16 October 2007

The Erection of Sandakan Dioese

What a weekend to look forward to in Sandakan. It would become a historical moment for the Catholic parishioners especially in the Eastern Part of Sabah. Oct 15, 2007 was chosen to be the day of history and people from all over the state had flocked over to witness the ordination of a priest into the first bishop of the newly-instituted Sandakan Diocese.

So, I was as excited as everybody. I was fervently hoping that I’d meet up with some friends, by chance. I did see some friends, but I didn’t manage to talk to them because there were quite too many people. It was good to see a big number of religious gather up in one place at a time.

There were more than half a dozen of bishops from all over the country as well as from Singapore, the Philiphines and Brunei (I didn’t know there were churches in Brunei), not to mention dozens of priests and religious. They also invited a representative from the Vatican to represent the Pope.

As expected, I didn’t manage to catch a seat. Reaching over the compound half an hour before the mass began (most attendees had come as early as 6am for the 9am Mass), I was kept in a standing mode outside the church for almost three hours.

I thought I was lucky coz the atmosphere was cool and quite windy in the beginning, until it suddenly began to rain one hour before the mass ended. Everybody without an umbrella had to compulsively run for cover, and I chose to squeeze in for a space inside the church instead of any of the makeshift canopies and I was glad I did because I had the chance of witnessing the whole process happen live just before my eyes.

Of all the speeches presented, I found the one by Bishop John Lee most captivating. He told of how he’s relieved and sad at the same time for the Sandakan which was part of KK diocese, was going to stand by its own. Well, I could understand it quite perfectly. It certainly involved a lot of emotions.

Apart from a friend, I had my sister and her friend came to stay in my place for the event. So, things went quite unusually hilarious. They left this morning, and things just returned to normal.

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