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SANDAKAN -The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) of St Mary Cathedral here organised a two-day planning workshop to identify key pastoral areas and to prioritise pastoral activities towards achieving vision and mission’ on 23-24 Jan 2017 at the parish hall.
One hundred and fifty lay leaders, priests and religious representing the various parish ministries, communities and groups attended the workshop.
Pilis Malim, organising cum PPC Chairman, explained that the objective of the workshop was to assist the PPC in formulating the pastoral plan for the parish.
For comprehensiveness, the PPC proposed the participation of all ministries, communities and groups in order that their ideas, feedbacks and opinions could help to shape a workable framework for the pastoral plan. One such effective approach is an interactive workshop where lay leaders, priests and religious are fully involved.
In his keynote address, Bishop Julius Gitom said, “Without a vision, the people perished” (Proverbs 29:18). He said that the parishioners’ attendance in the workshop reflected their love for the church, and their longing for a vibrant parish, He saw their presence as being inspired by the Holy Spirit.
He shared that the recent Sandakan Diocesan Delegate Assembly on Jan 4-5 has unveiled the Diocesan Vision and Mission Statement (V & M) after a long and tedious process undertaken by the then four parishes in the diocese.
However, the V & M statement would only be launched officially during the Diocesan 10th anniversary in October this year in Tawau.
The prelate was pleased to note that St Mary’s Parish, being the mother Church of the diocese, took the initiative to hold a workshop to explore and understand the V & M and to align its pastoral planning to that of the diocese.
The session on “Understanding and Ownership of the Vision and Mission Statement” was facilitated by Francis Tan, former executive secretary of the Diocese of Sandakan. He briefed those present on the chronology of the process of V & M which took seven years to be formulated based on ideas and experiences at the grassroots.
Working on the V & M statement, the participants were divided into six groups and presented their views and ideas to the assembly. The participants’ views and concerns would be documented and become the basis of the parish PPC pastoral planning. – DOSPO