“Our Lenten theme Ignite Hope, is a call to be…
KENINGAU – The Filipino community celebrated the Feast of Santo Nino (Holy Infant) at the Katedral St Francis Xavier here on 21 Jan 2018.
In its fourth year, the theme of the celebration was “Let the children come to me.”
Father John Emerson Tepait of Masbate City Philippines presided at the Mass on Sunday afternoon.
The event began with the procession of the statue of the Santo Nino from the entrance of Dataran Solidariti to the cathedral.
In his homily, the priest said that the yearly celebration of Sto Nino “always reminds us of who we were and what we were before. No matter what we have become or what have we accomplished, we are always reminded of our humble beginnings. As a child, we want no more than attention, love, care, simple things and everything for us becomes fulfilling and complete.”
He said the theme is an invitation to be aware of the parents’ important role in the lives of their children. Jesus, he continued, raised the dignity of children by rebuking the disciples as they hindered the children from coming closer to Him.
Parents, he added, need to let their children know always of their pride, love, value in them because “if we don’t do it, they will grow up without proper mental and spiritual orientation.”
The priest said that if a child feels loved, he will have great self-esteem. It also lessens the chances of “your kids becoming aggressive, anti-social and having other behavioural problems. While adolescents might be embarrassed at the physical affection, there should always be words of support and empathy to take its place. Parents should spend quality time with their children. Discipline them with love and affection.”
Cherilyn Rondidas, chairperson of the KFSX Filipino Pastoral Committee (FPC) and the vice chairperson of Persatuan Kababayan Sabah (PKS), expressed her gratitude Bishop Cornelius Piong for allowing the community to celebrate the event.
She also expressed her gratitude to the organising committee for their efforts and commitment and to all generous sponsors for their support in making the celebration a memorable one.
She added that the FPC has set up a relief fund to help fellow Filipino members in times of bereavement, critical sickness and other calamities. Each family member may contribute RM10 – 20 to the fund.
Rondidas, a Malaysian-born Filipino, said it took time for her to figure out how to organise the event and wished the community to continue to grow in faith in Jesus.
She also thanked the Sandakan Filipino Pastoral Group for their presence in support of the celebration.
After the Mass, parishioners joined in the procession of the Infant Jesus from the church entrance to the Dataran Solidariti Hall where a lunch of traditional local and Filipino dishes was served.
Guests included members of Filipino communities of St Mary Sandakan, St Theresa Tambunan, Holy Cross Toboh, Holy Spirit Sook, and St Valentine Beaufort. – Keningau website