Holy Nativity Terawi Inaugurated As 17th Parish In KK Archdiocese
TERAWI(CSOnline).- Holy Nativity Terawi was inaugurated as the 17th parish in Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese Dec 18 with Fr Peter Abas as its rector and Dony Julli as chairman of its parish pastoral council.
The erection of Sandakan Diocese in 2007 has left the archdiocese with 16 parishes.
In his address to the faithful coming from the communities of Holy Nativity Terawi, St Simon Duvanson, St Peter Tombovo and Our Lady of Fatima Talang Taun (making up the new parish), Archbishop John Lee said that "with the inauguration of the new parish, the four communities will come under the pastoral care of a parish priest and will move as one towards the realisation of the Vision of the Archdiocese."
The communities, he added, will have to constantly remind themselves that they are now under Terawi Parish, not Penampang.
The "first aspect the bishop looks at is the "maturity aspect," he continued.
That means, the prelate explained, that the new parish community is ready and willing to take responsibility for the growth to maturity of its members' faith life.
He further illustrated this when, before the final blessing, he called all the children present to the sanctuary.
He told the parents and lay leaders that the community's growth to maturity is seen in the growth in faith in their children's lives.
If, the prelate said, they don't want to see their children to change their faith when they grow up, then they must take care of nurturing their faith through their witness of life.
They will also have to look into the various aspects of community building and he opined that "if every Catholic family lives a Christ-centred life, the union of heart and mind with families around them will begin."
To mark the historic occasion, the prelate unveiled a commemorative plaque at the church entrance before Mass began.
After the Mass and speeches, the prelate, together with his concelebrants, Msgr Primus Jouil and Fr Peter Abas, joined the children in praying for the parish at the Shrine of Mary, Mother of Hope, in front of the church.
Then all adjourned to the parish hall for dinner, presentation of souvenirs, slide presentation on the hiartstory of the parish and group presentations from the different communities.
The emergence of Holy Nativity Catholic Community dates back to August 1977 under the administrative umbrella of Penampang Parish Council.
The five-acre site is situated between Donggongon and Putatan township and placed under Zone 8.
It has an overall population of 12,000 with 7,290 Catholics, mostly Kadazans.
When it was formed, it served seven villages: Monsopiad (1979), Mahandoi (1979), Tuaui (1977), Kanadaru (1977), Bukitas (1977), Sukod (1979) and Talang Taun (1982).
The first church building was built in 1978 and blessed by Bishop Simon Fung on 22 April 1979.
The present building, built in 1993 and costing about RM700,000.00 can seat about 800 people.
Its hall, built in 1999, has a 1,000-seating capacity with three badminton courts, a canteen, a conference room, a documentation room, and offices for various committees (pastoral, finance, catechetical and youth) with built-in PA sytem.
The community has also built a two-bedroom rectory equipped with modern amenities.
One of the features of the new parish is its sacred garden which is inhabited by the Marian Grotto (1994) and the Mother of Hope Shrine (2010) with selected tree species and herbal plants.
Vocationwise, Terawi Parish has so far the most fertile soil.
The first rector, Fr Peter Abas, 50, is also its first local priest hailing from Talang Taun.
Ordained priest on 2 Feb 1986, he has served in Kiulu, Tuaran (1986-1989); St Peter's College Kuching (1994-1997) and in the United States of America (1997-2010).
Other ordained diocesan priests from Terawi Parish are Fr Alex Jimsy Julius of Kg Mahandoi,49 (ordained 1995), Fr Nicholas Stephen Tinsung of Kg Monsopiad, 43 (1997) and Fr Simon Kontou of Kg Duvanson, 46 (1997).
Currently, two young men undergoing seminary formation in St Peter's College Kuching are Tony Bingkuan of Mahandoi, 26, and Herman Menjuan of Duvanson, 30, while Hilary Rovellin of Monsopiad, 24, has just finished his Initiation Year in KK.