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TELIPOK – The Catholic Church of the Divine Mercy, Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) here was finally blessed and opened for public use after almost two years on 21 Oct 2017.
Archbishop John Wong officiated the rite of blessing in the presence of almost 1000 people including Archbishop Emeritus John Lee, present pastors Fathers David Sham, Mitchelly Kiun and Mattheus Luta, and past pastors Fathers Aloysius Fidelis, Ambrose Atang, Edward Raymond, Michael Modoit and Rayner Bisius.
The rite of opening was marked by ribbon-cutting before opening the sliding church door and unveiling the commemorative plaque at the church entrance by Abp Wong.
The prelate blessed the water before using it to sprinkle on the people present and the building including the chapel behind the church. Mass then continued as usual.
After the Mass, speeches were given by Albert Lim, Telipok Parish Pastoral Council chairman; Fr Sham and Abp Wong.
In his speech, Fr Sham thanked all those involved in realising the project including Abp Emeritus Lee who mandated him to carry out the building project and the many donors in cash and kind including the state government and KKIP.
On his part, Abp Wong reminded the faithful of the task given to them to bring God’s mercy to all those around them as members of the pastoral community there.
After all the speeches, all adjourned outside for the reception and cake-cutting under makeshift tents and under intermittent showers.
Prior to its current name, the chapel was known as Our Lady of Fatima Chapel. It was in the path of the KKIP Development Programme, a state government project that has been designated as the nucleus of growth for the state in 1994. Occupying an area of 8,320 acres, the park falls within the Knowledge Corridor of Sabah, where the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and other training and research institutions are located.
KKIP offered to land swap (similar 3-acre land) with KK Archdiocese which was accepted. Abp Lee officiated the groundbreaking ceremony on 5 May 2012 and the church was renamed Catholic Church of the Divine Mercy KKIP. Construction work began on 12 Dec 2012.
The final agreement with KKIP was signed on 1 Aug 2014. The first Mass was celebrated on 25 Dec 2015. However, the Occupation Certificate was only given on 12 May 2017 by KK City Hall.
The church is only the first phase of the building project that includes a presbytery, catechetical centre with a kindergarten (scheduled to begin in 2018), and a church hall. Its landmark is the 25 ft tall statue of the Divine Mercy at the entrance to the church compound.
Sunday service (Liturgy of the Word with Communion Service) is at 8:00 am and if there is Mass, between 10 am and 2 pm (depends on the availability of the priest as all the three priests have to administer to the three main churches of St Catherine Inanam, Good Shepherd Manggatal, and Holy Family Telipok and their numerous outstation chapels).