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RANAU – Over 300 Catholic teachers were encouraged to be bold for change in line with the theme of the annual Archdiocesan Teachers Day: Christian Teachers Be Bold for Change on 8 July 2017.
The event was held at St Peter Claver Ranau.
Archbishop John Wong presided at the Mass. Joining him at the altar were Fathers Jalius Sading, Ambrose Atang, Nicholas Stephen, Florian Marcus and Mattheus Luta.
The participants – school heads, principals, teachers – represented 43 primary and secondary mission schools, and 25 mission kindergartens across 10 zones in the archdiocese.
In her speech after the Mass, Franciscan Sister Rita Chew, head of the Education Commission, said the change is for the better in oneself, in the areas which need it, and in others. She also encouraged the teachers to join the teachers’ ministry, to make friends with one’s pastor and to leave their prints in the hearts of their students.
Both Fr Stephen (pastor of Ranau) and Abp Wong admitted in their respective speeches the challenge of teaching other people’s children but emphasised that teaching is a vocation, not just a career.
The prelate, however, concluded his address with his signature 12 Words: (1) Read the Word (2) Receive the Sacraments (3) Obey the Commandments and (4) Proclaim the Gospel.
At the fellowship meal held at St Benedict Hall after the Mass, 15 retired teachers from Ranau, Bundu Tuhan and Kota Belud Zones received certificates of appreciation for their services including Petrus Gungkat Atin, the father of Rev Wilfred Atin, and Franciscan Sister Caroline Duli.
The participants were entertained by song and traditional dance performances by some student groups.