KOTA KINABALU – At the Mass marking the day of prayer for the sanctification of priests on the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, families were consecrated to the Sacred Heart by Archbishop John Wong at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here on 7 June 2018.
Twenty-nine priests and two deacons joined Archbishop John Wong and Abp Emeritus John Lee at the altar. The event was the highlight of the week-long celebration of the parish feast day. Earlier the clergy had a half-day reflection as preparation to celebrate this day of priestly sanctification at Vianney Home.
As was practised last year (the homilist then was Father Cosmas Lee), the homily this year was given by Father Nicholas Stephen who said the love of the Trinitarian God is personified in the incarnation of Jesus whose heart was pierced for the love of humanity.
After the post-communion prayer, the prayer of consecration was solemnly recited by all present. Then all the concelebrants raised their hands to pray for all families gathered in the church followed by some of the priests who went through the congregation blessing the people with holy water.
In 2002, Pope John Paul II chose the feast of the Sacred Heart for the day of prayer for priestly sanctification because it celebrates God’s merciful love that becomes tangible for priests in the Eucharistic Mystery, which they celebrate daily, and in the sacramental pardon which they administer and receive.
In choosing to consecrate the families on this day, the parish expressed its desire for the families under its pastoral care to remain closely united to the Heart of love, of belonging to It perpetually and entirely, and of devoting themselves generously to Its service.