New faces in Sandakan Diocese Youth Commission

Members of the Youth Commission from the Diocese of Sandakan met with its new members, who have now been absorbed into the Commission, during its 20th meeting at the Pastoral Centre May 27-28.

Jun 15, 2017

SANDAKAN: Members of the Youth Commission from the Diocese of Sandakan met with its new members, who have now been absorbed into the Commission, during its 20th meeting at the Pastoral Centre May 27-28. Members are made up of representatives from the parishes of Tawau, Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Beluran, Telupid, Paitan Mission (no representative attended), two lay members, a religious sister and a priest.

At a meeting in November last year, the Commission on Youth Apostolate of the Diocese, better known as the Diocesan Youth Apostolate (DYA), underwent training sessions conducted by Sr Lilian Unsoh. Some members who had served for nearly six years decided to discontinue to enable them to spend more time with their families. It was also a good opportunity for new people to participate and breathe new life into the commission. As it is said: A new friend is like new wine: when it has aged, you can drink it with pleasure. Sirach 9:10

On June 2, 2017, recollection began with morning prayers led by Sr Lilian Unsoh, followed by an introductory session of the newcomers. Then Anna Teresa from DYA presented her talk of Spirituality. She began by saying that the journey of DYA requires all the members to invest in each other and plant the seed of love to bring the mission of Jesus Christ, as youth leaders, to others. She said that the Youth Apostolate should emulate the twelve apostles in their relationship with each other. “Jesus said to them, ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.’” John 15:12-17

Sr Lilian also spoke about the Holy Father’s message in conjunction with the 32nd World Youth Day 2017. Pope Francis said that if we want to build the future, we must appreciate the past and that the young have all the energy whilst their parents have memory and wisdom. Thus, the newcomers to Diocesan Youth Apostolate need to discover their roots in order to move forward and continue the journey of the older generation.

Finally, Sr Lilian invited all the members to reflect on the question: How can I give my best in my ministry as a member of the DYA? She then asked everyone to share their reflections with each other as they prayed together.

At the end of the reflection, everyone participated in various planned activities to get to know each other better. At the meeting on May 28, the sharings were added to the guidelines and organisational chart of the Apostolic Youth Commission. They discussed whether this programme should be held in each parish of the Diocese of Sandakan and the challenges facing the implementation of the programme. The members found the meeting to be very fruitful. The next meeting will be held in Kunak in September where it is hoped more members will attend. --Newsupdatedospo

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Sunday Reflection

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time: That woman is Ourselves

Mark calls her “a Greek” but Matthew uses the ancient name “Canaanite,” a reference to the original inhabitants of the Holy Land, who were conquered by the Israelites some twelve centuries before the time of Jesus. Matthew recognises that this encounter between the woman from the area of Tyre and Sidon and Jesus is about an outsider “wanting in.” So he heightens the drama by identifying her as a member of that group of pagans who were Israel’s first enemies (after the Egyptians, of course).