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Keningau celebrates diocesan silver jubilee with deep sense of gratitude

Members of the bishops conference: front L-R: Bishop Cornelius Sim of Brunei, Abp Simon Poh of Kuching, Jubilarian Bishop Cornelius Piong of Keningau, Cardinal Soter Fernandez (on wheelchair), Abp Joseph Marino (apostolic nuncio), Abp Emeritus John Lee of KK, Abp John Wong of KK, Abp Julian Leow of KL; back L-R: Bishop Richard Ng of Miri, Abp Emeritus Murphy Pakiam of KL, Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang, Bishop Julius Gitom of Sandakan.

PENAMPANG – Keningau celebrated its diocesan silver jubilee with a deep sense of gratitude and joy to God on 4-5 May 2018.

The culmination of a yearlong preparation was the concelebrated Eucharist at the Solidarity Hall on May 5.

Over 3,000 faithful including the members of the regional bishops conference joined Bishop Cornelius Piong in celebrating his episcopal silver jubilee as well as that of the diocese he has led for 25 years.

On hand to join in the occasion were Cardinal Anthony Soter Fernandez and Archbishop Joseph Marino, apostolic nuncio to Malaysia.

In his homily, the jubilarian stressed on God’s mercy and foundation of the diocese (cf Ps 127), the unity with Jesus (Jn 15), the role of the Holy Spirit, with Mary and St Francis Xavier as role models in the journey of the diocese.  He also pointed out three themes from the priestly prayer of Jesus (Jn 15): unity in Jesus, protection from evil, and holiness of life.

What was significant in the celebration was symbolically portrayed in the putting together of the pieces of the framed jigsaw puzzle of the Holy Family by representatives of the people of God – young and old, priest and religious – in union with the KK Ecclesiastical Province (Abp Wong) and the Universal Church (Abp Marino).

Both the organising committee chairperson, Stella Kinsik, and Bishop Piong thanked all those who have helped in organising the event

After his brief speech, Abp Marino presented the apostolic blessing of Pope Francis to the jubilarian.

Before Mass ended, Bishop Piong announced that the hosting parish for 2019 diocesan day will be St Valentine Beaufort.

The event closed with lunch at the parish hall.  The visitors also visited the venue for the tasting of native wine and delicacies next to the hall.

On the previous day May 4, Bishop Piong officiated the rite of burying a time capsule in front of the cathedral, followed by a tour of the jubilee exhibition at the pastoral centre and refreshments.

Then Abp Marino gave a talk on Pope Francis’ recent exhortation on holiness at the newly conpleted Immanuel Catechetical Building.

The day ended with a jubilee dinner at the Holy Family Pilgrimage Site at Nulu Sosopon where Bishop Piong entertained the guests by singing two of his own compositions.


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