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PENAMPANG – Keningau-born Father Johnny Raju, 53, celebrated the 16th anniversary of his priestly ordination with family members, friends and church officials at his home at Kg Nosoob Baru here on 22 July 2018.
Among those present were Archbishop John Wong, Msgr Nicholas Ong of Tawau, Vicar General of Sandakan Diocese, Father Jeffri Gumu, who was home in Sabah on holiday from his studies in Manila, and Sister Carmen Cordova fisc who teaches at St Francis Secondary School, Kota Kinabalu.
Fr Raju was ordained at the Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) in Kota Kinabalu by then Bishop John Lee on 20 July 2002.
He now serves as assistant parish priest at Stella Maris Church Tanjung Aru, St Thomas’s Church Kapayan, and Blessed Sacrament Church Labuan.
At the same time, he is chaplain for the sick at hospitals in Kota Kinabalu City, as well as being active in the Prison Service, visiting and giving a word of hope to male Christians at the central Prison in Kapayan on Thursdays.
He studied for priesthood at the Redemptoris Mater Diocesan Seminary in Rome and ordained as deacon at the Basilica of St John Lateran there in 2001.
Fr Raju previously served in St John Tuaran (2002-2006); St Joseph Papar (2006-2008); SHC in Kota Kinabalu (2008), and at the Holy Trinity Church in Tawau before being transferred to Tanjung Aru in the state capital.
The faithful in Kepayan marked the anniversary on July 26 while those in Labuan celebrated the event on July 29. – JL