Church Is First The People, Before It Is A Building – Abp John Wong

Archbishop John Wong, assisted by Fr Runsab, blesses the water to be used for blessing the chapel, last Feb 14, Labak, Kinarut. – Photo credit soccom kk

KINARUT: Kampung Labak Kinarut got its new chapel blessed recently, with Roman Catholic Archbishop John Wong officiating the rite of blessing, and assisted by Father Wiandigool Runsab, assistant pastor of St Michael Penampang.

The rite of blessing of St Padre Pio Chapel was marked by sprinkling of the closed door with holy water and incensing. It was followed by the ribbon cutting, opening of the main chapel door, and signing of the commemorative plaque before the entrance procession.

Once everyone was inside the chapel, the prelate blessed the water to be used for the blessing of the walls and surroundings of the chapel before Mass began. The blessing of the altar took place before the presentation of the gifts.

In his address, Bishop John reminded those present that the church is first the people before it is a building. He urged them to remain united and to grow as a community.

After the Mass everyone adjourned outside for the cake-cutting and fellowship meal prepared by the Women’s League.

Over 500 people turned up for the event including representatives of St Michael Penampang, St Augustine Kinarut, the religious, and the donors.

The St Padre Pio Chapel is sited on a one-acre land donated by Leanardus Lokuntau, the chairman of the Labak Catholic Community. It used to be a fish pond. The construction was completed in December 2016 with the help of generous donors.

Labak is one of the two villages under St Augustine Kinarut.

The other is St Anne Punson Tampasak. In turn, St Augustine Kinarut is one of the zones under St Michael Penampang. – soccom/