Archbishop: Scaled down Diaconate Ordination, hopeful of new vocations

KOTA KINABALU: The chief shepherd of the archdiocese here, Tuesday, ordained Wilson Francis as a Deacon in front of some 150 priests, religious, guests and parishioners held at the St Simon Catholic Church Likas.

Archbishop John Wong said, if he recalled correctly, it was the first such ordination in the history of the archdiocese that had to be scaled down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In view of the health protocol, the prelate in his brief speech congratulated Deacon Wilson “for his courage and generosity to come forward to ask to be ordained a deacon”.

Deacon Wilson prostrating before the altar during the Litany of Saints. – pix by Tracy Lim

Archbishop John thanked Wilson’s parents for their faith and support towards their newly-ordained son, adding that the blessing is shared by the family as well.

He also thanked the rector of the parish, Fr Cosmas Lee, and the community for supporting Deacon Wilson during his pastoral immersion there.

“I’m sure Wilson has learnt a lot of pastoral wisdom over the past year or so,” he said, adding that the well-organised Diaconate Ordination held at the parish would help to encourage more vocation among the young people.

Deacon Wilson clearing the altar after the liturgy of the Eucharist while Archbishop John Wong and Fr Cosmas Lee look on intently.

“In the course of all this, may the seeds of vocation fall onto some young men as well as women in this parish.”

Deacon Wilson, meanwhile, expressed his heartfelt appreciation to God for His grace.

“If it were not for His grace, I will not be ordained here in St Simon Church Likas in this current situation of the pandemic,” Deacon Wilson said, also thanking the prelate for ordaining and accepting him to receive the holy order.

“This is not the end. This is only the beginning,” he said after thanking all those involved in the ordination ceremony.

Deacon Wilson in a group photo with his family and Fr Cosmas Lee after the ordination ceremony.

“There are still a lot of things that need to be done. I still have a long way to go. For that, I humbly ask for your support and prayer so that I can be a faithful minister in serving God and others.”

At the end of the ceremony, the Parish Pastoral Council chairperson Anne Wong handed over a token of appreciation to Deacon Wilson.

Also present were Deacon Wilson’s parents Francis Binteh and Mariana Gabpai as well as siblings Joviania, Lawrence, Flora and Eric. – by Audrey J Ansibin

Parish Pastoral Council chairperson Anne Wong presenting the token of appreciation to Deacon Wilson Francis.
From left: Deacon Wilson Francis with Archbishop John Wong and Fr Cosmas Lee during the Eucharistic celebration.

  • More pix on the ordination can be found on St Simon Likas official Facebook page here.

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