BUKIT PADANG – The Friends of St John Vianney (FSJV) launched its first musical album in a simple ceremony at its thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant here on 4 August 2016 in the presence of over 900 attendees.
The CD album entitled “Lagu Rohani” featured 12 songs in Bahasa Malaysia and Kadazan including a solo each from Fr Abel Madisang, Fr Wilfred Atin, and Fr Jeffri Gumu. It is sold at RM25.00 in aid of the formation house of diocesan aspirants.
FSJV, initially known as Rakan Aspiran dan Seminarian (RASS), is a group of friends formed to help aspirants residing in the Formation House at the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre (CAC) in terms of material needs . It was mooted by Fr Wilfred Atin, director of the English Year as the formation house of the diocesan aspirants is not under St Peter’s College Kuching. It was launched in February 2011 with the help of Peter and Meilin Suking.
In the past five years, the group has helped in looking for sponsors to change beds, utensils, books, dictionaries and other material needs. Since it is compulsory for aspirants to pass MUET to proceed to Initiation Year, the group has helped to provide the teachers needed.
In 2014 several sub-committees were formed to expand its activities beyond fundraising. In July 2014 the name was changed fro RASS to FSJV (Friends of St John Vianney, the patron saint of priests), at the suggestion of Archbishop John Wong. This was accepted and FSJV officially came under the care of the archdiocese.
During the dinner Fr Atin briefly elaborated on the material costs of forming an aspirant through a slide presentation. The formation process to priesthood is divided into three levels where the aspirants will spend their first year (English Year) in the Aspirants Formation House at CAC. Upon passing the English exams, they will proceed for one year of spiritual formation at St Peter’s College Initiation Year (IY), Kota Kinabalu. This is followed by two years of philosophy and four years of theology at St Peter’s College in Kuching. An account of expenditure for one seminarian is recorded at RM14,000.00 per year, which necessitates the establishment of FSJV to sustain formation process in the archdiocese.
Among those present at the launch were Fr Mattheus Luta, whose 6th ordination anniversary fell on that day, and Fr Rayner Bisius, director of the IY Formation House.