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Sunday, October 4, 2009

31st Anniversary of Msgr Nicholas Ong's Sacerdotal Ordination

A presentation to mark the beginning of the anniversary

Parishioners of Holy Trinity Church, Tawau celebrated their rector Msgr. Nicholas Ong’s 31st Sacerdotal Ordination Anniversary yesterday on 3rd October 2009 with a thanks giving Sunset Mass followed by a fellowship dinner at the parish hall.

Cake cutting ceremony

Born 59 years ago into a rather wealthy family in Sandakan, young Nicholas had his primary and secondary education at St Mary's School Sandakan. He remembers fondly that the present Fr. Mulder’s Catechetical Centre at St Mary's Cathedral Parish compound is where he used to have his primary school education.

After his Senior Cambridge (form five) in 1971, when the Catholic Church in Sabah was under persecution with all the foreign priests expelled, Nicholas set his mind to become a missionary of Christ.

He enrolled into the Singapore Seminary for 2 years followed by 5 years of study at the St Francis Xavier Seminary, Penang. He was ordained priest on 3rd October 1978 at St Mary's Church, now the Cathedral. He was the third local to be ordained after the late Bishop Simon Fung and Fr Mewo.

His first priestly assignment was at St Michael's Church Penampang, then St Paul Dontozidon, where he was secretary to the late Bishop Simon Fung, in addition to teaching duties at the Diocesan Centre. He later became rector of Stella Maris Church Tanjung Aru.

From 1987, Fr. Ong spent 2 years studying at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley California where he obtained his Master of Theology.

Upon his return, he taught at St Peter's College Kuching till 1996. His later assignments saw him serving at the Catholic Diocesan Centre (CDC) Kota Kinabalu, Blessed Sacrament Church Labuan, Sacred Heart's Cathedral and St Dominic's Church Ladah Datu.

With the erection of the new Diocese of Sandakan in 2007, Fr Ong was appointed Monsignor and became rector of Hoy Trinity Church Tawau on April 2008.

Dinner reception

Msgr delivering his speech

In his speech, Msgr. Ong said the reason he became and remained a priest was that he took as his mission in helping to build up the Christian community by proclaiming and sharing the good news. He does not see himself retiring at any age as there is so much for him to do.

A token of appreciation

He thanked the parishioners for giving him so much support and asked them to continue praying for him.

Marcus Chin HTC Tawau

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