Island parish feast day, opportunity “to remember, to celebrate, and to become”

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ coincides with our Parish Feast Day. The theme for this year’s celebration is “To remember, To celebrate and To become.”

Jun 10, 2021

LABUAN: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ coincides with our Parish Feast Day. The theme for this year’s celebration is “To remember, To celebrate and To become.”

It serves to remind us of the birth of Catholicism here in Labuan, the many blessings that we have received from God in our journey of faith, to partake with gratitude in the Eucharistic celebration and finally to become a more vibrant church to serve the Lord in line with our Parish Theme, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Js 24:15)

Prior to the Parish Feast Day on Jun 1, members of the Parish Pastoral Council had a session to re-capitulate, re-assess and to realign (if any) on the various parish pastoral initiatives. The objectives are to reevaluate how much we have grown in understanding who we are as a parish, what we are called to do; and if we are seeing the right values and fruits through our initiatives. This is important to determine if we are on the right track before moving forward.

One of the initiatives carried out which was geared towards building the right values was the 33 Day Consecration to St Joseph, held in March for the Bapa-bapa, and in May for the ladies of the parish. Following the enforced pandemic lockdown, a combined Zoom discussion was held to share the acquired knowledge, impact to self, particularly St Joseph’s virtues, as well as to the parish as a whole. With these values entrenched in our lives, we hope that they will continue to resemble the examples of our spiritual father in bringing our parish to greater heights of prayer and devotion.

The spiritual garden and church canteen projects are ongoing. The former, through the beauty of nature, hopes to increase the presence of God, whereas the latter, in bringing the parishioners together. As one parish family, we shall come together in realizing our dream of having a more dignified church.

A Triduum with Eucharistic Adoration was live-streamed from Jun 3-5 as our spiritual preparation for our Parish Feast Day. These were aimed at helping our parishioners to draw closer to our Lord who is ever present in the Blessed Sacrament especially in these challenging times. The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian spirituality. Spending time with the Lord will give us the strength and consolation to embrace the challenges ahead and help us to live a more Eucharistic life.

Since the Parish Feast Day falls within the lockdown period, parishioners were unable to be present physically in the church to celebrate our feast day. This is the same for last year. But nonetheless, our spirit was not dampened. The Eucharistic celebration integrated with the Eucharistic Adoration was live-streamed on Jun 6. There was no solemn procession of the Blessed Sacrament which would have taken place under normal circumstances.

To lighten to the somewhat subdued atmosphere of the day, the Labuan Youth Team, in conjunction with their one-year anniversary for the virtual program, “Belia Kau Mau Taukah?” (BKMTK), produced a video clip to commemorate these double celebrations.

The video clip retraced the parish initiatives from 2019 to 2021 and the four episodes of BKMTK and the team shared their experiences in organizing this program. This is one of the little efforts to reach out to our parishioners in times where we cannot be together physically.

It is worthy to note that the abovementioned activities were held against a backdrop of various MCO culminating to a lockdown on Jun 1. Though movement or gatherings are restricted in compliance to the SOP, it is reassuring to see these many challenges in realizing our initiatives are met with enthusiasm and zeal. Praise the Lord!

We remain hopeful and look forward to the day when we can be together again to celebrate Holy Mass in the church. Until then we should do our little part by staying vigilant, keeping safe and healthy for the common good of all.––CS

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