TALANTANG, Bongawan – The Pauline Family-Daughters of St Paul and Pauline Cooperators-organised a reachout to St Cyril Chapel here on 28 Aug 2016.
In response to Pope Francis’ exhortation to “go to the peripheries,” during this Year of Mercy, the Daughters of St Paul, Pauline Cooperators and collaborators made the trip to Talantang to spend the day with the community of around 50 families, mostly Dusuns but BM speaking.
After the Liturgy of the Word and Communion Service led by Catechist Arnolddus Akian Sabun, Sr Laura shared her vocation story with those present, mostly women and children. The community was happy with the choir ministry made up of youth studying at SMK Bongawan and staying at the asrama there.
After the sharing, all adjourned to the community hall (former chapel) for a short fellowship meal and programme. The Sisters and the Pauline Cooperators distributed the foodstuffs to the mothers present, Oxford Eng-BM dictionaries to the older children (year 4-6), BM-Eng-KD illustrated dictionaries to year 1-3 pupils, and coloured pencils to kindergarten children.
The children were also quizzed on their general knowledge of what they have learned about their local faith community and church liturgical seasons.
It was not the first visit of the Pauline Family to this community. Kg Talantang Bongawan was one of the three remote villages (the other two were Kg Bisaung Papar and Kg Ulu Gumogor) adopted by them in line with the diocesan reach out programme for the Jubilee Year 2000. Since then the Pauline Family had made other visits, the last being two years ago.
Bongawan is a town located between Kimanis and Beaufort, about 70 km from Kota Kinabalu. It took about 30 minutes to reach Talantang from the town centre on partly cemented and partly gravel road.
In contrast to other chapels and churches in the archdiocese, this little chapel has been missed out in terms of the ubiquitous blue-yellow road direction/signage. However, the chapel has been in existence for over 20 years, under the pastoral care of a catechist based in St Joseph Papar. Sadly, the community has Mass only once or twice a year.