BINTULU – Over 2000 Catholics gathered in St Anthony’s Church on 7 October to witness the priestly ordination of Fr Peter Hwang Yiek Siong, the first local priest from Bintulu.
The ordination ceremony was presided by Bishop Anthony Lee Kok Hin, Bishop of Miri.
Bishop Lee, in his homily, exhorted parents not to be afraid in offering their children to God but to follow the example of Mary and Jesus. Like Mary, she willingly surrendered her Son to save the world and like Jesus he surrendered his Mother so that he can fulfill the will of the Heavenly Father.
Bishop Lee then thanked the parents of Fr Peter Hwang for their generosity and invited the local community to pray for more young men and women to say ‘yes’ to God’s calling.
The Mass ended with light refreshments outside the Church compound. A thanksgiving dinner was later held at a local restaurant, with 800 Catholics present.
In his speech, Bishop Lee commended the young men who are willing to follow the footsteps of Jesus by saying ‘Yes’ to God’s call despite the modern-day attractions and temptations. He reminded all those present to remember their priests in their daily prayer.
The evening saw the presentation of traditional dances and group singing from various ethnic groups in the Church.
Fr Peter Hwang, 28, is the second son of three children of Francis Hwang (retired headmaster of St Anthony’s Primary School) and Mary Lee. Earlier this year, Fr Peter was installed a Deacon by Bishop Lee at Stella Maris Church at Jalan Tanjong Kidurong.