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OFM Capuchins opens first centre in Keningau

KENINGAU – Some 500 faithful witnessed the blessing and opening of the Franciscan Capuchin’s ‘Rumah Sederhana’ (humble house) by Father Valentine Gompok OFMCap, located at Kg Mongitom, Bunga Raya here on 30 Dec 2017, followed by a Eucharistic Celebration.

Among the guests were Mother Frances Mani, FSIC Mother General and other Franciscan Sisters, OFS National Councillors Malaysia, members of the Sabah-wide Order of Franciscan Secular (OFS), St Francis Xavier’s parish PPC Chairman Datuk Ida Undan, and Peter Lim, contractor of the Capuchin house. Undan donated the land to the OFMCap for the purpose.

Since 2007 Fr Gompok has been praying for this intention and he has approached a few individuals to help him.  God answered his prayer and moved Undan to give the OFMCap a piece of her own land to build the centre.

The immediate plan is to build a faith formation centre on the site for the Order.  Meantime, Keningau and Tambunan OFS will take care of the building.

Acknowledging the increase of Catholics in Sabah and the need to have centres for an on-going formation after their baptism, OFM Capuchin is responding to this by helping the diocese to form the newly baptised in their faith, so that they who are just getting to know God will not stray from the faith.

The centre will also be a formation house for candidates of the Capuchin religious from Sabah.

Currently, there are 14 Sabahan Capuchin religious in formation: one final professed in Theology 3 (Br Gilbert James), two simple professed (Br Christi Rames Liew,  Br Tony Bingkuan), one novice (Br Noel Damsus), four soon-to-be novices (Marthin Steven, Cornelsteve Dominic,  Randall Lee,  Sylver Ivan Sabinus), another four entering postulancy (Adam Joel Elias, Aldrin Benedict, Anndrysent Chong, Jerry Ghani) and two entering aspirancy (Frederick Joseph, Gary Damianus).

On the same day,  seven OFS members of  SFX Keningau Fraternity took their final vows.

In his speech, Fr Gompok thanked Bishop Cornelius Piong for his permission for the Order to set up Rumah Sederhana, for the house to be blessed and for Mass to be celebrated. He also thanked all who came from near and far. –  Marina Anjuman

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