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LIKAS, Kota Kinabalu – St Simon Parish here marked its parish day – though a month late – with three events: blessing of its renovated church, confirmation of 31 candidates and 34 children received their first Holy Communion on 29 Nov 2015. The parish day is normally celebrated on Oct 28 – feast of Sts Simon and Jude. Archbishop John Wong presided over the Mass, concelebrated with parish priest Fr Cosmas Lee, assisted by Deacon Joshua Liew.
The high Mass began with Abp Wong blessing the renovated church with holy water. The renovation consisted of a new flooring (the carpet was taken out), new ceiling and new airconditon units replacing the old ones, a choir loft was added above the main entrance so that there would be more room for the parishioners to worship, additional awning was constructed around the church. During the six-month period of renovation (amounting to almost RM1 million) the Eucharist was celebrated in the parish hall. Moreover, the surroundings were beautifully landscaped and the Marian grotto was moved to the interior near the gardener’s quarters so that it would be more conducive for the devotees to pray there.
The Mass proceeded normally with the Rite of Confirmation held after the homily. The first communicants received the Lord at the Rite of Communion. After the Mass, most adjourned to the parish hall for the reception. In his address to the parishioners, the prelate reminded them to “read the Bible, receive the sacraments, live the commandments, and go forth to evangelise.”