POTUKI, Penampang – It was a unique assimilation of culture when the local faithful of Kg Potuki attended Mass on 5 January 2020, dressed in colourful ‘Hanbok’, the traditional Korean dress worn during festivals or celebrations (photo).
This beautiful sight was meant to honour the sacerdotal anniversaries of two Korean priests, Fr Lawrence Kim (R) who celebrates his 20th anniversary and Fr Andrew Kim (L) , his 3rd sacerdotal.
According to the priests, this was their first big anniversary celebration accompanied by many people, sumptous lunch, music and singing.
“It was not possible to hold a blaring celebration like this in South Korea, as Korean culture is quite private,” said Fr Andrew, and furthermore there is also hindrance from the authority.
Thus, the people of Potuki and the management of Woori Jib Home proposed the idea to hold the celebration this year as it is a norm for the locals to celebrate their local priests’ anniversaries.
Both priests thanked the congregation for their sincere consideration of them, for without the help of the locals, they said, it would be very hard for them, considering the barrier in language and culture. But now both of them are already able to say Mass in English and Bahasa.
More than 200 people, not only from Potuki, but also from other area of Penampang, came for the celebration. Fr Wilfred Atin, parish priest of St. Michael’s Church, Penampang was also present during the fellowship.
The anniversary Mass was concelebrated by three Korean priests with Fr. Lawrence as the main celebrant. Fr. Stephen Lee, a visiting priest from South Korea gave a very relevant and interesting homily. Click to read the text of Fr. Stephen’s homily
Fathers Lawrence and Andrew are from the Clerical Society of the Most Holy Trinity of Mirinae based in Diocese of Suwon.
They arrived in Kota Kinabalu in March 2017 and established an Orphanage Home in Potuki together with Fr Leo Choi Sangki (the founder), and Woori Jib religious items shop in March 2018 at ITCC, Penampang.
With their charisms of vocation, they are now entering their fourth year serving the people in this part of the world. – Linda Edward/catholicadkk.org