TANJUNG ARU – Parishioners of Stella Maris here honoured their former shepherd by coming in a large group for his golden jubilee celebrated in Ranau on 9 Jan 2016.
“What do you see?” Archbishop John Wong posed this question to the congregation during Fr Francis Tsen’s 50th anniversary Mass at St Peter Claver Ranau.
This writer described the jubilarian: “There stood a frail elderly man . . . his hair all white . . . his face wrinkled. That was what we saw. But when we see deeper we see a man of wisdom, a man who has gone through vast experiences in life, a man who carries his cross faithfully despite trials and temptations, a man who takes challenges as God’s given gifts, a man who grows with time and spends it wisely and patiently teaching God’s word wherever he is posted, a man who is obedient and serves widely in Malaysia, especially in Sabah. Each parish Fr Tsen serves, he serves with passion.”
She added: “When I look at Fr Tsen, I look at a man who is fatherly . . . a soft-spoken father who listens, is calm and cool, and most all, when he gives advice . . . it’s a fatherly advice.”
For Neil Mah, Fr Tsen is a very caring person who attends to the needy and knows the importance of prayer and how to cultivate prayer among the people.
Stella Maris, says this writer, was blessed to have the opportunity to be shepherded by Fr Tsen. While he was in Stella Maris, he initiated the daily evening Mass, he built the chapel, and inaugurated the 24-hour perpetual adoration.
“We are so grateful for this holy initiative of Fr Tsen,” concluded this writer. – Teresa Alberto