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MIRI – Miri has embarked on a massive fundraising campaign entitled Wisma St Joseph since 2016.
Wisma St Joseph project comprises a new Cathedral, a Pastoral Centre at its current location, Holy Spirit Chapel in Permyjaya, and the bishop’s residence at Tanjong Lobang.
The old cathedral built in 1973 could only cater for 500 people. It was enough in those days but now due to the rural-urban migration, many Catholics are living in the city and thus the cathedral is very congested.
Facilities available in the new cathedral would include a seating capacity for 2,000 worshippers, gallery, day chapel, adoration room, columbarium on ground and first floors, funeral parlour, basement car park, offices, meeting rooms, multi-purpose hall, gift shop and canteen, grotto, garden and priests’ residence.
Diocesan Bishop Richard Ng said the new cathedral alone is estimated to cost RM20 – RM25 million with construction to start in 2019 when at least RM15 million or 70 per cent of the total cost is raised.
The first fundraising dinner held in Bintulu in 2016 garnered around RM3.4 million. The second fundraiser in Miri raised RM1.5 million.
The bishop said they need to raise RM5 million each year from 2016-2019. Various activities to be held include lump sum donation, monthly pledges, monthly second collection in church, sponsoring of building materials, sponsoring of specific items like pews, meeting rooms, sound system, grotto and garden, fundraising dinners, food fairs and sales of items, jogathons, concert and spiritual support.
The bishop expressed his hope that Wisma St Joseph would be ready by 2021.
He said the proposed Wisma St Joseph is in tandem with the development of Miri City, the rapid rural-urban migration and also one that befits Miri as a diocesan centre.
Miri Diocese forms 53 per cent of Sarawak – stretching from Belaga District in Kapit Division to Bintulu, Miri and Limbang Divisions with a population of 97,000 Miri alone has 12,000 Catholics.
Those wanting to donate can write a cheque in favour of: ‘The Bishop of Miri – Wisma St Joseph’ to Public Bank account No 3199675833. For enquiries call +60142778308 or email to email@example.com. – various sources