PENAMPANG – St Michael’s Church here is set to become a pilgrimage centre with a gallery to exhibit the rich history of the beginning and stages of growth of the Catholic Church in Sabah.
Pastor Father Wilfred Atin said this when he officiated the blessing of the newly sculptured 15-ft gold-plated statue of St Michael the Archangel mounted on a raised cement base at the bottom of a slope in the Mission House compound on 12 Nov 2017.
“I have a vision of this parish as a pilgrimage centre where people from all over the world would flock to, not just to admire the beauty of the Church or be astounded by the statue of St Michael, but more so to be filled with incredible joy for those who find themselves in a sacred place,” Fr Atin said.
Earlier on he expressed his gratitude to the fundraising project committee headed by Marcel Leiking for their undivided dedication, as well as for the generosity of all donors who had contributed to the statue project, for realising the initiative of the former pastor, the late Father Fundes Motiung.
About 100 people attended the ceremony including assistant pastor Father Wiandigool Runsab, ex-students of St Michael Secondary School, former state secretary Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, retired senior government officials, donors, and representatives of the parish pastoral council and zone pastoral committees.
St Michael’s stone church was built as a permanent sign of the expansion of missionary work in Penampang in the early 1930s, and the progress of mission work of the parish has extended to the administration of the adjacent St Michael Secondary School.
The school has produced thousands of Catholic students, providing good citizenry and forming good leaders for the nation. The school is also known for keeping the Catholic tradition of emphasising spiritual values as core values for the students. The school is well-known for garnering many awards for its achievements. – Soccom Penampang