PAPAR – Around 300 local and migrant parishioners turned up for the local parish observance of Migrant Sunday at Mother of Mercy open hall, St Joseph Parish here on 1 Oct 2017.
The celebration was in conjunction with the 103rd World Migrant Day 2017 with this year’s theme: Minor Migrants, Vulnerable and Voiceless.
In his homily, Father Thomas Yip shared the importance of emulating Jesus Christ’s behaviour and acts, who was ever faithful to God the Father, humble, sincere and forgiving.
At the fellowship after the Mass, organising chairperson Rogerlio expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the support given by the parish and the working committee comprising the Indonesian and Filipino communities and the Human Development Committee (KPI) led by its coordinator Dominic Lim.
Mikael Wura Darang, the parish’s Indonesian Committee leader, shared the importance of education as the pillar of enhancing the mindset and future well-being of migrant children and youth.
In his brief speech, Johnny Sitamin, the PPC chairman, stressed the need for collaborative teamwork among the parish’s various committees and communities, both local and migrant alike. Likewise, one must avoid falling into unnecessary conflicts or spreading unjustified rumours for one’s personal gain.
Yohanes Sogen, the Community Learning Centre (CLC) coordinator, in his comprehensive briefing on the development of the CLC in the parish, invited migrant parents to enroll their children with the CLC for educational values in order to eradicate illiteracy and alleviate them from poverty in the hope of breaking the migration chains when they return back to their motherland. He also advised his fellow people to avoid instigating arrest, social disrepute and to prioritise on their children’s education instead. Lastly, he thanked the parish for initiating and the continuous support provided in the development and the growth of the CLC in the church.
Franciscan Sister Juanah led the grace before lunch and joined the lay leaders and migrant community in the cake-cutting ceremony.
A video presentation on the AMOS 3 conference in Sandakan was screened with a concise sharing from William Charles on the objective of this conference and the church migrant ministry’s planning and future endeavour. He also said that local parishioners must discard the stigma of a negative perception of the migrant in order for the migrant ministry to move forward as part of Christ’s mission.
The video presentation was followed by a number of stage performances featuring cultural dances, solo and choral singing by the youth choirs, CLC students and outstation migrant children. – William Charles Mindus (SOCCOM Papar Limbahau)