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TANJUNG ARU – One hundred and forty people attended a talk on the family by Redemptorist priest Fr Patrick Massang on 9 Sept 2017 at the Stella Maris parish hall here.
The attendees came from Sacred Heart Cathedral KK, St Simon Likas, St Thomas Kepayan, Stella Maris Tg Aru, and Holy Family Terawi.
A nursery for young children was organised so that the parents could focus on the sessions based on the theme Legacy of the Holy Family.
Fr Massang covered topics related to the archdiocesan pastoral thrust of “Go Inward, Go Smaller, Go Outward” as a way to tackle the challenges generally faced by the parishes in the archdiocese.
Fr Massang spoke about himself, the “Go Inward” to know his talents particularly on art and music, and how they had helped him to recognise God’s call to the priestly vocation.
He then spoke about “Go Smaller” related to stories from “small beginnings,” about his own family and his own experiences as a son, a brother and a servant of God, and how he journeyed through life being supported by a loving mother. He was the 13th in a brood of 15 brothers and sisters.
“Go Outward” relates to how all these events and experiences are connected to his passion of being called by God to serve as His priest, and how God used him to reach out to people through his skills and talents.
He advised parents to be anchors for their children, while at the same time to know when to let go. He also cautioned that what they wish for their children may not be what the children aspire for their own lives. He encouraged parents to recognise the talents of their children, and to develop these talents by helping and walking them through the journey of growing up.
Fr Massang also emphasised family values such as remembering birthdays, Mothers’ day, learning to appreciate, expressions of love, praying together, making family prayers a priority in the family agenda.
In just six hours, Fr Massang managed to cover topics on bullying, youths being the foundation of a parish, being Christ-centred parishioners, and how to pray communally and personally.
Since 2016, Stella Maris Parish has organised faith formation talks, beginning with the Women Faith Formation, and followed by one for men. – Teresa Alberto