The newly-ordained (from left) Deacons Peter, Lasius, Terans and Sylvester assisting in the Eucharistic Celebration during their Diaconate Ordination Dec 4 at Sacred Heart Cathedral

By Linda Edward

Dec 7 2021

KOTA KINABALU – One a geologist, another an engineer, yet another a road construction supervisor, and the fourth, a supermarket supervisor – these four individuals with different backgrounds are now deacons in the Catholic Church.

Lasius Gantis, 30, of Inobong Parish, Peter Chung Pit Soon, 43, of Tuaran Parish, Terans Thadeus, 33, of Limbahau Parish and Sylvester Wong Vun Cheong, 42, of Sacred Heart Cathedral stood before the Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu, who ordained them as Deacons of the Church, Dec 4, at the 10.00 am Ordination Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The deacons will be assisting the Archbishop and the priests, among other tasks, in providing spiritual guidance to the community, visiting the sick and elderly, witnessing marriages, baptisms, distributing Holy Communion and presiding over funeral services.

Deacon Terans spoke on behalf of the four newly-ordained about being ordained to the order of deacons in the time of pandemic, “Being a deacon is a new beginning for us. The true service of our calling has just begun.

“The world in pandemic has indeed brought us uncertainties in life and perhaps despair to some of us.

“May today’s ordination gives us a ray of hope that God never leaves us because God is love.

“If it is not because of God, the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu would not have four new deacons today,” said the newly-ordained.

Archbishop John Wong also expressed similar sentiment that God is the one who is blessing the Church through this ordination.

“I thank God because of His continuous love and care for our local Church. He never fails to bless us with young people who are ready to dedicate their lives to be His instruments of love and service,” said the prelate.

He is happy that there are now four additional ministers of the Word and Sacraments to serve the needs of the people in the Archdiocese.

He congratulated and welcomed the new four, “I wish to congratulate the four for their readiness to serve as deacons, for their courage and generosity to come forward.

“I welcome (you) to join the rest of our priests in serving the increasing pastoral needs of our local Church,” said the Archbishop.

Aerial view of the Ordination Ceremony

A joyous celebration such as this would normally gather the faithful by the thousands, if not hundreds, but by now, the Church is already accustomed to the new norm of health Standard Operational Procedure that limits movement and significantly reduces the number of people in any one event.

Those who were at the Ordination Mass were the families of the four newly-ordained, Parish Pastoral Council chairpersons of the parishes involved, the religious sisters and other invited guests. Nevertheless, many attended the Mass virtually via the Cathedral’s Youtube Channel.

The Archbishop acknowledged the faith, support and encouragement of the family members that are the source of the diaconate ordination of their sons. He reassured them that God’s blessings are not limited only to the newly-ordained alone but also to their whole families.

Deacon Terans entered the seminary as an aspirant in the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese Formation House in 2010, continued to Initiation Year (IY) in 2011, Philosophy Year in 2012-2013 and Theology Year in 2014-2015. In 2016, he took leave in 2016 and worked in Gammerlite Sdn Bhd for three years until 2018. Then he was back to the seminary and continued his Theology Year in 2019 until May 2021.

Meanwhile Deacon Lasius entered the Archdiocesan Formation House as an aspirant in 2013. Then in 2014, he joined Deacons Sylvester and Peter during the Initiation Year (IY) and the subsequent years.

Deacons Sylvester and Peter entered the seminary in 2014 for 7.5 years beginning from the Initiation Year (IY). In 2015-2016, the three of them continued with Philosophy Year and the final Theology Year in 2017-May 2021. 

The deacons graduated from St Peter’s College Seminary Kuching in early May this year and started their pastoral attachment in the parishes at the end of May.

As deacons, they will remain where they were posted for their pastoral work; Deacon Peter will continue to serve in Labuan parish, Deacon Lasius in Kiulu parish, Deacon Sylvester in Inanam parish and Deacon Terans in Tuaran parish.