KOTA KINABALU: The St Simon Catholic Church Likas community welcomed the 5th Sabah Youth Day Cross and Marian Icon on Jan 12.
The cross was brought to the Likas parish by 91 delegates, led by its Youth Coordinator Jonathan J, from Holy Trinity’s Inobong parish.
They were joined by 10 other delegates from St Catherine’s Inanam parish. On hand to welcome the visitors were parish Youth Ministry head Denis Tsen, Parish Pastoral Council Chairperson Anne Wong, other leaders as well as parish rector, Fr Cosmas Lee.
During the Sunday morning service, Fr Cosmas said the parish was “very privileged” to welcome the cross during the Mass of the Baptism of the Lord, which was also the last day of Christmas.
“If there were no crib, there would have been no cross, no Word of God and no Mother Mary.
“Jesus was born for us… to die for us. The first one to receive the Word was Mother Mary,” he said, adding that in answer to the angel’s greeting, Mother Mary simply replied: “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
Mary’s answer found in Luke 1:38 is also the theme of this year’s Sabah Youth Day.
“Without faith, the cross is meaningless. By accepting the cross in our daily life, it becomes the centre of our faith, hope and strength that leads us closer to God,” he said, adding that he hoped young people would be enlightened by the Word of God during the ongoing Sabah Youth Day events.
Fr Cosmas also said he was impressed with the Inobong youths’ solemn procession as they entered the parish compound to hand over the SYD cross. He added that besides behaving well, they were also way ahead of the 7.30am schedule.
After Mass, the parish-level event continued with fellowship at the parish hall comprising praise and worship, testimonies and performances by the Holy Trinity Inobong youths, St Simon Sunday School Children and the Likas youth.
At the end of the programme, Fr Cosmas thanked everyone who supported and attended the event.
The SYD Cross and icon will be kept in the parish for a week before being passed on to St Catherine’s Inanam parish next week.
Meanwhile, since its inception in 2004, Sabah Youth Day (SYD) was created with the purpose of gathering Catholic youths around Sabah with the concept of “from the youth, for the youth”.
Organised by the three dioceses of Sabah, the event is held once in every four years with previous hosts comprising Keningau (2004), Ranau (2008), Tambunan (2012) and Tawau (2016).
The main event this year will be held in Limbahau, Papar on July 25-31.
The theme was inspired by the World Youth Day 2019 which coincided with the goals of the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on youth, faith and vocational discernment, held in 2018.
The aim of the 5th SYD is also to help the Catholic youths in Sabah to emulate Mother Mary in being faithful to their call and to stand firm as witnesses of Christ in this generation.
The Sabah Youth Cross accompanied by the Marian icon had been moving from parish to parish around Sabah on a weekly basis.
As the future pillar of the Church, may our young people be faithful in serving God in their endeavour to build a better world. – by Tracy Lim