PENAMPANG – Benedictine priest Fr Ned Columba Moujing from the Monastery of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire, England, who is on a four-month leave, spent the entire time serving at the Penampang parish of St Michael. He hails from Kg Kuai, Kandazon Monsopiad.
A seventh generation descendant of the legendary pagan warrior ‘Monsopiad’, Fr Columba joined the Benedictine community at Ampleforth in 2003 where he studied for five years to be a monk. But God had other plans for him and after pursuing his studies at Oxford University for a further three years, he was ordained a priest in June 2014. Since then he was put in charge of the infirmary at Ampleforth Abbey.
After serving for many years in England, he was recommended for sabbatical leave. The timely long leave enabled him to go back to his tiny home village of Kg Kandazon to enjoy his well-deserving rest.
The monk however made use of the resting period to serve his home parish instead.
‘”For me, to rest is to serve the people. Since Penampang area is so vast, and there are only two priests available, I volunteer to serve in the parish until it is time for me to return to Ampleforth on Sep 30,” Fr Ned explained after celebrating a requiem Mass at St Michael’s Church recently.
The Gregorian chanting priest has been tirelessly visiting churches and community gathering to celebrate Masses, and was warmly welcomed by the people of Penampang.
He cherished the wish to visit remote areas such as Terian and Tiku villages if circumstances permit before his departure. – SOCCOM Penampang