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In its foundation period the Sacred Heart Cathedral was known as the Jesselton Mission.  It was founded by Fr Henry van der Heyden in 1903.  The five-acre mission land was procured by Fr Goossens and Fr Prenger in Fr Heyden’s name on 9 April 1903.  The early community was made up of mostly poor Hakka farmers, some Europeans, Indians, Filipinos and Kadazan-Dusuns.  In Fr Heyden’s letter of June 1903, the Mission was already called Sacred Heart of Jesus.  A school (Sacred Heart Primary) started soon after with 23 students.  Fr Valentine Weber did much to develop the Mission from April 1906 to February 1944.

The first church built by Fr Weber was solemnly blessed on 22 June 1911.  A second church was built by Fr Arnold Verhoeven and blessed on 14 Aug 1938 by Msgr August Wachter.  Unfortunately, this church was bombed by the Japanese in 1945, leaving only its foundation and some pillars intact.  The postwar church was opened on 11 Dec 1949 by Msgr James Buis.  The present church was built in 1981 by Fr Tobias Chi.  It was dedicated by Bishop Simon Fung in the presence of Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila, Apostolic Delegate Abp Renato Martino and several Mill Hill Missionaries on 21 Nov 1981, the culmination of the centenary of good news brought by the Mill Hill Missionaries (1881-1981).  The places of interest within the cathedral compound are the Marian grotto (1986), the  tombs of Bishop Simon Fung and Fr Valentine Weber in front of the chapel (1987),  and the outdoor  Way of the Cross (2003).

Down the years, the parish has hosted a number of events that have marked the life of the archdiocese such as:

    • Ordinations of deacons, priests,  and bishops
    • Inauguration of the PAX Assembly (1971)
  • Launching of the Diocesan Organisational Pastoral Plan (DOPP) (1997)

In 2015, it was designated as one of the four Holy Doors during the Jubilee Year of Mercy (8 Dec 2015-20 Nov 2016).

14B Jalan Menteri, Off Jalan Tengku Abdul Rahman,
P.O. Box 10049,
88800 Kota Kinabalu Sabah

Tel: 088-224741, 088-223618
Fax: 088-224068
website: Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu

Parish Priest: Fr Paul Lo (16.08.2018)
Assistants:   Fr Simon William, Fr Russell Lawrine, Fr Terans Thadeus
PPC Chairperson: Mr Jason Joenoi (2015- July 2023)
New PPC Chairperson: Datuk Bernard Liew (2023-2026)
Secretary: Suzy Maiks

Masses available:
Monday – Saturday: 6:00am (EN)
Sat: 6:00pm (EN)
Sun: 7:00am (CH), 9:00am (EN), 10:45am (BM)


Growth and Development
a) Subparishes
i) St Simon Likas chapel (1984), church (2000), independent parish (2008)
ii) Church of Mary Immaculate Bukit Padang (1993)

b) Communities/Groups/Ministries
1. Boys Brigade (1982)
2. Light of Jesus Christ Covenant Community (1983)
3. St Joseph’s Benevolent Fund (1983)
4. Secular Franciscan Order (1984)
5. Chinese & BM Prayer Groups (1985)
6. Filipino Community (1986)
7. Girls Brigade (1989)
8. Ministry to Physically Handicapped & Deaf (1989)
9. Christian Life Committee (1990)
10. Kelompok Keluarga Katolik Indonesia KK (1992)
11. Chinese Youth (1992)
12. Shine Jesus Shine (Single Adults) (1993)
13. Deaf Ministry (1993)
14. Biblical Apostolate (1994)
15. Information & Publication (1994) replaced by Social Communications Committee (2008)
16. Order of Carmelite Seculars (1994)
17. Apologetics Ministry (1997)
18. Charity Outreach Services (1997)
19. Life Line & Life Teen (2004) Life Teen closed in 2019
20. Alpha in Catholic Context (2005)
21. Couples for Christ (2005)
22. Parish Family Pastoral Network (2008)
23. Holy Trinity Community (Lay associates of Putri Karmel)(2009)
23. Pelayan Belia Efata (2013)

Physical Development
a) Grotto: 1986
b) Tombs of Fr Valentine Weber and Bishop Simon Fung: 1987
c) Sacred Heart Parish Centre: 2000
d) Outdoor Way of the Cross: 2003

a) Holy Hour for Vocations: 1984
b) Divine Mercy Devotion: 2007
c) Lauds & Vespers: 2012

Parish Feast Day: Sacred Heart of Jesus
The weeklong celebration commemorating the parish feast day was introduced in 2010. It consists of a triduum of preparatory prayers, games, concert and concludes with a parish family day carnival.

From Parish Council to Parish Pastoral Council
In line with the Diocesan Organisational Pastoral Plan (DOPP 1997) the parish council was renamed Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) in 2000.  One of its activities was the yearly parish discernment weekend wherein the members discerned together on the pressing issues affecting the parish as a whole.  In 2006, it came out with three top priorities of the parish: (1) family issues (2) faith formation and (3) reachout to less involved parishioners, resulting in the formation of the Parish Family Pastoral Network (PFPN).

1985 – Death of Bishop Simon Fung
1987 – Episcopal Ordination of Msgr John Lee
1997 – Launching of Diocesan Organisational Pastoral Plan (DOPP)
2003 – Centenary of Sacred Heart Mission
2008 – Elevation of Diocese to Archdiocese
2010 – Episcopal Ordination of Fr John Wong
2013 – Installation of Abp John Wong
2014 – Abp Wong takes over as Parish Priest
2015-2016 – Designated as one of the four Holy Doors for the Year of Mercy
2016 – Life-size (7′) Nativity set ordered from Vietnam, displayed outside cathedral, blessed on 24 Dec 2016 by Abp Wong.
2017 – Large monstrance ordered from Vietnam, used during Corpus Christi Procession (June 18), Feast Day Triduum (June 19-21)
2016-2017 – major renovation works undertaken at the parish centre. Two giant ceiling fans were installed at the parish hall on 1.11.2017.
22.1.2019 – Formation of SHC Catholic Basketball League
15.6.2019 – LifeTeen Ministry officially closed.

1981 – Dedication of Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu: A Milestone of 100 Years of Good News in Sabah, Nov 21. 48 pp
2000 – Parish Family Jubilee Celebration, Nov 25 – Dec 17.   60 pp
2003 – 100 Years of Good News 1903-2003 Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu.    240 pp
2006 – Silver Jubilee of the Dedication of Sacred Heart Cathedral, Nov 26.    68 pp

How the Sacred Heart Cathedral was built

Dedication of Sacred Heart Cathedral

Silver Jubilee of SHC Dedication

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