SANDAKAN – The Diocese of Sandakan hosted the third AMOS conference at the Sandakan Pastoral Centre here on 21-23 Sept 2017.
A total of 162 participants registered for the conference including 12 representatives from the Papar-Limbahau Human Development Committee (Komiti Pembangunan Insan or KPI).
The conference, held every two years on rotation basis among the three arch/dioceses of Kota Kinabalu, Keningau and Sandakan, included two bishops, 13 priests, seven religious sisters and one novice.
The objectives of the conference are to enhance the understanding of the issue of migration, to strengthen the migrant ministry, and to foster collaboration among the dioceses in this ministry.
In his homily at the opening Mass, Archbishop John Wong said the participants are like the apostle Matthew in answering the call of Jesus without a second thought. He hoped that when they return to their respective parishes, they will continue to bring Christ’s mercy to those they encounter, especially the migrants, touching their hearts with kindness, love and mercy, notwithstanding the challenges and criticism they will receive from parishioners at times as well as misunderstanding from the communities.
The two-day programme saw the presentation and discussion on several topics namely:
- Human Rights Defence (Pembelaan Maruah Insan: Dasar Pelayanan Migran) by Romo Lukas from the Diocese of Larantuka.
- The Reality of Migrant Ministry in Local Church (Realiti Pelayanan Migran dalam Gereja Lokal) by Bishop Julius Gitom from the pastoral perspective and Jellferlyne Joseph from personal perspective.
- Migration in peace, legal and dignified (Bermigrasi secara aman, legal dan bermartabat I) by Indonesian Councillor Bapa Krishna Djelani and Malaysian Magistrate Elsie Primus.
- Migration in peace, legal and dignified (Bermigrasi secara aman, legal dan bermartabat II) by Romo Lukas from the Early Church perspective.
- Moving Together as a Purposeful Church (Bergerak Bersama sebagai “Gereja Tujuan”), a written report on AMOS-2 and its follow through by the three dioceses and the current recommendation and resolution which will be documented and later forward to the three dioceses for their implementation and follow-up.
The conference participants had a cultural night filled with traditional dances from various ethnic communities from Indonesia, Philippines, Sabah and Sarawak as well as entertaining drama sketch from the Indonesian community.
It coincided with the World Migrant Sunday 2017 which is normally celebrated between the last week of September and the first week of October, with the theme “Minor Migrants, Vulnerable and Voiceless”.
The final day saw a consensus from the three dioceses to address and implement the suggested recommendation and resolution in stages. – William Charles Mindus (SOCCOM Papar Limbahau)