Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First local Catholic priest ordained in St Anthony’s Church, Bintulu

From the local Star newspaper

First local Catholic priest ordained in St Anthony’s Church, Bintulu
By STEPHEN THEN

BINTULU: Father Peter Hwang, 28, became the first local catholic priest here after he was ordained by Bishop Anthony Lee Kok Hin on Oct 7. The ceremony was witnessed by thousands of parishioners of the St Anthony’s Church. For the past 54 years, the Bintulu Catholic parish, established by the Mill Hills Missionaries and the Catholic community here had prayed for a local to be ordained a priest.

All prepared: Father Hwang, getting ready for his big day outside the St Anthony’s Church.

The new priest did not show any signs of reservation or hesitation during his ordination witnessed by family and 16 other Catholic priests from throughout northern Sarawak, Bishop Lee himself is the first local Catholic Bishop in northern Sarawak. He reminded Fr. Hwang of the responsibilities that he would shoulder as a priest.

Prayers and obedience to God are the key factors that will help a priest sustain his vocation, said Bishop Lee.

“Pray often. It is through prayers that great things for God can be done. Be obedient to your callings at all times,” said the Bishop.

Fr. Hwang, as a symbolic gesture of total submission of self to God, had to lay on the floor face-down before the Bishop and the Crucifix before he took his vows.

Later, he related to The Star how he went from school straight to the seminary to prepare for priesthood after finishing his secondary school.

Fr. Hwang said another Catholic priest by the name of Father Sylvester Ding was the reason he joined the priesthood.

“Many years ago, when Father Ding came to my house he suggested that I should try out for the priesthood.

“At that time, I was not even a good Christian. and I did not know Father Ding well. But, that meeting was the turning point in my life. Later I became active in the church and discovered my calling,” he said.

Laying of hands: Bishop Anthony Lee of Miri laying hands on Fr. Hwang during the ordination

Fr. Hwang said he will also be serving in other parts of northern Sarawak.

He had travelled far and wide in Limbang division and in the interior of Miri division for pastoral works during the past eight years of his seminarian days during his preparation for the priesthood.

7 comments:

echnaton said...

very big news!
I'm hapy that your prayers have been exhaused!
God bless him!
echnaton

DonAaron said...

Pardon me manners...but is that a EMC's sash the Rev Fr is wearin?

DonAaron said...

Anywayz.... its great news that the Miri Diocese has another priest, let us pray that Fr. Hwang remains steadfast in this sacrament he has received...:-)

Anonymous said...

maybe the ran out of sash ..hehehehe better than a pink ribbon right...

I dun understand why the chinese girls with the fans need to sibuk sibuk there ....

aiyah ..everything also inculturation ...

DonAaron said...

Oi come on, deacons in Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei used the concelebrant's stole... The more fortunate ones use a dalmatic. But usually for the ordination into the priesthood, the dalmatic is not used...:)

Anonymous said...

maybe they forget leh ...u knowlah the priest would conveniently forget the rubrics wan

Jackie Parkes said...

Wonderful news!