Pastoral Visit to St Michael Church Batu Niah 2017

Right Reverend Bishop Richard Ng, Monsignor Francis Kuleh and Fr. Anup celebrated Sunday Mass at St Michael Church , Batu Niah on 1st October 2017.  The Bishop administered Sacrament of Confirmation to 53 candidates.

St Michael Church was built by the late Fr.Knapen.  Fr Knapen was a Mill Hill priest and came to Batu Niah in 1965. He built the new church, St Michael at  the  river bank of Sungei Niah which was also known as Sungei Kebara near a Iban longhouse, Rumah Pasang.

Fr. Knapen began evangelization from 6th February 1966 serving the local community and bringing them to the catholic faith. He was very well known and loved by the locals.

Name: Thieu (Father) Knapen
Surname: Knapen
First names: Thieu (Father)
Gender male
Date of birth: 25-06-1927 Place of birth: Nederweert
Date of death: 07-02-1996
Place of death: Nederweert
Age: 68 years
Priest dedicated 13-07-1952 in London (UK)
Pastor Missionary of Batu Niah, Sarawak (Malaysia)
 Distinguished with Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau

The legacy of Fr Knapen continues today.

"God is working in us in Batu Niah" said a Church Learder, Dominic Majit.

The population parish community at Batu  Niah today stands at 12,000 with 80% Iban and 20% others.

The candidates receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation has increased every year for the past two years, 53 young and old received on Sunday 1st October 2017.

Photography: Dennis Ng
Story compiled by Ben Chang

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