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Telupid to host its first ordination ceremony

Deacon Christopher poses with Bp Gitom and family members
Deacon Christopher poses with Bp Gitom and family members

TELUPID – Come Dec 28, St Martin Parish here will host its first ordination ceremony.

Deacon Christopher Ireneus has been accepted for priestly ordination by Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom.  The ceremony has been set at 4 pm on Wednesday 28 Dec 2016.

This will be a milestone in the history of the parish as it will be its first time to host such an event.

Telupid is a small landlocked town located in the district of Beluran in the centre of Sabah.  By road, it takes two and a half hours to reach there from Sandakan and about four to five hours from Kota Kinabalu.  It is a peaceful area surrounded by forested mountains.

The Christian community first started in Labuk with the help of catechist Linus Gumak of Kg Gambaron in 1961.  The first priest to evangelise the area was Fr Oestdyke mhm (1966-1967), who built a school and boarding house.  He was followed by Fr Jan van Velzen (1968-1969), who built the first church.  It was completed and blessed in early 1971.  The community was placed under the pastoral administration of St Peter Claver Ranau.  The hall was built in 1985.  In September 1994 the church was demolished and a new church was built under Fr Bruno Yasun’s supervision.  It was opened and blessed by Bishop John Lee on 12 Nov 1995.  Now, 21 years later, the parish has the blessing of seeing one of its sons being raised to the altar.

Born and bred  in Kg Kiabau Telupid, 35-year-old Deacon Christopher is the fifth child in a brood of five boys and one girl born to Ireneus Anun and Rosinah Saleh.  He had his primary schooling at SK Kiabau (1988-1993) and secondary at SMK Telupid (1994-1997) and SMK Sandakan (1997-2000).  He took his BSc in Sports Science and Recreation (Hons) at UiTM Shah Alam (2005-2007).

He taught for three years before entering the aspirancy for diocesan priesthood at the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre Penampang in 2008.  The following year he was accepted into Initiation Year KK before proceeding to St Peter’s College Kuching for his philosophical and theological studies from 2010 to 2016.  He was ordained deacon about six months ago, on July 18, at St Mary Sandakan by Bishop Gitom.

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