Tag Archives: Sandakan Diocese

Five Sandakan priests have new assignments

PENAMPANG – The following priests have new pastoral assignments effective 1 Jan 2018 given by Bishop Julius Gitom:

Father David Garaman has been appointed rector of St Mary’s Cathedral Sandakan with Father Christopher Ireneus as his assistant.

Father Stanley Matakim has been assigned as assistant pastor at St Martin Telupid while Father Sunny Chung goes to Holy Trinity Tawau to assist Msgr Nicholas Ong.

Father Phillip Muji has been appointed rector at the youngest parish of Our Lady of Fatima in Beluran.

Philippine Consul pays Sandakan Diocesan Head a courtesy call

Philippine Consul Herrera (seated L) poses with Bp Julius (seated R) and the other members for the camera, Sandakan DPC, 10 Feb 2017.

SANDAKAN – Philippine Consul John Francis Herrera paid a courtesy call on Bishop Julius Gitom on 10 Feb 2017 at his office at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre here.

He was joined by Eva Siruno, Director of Family Life, Josephine del Rosario, Chairlady of the Filipino Pastoral Community (FPC) and FPC members Elizabeth de Guzman, Expedito Rosales and Lydia Rosales.

During the courtesy call, Consul Francis thanked Bishop Julius for the opportunity to meet him and informed him about the Philippine Embassy’s consular mission in Sandakan, Feb 7-17.

The Consul also updated Bishop Julius on the case of two Filipinas who recently sought treatment at the Duchess of Kent Hospital and were referred to the Philippine Embassy by their families and friends for further assistance.

The Consul also informed the bishop that the embassy was earlier given an invitation to send a speaker to the AMOS-3 Programme, which is organised by the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, in collaboration with the dioceses of Sandakan and Keningau, on the topic “Migrating Safely, Legally and with Dignity”. The migration programme has been set for Sep 21-23 in Sandakan

A dinner with “kababayans” (a Filipino word meaning fellow countrymen) was hosted later in the evening at Keranamu Restaurant by the Hon Philippine Ambassador J Eduardo Malaya. Josephine Del Rosario and Elizabeth de Guzman received tokens of appreciation from Ambassador Malaya for their efforts in assisting distressed Filipinos in Sandakan.- Evelyn Siruno

Bishop Julius urges priests to go out into the streets during Chrism Mass


sandakan chrism mass

SANDAKAN – Bishop Julius Gitom urged his priests to go out into the streets in his homily during the Chrism Mass recently.

Bishop Julius Gitom presided over the trilingual Chrism Mass, concelebrated with eight diocesan priests on 10 Mar 2016, which was well attended at St Mary’s Cathedral here. Three seminarians on pastoral exposures were present to assist in the liturgy. At this special Mass, all priests renewed their priestly promises during the Eucharistic celebration.

“In this Year of Mercy, the Pope has said on several occasions that ‘the priest must go out into the street, dirty his feet by the dirt of the road,’ and therefore we need to go out in imitation of Christ in order to experience ourselves our own anointing. As we go out we bring that redemptive power of the oil of gladness to where there is suffering, blindness, to free people imprisoned by their own weaknesses, to free them from evil that they may experience God’s  Mercy through our ministry of service,” said the prelate in his homily.

The prelate  explained that Chrism Mass is a special time for the clergy to record thanksgiving to the Lord for the gift of priesthood. As the anointed ones, they may in turn anoint God’s people especially the poor, the oppressed and those who are the weakest in society.

He said, “I would like to urge our priests in this Holy Year of Grace to renew our Christian promises. We must remind ourselves to be the anointed light and therefore strive to be the light of Christ. It means we must have that very strong relationship with the Lord and endeavour to imitate him at all times.”

“People can recognise us to be good priests by the way we anoint his people. It means that they are touched by the Word of God and that they really have Jesus in their hearts through the reception of the Sacraments. We must be able to live the Gospel values ourselves and that’s how we anoint people. That’s how we bring the light of Christ to them especially in moments of extreme darkness. When everything seems to be hopeless and there seems no way out, we preach that hope and that’s how we anoint people,” he continued.

Calling on the people to support them, to be close to them in affection, and help them in their service through their prayers so that they may always be shepherds according to God’s heart, he said, “Please encourage them, correct them whenever they err but never condemn them.”

He ended with a prayer for priests citing Pope Francis, “May our people sense that we are the Lord’s disciples; may they feel that their names are written upon our priestly vestments and that we seek no other identity.” – DS

Movements of some Sandakan clergy take effect after Lunar New Year

skan clergy movt

SANDAKAN – Movements of affected clergy in Sandakan Diocese took effect after the Lunar New Year.  Over 300 parishioners and well-wishers took part in the farewell-cum-welcome appreciation night on 25 Jan 2016 organised by the Parish Pastoral Council.

Father Thomas Makajil, after a service of seven years in the cathedral, is assigned to helm the Paitan Mission as its first resident priest for two years while Fr Phillip Muji, after four years of service, has been assigned to assist Msgr Nicholas Ong in Holy Trinity Tawau.  Meanwhile, Fr Johnny Raju would be returning to KK Archdiocese from Tawau.  He would be based in Stella Maris Tanjung Aru.

At the same time, the gathering was also to welcome Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom as the cathedral parish priest and Sr Martina James fsic recently posted to the parish.

The transfers took effect on 10 February 2016.

Present for the occasion with the priests from Tawau, Telupid and Lahad Datu, seminarians and members of the various pastoral committees of the cathedral.

According to Fr Makajil, there are twelve chapels scattered throughout the Paitan Mission and another eleven Catholic communities with a sizeable Catholic population.   Apart from extending pastoral care to the locals, the Mission will also be responsible for the pastoral care of the Catholic migrant workers in the surrounding estates.

The priest took the opportunity to call on the people present to take the challenge to support the Mission.  He expressed his hope that with the ground work undertaken by the diocese, this missionary area will one day become a full-fledged parish in the near future.

In his speech, Bishop Gitom told the people that the transfer of priests within the diocese is a normal practice.  It is an enriching experience for priests to tend the flock in different parishes.  He said, “I am here all this while.  It’s only now that I will have to assume two portfolios as a bishop and as a rector.”

He also explained that Fr Phillip is transferred to Tawau to assist Msgr Nicholas Ong because Fr Johnny Raju will return to the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu.  He expressed his sincere thanks to Fr Johnny for his two years of service in Tawau and to Fr Phillip for his four years in the cathedral.

In addition, the prelate also expressed his thanks to Fr Thomas for his willingness to take up the challenge of being the resident priest of Paitan Mission.  He acknowledged that Fr Thomas will be shouldering a heavy but rewarding workload because he would be doing God’s will in looking after the God’s people in Paitan.

He then welcomed Sr Martina and wished her a fruitful and fulfilling ministry in the cathedral parish.  He also assured the people that Fr Sunny Chung and neo-ordained Fr Stanley William will remain with him in the cathedral to serve them. – Dalius LL


Lahad Datu hosts ordination ceremony for its second son

ordination of stanley william jan 31, 2016 lahad datu

LAHAD DATU – St Dominic Lahad Datu hosted the priestly ordination of its second son on 31 Jan 2016.  Deacon Stanley William Matakim was ordained priest by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom in a Eucharistic Celebration concelebrated with 17 priests coming from arch/dioceses of Kota Kinabalu, Keningau, Kuching and Melaka-Johor in the presence of about 1,000 people.  His classmate Deacon Joshua Liew assisted at the altar.

The first to be ordained from and in Lahad Datu Parish was David A Garaman on 31 Dec 2010.  The neo-ordained will begin his priestly ministry at St Mary’s Cathedral Sandakan.  After the Mass, all proceeded to the parish open hall for the reception,  escorted by Sumazau, Hedung and Seleng dancers.  Different groups took turns to entertain the people during the reception.

Born on 23 Apr 1986, Stanley is the youngest in a brood of seven of William Matakim and Phelisita Francis Alasa.  He was born in Kota Kinabalu but grew up in Lahad Datu.  He had his primary schooling at SRK Kennedy Bay and finished secondary school at SMK Sepagaya and SM St Dominic.  He took a course on administration at Pusat Teknologi dan Pengurusan Lanjutan (PTPL) and worked as a general clerk at Kwantas Company before entering aspirancy at the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre Penampang in February 2007.  He had his Initiation Year in Kota Kinabalu in 2008 before going to St Peter’s College Kuching for his philosophical and theological studies (2009-2014).  He was ordained deacon on 24 June 2015 at St Mary’s Cathedral Sandakan. – adapted from newsupdatedospo.blogspot.my





Boys’ Brigade officers pay a courtesy call on Bishop Julius

Neil Mah briefed the prelate on the development of the Boys’ Brigade in Sabah and explored on opportunities to establish the movement in the diocese.

The Boys’ Brigade focuses on the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom among members and the promotion of habits of obedience, reverence, self-respect and all that tends towards a true Christian character.

Captain Neil Mah is a full-time officer of the BB of Kota Kinabalu Division and the Captain of the 11th Kota Kinabalu Company. Lieutenant Godfrey Moey is attached to the 4th Kota Kinabalu Company while Warrant Officer Peter Ng is with the 1st Sandakan Company.

The three officers are in town to attend the two-day 14th Boys’ Brigade Sabah State Council Annual General Meeting starting on 8 Jan 2016. – DOSPO

Tawau conducts two talks on family life values

                                                  A section of those who listen to the two-day talks.

TAWAU – The Family Life of Holy Trinity Parish here conducted a series of talks on family life values, facilitated by Fr Charles Chiew of Keningau Diocese on 6-7 Sept 2015.  Around 60 people attended the talks. The talks were based on Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, Christ’s Teaching on Marriage, and Nuptial Mystery.  The participants found the talks informative and enlightening.  They also understood better the various challenges and trials besetting the family today. – Julita Kantod



Cathedral parish promotes Catholic mission schools

Bishop Julius looks at the mission school  slide projected.

Bishop Julius looks at the mission school slide projected.

SANDAKAN – Saint Mary’s Cathedral parish, through the concerted effort and collaboration of all its school boards of governors of the five Catholic mission schools here, held a campaign to promote its schools on 29 Aug 2015.

The five schools–SK St Mary Town, SK St Mary’s Convent, SK St Mary Labuk, SMK St Mary, and SMK Konven St Cecilia–set up exhibition booths at St Mary’s Exhibition Gallery, in front of the parish hall.  The exhibition was graced by Bishop Julius Gitom before Sunset Mass.  In attendance were the chairpersons and members of the BOGs, school heads and Catholic teachers, Parish Pastoral Council members, Deacon Stanley, religious and parishioners.

In his welcoming speech, the bishop extended his greetings to all those present.  He told them that it was the responsibility of all the parishioners to support the mission schools.  He added that the presence of the Catholic students and teachers give the mission schools a “Catholic identity and character.”  He exhorted the parents to register their children in the mission schools. – Helda Japanis


Sandakan campus students gathering focuses on church social teachings

1LAHAD DATU – The Catholic Campus Student Gathering (CCSGS) is an annual program organised by the Sandakan Diocesan Youth Apostolate, Campus Ministry team. This year, the 3rd CCSG focussed on the Catholic Social Teachings (CST), held at St Dominic Church, Lahad Datu, June 5-7. Dominic Lim from the KK Archdiocesan Human Development Commission (AHDC) shared the teaching to 18 young people who are still studying in the University and colleges as well as some graduates from YouthPrepLink. Continue Reading

SYCC shares the love of Christ with MRSM students

berita Katolik Malaysia (2)SANDAKAN: The Star of Yahweh Covenant Community (SYCC) of St Mary’s Cathedral organized a program with the intention of reaching out to the students of Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Sandakan on Sunday afternoon 28 June, 2015. The session was held at the Parish Conference Room. It was a simple easy going informal session of 4 hours and the outcome was positive.  Continue Reading

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