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Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Article : Airene Anne A. Gumanas | 
Photos : Arthur Ambrose, Leonard Sabinus, Alex Tai, 
Albinus @ Fojintius John Rabi and Helda Joanna

Sandakan : Some 1,200 parishioners from across the Diocese of Sandakan converged at St Mary's Cathedral to witness the Diaconate Ordination of Christopher Ireneus on Monday, 18th July 2016 by Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, the Bishop of Sandakan. The ordination marks a historical milestone in the Diocese of Sandakan as Christopher is the third candidate to be elevated to the Holy Orders as a Deacon since the inception of the Diocese in 2007.
The Eucharistic Celebration was con celebrated by 11 other priests from the Dioceses of Sandakan and Keningau. Also present was Fr. Terry Burke, MHM, a Professor from St. Peter’s College, Sarawak.
Deacon Christopher Ireneus with his parents
Presentation of the Candidate by Fr. Thomas Makajil
The prelate in the rite of acceptance addressed the candidate, “as deacon you are to help the priests and the bishop in the ministry of the word, of the altar and charity showing yourself to be servant of all. With the help of God, you are to go about all these duties in such a way that you will be recognized as a disciple of Jesus who came not to be served, but to serve. You are a minister of Jesus Christ and you are to serve like the disciples and to do the will of God. Serve the people with love and joy.”
Promise of Obedience
Litany of the Saints
Laying of hands
Investiture with Stole and Dalmatic
Presentation of the Book of Gospels
Kiss of Peace - Peace Be With You
The Liturgy of the Eucharist
In his address to the people, the prelate said, "I am glad that you are here to witness this rare occasion, a cause of great rejoicing. We thank the Lord for his blessings for the gift of Deacon Christopher Ireneus to help ensure that the saving work of His son Jesus Christ will continue in his Church. Do journey with him, pray for him and don’t spoil him.”
Bishop Julius delivering his speech
The prelate extended his appreciation to the parents and family for giving one of their child to answer the Lord’s calling. He also thanked Deacon Christopher for responding to God's call and for his generosity, the formators of St. Peter’s College (Major Seminary) Kuching, Sarawak for their guidance, to his assistants, Fr. Sunny Chung and Fr. Stanley William Matakim and the Organizing Committee of this event and all those involved in one way or the other in making this day a momentous occasion.
Deacon Christopher with his parents and siblings
Deacon Christopher with his brother/sister-in-laws
Family and Relatives
In his speech, the newly ordained Deacon took the opportunity to thank the Bishop, his parents, teachers, clergy, religious sisters, spiritual director, rector, formators and professors at St. Peter's College Kuching, Sarawak for their prayers, support, advice, guidance and encouragement throughout his formation process to become a servant in Christ’s vineyard – sharing in Christ’s mission and grace in a special way.

“I have heard this call within my heart, despite my multiple sins and shortcomings, the call remains. Today I pledge to continue answering this call to the best of my ability, knowing that nothing is possible without God. Today is a day to celebrate – to celebrate the grace that God has given to us. I thank those who have journeyed with me throughout the years–supported me in prayer as well as through your friendship and love. Each person here represents a family, a faith community. I urge everyone of you to continue to promote vocations to the ministerial priesthood and religious life. Let those at home know that today you witness the glory of God’s abundant blessing. He has given us life to serve one another, and life in us is the glory of God (St. Irenaeus). As a human being, there will be a time of dryness, sinfulness and weaknesses. But I take courage from St. Paul, as he says, “For it is when I am weak that I am strong” (2 Cor. 12 9-12).
But I take courage from St. Paul, as he says, “For it is when I am weak that I am strong” (2 Cor. 12 9-12)
Deacon Christopher Ireneus became the 3rd candidate from the Diocese to be ordained deacon in the history of the diocese. Please continue to pray for him for his preparation to the priesthood. May God accompany our new deacon as he begins his diaconate service with the Diocese of Sandakan. God has granted us our prayer for more vocations. Continue to pray; ask, seek and knock as in Matthew 21:22, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Deacon Christopher Ireneus with Bishop Julius and the Clergy
With Bishop Julius and Sisters from the congregations of RGS and FSIC
St. Mary's Cathedral Altar Servers and the Choirs
Deacon Christopher with the Organizing Committee and friends
Deacon Christopher and Seminarians
After the Eucharistic Celebration, the faithful adjourned to the Parish Hall for a dinner fellowship.
Cake cutting ceremony
Fellowship at SMPC Hall
Our Newly-Ordained Deacon Christopher Ireneus
Christopher Ireneus, a 35-year old Dusun Labuk, hails from Kg. Kiabau, Telupid. He was born to Ireneus Anun and Rosinah Saleh. He attended primary school at SK Kiabau, Telupid, secondary school at SMK Telupid and transferred to SMK Sandakan. He continued his study in Uitm Shah Alam and worked briefly as a teacher before entering the Initiation Year in Kota Kinabalu.
Deacon Christopher Ireneus
He started his seminary life in 2008, at the Catholic Diocesan Center Kota Kinabalu, and thereafter to St. Peter's College, Major Seminary, Kuching. He was appointed Lector in 2012, Acolyte in 2013 and completed his pastoral immersion as a seminarian in 2015. He started his pastoral exposure in Holy Trinity Church, Tawau 2012, St. Dominic’s Church, Lahad Datu, 2014, St. Martin’s Church, Telupid 2015. After having completed his faith formation, he was assigned to St. Mary's Cathedral.

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