A sibling gives his take on his late brother’s priestly vision

Fedelis Motiung (L) with daughter Michelle and son Christie

In a recent exclusive interview with Catholic Sabah, Fedelis Motiung, the older brother of the late Father Fundes Motiung, shares about his brother’s priestly vision. At the interview, he was accompanied by daughters Michelle and Christie, who had been the constant companions to their uncle during this important part of his life’s journey.

“I will work for Christ until I drop!” said Fundes. Words spoken by him remain vivid in my memory.

That’s exactly what he was – the priestly servant of God. During his sabbatical leave from August 2017 onwards, he still offered himself to serve God, serve the bishop, and serve the people whenever his strength permitted him.

The changes in his appearance as a result of his cancer treatment could be a good reason for him to turn into a recluse, but not Fundes. His disfigured face did not bother him or how it affected others. “What is far more important is what is inside,” said Fr Fundes.

He constantly hammered home to anyone who would listen, the three virtues of faith, love, and charity which he strove to live by and passed them on.

Faith – During the critical periods of his relapses as his illness turned from acute to chronic, he knew that hundreds of people were praying for his healing.

He consistently repeated that he did not want people to pray for his healing, but to pray for his faith, “Your faith will heal you!” he insisted.

He was open to visions…during his first ICU treatment, he saw Jesus beside him, at the foot of his bed, and finally Jesus walking toward him and covering him with His own body, saying “Your suffering is my suffering.”

As soon as he was discharged, Fundes filled with faith continued with his mission to the lost, the lapsed, and in particular to families and youths. There was no idle time. In between his medical appointments and medications, he rode through his pain and moved relentlessly on.

His mission to families led him to minister to his own family members as he gathered them constantly to instill good family relationship and values. For the parish, he was constantly gathering small groups of families to bring awareness and good stewardship of families. He worked hard to bring back the rejects, the broken and lapsed members of the families.

During his second critical ICU treatment, he had another vision of Jesus showing him ‘heaven and hell.’ Heaven is the most beautiful and serene place that you would want to be, while hell is a dark and cold unwelcoming place.

After this vision, Fundes repeated with a troubled sense of urgency to family members and all who visited him: “Don’t go to hell, go to heaven! All can go to heaven. The only thing to stop us is our sins. All that we need to do is to go to Confession regularly and repent, and say the Our Father and the Rosary regularly. It is that easy to go to Heaven. Why would we want to go to Hell?”

Love – It is Love that drove him to reach out to the rejects, the broken and the lapsed.

Some have shared with me at the funeral that it is because of Fr Fundes, that they have come back to church.

Charity – He had given away his priestly allowance to those in need. At St Michael, he had formed a Charity for those in need. He firmly believed in God’s promise: “The more you give, the more you receive.”

However, at the end of an intense eleven months, Fundes had to acknowledge that he could not fulfill his priestly duties anymore, that he had planted some seeds, and what would be next would be up to others after him. “I am ready to go…I am tired,” he acknowledged.

His final message to his beloved family members, friends and parishioners is 1) to be strong in their love and in their service for Jesus, God, and Church; 2) not to go back to where they were before; and 3) to move forward, for Jesus has promised that He will always be with us.

Aptly chosen by him, Fundes has left us words of comfort through the song entitled ‘Don’t cry for me’ by Libby Allen:

No need to fear
God spoke to me…my time has come
He made a way to bring me home
Don’t cry for me
My pain is gone forever
Don’t cry for me
My body’s been made whole
Don’t cry for me
We’ll soon be back together
Don’t cry for me
I’m well within my soul……
My soul lives on…to a better place
With all his glory, with all his grace

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