The site is in Kpg Dimbaan, Putatan, a quarter kilometre from the Putatan/Penampang road, and is on a hilltop overlooking the Putatan new township and behind the Putatan Servay Hypermarket.
The ceremony was performed by Reverend Arch Bishop Datuk John Lee, the Bishop of the Diocese of Kota Kinabalu, and witnessed by more than 200 faithfuls coming from the surrounding kampongs and parishioners from Stella Maris Church.
Despite the muddy condition of the site caused by the heavy rainfall the previous night, coupled with the early morning drizzle that made the organisers worried about poor attendance, the faithfuls however turned up in droves to be a part of this historic event.
Former Penampang district officer Stephen Sondoh welcomed all those present, in particular Reverend Lee for coming to officiate at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Sondoh first conceptualised the idea of building a new church in Putatan, a dream he had after he recovered miraculously from illness prior to retiring in February 2007.
He is also chairman of the Steering Committee while Rev Fr Fundes Motiung, Rector of Stella Maris Parish Church is the adviser.
Putatan MP Dr. Marcus Mojigoh who was also present said he was confident the project would be realised with the support of the faithful and the Diocese of Kota Kinabalu.
He pledged his undivided support to ensure the implementation of the church is carried out smoothly.
He would render his assistance in his capacity as MP of Putatan to see that the “dream” of the faithful in Putatan to have their own church is realised.
Dr Marcus also thanked members of the surrounding community for their “Mitaatabang” spirit that was very much evident when they cleared the surrounding site prior to the groundbreaking ceremony.
Meanwhile, Reverend Lee congratulated the Steering Committee as well as the Building & Technical Committee for their strong commitment in building the new church despite encountering financial limitation and constraint in financing the project.
He urged the faithful to rally behind the committee headed by Stephen and John Anthony respectively in order to successfully complete the project on time together with the bridge linking from the main road on the other side of the river to the site.
The Church, said Reverend Lee, will be the rallying point for the faithful to grow in their Christian faith.
“The building might be shaken but the faithful who are strong in their faith will not be shaken,” the Arch Bishop added.
The whole project is estimated to cost at RM3.95 millions and is to be implemented in stages depending on the collection from fund raising and donations from the public. As of May 10, a sum of RM200,945.92 (5.02 per cent of the project cost) has been collected.
Donors can either contribute in kind (bricks) or in cash. Cash contributions can be channelled through appointed members only or donate direct through Maybank payable to “RTDKK St. Catherine of Siena Church, Putatan, Sabah, Malaysia” under account no: 510189007514.
AK : Funny why direct funding from State Government to individual churches cannot be done. In most case, Christian individuals have to ‘korek their kocek’ donating $$$ in church building. The land itself donated by Madam Catherine Moinin. This is far different procedure compare to brotherly muslims. Malaysia bole..?