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By​ Sem Raymond Lee

February 12, 2020

BUNDU TUHAN – The recent Vocation Seminar held Jan 17-19, 2020 attracted an unexpectedly great turnout.

It managed to draw 197 hopefuls from across the three arch/dioceses in Sabah, made up as follows: KK Archdiocese (74), Keningau Diocese (89) and Sandakan Diocese (34).

Held yearly at the Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre for the purpose of promoting the vocation of diocesan priesthood, the Sabah dioceses set about their joint efforts to recruit new candidates for 2020 aspirancy program.

The three-day promotion program kicked off with opening Mass, which was presided by Archbishop John Wong and concelebrated by parish priest of St Pius X Fr Michael Modoit, Director of Aspirants Formation House Fr Isidore Gilbert, Director of Initiation Year Fr Mattheus Luta, Regional Superior of Mill Hill Missionary Fr Philip Obaso, Fr Simon Kontou, Fr Sunny Chung; and Fr David Gasikol.

In his homily, the presider conveyed to the participants that they must possess the desire with the correct intention to serve God and His Church.

Except for Archbishop Wong, all the priests were present throughout the program to give spiritual  inputs, and to guide the participants in their discernment in responding to God’s invitational call. 

The seminar concluded with closing Mass on Sunday. Right after the Mass, Fr Isidore announced the newly selected aspirants for the year 2020: six from KK Archdiocese, six from Keningau Diocese; and one from Sandakan Diocese.

They are: Hilary Timothy from Holy Nativity Church Terawih; Mejoery Simon from St John Tuaran; Edwine Erick from St Michael Penampang; Aderoff Gilbert from Stella Maris Tanjung Aru; Harry Anthonius and Welter Bin Manjamin from St Peter Claver Ranau Celvin, Marcilus Bin Philip and Devson Konsung from Holy Cross Toboh; Fabian Joseph from St Theresa Tambunan; Michael Mok Vun Seng from St Francis Xavier Cathedral Keningau; Dealiance Don from St Anthony Tenom; and Freddoline Bin Ahsiong from St Mary’s Cathedral Sandakan.

There are also two candidates selected to join directly Initiation Year of St Peter’s College in Kota Kinabalu. They are: Frederic Reyes from St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Keningau and Lo Nam Yee from Sacred Heart Cathedral, Kota Kinabalu.

Being chosen for Initiation Year, Frederic marveled at the Lord’s persistence and revealed, “I have failed to say ‘yes’ to the Lord’s invitation at similar vocation seminars and retreat since 2017. But He didn’t give up on me. His plans for me remain steadfast. As I find myself repeating the yearly seminars, for whatever reason, the calling grows stronger. I couldn’t resist anymore…”