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NULU SOSOPON, Keningau – The first Cross Tower in Sabah has been blessed and launched by the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Salvador Marino on 4 June 2016.
The Cross Tower is part of the newly constructed Holy Family Pilgrimage Centre located on Nulu Sosopon or Sosopon Hill, sitting on a 10.2-acre hilly land overlooking Keningau town.
Keningau Bishop Cornelius Piong told Catholic Sabah that the inspiration to build a shrine “that expresses our gratitude to God and serves as a reminder that our family plays an important role in building our community” came to him while reflecting on how best the Diocese of Keningau could express the contribution of families towards building a community of God’s faithful.
As the journey of the diocese is close to reaching its silver jubilee milestone (in 2018), the prelate explained, “it is our local custom to express our gratitude for all the blessings we have received,” and to acknowledge that “because of God’s Divine Mercy, we are who we are today in our journeying together in Jesus Christ”.
Bishop Piong elaborated on the suitability of the site for the pilgrimage centre, “It has a panoramic view, cool weather and a conducive atmosphere for reflection and meditation.”
An interesting fact told by the former owner of this parcel of land, as related by the bishop, is that “at one time, there was a water spring somewhere in this place where animals would come to drink and be rejuvenated.”
This is very significant, explained the prelate. “If the animals in those days came to this hill to drink from the spring to be rejuvenated, today we, as families and communities, can come here to drink from the Presence of Christ, ‘the source of living water,’ and be rejuvenated.”
The local dialect for water spring is Sosopon. This is how the name Nulu Sosopon or Sosopon Hill is derived.
Bishop Piong hoped that the Holy Family Pilgrimage Centre will be the place where many would come and experience the presence of God through prayer, reflection and meditation.
He added that the pilgrimage centre would also serve to remind the faithful of the objective and focus of journeying together in Christ.
The pilgrimage centre is equipped with a church building, a hall and a cross tower.
The cross tower is the first of its kind in Sabah, and has an imposing height of 70 feet! It serves to remind the faithful that as disciples of Christ, we need “to deny ourselves and carry our cross daily and follow Him.”
The centre also has a statue of Msgr August Wachter to remind the faithful of the early missionaries; and a statute of the Holy Family to inspire and encourage families to remain united and faithful to Christ.