JOURNEY OF THE CROSS & ICON 2019

In year 2016 Sibu Diocesan Youth Apostolate (SiDYA) was created through an assembly and by all the representatives from 1 cathedral and 10 parishes: the Sacred Heart Cathedral of Sibu, Parish of St. Mary of Divine Mercy Sibu, Parish of St.Teresa Sibu, Parish of St. Alphonsus Julau, Parish of St. Anthony Sarikei, Parish of St.Bernard Dalat, Parish of Sts Peter and Paul Mukah, Parish of St. Francis XavierKanowit, Parish of St. Herbert Song, Church of Christ the King Bintangor and Church of Mary Immaculate Conception Kapit.

After SiDYA was created in 2016, the committee started to deepen the faith our young leaders and members from age 15 – 35 in the Diocese through formation and organized vocation camps. SIDYA carried on the Journey of the Cross and Icon (JCI) the Sibu Diocesan Youth Day (SDYD) of 2008. SIDYA also participated in the Malaysia Catholic Campus Students Day as well as Asian Youth Day (AYD) and World Youth Day(WYD)at the Asia level.

History of JCI in Sibu Diocese.
The World Youth Day (WYD) Cross and Icon are the gifts from our late Pope John Paul II to the youth of the world during the WYD. Between international WYD, this Cross and Icon will be carried throughout the world as a symbol of Christ’s love for humanity. As part of the WYD celebration in Sibu at the year of 2008, a replica copy of the WYD Cross and Icon went to every parish in the Diocese of Sibu. The journey began right after the Youth Congress. The Sacred Heart Cathedral was the first station for JCI.

Finally, the World Youth Day ( WYD ) Cross and Icon of our Lady was officially launched by Rt. Rev. Bishop Dominic Su on May 12, 2011 at the opening Mass of the 2011 World Youth Day / Youth Congress. The WYD Cross and Icon went to 12 parishes in the Diocese of Sibu from Dec 2011 to Dec 2012 while Fr. Paul Ling and the team focused on vocation promotion in the whole duration of the journey of the Cross and Icon from one parish to another. In the year 2015, JCI was revised to fit in with the Extraordinary Jubilee year of Mercy from 8th December 2015 to 20th November 2016.

JCI evolved into a Diocesan pilgrimage for young people towards Sibu Diocesan Youth Day that started in the year 2017. Its evolution started after SiDYA transformed the Youth Congress (YC) into what is now the Sibu Diocesan Youth Day (SDYD). The theme of the celebration was 4G: Perfect Love drives our fear – (John 4:18), by introducing St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body,” to help our young people to learn about oneself and to discover one’s own identity.

The present reality of shortage of priestly vocations in Sibu Diocese posed a greater challenge to SiDYA. Thus, in 2018, SIDYA organized “VOCARE” – the Sibu DiocesanYouth Vocation Day. Many young people from 3 parishes came together to experience vocation search-in and discernment. The theme of 33rd World Youth Day (2018), “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God” (Lk 1:30)was the inspiration and guidance on Marian reflection for promoting vocations to priesthood and religious life.

“Here I AM!” is the theme for the JCI in this year 2019. By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, SiDYA resumed JCI for the third time in Sibu Diocese in this year of 2019. As to reflect on how Mary says Yes to Angel Gabriel to become the Mother of the Salvation, which is “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38)

This year’s JCI is scheduled at 2 stations in the Diocese which are 17th- 20th May 2019 at St. Francis Xavier, Kanowit and on the 11th-14th August 2019 at Sts. Peter& Paul, Mukah. Various youth from Kanowit, Julau, Bintangor, Sarikei, Song and Kapit will meet together in Kanowit, and youth from Sibu, Dalat, Mukah and Selangau will join together in Mukah. With the Collaboration of Borneo Care, JCI program will focus on formation and discernment of our young people, to prepare them to the journey towards SDYD2.0 celebration in 2020.

The forthcoming JCI is so proper as the universal church celebrates the Extraordinary Missionary Month, scheduled for October 2019, to celebrate the 100 years of Maximum Illud, (the Apostolic Letter “on the propagation of faith throughout the world”) issued by Pope Benedict XV on November 1919. With the theme of the JCI, “Here I am”, it is really meant to instill and to inspire among the young people a sense of mission and purpose in their lives! As they gather together, they are also sent to take part in the mission of Christ in the world. On this occasion of the JCI, the youth will renew their baptismal call, and they will be commissioned (to be sent out) to proclaim the good news to the world after the program. Every yes to God begins a story of salvation for us and for others. Like Mary, as Mother of Evangelization, she responded to the news that she will become the Mother of God, by saying “I am the handmaid of the Lord”. After the event, we pray and hope that the young people will follow Mary as the model disciple who said Yes to the will of God, to respond to the Church’s Mission: to share the good news of God’s redemption to the world!

JCI2008 – 2009
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses” (cf Acts 1, 8)

JCI2011 – 2012
“Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” (cf Col 2:7)

JCI2015 – 2016
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. (Mt 5:7)

JCI2019 – 2020
“I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (cf Lk1:38)