Tag Archives: St Michael Penampang

Penampang parish hosts 211th police day celebration

Fr Atin and some of the police at the exhibition booth, St Michael Penampang, 6 May 2018.

PENAMPANG – St Michael’s Church here hosted the inaugural celebration for Catholic police personnel in conjunction with their 211th Police Day with Mass at 10:30 am on 6 May 2018.

The Mass, presided by Father Wilfred Atin, was well attended by the Catholic police personnel and their family members who are on posting from the west coast region.

A mini booth exhibition was mounted by the police force.   Present for the exhibition walkabout was the State Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli bin Din, accompanied by a police delegation.

A lunch reception at the parish hall rounded up the event. Fr Atin thanked the police leadership and its Christian community committee for their initiative in selecting St Michael’s Church as the venue for this historical event.

He believed that a programme like this would only bring a better understanding and perception towards the police.

In his turn, Datuk Ramli acknowledged the important value of receiving blessings and divine protection for its police and community members, particularly when performing their duties.

He also assured them that efforts were being made to establish a link with Church authority to ensure direct communication in preventing crimes affecting church organisation.

Datuk Ramli also presented cash contributions on behalf of the police Christian welfare community to Fr Atin for the church’s pastoral activities, the Tadika Harmony and the Sunday school. – Penampang SOCCOM

St Michael Penampang to be a pilgrimage centre

A section of the group photo taken at the foot of the statue after the blessing, 12 Nov 2017, St Michael Penampang.

PENAMPANG – St Michael’s Church here is set to become a pilgrimage centre with a gallery to exhibit the rich history of the beginning and stages of growth of the Catholic Church in Sabah.

Pastor Father Wilfred Atin said this when he officiated the blessing of the newly sculptured 15-ft gold-plated statue of St Michael the Archangel mounted on a raised cement base at the bottom of a slope in the Mission House compound on 12 Nov 2017.

“I have a vision of this parish as a pilgrimage centre where people from all over the world would flock to, not just to admire the beauty of the Church or be astounded by the statue of St Michael, but more so to be filled with incredible joy for those who find themselves in a sacred place,”  Fr Atin said.

Earlier on he expressed his gratitude to the fundraising project committee headed by Marcel Leiking for their undivided dedication, as well as for the generosity of all donors who had contributed to the statue project, for realising the initiative of the former pastor, the late Father Fundes Motiung.

About 100 people attended the ceremony including assistant pastor Father Wiandigool Runsab,  ex-students of St Michael Secondary School, former state secretary Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, retired senior government officials, donors, and representatives of the parish pastoral council and zone pastoral committees.

St Michael’s stone church was built as a permanent sign of the expansion of missionary work in Penampang in the early 1930s, and the progress of mission work of the parish has extended to the administration of the adjacent St Michael Secondary School.

The school has produced thousands of Catholic students, providing good citizenry and forming good leaders for the nation. The school is also known for keeping the Catholic tradition of emphasising spiritual values as core values for the students.  The school is well-known for garnering many awards for its achievements.  – Soccom Penampang

18 couples convalidate their marriages

Laminin (L) and Indom (R) are among the 18 couples who convalidated their marriages, St Michael Penampang, 26 Sept 2017.

PENAMPANG – Eighteen long-time married couples convalidated their marriages on 26 Sept 2017 at St Michael’s Church here.

Father Wiandigool Runsab,  the assistant pastor, officiated the convalidation ceremony.

“We have been married for 29 years with five children, and now expecting a grandchild.  As a Catholic, I am very happy because we have finally convalidated our marriage in the Church.  It has been my longing to receive the Body of Jesus Christ again. My husband is now a catechumen in the RCIA class,” said Laminin Tambaukung, 53, after the ceremony.   Her husband, Indom Baulon, is 67 years old.

Jidi Suhai, 46, said,  “I am so happy because I can now receive Holy Communion.  For 19 years I was not able to receive the Body of Christ. Thanks to God and to the teachers who guided us towards this blessing.”  He has been married to Rozi Marius, 42, for 21 years with seven children.

The process towards marriage convalidation is facilitated by the Penampang Parish Pastoral Committee on Family Life. It includes talks and seminars where couples are led to understand the Christian marriage, the roles of husbands and wives, effective communication, spiritual healing in marriage, and  building up the family for God.

Canon law – the law of the Church – requires that Catholics enter into marriage by free mutual consent that is witnessed in a church by an authorised bishop, priest, or deacon and at least two other witnesses. Marriages in which one or both parties are Catholic and which are not witnessed by an authorised bishop, priest, or deacon, or which do not receive proper permission to take place in another forum, are considered invalid in the eyes of the Church. – Soccom Penampang

Penampang family life committee organises inaugural family life conference

Participants listen attentively to Romo Agung in one of the sessions, 23-24 Sept 2017, Penampang.

PENAMPANG – The Family Life Committee of the St Michael Parish here organised a two-day conference on family life on 23-24 Sept 2017.

The inaugural conference was held at Jud’s Hall at St Aloysius Limbanak on the first day and continued at St Michael Parish Hall on the second day.

The conference drew 162 participants – mainly married couples.

The main speaker was Romo (Father) Bernadinus Agung of Indonesia.

In his talk, Romo Agung said that the Gospels “help us to understand that every Christian family can become a privileged place to experience love and the joy of forgiveness…where there is love, there is also understanding and forgiveness.”

Among the topics were 1) Originality of Man and Woman; 2) Meaning of Faith in Life; 3) Faith: Source of Life in Marriage; 4) Faith Parenting for Children; and 5) Family as the Domestic Church.

The talks were followed by workshops.

Retired nurse Vinicah Unsoh, 56, from Ranau, shared her experience that comes from understanding the importance of a strong husband and wife relationship born out of a communion of faith.

“As the couples were invited to embrace and renew their vows, I could not hold back my tears,” she said.

Dennis Dahangat, 60, a retired teacher with two grown-up children, from Kg Terian, Penampang believed that the seminar has fulfilled its objectives through the many inputs on strengthening the family institution with the emphasis on faith.

“I am so taken up by the role of the family as the domestic church in evangelising our own family, … the source for building up a strong Catholic Christ-centred community bearing the fruits of unity, humility, love, and forgiveness,” said Dahangat.

The conference concluded on a positive note that encouraged the committee to plan for a similar seminar on an annual basis. – Soccom Penampang

Penampang confirmands undeterred by flash floods

A group of male confirmands pose with the concelebrants after the Mass, St Michael Penampang, 29 Sept 2017.

PENAMPANG – Penampang candidates for confirmation on their way to St Michael here for the ceremony were undeterred by flash floods on 29 Sept 2017.

The 158 candidates came from Kibabaig, Kolopis, Nampasan, Kambau, and Penampang-Dambai including St Michael Secondary School.

One hundred and three candidates had to battle the strong current at Kg Dabak which had reached almost five feet high along the lower level of the 200-metre long Jalan St Michael before going uphill to the church with the help of 4×4 motorists who responded to the situation.


Those who were stranded by the traffic snarl caused by impassable roads and did not make it were, among others, students of SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin waiting to be transported to the church about three km distant away.  They and others received the sacrament at St Aloysius Church Limbanak on Oct 10.

Archbishop John Wong presided at the Mass, which was concelebrated with Fathers Wilfred Atin and Wiandigool Runsab.

The inclement weather did not dampen the joy of the celebration.  However, the planned  blessing of the  gigantic 15- foot statue of St Michael the Archangel had to be postponed to another date which has yet to be confirmed. – Soccom Penampang

Over 1000 attend rededication of renovated Penampang church

Abp Wong blesses the new altar with holy water, 18 Aug 2017, St Michael Penampang.

PENAMPANG – Over 1000 parishioners attended the rededication of Penampang church on 18 Aug 2017.

Saint Michael had been closed for renovation since March this year and Masses had been celebrated at the parish hall.

Archbishop John Wong officiated the rite of dedication.  Joining him at the altar were Msgr Primus Jouil, Fathers Wilfred Atin (pastor), Fundes Motiung (past pastor), Wiandigool Runsab (asst pastor), Mattheus Luta, Raymond Edward, Abel Madisang, Rayner Bisius, and Max Hontor.

The rite began with the blessing of water at the new baptismal font at the foot of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Altar.

The prelate then went around the whole building blessing it with holy water including the cemetery compound where the tombstones of former state minister Datuk Peter Mojuntin and Rev Anthony Paulmichl mhm were laid (left side of church building) which had been turned into a seating area for 300 people.  He also went up to bless the mezzanine.

The tombs were relocated to the cemetery behind the church.  Mojuntin was one of the newly-formed Berjaya Cabinet members who were killed in the Nomad crash on 6 June 1976.  Fr Paulmichl died on 20 June 1945 enroute the death march to Sapong Tenom with Msgr August Wachter and other Mill Hill Missionaries and laymen rounded up by the Japanese.

The altar and tabernacle were blessed before Presentation of the Gifts.

In his speech, Ernest Mojikon, parish finance and property council chairman, said the renovations took about six months to complete.  The church used to accommodate 800 parishioners but now it has 1,300-seating capacity.

The major face-lift involved all the interiors such as window glasses, altar, sound system, tiles, wall paintings while the pews were repainted.

The total cost of the renovation work was around RM332,852.00 with funds from both the Federal and State Governments.

Businessman Datuk John Lim Pang Seng donated 10 units of air-conditioners while Gerald Chin donated two sets of chandelier lights (near the main entrance). The three-dimension painting of the Last Supper backdrop was done by Samson Gadakui of Kg Babagon.

In turn, Fr Motiung who initiated the project explained the conceptual framework of the ceiling paintings and the altar design of four loaves and two fish.

The church was built in the 1930s by Msgr August Wachter with stones collected from the Dambai River by the villagers headed by Bartholomew Sinsua using buffaloes. It survived World War II.  No other church was built the same way except St Michael Sandakan which also survived the war.

Fr Atin, in his speech, encouraged the parishioners to build up their parish community which is more important than the material building itself however beautiful it may be architecturally.

Abp Wong, too, exhorted the faithful to build themselves up through having large families, praying for priestly and religious vocations, and having a strong eucharistic life.

After Mass all adjourned to the parish hall for a late dinner fellowship.

St Michael statue installed on top of Penampang belfry

Fr Motiung blesses the statue before it was installed on top of the belfry, 18 March 2017, St Michael Penampang.

PENAMPANG – The statue of St Michael the Archangel was installed on top of the bell tower of St Michael Church here on 18 March 2017.  Father Fundes Motiung blessed the statue before it was installed on top of the newly constructed belfry located between the parish hall and church.  This was part of the process of ongoing renovation of the parish.  Currently, the church building is undergoing renovation so services – Masses, baptisms, weddings, funerals – are held in the parish hall.

Penampang catechumens prepare for rite of election with recollection

PAPAR – Penampang catechumens prepared for Rite of Election with recollection at Pace Bene Retreat Centre here on 18-19 Feb 2017.

One hundred and twenty-nine catechumens plus 12 facilitators attended the two-day recollection organised by the St Michael Parish Catechetical Committee.

The programme was to prepare the catechumens to enter into the final stage of purification before receiving the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.

Dr Jiloris Dony, programme moderator, said the recollection was part of the RCIA programme and that the catechumens would have another rite to undergo – Rite of Sending – before the Rite of Election on March 5.


Alex Chung, 19, from Monfort Youth Training Centre, Kinarut said the talk and slide presentation enabled him to connect with the classes he has attended, and it is “very helpful” for young people like him in accepting the Catholic faith.

Married couple Sheila Binti Manong, 26 and Jeskulin Arnulpius 36, from Penampang Zone also shared  that the programme was “very useful” and that they were thankful for the insights they have gained.

The recollection concluded with a Mass and a special blessing for the catechumens by Father Aloysius Fidelis. – Soccom Penampang            

Penampang church services to be held temporarily at parish hall

Facade of St Michael Parish Hall Penampang (L), bell tower (C), St Michael Church (far right), 2017.

PENAMPANG –  St Michael’s Church here will hold liturgical services at the parish hall to enable major renovation works in the church building to proceed smoothly effective 1 March 2017.

The services affected are as follows: Saturday Sunset Masses (English), Sunday Masses (Kadazan and Bahasa Malaysia), weddings, funerals and others.

Those who have made earlier bookings, and wish to change to other churches and parishes may do so.

Ernest Mojikon, chairman of the parish finance and property committee,  said that the works must be carried out by contractors without any obstruction in order to ensure smooth implementation of repair jobs, as well as to save cost.

“These renovation works are expected to be completed in three months’ time. In order to maintain quality of work, and to achieve cost-effectiveness, it is important that the works must not be interrupted.” he said.

Installation of air conditioners, upgrading of power supply, and window changes are part of the renovation works that are being carried out in the church building.

Recent improvements to the infrastructure around the church compound include the relocating and building of a new bell tower to make way for the construction of the new one-way descending exit road in order to improve the traffic flow and parking arrangement.

The church has also built a concrete staircase at the rear of the building following the opening of a new parking area at the base of the hill next to the cemetery ground.

The perennial parking problem caused by limited parking areas, plus the increased number of church goers, are the main reasons for these new developments.

In the pipeline are also improvement works and a new facelift for the parish hall after the completion of the church renovation works. An extension at the church’s left wing, named ‘Peter & Paul Hall’, can accommodate the congregation while improvement and facelift works are being done at the parish hall. – Soccom Penampang

Three senior parishioners receive the Sacrament of Confirmation

One of the three seniors receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, 11 Oct 2016, St Michael Penampang.

PENAMPANG – Three senior parishioners were among the 128 candidates who received the Sacrament of Confirmation on 11 Oct 2016 at St Michael Penampang here.

Archbishop John Wong conferred the sacrament on them at a Mass concelebrated with Father Fundes Motiung and Father Wiandigool Runsab.

Patrick Yong Yuk Chan, 78, hails from Matunggong, Kudat. He was baptised there as a child. His wife Annie Tam Ah Khiun @Tam Oi Kion, 71, together with her sister Maria Tam Chiu Moi, 65 were non-Catholics, and went through special classes in order to prepare themselves spiritually to receive the Sacraments of Initiation.

Because of their advanced age, Patrick and his wife attended intensive weekly classes at St Joseph Convent, Penampang under the guidance of Sr Imelda Angang, while Maria was guided by catechist Stephen Mingkong.

They received support from their children who provided transport and encouragement throughout their journey.

The couple had their marriage blessed while Annie and Maria were baptised prior to the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

“We praise the Lord for His guidance and for giving us the strength for the entire journey. It has been a wonderful experience and we are very happy to have received this blessing,” said Patrick.

After the Mass,  all adjourned to the parish hall for a fellowship meal. A special programme was prepared  including sharings and gift presentation from the catechetical teams of Penampang, Kolopis and Minintod Zones. – Penampang SOCCOM

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