This screenshot taken from the virtual event shows Fr Cosmas displaying the two sets of statues from the rectory. Parishioners who were not able to join the session on Zoom were also able to interact with each other via the Live Chat on YouTube Live.

By Audrey Ansibin

Dec 16 2020

KOTA KINABALU – The first of a two-part “Advent-Christmas Caroling Together 2020” at St Simon Catholic Church Likas saw some 700 households joining on both Zoom and YouTube on Dec 13.

Its rector, Fr Cosmas Lee, said the idea of holding the virtual carolling, themed “Celebrating the Birth of Christ, God-with-us in the pandemic”, was first mooted when the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the traditional house-to-house caroling norm.

“We’re better focused on the Word of God… on what we’re actually singing and praying,” he said on the virtual caroling, in contrast to physical gathering where some people could get distracted by appearances, among others.

“It is possibly a richer personal and spiritual experience. Make the best of it.”

Among the highlights of the event included the carols led by St Simon Likas choir, the rector showing two sets of statues — that of the Nativity which he bought from Bolivia some 20 years ago, and St Joseph the Dreamer — from the comfort of his rectory, as well as the chit-chat session.

Fr Cosmas added that the St Joseph statue, which was lined up neatly alongside the miniature figures of Mother Mary and Baby Jesus in front of him, was only appropriate as Pope Francis declared the Year of St Joseph from Dec 8 of this year to 2021.

Also present at the event broadcasted live from the church were the parish’s newly-formed live-stream crew comprising Soccom Ministry leader Tracy Lim, streamers Denis Tsen, Daniella Han, Mitch Micheal, seminarian Wilson Francis as well as PA supervisor Vincent Wong.

The choir, led by Assistant Choir Mistress Elvy John Ansibin (soprano), comprised Adele Joseph Ansibin (alto), Edward Ansibin (tenor), Michael Ansibin (bass) and musician Fay Fiona Constantine Limbai.

The second of the two-part virtual caroling session, hosted by Godfrey Moey, will be held on Dec 20.