Clergy from left, Fr Michael Modoit, Fr Isidore Gilbert, Archbishop John Wong, Fr David Gasikol and Fr Mattheus Luta with all the participants of Vocation Seminar 2022

By Seminarian Matthew Lo

Feb 11 2022

BUNDU TUHAN – After a year that locks out any chance of a physical gathering, the recent vocation seminar for diocesan priesthood, which was held over the weekend of Jan 21-23, garnered an attendance of 57 participants.

The vocation hopefuls came from the various parishes across the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu and Diocese of Keningau.

The physical seminar definitely has the advantage of a more inducive environment at Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre than the online seminar held last year because of SOP restrictions.

Archbishop John Wong presided the opening Mass on Friday. In his homily, he pointed out to the attendees that the Gospel from Mark 3:13-19 was relevant for the purpose of the seminar.

As the disciples of Jesus Christ were called to learn from him and reflect on his teachings, the Archbishop hoped that the participants would seize this opportunity to listen to Jesus’ call on them and to respond accordingly.

He emphasized that it is through conforming our daily living to the will of God that gives us the power to witness to the Gospel. 

After Mass concluded, all who were present congratulated the Archbishop and wished him “happy anniversary” on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of his sacerdotal ordination.

In response, he assured the participants of his prayers and urged them not to be afraid to respond to their call. “My survival for 23 years is the living proof of God’s providence,” said Archbishop Wong.  

Fr Isidore Gilbert (left) and Fr David Gasikol with selected aspirants for 2022

As part of the program, Fr Mattheus Luta, the rector of Initial Year Formation House shared his journey to the priesthood, while Fr David Gasikol, the vocation director of Keningau Diocese shared his experience in ministering as a diocesan priest.

The rest of the program included group sharing, a Question-and-Answer session, individual interviews, and Eucharistic Adoration with Taize.

The seminar concluded with closing Mass on Sunday, followed by announcement of aspirants selected for 2022 by Fr Isidore Gilbert, the director of Aspirants Formation House.

They are: Fredg Faresley Kamarudin (St John Tuaran), Rayner Raphael (St John Tuaran), Anderian Alexander (St Michael Penampang), Cyril Mozes Matingal (St Michael Penampang), Alexisuis Francis (St Joseph Papar); Coenelius Patrick (St Francis Xavier Keningau- KSFX), Clive Leo Singki (KSFX), Jackelson Jerome Jimmy (KFSX), Friendey Sukor (KFSX), Uldrique Mark (St Theresa Tambunan), Cornelius Justin (St Theresa Tambunan), Canddy Yangun (St Theresa Tambunan) and Valerian Victor (Holy Spirit Sook).