Fr Nick cutting his sacerdotal anniversary cake, with his parents and Archbishop John Wong
By Clarence Dol
Jan 10 2021
RANAU – A milestone celebration was held at the Ranau St Peter Claver Church to commemorate the Silver Jubilee or 25th Sacerdotal Anniversary of parish priest, Fr Nicholas Stephen on Saturday Jan 8. The Mass was presided by Archbishop John Wong.
In his speech, Archbishop Wong congratulated Fr Nicholas, or Fr Nick as he is widely known, for his dedicated service for the Church throughout the 25 years he had become a priest.
“Our prayers for him so that he will continue to serve the Lord and His church with loyalty, courage and commitment,” he said.
Fr Nicholas was ordained as a priest at the Holy Nativity Church in Terawi in 1997. He was the fourth of five local Kadazans from Terawi to be made a diocesan priest after Fr Peter Abas, Fr John Mansul, Fr Alex Jimsy (deceased) and before Fr Simon Kontou.
“After 25 years, we are happy to see that Fr Nicholas is still strong and zealous of his calling as a priest. We are thankful for his experience throughout the time he has been a priest, and surely there are many stories to be shared,” he said.
The prelate told parishioners to always support their priests, because as priest, one would certainly need the cooperation from all those around him in order to hold on long in their calling.
Meanwhile, Fr Nick thanked his fellow parish priests, Fr Francis Tsen, Fr Maxmilliano Hontor and Fr Ned Columba, who with the help of the organizing committee led by Verus Pinol, successfully organized the event.
In his short speech he shared about his growing up years where he had difficulty in learning and never imagined of becoming a priest. Ironically, became the best student in his class in seminary, where he was the only student left after one by one of the other candidates dropped out.
In the event, Fr Nick was also handed over as a gift, a brand-new Toyota Fortuner SUV, which was acquired through donations from people everywhere, who were generous to make his Sacerdotal Anniversary a memorable one.
On the following day, Fr Nicholas’ anniversary celebration was commemorated once more at the Holy Nativity Church in Terawi, Penampang.