60th Anniversary Catholic Mission Bintulu

Mill Hill Fathers mark 60 years in Bintulu

The celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Aug 15 was indeed a very special day for the parishioners of St Anthony’s Church here.

Prior to the feast day celebration, parish priest, Fr Michael Sia had conducted nine nights of novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help from Aug 4 to 12 at Stella Maris Catholic Church as a spiritual preparation for this great celebration.

In his homily, Bishop Richard Ng stressed that 60 years is a long time. In normal circumstances, parents who have reached the age of 60 are already grandparents and surrounded by many grandchildren. Touching on this year’s celebration, he invited all present to examine themselves and see whether they had contributed enough to the building of the Kingdom of God here in this parish. The Church first started by the Mill Hill Fathers was a receiving Church but now, after 60 years, this Church should be a giving Church. Sharing Pope Francis’ teaching on The Joy of the Gospel, he said all of us are called to share the good news with those who do not know Jesus. We should not be afraid to share Jesus with our friends or those who still do not know Jesus. Some of them out there are just waiting for us to invite them to Jesus. Touching on the subject of the giving Church, he explained that it is not enough to just give financial support to the Church but to participate actively in serving the Church through joining the various ministries such as the church choir group, wardens, commentators, readers, etc.

On behalf of the Mill Hill Missionaries, Fr Terry Burke shared with all present how the Mill Hill Fathers in their early days underwent suffering and hardship when they first arrived in Kuching in 1881. Looking back, he could only praise and thank God for the gift of faith and added that if those pioneer priests were to come back today, they would be shocked to see such a big Church built here, filled with people of such vibrant faith.

 Among the invited guests present were Bishop Richard Ng from Miri Diocese, Bishop Emeritus Dominic Su from Sibu Diocese, Mill Hill Fathers who are currently serving in different parts of Sarawak and the Miri diocesan priests. In his opening remarks, Bishop Ng said that while it is important to remember past bishops’, priests’ and religious sisters’ sacrifices and contributions, we must not forget all the past catechists and the lay leaders who were here before and whose contributions were not any lesser.

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