During the Holy Mass of Solemnity of Christ the King Nov 20 in Sacred Heart Cathedral

By Linda Edward

Nov 23 2021

KOTA KINABALU – It was an eventful day when the Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish celebrated its 40th Anniversary of Dedication on the Feast Day of the Solemnity of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Catholic Church liturgical calendar on Nov 20.

Alongside the double celebration, the parish also celebrated the 36th World Youth Day (WYD) which has been set to be celebrated during the Solemnity of Christ the King beginning this year, as announced by Pope Francis.

Archbishop John Wong presided the Holy Mass at 6.00 pm together with parish priest Fr Paul Lo and assistants, Fathers Saimon William, Joshua Liew, Russell Lawrine and a visiting priest, Fr Ernesto, a Likas-born who is currently serving in Taiwan.

The twelve candles in the Cathedral were lit throughout the Holy Mass signifying that the Church is built on the foundation of the twelve apostles of Jesus.

The Entrance Procession into the Church was led by young people carrying the wooden Cross symbolizing following of Christ by the people, and Icon of Mary symbolizing accompaniment of Mother Mary for the people of this parish.

Entrance Procession into the Church led by the young people carrying the wooden Cross and Icon of Mary

Archbishop Wong in his remark on this Parish Feast Day and 40 years of Dedication of the Cathedral, highlighted his two key observations in regards to the synodal process and the young people of the parish.

“I feel that this parish is a very vibrant parish. Hopefully all of us will continue the synodal journey, initiated by the Pope, in the three area of emphasis.

“Firstly is communion, hopefully we are always in communion with one another, no matter which group we belong to. We are in communion as one because of Him who has united us to be one.

“The second emphasis is participation. After communion, we participate in all the activities and tonight I see that.

“And thirdly is mission. We go together to proclaim His love, and not our own love.”

To the young people of the parish who were celebrating the WYD, the prelate spoke words of encouragement, “My dear young people, have the courage especially to respond to the call of God to become a religious or a priest.

“I really want to encourage you, ‘Do not be afraid’ to take up this commitment.”

He affirmed them that their parents would support them wholeheartedly if they respond to the call of God.

To emphasize the theme of the 36th WYD, “Stand up! I appoint you as witnesses of what you have seen. (Acts 26:16), the prelate quoted what Pope Francis has said about St Paul’s special encounter with God, “No matter what your past is, after your encounter with Him, God will continue to use you if you allow Him to.”

The youth of SHC during the 36th World Youth Day, together with Archbishop Wong and clergy

The parish youth participating in the Holy Mass that evening filled up the upper balcony of the Church. They also took part in the Eucharistic Adoration right after the Mass as a way to celebrate the WYD in the pandemic.

Eucharistic Adoration 

The parish had also organized a simple dinner to mark the occasion, which was attended by 60 people comprising the Archbishop and clergy, representatives from the Parish Pastoral Council, Parish Finance Council, youth groups, the Chinese community, live-streamed media team and the church staff.

Cake cutting during the simple 40th anniversary dinner at the Parish Centre