TANJUNG ARU - It is with deep sorrow that on…
PENAMPANG – Catholic Sabah founder Father Florian Jud died at 86. Below is the obituary from Mill Hill London:
It is with sadness that we inform you of the death of Fr Florian Jud MHM, on February 22, 2015, in Governador Valadares, Brazil, at the age of 86.
We offer deep gratitude to God for the life of our fellow Mill Hill Missionary, whose missionary spirit over the years was described as ‘tremendous and contagious’; and who, in spite of being diagnosed recently with a terminal sickness, chose to die and be buried among the people he had lovingly served in Brazil for over 40 years.
Fr Florian was born in 1928 in Geiselberg, diocese of Brixen, North Italy, the son of John and Maria Jud and was blessed with 2 sisters and 3 brothers. He felt the call to serve as a priest and missionary and having completed his studies at Mill Hill in London, he was ordained May 7, 1953 and, on the same day, was appointed to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
He spent ten years in Sabah, before being recalled, in 1963, for work at home, but to his great delight, five years later, in 1968, he was re-appointed to his beloved Sabah. However, his return was short-lived and three years later, together with other MHMs, he was forced to leave by the Government in power at the time. However, his memory lives on in Sabah and a hall in Penampang is named after him, but a much greater tribute are the many Christian communities that survived that time and still flourish as a living testimony to what he and other MHMs successfully planted.
Fr Florian was then appointed, in 1974, as MHM Group Leader to Governador Valadares, Brazil, where he threw himself energetically into the ministry there, showing a flair for establishing Basic Christian Communities and building Churches throughout the 40 plus years that he served there. In 2013, with the permission of the General Council, he retired there and was cared for by a family, who treated him like a grandfather. Florian wrote that he was very happy with this ‘retirement’ arrangement for, ‘I still can do some pastoral work in a Brazilian way in spite of my age’. In mid-January this year, however, he was diagnosed with the very serious sickness that led to his death. He indicated that he preferred not to return to Europe for any special treatment, but to die and have his ‘velório’ – Brazilian funeral ceremonies – in the parish of SagradaFamilia, Governador Valadares, which he had built. May he rest in peace.