LIKAS – The Little Brothers of Mary or Marist Brothers (FMS) celebrated their 199th foundation anniversary with a blessing of their residence on 2 Jan 2016. Archbishop John Wong presided at the Mass, assisted by Fr Cosmas Lee, the parish priest of St Simon Likas. Present to witness the occasion were members of the different religious institutes serving in the archdiocese and officials of the St Simon Educational Complex here. The house blessing took place before the rite of dismissal. After the Mass and blessing, those present partook in the fellowship lunch outside the house.
The Marist Brothers is an international community of Catholic Religious Institute of Brothers. On 2 Jan 1817, St. Marcellin Champagnat, a priest from France, founded the Marist Brothers, with the goal of educating young people, especially those most neglected. This explains the letters FMS after their name which stand for Frates Maristae a Scholis or Marist Brothers of the Schools.
The congregation spread its wings to Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese when Abp Wong accepted its offer to serve in the archdiocese, specifically to help out with the Campus Ministry at St Simon Educational Complex. The Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the archbishop and Provincial Br Robert Teoh on 25 May 2015.
When the first community of three – Brs Demosthenes Calabria (Filipino), Anthony Choi (Korean), Thomas Chin (Malaysian) – arrived in May 2015, they stayed with the Brothers of St Gabriel (Montfort Brothers) until they were able to find a place of their own at Kingfisher Park Likas near the school in August.
With their presence, there are now three men religious institutes (La Salle Brothers, Gabrielite Brothers, Marist Brothers) and four women religious institutes (Carmelite Nuns, Daughters of St Paul, Franciscan Sisters, Good Shepherd Sisters) serving in the archdiocese.