First Catholic Columbarium is now Open
KUCHING — The first Catholic columbarium in Sarawak was blessed and opened on 24 March by Archbishop Simon Poh.
Immediately after the Morning Mass, family members brought the urns of their departed loved ones in a procession to the new columbarium.
Archbishop Simon Poh opened and blessed the columbarium, assisted by Fr Francis Lim, SJ and Fr Francis Dakun. He then handed over the key of the columbarium to the Rector of St Peter’s Church, Fr Vincent Chin.
It was a moving moment to witness family members carrying the urns of their departed loved ones and interring them in the respective niches, their new ‘home’.
Also present was Fr Liam, MHM representing the family members of the late Fr Terry Burke, MHM, and Fr Michael Lee.
Worth a mention is the late George Yong, who is interred in the new columbarium. The late George was the architect who designed the columbarium free of charge.
Being the first Catholic columbarium in Sarawak, its construction was to provide a proper final resting place for those who opt for cremation. It is also a bringing back of an old tradition of the Catholic Church, where a cemetery is located next to the church, so that the departed are not forgotten.
Before the new columbarium was ready, the urns were kept at a temporary holding behind the church.
The new columbarium is located within the vicinity of St Peter’s Church, Padungan. It was completed early this year.
The columbarium will be opened from 7.00 am till 8.00 pm daily for the time being until the security access card system is in place.
The lay faithful are encouraged to visit the columbarium to pray for the departed.