Left to right: Visiting Franciscan Friars Marvin Voo, Gerald Terence, Crispus Mosinoh, Sixtus Pitah and Cosmas Francis in a pose with CS staff Lily Akau (left) Caterine Musa at CS office Dec 18
By Agnes Chai
Dec 23 2021
KOTA KINABALU – “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest” (Mt 9:37-38)
Indeed God, the Lord of the harvest, sent four young lads from the land of Sabah and one from Singapore to his field, to tell the world how much he loves them.
Franciscan Friars Cosmas Francis, Crispus Mosinoh, Gerald Terence, Sixtus Pitah and Robin Toha were called to the Order of Deacons by Archbishop William Goh at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Singapore on 26 November 2021.
Friars Gerald Terence and Crispus Mosinoh hail from Sandakan, while Friar Sixtus Pitah comes from Lahad Datu and Friar Cosmas Francis from Tambunan. As for the Indonesian-born Friar Robin Toha, he is now a Singapore citizen.
The Sabah deacons dropped in the Catholic Archdiocese Centre (CAC) at Jalan Sang Kancil to pay a courtesy visit to Archbishop John Wong at his new office Dec 18, and had the opportunity to tour the new centre and were introduced to the CAC staff.
The new deacons have received their diaconate placements which they will take up in January 2022. * Crispus will go to Christ the King Parish, Air Itam, Penang; Sixtus to St Joseph Parish, Plentong, Johor; Gerald Saimel to St Dominic Parish, Lahad Datu, Sabah; Cosmas to St Theresa of Avila Parish, Tambunan, Sabah and Robin to St Joseph Parish, Bukit Timah, Singapore.
Out of holy curiosity, Catholic Sabah sets out to unpack what was it that inspired these young men to wholeheartedly give their life for God. This is what each shared the one thing that drew them to the priesthood (source: St Anthony’s Bread):
Choosing the path of a ministerial priesthood is a call within a call. I felt the call to be at the service of the laity in unfolding the baptismal grace as an ordained Franciscan. Being an ordained friar will allow me to serve and minister to the people of God by administering the Sacred Rites.
My own wonderful experience of God’s love and forgiveness through the sacrament of confession is one reason. I want to share that God’s love is greater than our sins. My experience of God’s mercy through words of comfort and encouragement from the priest every time I made my confession helped restore my strength and faith in God. I want to inspire others to continue to hope in the mystery of God’s salvation even though we may fall many times.
I can say with confidence and sincerity that if God has chosen me to be His servant and His herald through the ministry of the Diaconate, it is only because He is the One who served me first and announced to me the Good News of His unconditional love through many people to whom I am endlessly grateful.
When I was a teenager, I used to follow our parish priest to outstations for Mass. These outstations were remote, so much so that the priest could only visit once a month if not once in two months. The yearning and joy I saw in the faces of the faithful were like an invitation from God for me to also be the channel of God’s love through the ministering of sacraments.
Throughout my Franciscan formation journey, I had opportunities and exposures to love and serve the Lord present in the people around me in different settings. In my continuing discernment, I feel the priesthood will allow me to love and serve better, particularly in the role of the priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Eucharist, and Anointing of the Sick. Having experienced God’s love and mercy in my life, I feel the call to be the instrument to bring His love and mercy to the people through these sacraments.
*Correction (Dec 29, 2021)
“Crispus will go to Risen Christ Parish,Air Itam, Penang; Sixtus to St Joseph Parish, Plentong, Johor; Gerald Saimel to St Dominic Parish, Lahad Datu, Sabah; Cosmas to St Theresa, Tambunan, Sabah and Robin to St Joseph Parish, Bukit Timah, Singapore. We wish them God’s blessing for their ministry.”