Irish priest praised for work in Kapit

Published October 3, 2013 by sarawak

by James Ling, Posted on October 2, 2013, Wednesday

KAPIT: Irish priest Reverend Father Thomas Connors has been praised for his work in Kapit for over 30 years.

Mary Immaculate Conception Church Kapit parish priest Father David Ho said the success and growth of the Roman Catholic church here can be attributed to Connors’ efforts.

“We are fortunate to have Father Thomas Connors, who came all the way from his home town in Ireland, leaving his family behind, to spread the good news of God to the people of Kapit long ago.

“He has been serving in the priesthood for some 50 years and 33 years as a priest in Kapit from 1966 to 1999 prior to his transfer to Sibu parish,” Ho said during a gathering to celebrate Connors’ golden jubilee as a priest on Sunday.

He pointed out that Connors travelled extensively to remote areas such as Long Singut, one of the remotest settlements in upper Baleh, during his Kapit stint.

Meanwhile, Connors said when he answered his calling as a priest and was posted to Sarawak, he had no idea what to expect.

“Throughout my 33 years of serving in Kapit, my experience here could never be imagined. It was beyond my wildest dreams. My stay in Kapit was too good to be true. I regard Kapit as my home with many fond unforgettable memories,” he said.

He cited an experience in Long Singut as one of his most unforgettable.

“When I arrived at Long Singut at that time, most of the villagers there were women, as the men were out on a mission to look for gaharu wood (agar wood). The following morning the women folk invited me for a hunting trip with their dogs, which I accepted willingly.

“We were paddling upriver when we saw about 100 wild boar by the riverbank ready to cross to the other side of the riverbank. As we got nearer, the women folk sprang into action followed by the dogs, leaving behind myself and a few others in the boat. A moment later as we paddled downriver, the women folk managed to kill 14 wild boars just by using spears!” he recalled.

On the growth of the church here, he concurred with Ho’s call for more local priests.

“Kapit needs local priests. There is no other meaningful work than to serve the kingdom of God, to work with God and to help God. I hope that in the years to come, those of you here can replace us,” he added.

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