Pastoral visit to Ulu Sibuti and Bakong 1-2July 2017

Pastoral visit to Ulu Sibuti and Bakong
by Most Rev Bishop Richard Ng
1st & 2nd July 2017

Local Parish priest: Fr Andy lee

Photography: Alvin Wong
Story compiled by Ben Chang

Recording life,  wind blowing in the face,  time travels,  seeking deeper inspirations,  rediscover fascinating Ulu Sibuti and Bakong.

Ulu Sibuti is about an hour drive from Miri. The route is via the old Pan Sarawak highway passing through Lambir and towards Lambir junction, turning left into the road that bring you towards Ulu Sibuti. The road is basically tar sealed with the occasion pot holes! but most of the way to Ulu Sibuti will be on gravel roads.

The first stop is at Rumah Langan, Sg Telajin for the blessing of a new chapel. The Chapel was built under the government's Rural Transformation project and is name "St Teresa" after a local woman who brought the Catholic faith to the area.

In some mysterious ways of divine Providence, God has provided for the people of this parish a new chapel.
Let us pray that we too may never lose that gift of faith which has, been given to us. And let us remember that, without that faith, God will be hampered in reaching out his healing love to us.

Similar to the readings of the day ( Matthew 10:37-41 ) is the element in the story that a person asking for help from Jesus is a centurion, a soldier and presumably not a Jew. Yet he has this great faith in Jesus. It is a sign of the future role of Gentiles in the originally all-Jewish Christian community.

He asks Jesus to cure a servant who has become paralysed. Jesus immediately responds that he will go and cure him.
 “No, no,” replies the centurion. “I am not worthy that you should come to my house. Just say the word and my servant will be healed.” (Words very familiar to us from their paraphrase used in the prayers before sharing in Communion.) And he goes on to say that as an army officer, he just has to give commands and they are carried out on the spot. When it comes to healing, he knows that Jesus can do the same.

Jesus is astonished at the faith of this pagan.

Turning to the centurion Jesus says, “Go back home; you have believed, so let this be done for you.” The servant was cured at that very moment.

What is clear from this story and from many other healings by Jesus is the crucial element of faith in the one approaching Jesus. It is the only condition necessary – racial origins are irrelevant.

Blessing of the new chapel St Teresa

The next day on 2nd July, the Bishop and his team members proceeded to Bakong to cerebated Sunday Mass at Gereja Tubuh dan Darah Kristus,Beluru. Bakong
Bakong is a relax town where everybody know each other. Bakong had a number of Dayak houses which had moved there from the second division. They farmed the valleys which lay between the low, sandy podzol hills.
This ethnic group of Dayaks are well known for their courage. Stories had it that during the second world war they beheaded and killed the japanese soldiers after they had them drunken with wine.

New Sop Eff 01May2022 ... Watch here.

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