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Blessing and Opening of Marian Nursery

SANDAKAN – Fr David Garaman, the rector of St Mary’s Cathedral blessed and opened the Marian Nursery, located at the space behind and adjacent to the parish office building on Friday Dec 21.

Present to witness the ceremony were Bishop Julius Gitom, assistant rector Fr Christopher Ireneus, Franciscan Sisters, members of the Pastoral Council, Finance and Property Committees, contributors to the nursery, and parish staff.

It took some nine months to plan and put in place the basic infrastructure, as well as to develop the said area into a proper nursery.

Putting up the infrastructure, landscape work and planting job were all done by the church workers.

Most of the resources were discarded items that were refurbished and reused, which include old sinks, toilet bowls, cisterns, used PVC pipe, used gutters and others. The cost incurred was minimal.

The 30 ft pergola for the passion fruit plant was constructed using used GI pipes and used bricks.

The toilet was renovated using old doors and the plaque for the occasion was a sticker pasted onto a used television set. The 2 ft wide and 33 ft long drain was converted into a fish pond.

The event for the day commenced with the blessing of the nursery followed by a speech by Fr David.

He was happy to note that the hard work put in by all those involved and contributions by kind parishioners has eventually bore fruit.

The nursery has enhanced the beauty of the Cathedral. It is not merely pleasing to the eyes, but provides relaxation to the mind.

The plants could also be used for decoration for church functions and also in the church itself, thus reducing cost.

The recently launched Marian Orchard, just beside the Cathedral and the on-going landscape work is a positive endeavour in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical  Laudato Si – a document calling individuals to take moral responsibility for their actions upon the earth and the impact: ‘to ourselves, to future generations and especially to the poor.’

Fr David then proceeded to unveil the ‘plaque’ in commemoration of the occasion followed by the cutting of ribbon by Bishop Julius, Fr David and Fr Christopher.

He then switched on the filtering system of the fish pond and together with the bishop, Fr Christopher and Sr Regina, released fish into the pond.

They then made a tour of the nursery and the occasion ended with light refreshment. – Francis Tan

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