Tag Archives: obituary

Msgr Anthony Thomas of KL called to eternal life

KUALA LUMPUR – Msgr Anthony Thomas of Kuala Lumpur had been called to eternal life on 24 Sept 2017.

In a chancery notice ref (chan/MC/02/2017) dated Sept 24, it said that Msgr Thomas, 80, died peacefully on Sunday at 2:30 pm at the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged Cheras where he had been residing since his retirement in 2005.

Among the deceased’s many qualities was his giftedness and proficiency in music which has contributed greatly to the repertoire of hymns, responsorial psalm musical settings and Mass Ordinaries widely used in the local Church.

He is well remembered by the parishioners of St Joseph Sentul, Visitation Church Seremban and Sacred Heart Church Peel Road where he had served as parish priest.  He was instrumental in the building of the respective parish community centres.

Wake Masses:
Mon Sept 25, 7 am Little Sisters of the Poor Cheras; 8 pm Sacred Heart Peel Road
Tue Sept 26, 8 pm Sacred Heart Peel Road

The funeral will be on Wed Sept 27 at 11 am at Sacred Heart Peel Road and burial at Kajang cemetery.

Fr Fundes called to eternal life

File photo: Fr Fundes (C) poses with his fellow neocatechumenal priests at a joint anniversary celebration organised by St Thomas Kepayan in 2010.  On his left: Fr Johnny Raju, Fr Tony Mojiwat; and on his right: brothers Frs Federick and Edward Raymond.

PENAMPANG – Father Fundes Motiung was called to eternal life on 4 Sept 2017.  He was the first of Sabah’s seven priests from the Neocatechumenal community to return to the Father.  He was 52.

Born on 19 Nov 1965 in Kg Kepayan, Fundes was the youngest in a brood of seven boys and two girls born to Paulus Motiung and Dorothia Tokiu.

After completing his formative studies at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Rome, he was ordained on 6 July 1998 together with Saimon William of Membakut at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu, the firstfruits from the Neocatechumenal community.

After ordination, he took up a licentiate course on family counselling at his alma mater in Rome. When he returned to Kota Kinabalu, he served in Penampang (2002), Tanjung Aru (2003-2014) and back to Penampang in 2014.  He was also the spiritual adviser to the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission.

In a statement released Sept 4, Archbishop John Wong said: “He was always a zealous servant of the Gospel, building the Kingdom of God generously without counting the cost.”

Despite being diagnosed with leukemia in 2000 and under treatment since then, he went on his pastoral ministry cheerfully as and when he was able.

He went back to St Michael on Saturday, Sept 2,  for three reasons; one was to witness a donation from the federal government, another was to greet the Penampang Youth Day (PYD) participants, and finally, to taste the food being prepared by the Angat brothers, Eddie and Armando and other volunteers.

On Sunday, Sept 3, as he was preparing to attend Mass at Stella Maris where he had once served as pastor, he slipped and fell in the bathroom. He was rushed to the hospital by an ambulance.

Many had thought that it was yet another brief stay for Fr Fundes, who had been in and out of hospital for his leukemia treatment – but this time it was not to be.

At about 9 pm, he complained of breathing difficulties and those who were by his bedside called for the doctor to attend to him.

His blood pressure had dropped and the doctor said he had inflammation of the lungs. He also needed blood transfusion.

When Fr Fundes breathed his last on Sept 4 just before noon, his brother Fidelis was by his bedside. Abp Wong had visited him earlier.

The beautiful renovation works at St Michael Penampang are his legacy to the parishioners.  The deceased was present at the re-dedication of the parish on Aug 18.

“While there he told me his work at St Michael’s was finally over,” said Thomas Mumpin, one of his closest aides.

Mumpin said Fr Fundes had told him that he had done what he could and it is up to others to improve on them.

The remains of Fr Fundes are now at St Michael’s Church until 10:00 am Thursday, Sept 7. Thereafter, his body will be taken to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Sacred Heart Cathedral where he will lay in state.

The Requiem Mass will be presided by Abp Wong at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Friday, Sept 8 at 10:00 am followed by the burial at the Mile 4.5 Catholic Cemetery Jalan Penampang Lama.

Infant Jesus Sister Eugenie called to eternal life

KOTA KINABALU – Infant Jesus Sister Eugenie Fernandez was called to eternal life on 20 June 2017 in Cheras Kuala Lumpur.  She was 73.  The funeral will be held on Friday June 23 at 10 am at Cheras Convent, Kuala Lumpur.

Sister Eugenie belonged to a congregation dedicated to education and the training of underprivileged schoolchildren.  It was founded in Rouen France in 1666 by Blessed Nicolas Barre (1621-1686) who had gathered some young women for the free instruction of the poor in 1662.

Today, the Infant Jesus Sisters and their lay volunteers have a presence worldwide through social projects and schools. They are also known as Dames of St Maur, from the address of their major house in Paris.

The congregation spread its wings to then Malaya in 1852 and to Sook in Keningau Diocese in 2002.  Sister Eugenie was one of the two pioneer sisters who established the house in Sook.  She served there for nine years (2002-2011).


Herald Malaysia loses its first stringer

MALACCA –  Percy D’Cruz, HERALD’s first stringer and a long-serving stringer of The Star’s Malacca bureau, passed away on 9 March 2017.  Percy, 69, is believed to have been electrocuted at his home at Banda Hilir on Thursday evening.

Theresa Tan, 62, discovered her dead husband when she returned home at about 6:30 pm.

A Malacca police forensics team went to the house on Thursday night to conduct checks.

“We are waiting for the post-mortem report,” said a family friend.

The wake was held at the Chapel of the Assumption at Praya Lane.

The funeral Mass was held at the Church of St Peter at 10 am on Monday, March 13, followed by cremation at the Jelutong Memorial Park.

Percy had been covering church events in Melaka for the HERALD since its inception in 1994. He also assisted those who needed help in putting memorial ads and advertisements in the HERALD.

Hours before he was found dead, he had sent an e-mail to The Star’s Malacca office to complain about damage caused to his home by a flood mitigation project.

Percy was a man with a sense of humour. He was also very accommodating, dedicated to his craft and professional in his coverage.

He will be missed. – Herald Malaysia

Franciscan Sister Diana succumbs to cancer

File photo: Sr Diana (front R) poses with Bishop-elect Julius Gitom (front 2nd from L) and some CDC staff, 20 July 2007.

PENAMPANG – Franciscan Sister Diana Eing succumbed to cancer on 7 March 2017 at a local hospital here.  She would have been 51 on Apr 2.

Born in Kg Talantang Kiulu in 1966, she joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) in 1989.  She made her first profession in 1993 and took her final vows in 1998.

Among her other assignments was a spell of assisting Sister Dariah Ajap at the Catechetical Commission Office at the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre Penampang  from 14 Feb 2006 to 30 Dec 2011.

Her last posting was in Sipitang in January this year.

She had health problems for some years now, including thyroid problems, and when she was diagnosed with cancer, it was already in the fourth stage.  She was admitted to KPJ two days before her death on Tuesday night.

The lying-in-state is at Loreto Convent Dontozidon.  The funeral Mass will be on Friday, Mar 10, at 10 am at St Paul’s Church Dontozidon.

Sabah’s last Mill Hill Missionary dies at 87

File photo of Brother Ben (in blue) poses with Gabrielite Brothers John Albert (L), Edward Rayappan (2nd L), Francis Chua (R) and La Salle Brother Charles O’Leary (C) at the World Day for Consecrated Life, 2 Feb 2004, Sacred Heart Cathedral KK.

KOTA KINABALU – Sabah’s last Mill Hill Missionary died at 87 on 13 Feb 2017 in Oosterbeek, Holland.  He had spent over 60 years of his life in Sabah.

Born in Tilburg, Holland, on 9 October 1929, Martien (Martin) Snoeren joined the Mill Hill Missionaries in 1951. He took the name Benedict or Ben when he made his commitment as a lay brother in 1952 and his final commitment in 1954.

In 1955 when Msgr James Buis wanted to open a new mission station in Bundu Tuhan. After the initial refusal by the British Colonial Government for Europeans to settle in the interior of Borneo, Msgr Buis told them that he wanted to open an agricultural station in Bundu Tuhan. The Mill Hill Missionaries were then asked to send two Brothers who had expertise in tobacco growing, as the first option was tobacco growing, the only cash crop that could provide the people with a better income.

It was soon abandoned in favour of the vegetable seeds they brought in from Holland, which grew well in the climate and soon were able to produce the many varieties of vegetables similar to those in Holland.

Brother Ben arrived in North Borneo on 4 April 1956 with another Brother to join Father William Roetenberg to open a new venture in Bundu Tuhan.  By 1960 they were joined by Brother John Hoekstra, who was a vegetable farmer by profession, which was an added advantage to the vegetable project. The project took off in 1962 under the name of Kinabalu Project Development.  Soon the project was running two 4-ton lorries transporting vegetables to Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan.

1962 also was the year the multipurpose hall was built. It catered for many activities but the main purpose was to serve as a  Mass centre on Sundays.  The church community grew from less than ten to over 8o who attended Mass on Sundays.

“In due time, the mission compound became a built-up place with a parish church, rectory, convent, retreat house, school, children’s home and even a workshop for repair and maintenance,” (Ben Snoeren, 2004).

He was recognised for his selfless service to the church and the people of Bundu Tuhan when on 28 Apr 1994 he was knighted by the Dutch Government and bestowed the “Ridder in de Orde Van Oranje Nassau” on the occasion of the birthday of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

On 4 July 2014, his superiors wrote him to return to Holland for his retirement from active ministry.  So Brother Ben left Bundu Tuhan, where he served for 57 years, and returned to the Netherlands in poor health in 2014, and took up residence in the Vrijland Mission House in Oosterbeek where he died Feb 13.

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.

Former Convent principal Sr Francis Teresa called to eternal reward

francis teresa fmsjBURNLEY, UK – Prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Sister Francis Teresa Martin FMSJ who died at the Franciscan Convent Burnley on 7 May 2016.

Many students of St Francis Convent Kota Kinabalu and St Cecilia Convent Sandakan would recall their former principal Sr Francis Teresa for her gentle, wise leadership and her care for each of her charge.

Teresa Martin was born on 3 Feb 1925 in Rotherham, Yorkshire. She was predeceased by her parents Ann and James. Teresa has just one sister younger than her – Cecilia, known as Cissie.

Teresa was educated at Notre Dame High School, Sheffield until the age of eighteen. In 1943 after leaving school, Teresa went to ‘Mount Pleasant’ Teacher Training College in Liverpool. After two years of study – Teresa was awarded the Teachers Certificate of the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool and the Associated Colleges’ Teachers Certificate of Religious Knowledge. Teresa taught for four years before entering the FMSJ Congregation at the age of 24 on the 7 September 1949. She received the habit as novice on 24 May 1950 and the name Sister Francis Teresa. Sr Francis Teresa pronounced her First Vows on the 10 July 1951 at St Philomena’s Altrincham. Her first appointment was to North Borneo – to Jesselton, to teach!

After two years in 1953 Sr Francis Teresa was appointed as school principal in Sandakan.   However, from 1964-67 Francis Teresa was school principal in Jesselton, influencing lives of so many young women who kept in touch over the years. In 1967 she was appointed local Superior in addition to being principal of the school. In 1969 Sr Francis Teresa was appointed Regional Superior for Sabah and Sarawak. From 1971-75 Sister was assigned in Kota Kinabalu.

Francis Teresa will be remembered, by many, as being approachable; for her ability to see the funny side of most situations, her tinkling laugh and deep chuckle. She had a great capacity for enjoying life and wanted us to enjoy it too and with each other. – FMSJ

Beloved La Salle Brother passes away at 87

Br Charles O'Leary fscTANJUNG ARU – Beloved La Salle Brother Charles O’Leary went home to the Eternal Father after Mass at Stella Maris Tanjung Aru on 24 Dec 2015.  He was 87.

Born in County Cork, Ireland on 15 Oct 1927, in a family of five, Michael O’Leary joined the La Salle Brothers in 1945 while still in secondary school at La Salle College, taking the name of Brother Charles Dionysius.

After his initial formation, he contiuned his studies for two more years and was awarded a matriculation certificate.  In 1948 he was accepted into St Mary’s Teacher Training College and graduated as a teacher in 1950.

After graduation he volunteered to work in the La Salle Mission Schools and was posted in St Joseph’s Secondary School in Kuching where he taught for seven years (1951-1957).  In 1958 Bishop James Buis invited the La Salle Brothers to take over the Sacred Heart Schools in Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu).

Brother Charles came to Jesselton with Brother Raphael Egan and Brother Thomas Carney in January 1958.  They laid a solid foundation for Lasallian education that focuses on a wholistic education rooted in faith, service and community building.

On 22 May 1958 with the approval of Bishop Buis, the Brothers renamed Sacred Heart Secondary School as La Salle Secondary School after their Founder, St John Baptist de La Salle.

His legacy of service is as follows: assistant principal and teacher 1958-1968; principal 1969-1985; supervisor of Sacred Heart Primary School 1969.  At the same time he was actively involved in running the boarding school, caring for students coming from outside Kota Kinabalu.  In 1990, he opened up Benildus House as a facility for outstation students, especially those in the pre-university level. He was also actively involved for many years in catechetics at diocesan and parish levels.

In acknowledgement of his service in education, he was one of the 15 recipients  of the “Faithful Servant” Award at the Kota Kinabalu Silver Diocesan Jubilee in 2002 and the Noble Service gold pendant award in 2010.

In 2014, the La Salle/Sacred Heart Alumni Association felt it was timely to name the new administrative centre after him, even if he were still alive, as it was a way of honouring the man of God who had done so much for others.  So it was that The Brother Charles O’Leary Centre was blessed by Archbishop John Wong on May 10 and officially declared opened by Deputy Minister of Education I Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching May 24.  The association’s tribute was not premature, as it turned out.

For those who would like to pay their last respects, his remains will be:
Dec 24-26 – Fook Lu Siew Parlour, 2nd Floor, VIP Room
Dec 27: SM La Salle Senior Block, at Dewan La Salle, Tg Aru.

The funeral Mass will be on Dec 28 (Mon) at Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing at 11 am. Thereafter the cortege will proceed to Catholic Cemetery, Mile 4.5 Jalan Penampang Lama for burial.




In rememberance of Catherine Raymond

catherine raymond

KOTA KINABALU – Catherine Raymond, 56, was called home to the Lord on October 13, after many fruitful years of faithful service to the Lord.

Even her last days in the hospital were filled with putting others first and seeing how to be of help. Catherine herself was battling a sickness for more than 10 years.

Catherine was received into the Secular Franciscan Way of Life on 9 October 1999 at St John’s Church, Tuaran. She made her final commitment to the Secular Franciscan Order also in the same church.

When her family moved to Kota Kinabalu, she and her husband Fredoline Fidelis joined the first canonically established Fraternity of the Sacred Heart.

When Francis Lee OFS resigned due to old age, after having served for 18 years, Catherine assumed the Local Minister’s post in 2006. Subsequently, she was re-elected in 2009 and again in 2014. During her tenure of service to the Fraternity in 2014, she was elected as Secretary to the Regional Elective Chapter of the Emerging Regional Fraternity.

Having the privilege of living her Franciscan vocation, she had learned to live the Joy of the Gospel, finding within the Fraternal Communion a place of ongoing conversion and service to the Church and society. She had remained faithful in her service over the years, rising to any occasion of need without any hesitation.

At the parish level, she involved herself with the Family Life Commission (Malay medium), becoming a ready sponsor to catechumens whenever the need for one arose, and serving as councillor at the Parish Council (2012-14).

By profession, she worked in the pharmaceutical/health field. – Sr Cecilia Liew FSIC

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