KOTA KINABALU – The Carmelite Family – Carmelite nuns and the Secular Carmelites – joined Fr Francis Tsen in thanking God for his golden jubilee at a Mass celebrated on 13 Jan 2016. The jubilarian was joined by Fr Felix Chung, Fr Cosmas Lee, Fr Nicholas Stephen and Fr Rayner Bisius at the altar. Deacon Stanley William of Sandakan Diocese, on his retreat in preparation for his priestly ordination on Jan 31, assisted at the altar.
In his homily, the jubilarian likened the seed of his vocation to that of the call of young Samuel described in the first reading. Just as Samuel had to learn to listen to God’s call through Eli, so the jubilarian heard the voice of God through Fr Smit in Labuan when he was in Primary Five. He grew up in the KK minor seminary just as Samuel grew up in the Temple in Shiloh. As the seminary was just below Carmel, so he grew up serving at the Carmelite Chapel, where the nuns got to know him well and prayed hard and long for his perseverance. Thus, years later, on his golden jubilee, Mother Prioress invited him to celebrate his thanksgiving Mass with them.
After Mass, about a hundred people joined the jubilarian for a simple repast prepared by the Secular Carmelites outside the chapel.