KOTA KINABALU – Come Nov 21, the Sacred Heart Cathedral here will turn 35 years old.
The celebration will be held on 19 Nov 2016 at 6 pm.
In its 35 years of existence, the parish has grown by leaps and bounds. Its population necessitated two subparishes: St Simon Likas in 1984 (it became an independent parish in 2000) and Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang in 1993.
Not only that, communities/groups/ministries (Chinese, English, BM) using its facilities have mushroomed – about 65 in all.
In its physical development, the Marian Grotto was built in 1986, the memorial plot where the tombs of Bishop Simon Fung and Fr Valentine Weber are located in front of the chapel was constructed in 1987, the parish centre in 2000 and the outdoor Way of the Cross in 2003.
Vocations, though few, are a sign that God is faithful and walks with the his people in this parish.
In its devotional life, aside from the First Friday Mass and Saturday Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the devotion to the Divine Mercy has taken root in 2007. The Divine Office (Liturgy of the Office) has been celebrated daily since 2012.
A weeklong celebration of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart (its principal patron) was introduced in 2010.
In 2000, the parish council was renamed parish pastoral council in line with the Diocesan Organisational Pastoral Plan (DOPP). It looks into issues that affect the parish as a whole. In the 2006 Parish Discernment Weekend, it picked as its three top pastoral priorities involving family, faith formation and outreach to nominal parishioners.
Among its milestones were the death of Bishop Fung (1985), two episcopal ordinations (1987 & 2010), launching of the DOPP (1997), centenary of the Sacred Heart Mission (2003), elevation of the diocese to archdiocese (2008), Abp Wong taking over as parish priest of the cathedral (2014) and recently, designation of the cathedral as one of the four Holy Doors in the archdiocese (2015-2016).
The cathedral was dedicated on 21 Nov 1981, the culmination of the yearlong commemoration of the arrival of the Mill Hill Missionaries from Europe in 1881. They continued the work of evangelisation of Msgr Don Carlos Cuarteron, the first Apostolic Prefect of Borneo (1857-1879).
Bishop Simon Fung officiated the rite of dedication in the presence of Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila, Archbishop Renato Martino, Apostolic Delegate and several distinguished visitors.
A short video clip highlighting the above will be shown at the end of Mass.