HAVING consulted the College of Consultors, His Grace Most Reverend…
PENAMPANG – One hundred and sixty pastoral leaders, youth and members of the Catholic Women’s League from St Michael Penampang organised the commemoration of the erection of the 30 ft long and an arm-span of 20 ft Cross at Tivung Hill with a Mass on 7 July 2016 here.
The first Cross, which was made of hardwood timber, was erected 123 years ago (September 1893) through the initiative of a Mill Hill missionary, Fr Duxneuner, who was a German. He was assisted by the local faithful in putting up the Cross.
There might be many reasons for the erection of the Cross, but the driving force behind the putting up of the Cross was to avoid the Chartered Company from taking and turning the large piece of farming land surrounding the Tivung Hill into a rubber estate.
As a sign of their victory, the people erected the Cross which carried an inscription: Crux Spes Nostra Et Salus Sola (The Cross is our Hope and only Salvation).
The rotting first Cross was replaced by a second Cross, also made of hardwood timber, in 1974, under the leadership of the late Peter Mojuntin. This too was replaced by a third in 1986 when its top was split by lightning. The erection of the third Cross, which is the current one, was coordinated by Donald Malinggang who sourced the Belian timber from the late Dunstan Dumpangol.
The Cross has since become a favourite place to visit, especially during Lent, when groups of faithful make the Stations of the Cross up the hill.
The commemoration event was meant to reflect on the past and to enrich the people’s faith, as well as a reminder of a historical site interlinked with the spread of the Catholic faith by missionaries in Penampang.
Fr Wiandigool Runsab, in his homily, praised God for making this event possible in spite of the difficulties and challenges in reaching the peak of the hill. The trek up the hill has been made hazardous due to the unabated hill cutting activities in recent years, which had also destroyed many of the original stations. He invited the faithful to reflect on the sacrifice and sufferings by our Lord Jesus Christ in the mystery of salvation for mankind to redeem our sins.
Fr Runsab added that the event was also part of the spiritual preparation for the celebration of the St Michael Parish Day, which would be hosted by Sugud Zone at the Church of the Assumption, Sugud on July 26, and would be graced by Archbishop John Wong.
Casmir Sikayu, 80, was determined to climb the hill again in spite of his great age, by way of the ‘stations of the cross’, which has been traditionally carried out over a span of more than 120 years.
Penampang Parish Pastoral Chairman Lawrence Bisuil concluded the event by thanking all the parishioners for their support to make this commemoration a success. – SOCCOM Penampang