Rector celebrates 70th b’day via Zoom

The Zoom ‘birthday party’ for the parish rector. – screenshots from Godfrey Moay

KOTA KINABALU: The parish rector of St Simon Catholic Church Likas celebrated his 70th birthday in a “unique way” last Sunday, which was also the Solemnity of Pentecost.

Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) Chairperson Anne Wong, on behalf of the PPC, ministries and parish, said the community thanked God for the gift of Fr Cosmas Lee.

“We join you in this unique way to share the joy of your arrival at 70 years old today,” Anne said at the online meeting via Zoom on May 31, attended by some of the members of the PPC and ministries.

“Even though we cannot celebrate in person with you today, we offer you our gifts of special prayers to God for you. We cannot sing together the ‘happy birthday’ but our choir has prepared and will sing for all of us.”

This screenshot shows some of the choir members and their families singing the pre-recorded birthday song for Fr Cosmas Lee while other ministry members look on during the Zoom meeting.

“Blessed Pentecost! Happy birthday to you, too,” Fr Cosmas said after listening to the social distancing rendition of the birthday song for him.

He candidly said that in view of the circumstances, organising the online meeting took a lot more effort than the actual dinner. “Thank you for all the efforts. I will never forget this.”

Quoting from Psalm 138, the rector said he “thanked God for the wonder of my being”.

“I was born at the present new Archdiocesan Centre,” he said, adding that the actual time and date were at around 4am on May 31, 1950.

“At this point in time, I’m a priest, your parish priest… it’s really incredible,” he said, giving credit to God for taking him this far.

“I’ve met so many people in my life, and you are some of the most important, because you share my 70th birthday… the last lap!” he said, bursting into laughter.

“According to my father, when I was born my eyes were very big and I was looking at the kerosene lamp. He looked at me and said, ‘this son of mine will be the light of the world’.

“That was my father’s aspiration of his first-born son. I always remember that… because I think even before I was formed in the womb, God had always wanted me to be a priest. And a ‘little light’ to the world,” he reminisced.

Meanwhile, he expressed his gratitude for organising the online meeting, hosted by Godfrey Moay, including the well wishes from the parish community.

“Once more, blessed Pentecost! Blessed birthday! Thank you for being in my life. And I will give God a very good report today, and in the future.” – Audrey J Ansibin

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