By Cecelia D’Souza/CWA

February 12, 2020

SANDAKAN – After a long hiatus of eleven years, the Catholic Women’s Apostolate (CWA) of Sandakan Diocese held an in-house Leadership and Skill Seminar at the Diocese Conference Room Jan 25-26. 

The objective of the seminar was to help and assist CWA members to be more proficient in their leadership and to be skilled in their parish services.

It attracted 69 participants from across the diocese: St Mary’s Cathedral (13), St Dominic Lahad Datu (13), Holy Trinity Tawau (7), St Martin Telupid (17), Our Lady Of Fatima Beluran (10) and Paitan Mission (9).

CWA chief coordinator Cecelia D’Souza opened the seminar with a short speech.

Spiritual Director to CWA, Fr Christopher Ireneus and  Francis Tan facilitated the seminar.

Tan in his ‘Leadership and Skills‘ talk gave an input on how to become a skilled leader in the Church.

He expounded “Our vision as a Catholic must be like Jesus who serves, who exemplifies his followers by loving deeds…

“Be a good leader and shepherd by being involved in nurturing life and and heeding the needs of others, by giving care, love and a safe place so that all may grow in faith.”

Fr Christopher Ireneus, spoke about the chosenness of each person, “that before you even lead, you were already chosen by the Lord.”

He underscored, services in the church do not require qualification, but instead it is a matter of our willingness to serve and follow the teachings of Jesus faithfully.

“When we serve, there would always be pain or sacrifices to be made,” observed Fr Ireneus.

 “But if we are strong in our faith and zealous in our services, there will be a deep profound joy – a joy only felt by those who wholeheartedly serve Him,” he emphasized, urging all CWA members to not hesitate to serve God.

The sessions concluded with the Sunset Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, followed by a simple fellowship dinner at the Parish Hall.

Also present at the dinner were Bishop Julius Gitom, parish priest Fr David Garaman, deacon Stephen Esguerra, seminarian Jescie Petrus, Sr Regina Kimung and Sr Martina James.

The second day was set aside for the “business” of CWA committee members who set about planning for the programs/events for the year 2020.

Refreshed again with guidance and awareness,  the CWA members returned to their respective parishes to share with their fellow CWA members.