But I believe God the Father accepts my ‘resurrection’ with love and allowed me to be in the Formation House.” – Ricki Boy Hasim
“The Lord reminded me to forgive those who have ever hurt me. In this pilgrimage, He assured me that He will never let me walk alone, He is lighting our way.” – Andrewsius Jumil
“I’m grateful to God simply because He made me feel His mercy at each Door of Mercy throughout this pilgrimage” – Charlleo Chari @ Chali