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INANAM – Over 200 parishioners attended a catechesis on The Prodigal Son parable at St Catherine’s Church here on 18 Aug 2017 conducted by the Archdiocesan Social Communications Commission (Soccom).
The catechesis was jointly presented by Father Thomas Madanan, the Commission’s Spiritual Adviser who spoke on The Merciful Father; Joseph Leong, its Chairman on The Elder Son; and Gideon Mosito, another Soccom member on The Prodigal Son.
Fr Madanan explained that although the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (YoM) officially ended in November 2016, Soccom has continued with its YoM programme because of its timeless message for all those seeking God’s mercy and showing mercy to others around them.
In their presentation, the speakers gave testimony on how they have experienced the forgiveness of God and have thus become witnesses of mercy.
They said the central purpose of visiting the Inanam parish and giving the catechesis on The Prodigal Son was to underscore the need for everyone in a Catholic family to repent and seek the mercy of God.
It was brought home in their talks that not only The Prodigal Son, the younger son in the parable, but the elder son too has to see a need to heal broken relationships within a Catholic family.
They stated that those who serve the church in various capacities on a regular basis and for a long time might have a similar attitude of the elder brother in the parable who was angry with the father and was upset over his younger brother being given such a lavish welcome.
They stressed that everyone in the family should recognise their wrongdoings and seize opportunities for repentance and return body, heart, and soul to God the Father.
The Soccom speakers invited the parishioners, coming from Telipok, Manggatal and Inanam, to be reconciled with each other in their respective family by way of forgiveness and other acts of mercy.
They also had the opportunity to watch videos on the YoM celebrations in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu and the World Communications Day (WCD) celebration at the archdiocesan level hosted by the parish on 28 May 2017.
They were each given a free copy of an information leaflet on the Extraordinary Jubilee Year, entitled, “What ‘Mercy’ Means to Me and My Family,” produced by the Soccom in English and Bahasa Malaysia.
Commenting on the Soccom programme in Inanam, Leong recalled that Pope Francis had, in his message for World Communications Day in May this year, stressed the need for all Catholics, especially those engaged in media work, to communicate hope and trust in our time.
“This was precisely what we did at St Catherine’s Church that night,” he said, adding, “We were there to give a word of hope to the crowd who appeared to be full of hunger and thirst for the love and mercy of God.”
This is the third parish where this special YoM programme was conducted in the archdiocese.
The previous occasions were at the Holy Rosary Church, Limbahau, on 11 Nov 2016 and at the Holy Nativity Church, Terawi, on 28 April 2017.
Among parish officials present were Fr David Sham, Parish Priest; Paul Augustine, Chairman of Parish Pastoral Council; Francis Ten, head of Liturgy; and Jesuit Deacon Leslie Bingkasan, who is due to be ordained a priest at the same church on 1 Sept 2017 by Archbishop John Wong.
Patricia Regis, another Soccom member, responsible for documentation and research work, was also present to lend support for the event.