LAHAD DATU – Eighteen members of the Sandakan Diocesan Family Life Commission (DFLC) attended a half-way recollection on 22 July 2017 at St Dominic here.
The participants came from St Mary Sandakan (5), St Martin Telupid (3), OLOF Beluran (2), St Dominic Lahad Datu (4), and Holy Trinity Tawau (4).
The theme of the recollection was “Do as you say,” the words spoken by the three angels to Abraham in the book of Genesis (Gn 18:5).
Recollection began with an opening prayer led by Franciscan Sister Evelyn Tivit, followed by self-introduction of each member.
The session continued with an inspiring input presented by Eva Siruno, DFLC chairperson, on the meaning and purpose of commissioning which they would later be given.
She said the commission given by the risen Jesus to his disciples (Mt 28:19-20) is the “most sacred commissioning” because it came directly from Jesus’ lips. Jesus’ promise to be with us always is the “most consoling part of our mission,” she added.
Jesus’ promise to be with us always is the “most consoling part of our mission,” she added.
Siruno said that through the commissioning, “we gain affirmation from the Lord” through the church “in our commitment to each other,” and provide “us a time where we can rejoice and give thanks together.”
She noted that the people’s prayer can “charge us up” and most importantly, “we inspire others to serve in the church.”
A video on the nature and mission of the Catholic Family: “Garden of Holiness” was screened. It touched on the challenges of being a father, mother or child in the family to create an environment of holiness.
Sr Evelyn facilitated a short reflection session wherein the participants recalled their experiences in serving the church and the struggles they faced. This was followed by group sharing.
Later the participants went to the chapel for personal reflection using a guided reflection based on Pope Francis’ catechesis on the family. It helped them to recall their experiences and challenges in the ministry.
Time was given to the participants to share their experiences and how God sustained them when they were on the verge of giving up.
In the evening, the participants were commissioned by Father Marcellinus Pongking after the homily at the Sunset Mass.
The next day, July 23, the participants from Sandakan and Lahad Datu joined the pre-marriage course team in giving sessions to 23 couples in Tampenau, Lahad Datu.