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KOTA KINABALU – A Carmelite nun celebrated 90 years of life with a solemn Mass on 26 Sept 2017 at the Carmelite Monastery here.
Archbishop John Wong presided at the thanksgiving Mass for Mother Consuelo of Jesus. Joining him at the altar were Archbishop Emeritus John Lee, Father Felix Chung, Father David Sham, Father Michael Modoit, Father Rayner Bisius, Father Mattheus Luta, Father Max Hontor, and two Korean priests.
Over 100 people turned up for the celebration.
In his homily, Abp Wong touched on the many meanings of a birthday celebration in the light of the liturgical readings for votive Mass of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Basically, it is to thank God for the gift of life and the graces received by the celebrator that are shared with those around.
After the homily, Mother Consuelo renewed her baptismal promises.
After Mass, Celestina Jinu OCDS thanked the concelebrants for marking the occasion with them and paid a tribute to Mother Consuelo for her prayerful ministry inside.
A surprised tribute was paid by Joseph Carlos Leong, a dentist by profession from Selangor. He and his family came to Sabah in 2004 and got acquainted with Mother Consuelo in 2005. Last month, he went to Spain and was able to meet the relatives of Mother Consuelo, and brought back their greetings to her.
After the speeches, all adjourned outside for a simple breakfast prepared by the Carmelite Seculars. Abp Wong also cut the commemorative cake in Mother Consuelo’s stead.
Born on 26 Sept 1927 in Spain, Mother Consuelo entered Carmel there. She made her first profession on 30 Oct 1954 and her solemn profession three years later. She arrived in North Borneo (now Sabah) on 12 Apr 1960. She served as prioress for many terms.
At 90, she has been a cloistered nun for 63 years, serving in Sabah for 57 years. She celebrated her diamond jubilee (60 years) of religious profession on 30 Oct 2014.