Sibu Catholic Diocese ordains Johanaz Ling as priest

Thousands attend Ling’s priestly Ordination Mass.

SIBU (Feb 2): The Sibu Catholic Diocese welcomed Revd Johanaz Ling, 34, to the Presbyterate on Jan 25, 2023 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Bishop of Sibu, the Rt Revd Joseph Hii, presided over the Mass attended by thousands of Catholics.

In his homily, Hii said Ling entered the priesthood on his own free will and with a clear conscience.

“He was sent to his mission to continue God’s ministry and serve the people of God,” Hii said, adding his hope that the Word of God would regenerate all Catholics.

Hii presides over Ling’s ordination as priest.

Ling, who is from Sarikei, said his calling to the priesthood started when he was nine years old.

However, as a young boy he did not yet understand his calling.

“I was inspired by Father Thomas Connor, the way he served the Mass, his kindness and so forth. I told myself that I wanted to be like him. But I did not realise it was a calling.

“Growing up, my father had been very strict making sure we prayed the rosary, we went to Masses, and so forth,” he shared.

Ling said he started to seriously contemplate his calling to the priesthood after Form 6 in 2011.

He then made a decision to meet Hii, who asked him to stay at Christ the King Church in Bintangor for a year to experience priesthood.

Ling did so with Revd Philip Hu and Revd Simon Lau.

In 2012 and 2013 he studied at College General Penang as a preinitiation year before being sent to St Peter’s College in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah the following year.

After that he was sent to study at St Peter’s College in Kuching for six years.

(From front sixth left) Hii, Ling, and other clergy are seen in a group photo after the Ordination Mass.

“I graduated in 2020 and I was posted to do pastoral work at Sacred Heart Cathedral Sibu. I spent one year for pastoral work from 2021 to 2022.

“Then, on May 26, 2022, I was posted to Mary Immaculate Conception Church, Kapit. I was then ordained as a deacon on June 3, 2022,” he said.

Ling said when he told his parents of his desire to enter the priesthood, they were very supportive.

“My father said that if God called me to priesthood, then I should go try it. They encouraged and supported me all the way,” he recalled.

Ling said he would now continue his mission to evangelise.

“It is a journey and along the way, I will become a better person. I am just continuing God’s mission,” he said, adding that this is a journey he knew he would enjoy despite the challenges and difficulties.

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