Pastoral Care ministry urged to give charity to all

The outreach team of St Simon Catholic Church Likas Pastoral Care Ministry visited Kg Gosusu recently.

Nov 03, 2018

By Joan Pang
The outreach team of St Simon Catholic Church Likas Pastoral Care Ministry visited Kg Gosusu recently.

“Go out as a community to help the communities in need. Remember to give charity to all — be non-selective,” advised parish rector Fr Cosmas Lee as he blessed them.

Nineteen members, in eight heavy-duty vehicles and a lorry packed with goods took three and a half hours to reach the village.

After a small hiccup along the way, the team finally reached its destination — a small but neat village, sitting at the bank of a seasonal river in a valley.
Kampong chief Jose Latah, catechist Alpheus and some 40 women and children were on hand to welcome us at a small but solid community hall built of wood and bamboo.

After a welcome speech, Alpheus shared his vast experience of catechist work in various kampungs in the East Coast of Sabah over the past 30 years.

Although there are about 200 Catholics among the kampong folks here, the village is blessed to have Alpheus to guide them on the Catholic faith.

A tiny but well-maintained chapel of the Assumption of Our Lady sits on a slightly higher ground in the vicinity. In front of it is a grotto that houses an immaculate white porcelain statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Alpheus said the grotto was constructed two years ago with stones from the river.

“The majority of our construction materials such as stones and bamboos are extracted from the vicinity,” he said, adding that they grow vegetables or gather them from the wild. They also rear chickens.

Under lead coordinators James and Dominic, who tirelessly coordinated with the Gosusu community leaders well ahead of our visit, the construction of a Tadika kitchen adjacent to the school had been completed. These were also located near the community hall. A young teacher, Evelyn Vincent, is employed at the Tadika to teach six pre-school students.

The team brought school furniture comprising four long desks and 16 stools, as well as gas tanks, rice and various dried food, sundries and other requested necessities.

The lack of electricity in the area was the reason why few children to go to school.

The team was determined to fix the damaged solar power panels to improve the situation.

Alpheus said there could be even less students next year as the older children would go to the public school in town. He was, however, determined to remain as the catechist and protect every sheep and not let even one be lost.

Besides teaching about the Catholic faith, Alpheus also taught hymns. When they serenaded God with thanksgiving songs, you could feel that they sang from their hearts as their voices filled the valley and rose upwards, merging with the chirping of birds and the cries of the eagles.

This reminded us of what Fr Lee said, “We need to be humble and learn from the people that we are visiting. They lead a simple life, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.”

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