Fr Christopher James Lee, loved by all he served

Fr Christopher James Lee passed away suddenly at the MAJODI Centre, June 14, age 56.

Jun 17, 2022

JOHOR BAHRU: Fr Christopher James Lee passed away suddenly at the MAJODI Centre, June 14, age 56.

When the Skudai Catholic Centre parish priest did not attend the Clergy Month Recollection on Tuesday morning, nor reply to text messages and phone calls, his assistant parish priest, Fr Lawrence Ng went looking for him after lunch. Fr Christopher was found unconscious on the bathroom floor in his room, and health officials pronounced him dead at about 3.30pm.

Born in Leicester, England on Oct 19, 1965, Fr Christopher was raised by a single mother. He completed his sixth form studies at St Paul’s Institution, Seremban in 1984 and went on to read Law. He obtained his Law degree from the University of London in 1991.

He sensed a calling to the vocation and to serve God in 1994 during a retreat organised by KLASE. Fr Anthony Naden was one of his spiritual directors at that time. In 2005, he submitted his application to join the priesthood to Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing SJ, who accepted it and sent him to Beda College in Rome, as he was a late vocation. The late Fr John Gnanapiragasam, whom Fr Christopher considered a close friend and mentor, supported his endeavour. Upon completing his studies, Fr Christopher returned to Malaysia in June 2009 and served at the Church of St Francis Xavier, Melaka under Fr Devadasan Madala Muthu. He was ordained to the ministry of the priesthood on Aug 31, 2009, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus together with Fr Cyril Mannayagam.

In Nov 2010, Fr Christopher was placed under the then Chancellor, Fr Anthony Ng, to study Canon Law with an emphasis on the Marriage Tribunal.

Fr Christopher had a deep devotion to the Divine Mercy. He often related that Christ’s mercy accompanied him throughout his life. He was also passionate about Adoration, and preaching the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

People described Fr Christopher as approachable and available, easy-going, and helpful. He loved photography and used to take pictures wherever he went. He could spend hours showing his pictures to anyone willing to view them.

Fr Christopher was loved by all whom he served.

The funeral Mass was held on Friday, June 17 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Bishop Bernard Paul was the main presider.

After Mass, the cortège left for burial at the Ulu Tiram Catholic Cemetery, Johor.

(Bishop Bernard Paul incensing the coffin of the late Fr Christopher Lee.)

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