Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Marian Mt

Around 120 parishioners, including Bishop Julius, Fr Phillip Muji, the Good Shepherd Sisters and the Franciscan Sisters commemorated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception — beginning with the recitation of the Holy Rosary along the Rosary Corridor at Marian Mount.

Dec 18, 2014

SANDAKAN: Around 120 parishioners, including Bishop Julius, Fr Phillip Muji, the Good Shepherd Sisters and the Franciscan Sisters commemorated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception — beginning with the recitation of the Holy Rosary along the Rosary Corridor at Marian Mount. It is one of the most important Marian feasts in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church every December 8. The Immaculate Conception celebrates the Church’s teaching that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from Original Sin from the very moment of her conception by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race (Catholic encyclopaedia — In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pope Pius IX).

The rosary began at 9.00am, followed by the Eucharistic Mass at Marian Mount. The event also marked a new chapter of the Marian celebration in St Mary’s Cathedral where the feast was celebrated for the first time outside the church, presided by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom, concelebrated with Fr Phillip Muji.

In his homily, Bishop Julius shared that Mass celebrated on top of the hill is symbolic, as it not only reminds everyone of the beauty of God’s creation but also reminds us of God’s various encounters with humans on mountain tops during Moses’ time and the transfiguration of Jesus.

The prelate reminded everyone not to be distracted by the many commercials drawing everyone into an instant Christmas mood. The many advertisements have diverted attention from the real meaning of Advent. Many voices also overpowered the call of St John the Baptist to everyone: “Prepare the way for the Lord.” The one person who really prepared the way for the Lord was Mary. When the angel Gabriel approached her, she was fearful at first, but in the end she professed “Yes” to the Lord. She made way for the the salvation of mankind.

The prelate encouraged all to emulate Mary and say “Yes” to the Lord and not be drowned by the disruptive voices we hear around us. In concluding his bi-lingual homily, Bishop Julius reiterated, “Advent is a call to be aware of God’s presence in every moment of our life. In fact, we encounter him during this season and, therefore, we ought to put into practice what is expected of us.”

After the Eucharistic celebration, everyone adjourned to the parish canteen for fellowship and light refreshments. Since the launch of the Marian corridor about three months ago, the parish Social Communication Commission, SOCCOM, took the opportunity to interview the coordinator, Edward Mosigi, on the development of Marian Mount.

He briefed SOCCOM that the Rosary Tower was completed in time for the launching of the Rosary Corridor. The committee is also widening the path and beautifying the five stations along the corridor. Safety railings are also being installed along its one km path.

The long term plan will be the building of the Mini Marian Crown Chapel next year. After the declaration of St Mary’s Cathedral as a pilgrimage center for Sandakan Diocese, the parish is striving to complete its infrastructure in preparation for the influx of visitors in view of its pilgrimage status. The progress of the Marian Mount will very much depend on the availability of funds. The Parish Pastoral Council very much welcomes any donation or sponsorship from generous and kind parishioners in realising the plan for Marian Mount.

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