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KK Archdiocese bids farewell to last China-born priest


The priests pay last respects to their senior confrere at the end of Mass, 9 Dec 2016, SHC.

KOTA KINABALU – Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese bade farewell to its last China-born priest at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here on 9 Dec 2016.

Over a thousand faithful joined Archbishop John Wong and over 30 priests in saying farewell to the late Father Aloysius Tung Chien Chee who died Dec 7, aged 90.  With his death, the era of the Chinese missionaries came to an end.

The deceased’s nephew, two nieces and a grandnephew from China were present at the funeral Mass.  Several young priests accompanied the coffin as it moved from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to the cathedral before the bilingual Mass (Chinese and English) began.

Born in Hubei China in 1926, the deceased was ordained priest on 27 Dec 1953.  Shortly after, he was sent to serve in North Borneo (now Sabah) .  He retired from active ministry in 2009.  He had served the church in Sabah for 63 years.

His remains were buried at the Catholic Cemetery at Mile 4.5 Jalan Penampang Lama.

The remains of Fr Tung transferred to SH Chapel

KOTA KINABALU – The remains of the late Father Aloysius Tung were transferred to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Sacred Heart Cathedral here on 8 Dec 2016.

Archbishop John Wong was on hand to receive the remains of the deceased who died the day before on Dec 7.  There was a one-day lying-in-state at Fook Lu Siew Parlour Jalan Tuaran.

Abp Wong officiated the rite of reception of the body, followed by sprinkling of holy water and incensing of the coffin.

Among those present at the reception of the body were the assistant pastors of the cathedral, religious sisters, aspirants and lay people.  All the parish groups, communities and ministries took turns to keep vigil at the chapel through the night before its burial the next day Dec 9.

Last of China-born priests dead at 90

Fr Tung (R) with his good friend, Fr Chi, whom he persuaded to come to North Borneo in 1954.

Fr Tung (R) with his good friend, Fr Chi, whom he persuaded to come to North Borneo in 1954.

PENAMPANG – The last of the China-born priests serving in Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese died at 6 am on 7 Dec 2016.  He was 90.

Born on 15 Aug 1926 in China, Father Aloysius Tung Chien Chee was the eldest in a brood of two boys and one girl.  He seemed to have been marked by God for God’s service: An Lu Minor Seminary (1942-1945), Han Kuo Major Seminary (1946-1949) and Aberdeen Regional Seminary Hong Kong (1950-1953).  After priestly ordination on 27 Dec 1953 in Macau he was sent to North Borneo (now Sabah).

In Sabah he served as Bishop’s Procurator (1954-1966), pastor of Labuan (1967-1969), Limbahau/Papar (1972-1980), Sandakan (1980-1984), and Tawau (1984-2000).  His last post was a return to Labuan (2001-2010) before he retired from active ministry.  He was the first to stay at the newly constructed clergy retirement home, Vianney Home, in Dontozidon.  In June 2016 he became bedridden due to cancer of the bones.  He died peacefully at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Wednesday.

His remains will be at Fook Lu Siew Parlour (2C, 1st floor) until Dec 8 (Thursday) when it will be transferred to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing at 4 pm.  The funeral Mass will be at 10 am on Friday, Dec 9, at the cathedral.

The other China-born priests serving in Sabah were Fr John Baptist Yong (1914-1977), Fr John Tsung (1918-1993), Fr Tobias Chi (1924-2010) and Fr Peter Ma (1925-2013).  With the exception of Fr Ma, the rest all died in Sabah.  Fr Ma died in New York in 2013.

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