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shepherds-voiceChairman of MYTC Board of Governors, Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Bernard Dompok
Members of Board of Governors: Datin Margaret Fung, Mr Chiang Wei Chia and Mr Willie Wong
Brothers of St Gabriel-Br Francis (who is away in France) and Br Gaspar
Honourable Guests, Benefactors and Friends of Montfort
Religious Brothers and Sisters
All the Graduates and their parents and family members
MYTC Management, Staff and Trainees, Ladies and Gentlemen

A very good morning to you!  I am happy to be here this morning to witness the graduation ceremony of Batch 15 of Montfort Youth Training Centre here in Kinarut; and at the same time, to have the chance to meet all of you.

I notice that this is the 15th batch of graduates trained by this centre.  That means Montfort has been around in Sabah for 15 years or so.  I must congratulate the Brothers and all who have a part to play in this centre for your continuous dedication to the formation of our youth.  I am sure those who have graduated from this centre are now doing well in their lives, and they have become part of the skilled labour force in Sabah.  For this, I wish to say THANK YOU to the Brothers for their mission here.

I also wish to congratulate each and every one of the 65 graduates who had the courage to come to Montfort.  In spite of your fears and doubts, you have stayed on and persevered till your graduation.  I join everyone present here to share your pride and joy of becoming qualified motor mechanics, welders, furniture-makers, air-condition and refrigeration mechanics.

I know that the training and formation programme given to you by the Brothers, especially Br Francis Chua, your Provincial and Director, and all your teachers and officers have helped to build you up and prepare you to face new challenges in the workplace.

The Brothers and Staff have also guided you to know, love and serve God in all that you do.  As step out of Montfort into the outside world, you will face many trials and temptations.  But do not be afraid!  As long as you put God first in your life, and as long as you live out the values and teachings you have learnt here for the past two years, I believe you will not go astray.  So my advice to you is: stay connected.

In last week’s gospel reading, Jesus said that He is the vine and we are the branches; cut away from Him we will wither.  Jesus calls us to stay connected to Him, to remain in His love.  Only in this way we will be able to withstand our daily challenges.

To the rest of the trainees, I know how you feel when you see your seniors graduating.  You wish you are up here, receiving your certificates.  But you still have 12 more months to go.  So do your best, learn as much as possible, and always try to be a better person each day.  When you do this, you will enjoy your stay here and you will find time passes very quickly.

To Tan Sri Chairman, Board members, management and staff, I thank you and congratulate you for the good work you are doing among the youth.  Without your commitment and dedication, many of our youth will be left behind in society, and their God-given talents will not be properly enhanced.

Last but not least, my gratitude and appreciation go to all benefactors and supporters of Montfort educative mission.  Your involvement and support continue to give new hope to our young people.  May God reward you abundantly in all your undertakings.

Thank you and God bless you all.

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