On the 21st October 2012, the parishioners of St. Simon Catholic Church Likas, were welcomed into the church compound by a huge billboard with the words: ‘Re-Discover, Profess, Evangelize, Conviction, Joy’ against the background of the very bold official logo of the Year of Faith. At all the Masses, the YOF was launched at the parish level in a simple but meaningful ceremony.
In his homily Fr Cosmas Lee the parish priest gave a catechesis on the meaning, purpose, and program for the YOF based on Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter “Porta Fidei”. He stressed that during this YOF, we are all called to re-discover our faith by studying its fundamental content which has been systematically presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In our concerted study of the faith, and shaped by the grace of God, our faith would be renewed leading to a re-invigorated profession in deeper conviction, adhering to the Gospel in our living, and be filled with the joy of believing and of communicating the faith to others (New Evangelization).
Following the homily, a banner bearing the official logo of the YOF and that of the parish was carried in procession to the sanctuary while the official hymn of the YOF “Credo Domine” in English was sung for the first time by the choir. Flanked by members of the Parish Pastoral Council on the left and right of the banner at the foot of the sanctuary, the parish priest in the name of the Church carried out the “Handing-On” of the Nicene Creed (official prayer of YOF) by reciting it line by line and each line being repeated by the whole congregation without looking at the text – after the RCIA rite of “Handing-On” the Creed to catechumens. The faithful were reminded to re-discover the articles of faith they have received by studying, praying, and living them, so as to it with greater conviction and joy when they would be “Handing-Back” the Creed at the end of the YOF. After the Handing- On of the Creed, a beautiful prayer card with the icon of the face of Christ, YOF logo, and Parish Logo on one side and the text of the Nicene Creed on the other, was distributed to the congregation by the PPC members.
Before concluding the Eucharistic, the parish priest asked the parishioners to do three small things and mean them during the YOF:
Dress well for Sunday Mass;
Pause and pray at moment at 3 pm every Friday wherever they are;
Abstain from meat on Friday.
He also briefed the parishioners on the proposed year-long program for the parish:
- a) Focus on the YOF in the liturgical, catechetical, and charity life of the parish;
- b) October-December 2012, personal testimonies of individual parishioners, and life of the saints;
- c) January, weekend Faith Renewal Retreat 1, open to all;
- d) February-April, a weekly two-hour course based on “Catholicism: Journey to the Heart of Faith” by Fr R Barron in 10 DVD episodes, level one, open to all; May-July, a more intensive approach based on the same course;
- Faith Renewal Retreat 2 in August/September;
- Introduction to life an faith of the first Catholic missionaries in Sabah with pilgrimages to Labuan, Papar, Kuala Penyu, Sandakan, and Penampang.