Catechuman Lawrence Jungan with Fr Paul Lo and godfather Andrew Nicholas

By Agnes Chai

Aug 29 2020

KARAMUNSING – Under normal circumstances, Lawrence Jungan would expect to be baptised in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water. However, in the age of the COVID-19, he was conferred by pouring water three times over his head.

Jungan, with other candidates, were received into the Catholic Church on Aug 25 during the ritual held at Sacred Heart Cathedral when they were baptized, confirmed and given their First Holy Communion by parish priest, Fr Paul Lo.

The Cathedral parish crafted new ways to accompany the candidates in their catechumenal journey in the midst of the global pandemic to get to the Sacraments that they have been preparing and waiting for.

To avoid physical contact and reduce any risk of infection transmission, an octagonal baptismal font was used instead of the church baptismal pool, while cotton balls soaked in Chrism were used to sign the foreheads of the confirmands. For the reception of the First Holy Communion, instead of both species (the consecrated Bread and Wine) of the Eucharist, only the single species under the form of bread was received on the hand by the Communicants. 

An emotional Jungan shared with Catholic Sabah “the most important moment of my life”.

Exuding with gratefulness to God for the gift of being made a “child of God”, he bubbled over with joy “After years of longing to be with Christ, finally I got to be baptised, confirmed and received the Holy Communion for the first time”

However, his joy was tinged with some sadness over the absence of his deceased parents, especially his beloved mother, Helen Ahub who has inspired and encouraged him to cling to his Christian faith. “I love you and miss you dearly, inan (mother). You should have been there during the most important moment of my life. But even so, I know that you are smiling because I am finally sharing with you the same faith in Jesus,” exclaimed Jungan.

Jungan acknowledged with gratitude the support and guidance of his godfather Andrew Nicholas, who not only walked with him in his faith journey, but also supported him in his career and life as a whole.

Notwithstanding, those who inspired and encouraged him to stay on the journey were none other than his fellow catechumens, parish priest Fr Paul Lo and the facilitators for the RCIA program, all of whom he accorded his humble appreciation and thanks.

Proud to be made officially a member of the Catholic Church and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Jungan pledged to seek more knowledge on the Catholic Faith. “Thank you, Jesus, for welcoming me. I love you, Jesus!” declared the newly baptised with a heart that was bursting with love for his God and Saviour.

Now considering himself to be of the same Catholic family, he solemnly promised to “pray” for each and everyone who have been involved in his “long and winding road” to be a follower of Christ.