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Monday, June 10, 2019


By Parish SOCCOM

Sandakan:  The faithful of St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish has every reason to rejoice as their local parishioner Deacon Dafrinn Diwol is called to the Presbyterium on this day 5th June 2019. The last local priest ordained in St. Mary's Church was 20 years ago and Deacon Dafrinn is the fifth ordained to the priesthood in this church after the late Bishop Simon Fung (1963),the late Fr Michael Mewo (1966), Msgr. Nicholas Ong (1978) and Archbishop John Wong (1999). 
He is the fourth ordained priest in the Sandakan Diocese since its establishment 12 years ago. The solemn and joyful procession began at 4.00pm with the traditional beating of gongs witnessed by some 2000 parishioners, family members and a score of religious from far and near.
Rt. Rev. Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of Sandakan Diocese, solemnised the ordination Mass, concelebrated by Most Rev Simon Poh, the Archbishop of Kuching Archdiocese, and 14 priests.  The first part of the Rite of Ordination took place after the proclamation of the Gospel.  The Rector of St. Dominic Lahad Datu, Fr. Simon Kontou, in the election of the candidate officially proposed Deacon Dafrinn for the priesthood ordination. He stood before the bishop who questioned him on his commitment to perform the duties of the Order of the Priesthood. This was followed by the Litany of Supplication. The priest-elect prostrated himself as a sign of total dependence on God while the congregation knelt. Then Laying on of Hands on the head of the elect was performed. He knelt before Bishop Julius who laid his hands on him in silence followed by Archbishop Simon Poh and the rest of the priests. After the Prayer of Ordination was the Investiture with stole and chasuble. The newly ordained Fr. Dafrinn Diwol was adorned by the parish priest of St. Mary's Cathedral, Fr. David Garaman. The ordination rite concluded with the bishops and all the priests welcoming the newly ordained into the Order of the Priesthood by giving him the sign of peace, followed by a big applause from the congregation. Right after the final blessing, thank you speeches were delivered;
St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish Priest, Fr. David Garaman in his congratulatory message, “Today is a historical day as we witnessed the ordination of a priest who came from this parish. This is indeed a special gift from God almighty for this parish.” He also expressed his gratitude to those who generously donated to the funding of this ordination and the Parish Pastoral Council and the many ministries and groupings for their active participation in organising this event. In conclusion, Fr. David invited all the parishioners to pray fervently for more priestly vocations in the diocese.
St. Mary's Cathedral Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. David Garaman in his congratulatory message.
The newly ordained Priest, Fr. Dafrinn Diwol took the opportunity to thank Bishop Julius for ordaining him and expressed his appreciation to his spiritual formators, lecturers, the clergy, religious, families members and the congregation who are able to attend his ordination. In a humbler note, he said, “My admission to the priesthood is not about my personal celebration but a celebration for all of us as a mark of gratitude to God for giving this diocese another priest. Please pray for me that I will be able to become the bearer of God’s love for others.”  He appealed to all the youth who felt the calling into religious life or the priesthood, to not be afraid because of the assurance given by God as in Isaiah 41:10 “Do not afraid for I am with You.”  God will surely show them the way.
Rt. Rev. Julius Dusin Gitom said, “This ordination is a gift from God to us, and is a starting point for the newly ordained priest in his journey of faith. It is not a profession but a vocation (a calling for God’s mission). That is why we need to support the priests so that they can fulfil their mission in this diocese. Please give the newly ordained priest our support but not to the extent of spoiling him but to continue strengthening him in his service to the church.” The prelate concluded his speech by extending his appreciation to the family of Fr. Dafrinn for their support and willingness in giving their son to the service of the church.
Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, Mr. Pilis Malim in his welcoming address.
As a mark of Thanksgiving, the St. Mary Cathedral Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) hosted a dinner reception right after the ordination ceremony in the Parish Hall. Pilis Malim, the PPC and organising Chairman in his welcoming address, expressed his gratitude to God for the blessings for the gift of Fr. Dafrinn Diwol, a priest who hails from this parish.  Among his speech, he pointed out to the faithful of the cross that the priests have to bear and carry in their ministry, especially in this vast diocese. He reminded that the weight of the cross that the priests have to bear representing the faithful participation and the burden will be lessened should the faithful live-up to the vision and mission of the diocese.  He concluded by conveying his appreciation to all the committee members for the success of the event.
The guests were entertained with video clip excerpt from Fr. Dafrinn’s interview, wide range of songs and dance performances until 9.30pm.
Newly ordained priest, Rev. Fr. Dafrinn Diwol in his closing prayer of the event.

Fr. Dafrinn Diwol Background
Fr. Dafrinn Diwol born 39 years ago in Sandakan, is the third child in a brood of seven to a Murut father from Tenom, the late Diwol Sundaling and a Kadazan mother, Helda Laurencius from Papar. He attended preschool at Tadika Ming Chung, Sandakan, primary school at S.K. Gum Gum, Sandakan (1987-1992), secondary school at S.M.K. Gum Gum, Sandakan (1993-1997). When he was in Kota Kinabalu, he enrolled in Culinary Arts courses with the Jabatan Pembangunan Sumber Manusia (1999).
Fr. Dafrinn has worked as a contractual worker in Deramakot Forest Reserve Telupid, as a Life Insurance agent, as a kitchen apprentice specialised in Japanese cuisine with Hyatt Regency Kota Kinabalu and as a Forest research assistant for 5 years with the Forestry Research Centre Sepilok, Sandakan. He has spent about 11 years in his working life before he entered the seminary.

Fr. Dafrinn’s spiritual upbringing started from a young age as his parents were church-goers, attending masses in St. Mark’s Church, a sub-parish about 12 miles from St. Mary’s Cathedral. He was an active youth in his church choir and an Altar server and was involved in the first Sabah Youth Day.
His journey to the seminary started with the reality of shortages of priests in the Diocese of Sandakan. Instead of just accepting the fact of the situation and leaving it to the church to solve her own problem, it came to his thought that he would respond to the calling of God. From then on, his desire to join the seminary heightened. His intention of joining the priesthood was fully supported by his family.

His formation started in 2009 at the Catholic Diocesan Centre (English Year) and was initiated in 2010 at the Minor Seminary, Kota Kinabalu.

He spent two years studying philosophy (2011 – 2012) and four years theology (2013 – 2016) at St. Peter’s Major Seminary College, Kuching, Sarawak.

From there Fr. Dafrinn started his Ministry of Lector on 4th November 2013, Ministry of Acolyte on 3rd November 2014.

His Pastoral Immersion was at the Youth Ministry, Kg. Krokong, Bau, Sarawak (2013). St. Martin, Telupid (2014), St. Dominic, Lahad Datu (2015), Clinical Pastoral Education, Assunta Hospital, Petaling Jaya (2016) and Holy Trinity, Tawau in 2018.

His journey into the priesthood was no easy path. His greatest challenge was to master the English language. His formation year in CDC and the seminary helped him to improve and overcome the barrier of language. Then came the hardest blow when his father passed away. Being the eldest male in the family, it had put a great weight onto his shoulder to take care of the family. He was given one year leave from seminary in 2017 to reflect on his intention. God’s calling was so strong that he eventually returned to where God had led him. He was ordained as Deacon on 1st January 2019 and eventually to the Priesthood five months later. 

Sesi temuramah Pengerusi MPP Sdra. Pilis Malim
Beliau percaya bahawa semua umat yang hadir mengutarakan rasa syukur kepada Tuhan kerana doa permohonan bagi panggilan untuk mendapatkan seorang paderi di keuskupan Sandakan khasnya di Katedral St. Mary, Sandakan telah dikabulkan apabila salah seorang daripada umatnya telah ditahbiskan menjadi seorang paderi iaitu Rev. Fr. Dafrinn Diwol.

Harapan beliau adalah supaya lebih ramai belia dapat menyahut panggilan sepertimana harapan Bapa Uskup Julius yang telah diutarakan semasa ucapan selepas upacara pentahbisan tersebut. “Saya rasa harapan kita semua agar belia akan menyahut panggilan untuk menjadi paderi demikian juga harapan kita kepada umat-umat lain agar memberi kerjasama kepada paderi baru kita untuk memperhebatkan pertumbuhan iman bukan sahaja di gereja kita tetapi juga di seluruh keuskupan kita”.

Puan Helda Laurencius

Beliau mengatakan bahawa panggilan untuk Rev. Fr. Dafrinn menjadi seorang paderi adalah anugerah Tuhan dan merupakan hadiah istimewa bagi beliau sekeluarga. Beliau turut mengatakan bahawa jika dia mendapat seorang anak lelaki, dia akan mengembalikan kepada Tuhan untuk melayani di ladang Tuhan. Beliau tidak terkejut apabila Rev. Fr. Dafrinn ingin menjadi seorang paderi disebabkan janji beliau dengan Tuhan.

Semasa pentahbisan Rev. Fr. Dafrinn, perasaan beliau bercampur-baur kerana sebelum ini mendiang  ayah Fr. Dafrinn tidak begitu bersetuju dia menjadi seorang paderi kerana Fr. Dafrinn pada masa itu ada pekerjaan yang baik di Jabatan Perhutanan. Walaubagaimanapun, beliau dan mendiang ayahnya itu selalu berdoa agar Fr. Dafrinn akan menjadi seorang paderi.

Harapan beliau agar ramai lagi belia dapat menyahut panggilan untuk melayani di ladang Tuhan dan juga ibubapa dapat mendorong anak-anak mereka untuk menyahut panggilan tersebut.



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