Dear friends in Christ,

After three years of mission in Kapit Parish, and having lots of wonderful experiences there, I have now been transferred to my new parish in Song, around 48km from Kapit.

In June this year, I went to India for a two month holiday, this was after three years of service here in Sarawak. I really had a wonderful time with my family and friends. I returned to Sibu in August and went immediately to Song.

Song is a small town, situated on the banks of river Rejang, with a population consisting mainly of Iban but also some Chinese and Malay people. I am working together with Fr David Ho (Rector), a diocesan Priest.

Settling in

It has already been three months since I came here and I am very happy with my new surroundings. I have started to get to know both the place and the people, especially since I started going to our Longhouses for Masses and family visits.

We have two Chapels and 78 Long houses in the Parish. Some Longhouses we travel to by river and others we travel to by road. Since I am able to speak and understand Iban now, it’s easy for me to reach out to the people. We have daily Mass at 6:15am in English and on Sunday we celebrate Mass at 8:00am in Iban.

Co-workers in Christ

I am very happy to be here as a Mill Hill Missionary Priest working among the Iban people.

After the COVID-19 pandemic things are becoming normal again, and it is easy to reach out to people and care for their spiritual needs. I am very proud to be working in the Parish of Song as it was our Mill Hill Missionary pioneers who began the work here of sharing the faith and bringing education to the area.

They built the school and the church, all the while visiting the Longhouses to give witness to the faith and baptising people in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. As St Paul rightly said to the people of Corinthians:

‘I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.’

We, as Missionaries, are co-workers in the mission of Christ bringing the Good News to the people of all nations. So those first Mill Hill Missionary pioneers planted the seed of faith among the people, while at present I am the one watering the same seed of faith through God’s word and sacraments in order to keep the faith alive in the hearts of our people. But we must remember that only God can make their faith in Him grow stronger and stronger.

Continuing the Mill Hill legacy

I am very happy to be following in the long and rich tradition of the Mill Hill Missionaries who have faithfully witnessed to the Gospel here before me. I feel proud to be a part of that Missionary Spirit and I am immensely happy to be working as a co-worker in Song Parish. I am humbled by the task I have been given to water the seed of faith daily with the word of God, helping the people of this parish to keep their faith alive and active.

I pray that the Spirit of God may inspire me, and other Missionaries, to continue watering the seed of faith that our Missionary forebears planted. Overall, I am blessed and happy to be a part of God’s mission in the beautiful surroundings of Sarawak, especially the places along the banks of the Rejang river.

With every blessing,

Fr Michael MHM