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KENINGAU – Seminarians Hilanus Simon and Harry Dorisoh were joyously ordained as deacons for the Diocese of Keningau by Bishop Cornelius Piong at St Francis Xavier Cathedral on 22 Mar 2015. The celebration saw a large multitude of parishioners from the Diocese of Keningau as well as Sandakan Diocese and Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese
The celebration began with a procession of altar servers, the concelebrating priests, the diaconate candidates and the bishop as ordaining minister. The whole congregation, filled with grateful thanks to God for the gifts of the new deacons, joined the Youth Choir in the opening hymn.
At the altar with the ordaining minister were Msgr Gilbertus Engan and Fr Rudolf Joannes.
Performing the rites of ordination, the Ordinary explained to the candidates about the function of the office of deacon and the meaning and importance of celibacy to which Hilanus and Harry fully accepted and made a promise of obedience to him as bishop. With the vesting of the stole and dalmatic, Hilanus and Harry were installed as deacon, and their role immediately taking effect by assisting the bishop at the altar.
“Living in celibacy as deacon, as well as priest, is only possible with God’s calling and choice. It is not I who choose God but it is God who chooses me,” stressed Bishop Piong in his homily.
Ordination is a grace of God which must be lived and preserved. As deacon, they assume the obligation of assisting the Bishop and his body of priests as minister of the word, of the altar, and to perform works of charity to serve the need of God’s people. Loyalty to the church and virtue of humility are needed for this journey.
The prelate expressed his joy that the Diocese would soon be blessed with two more priests. God himself would make worthy his chosen ones from among the people, to continue the work of His Kingdom on earth. The blessing of priests in our life is through the support of parishioners in prayer, as well as the role of parents in harnessing the catholic faith in their children at an early age. Their willingness to surrender their children to God is an honour that is acknowledged by the church.
Deacon Hilanus gave his speech after Mass which the congregation received with joy. Deacon Hilanus, who is well known for his friendly personality and sense of humour, drew laughter from the parishioners when it was his turn to speak. On behalf of the two of them, he thanked God and all who came to support, including their families. They asked for continuous prayers from the people to support them in their journey towards priestly ordination.
Bishop Piong announced that the two deacons would continue to serve in their current parishes, Deacon Hilanus at St Anthony Tenom and Deacon Harry at St Peter Kuala Penyu.
After the Mass, the parishioners adjourned to SFX parish hall for dinner, and were entertained with a bevy of items from the Timorese community, the Filipino community, youths of KSFX and St Peter Kuala Penyu. People came up to congratulate the newly ordained deacons and took opportunity to have their photographs taken with them. – Aldrin, KOMSOS Diocese of Keningau