It is Good to be Here
My name is Fr. Liam Durrant and I was born and brought up in London, England. I am delighted to have received a mission appointment to work in the Diocese of Miri. I arrived here at the beginning of May last year and have been assigned to work in St Dominic and the Rosary Church, Taman Tunku, Miri. I am living with a fellow Mill Hill Missionary, Fr Guido Gockel. I have been a Mill Hill Missionary for 32 years and have worked in Africa, the Philippines, Ireland and in my home country England. Most of my missionary life has been working with young men who wish to become Mill Hill Missionaries; some of these young men are now working here in Sarawak in the Diocese of Sibu. During my time in the Philippines, I had the privilege of working with the first Malaysian candidates for Mill Hill. ‘It is good to be here’ and I am beginning to feel at home in my new assignment. Having worked in the Philippines for almost twelve years I am no stranger to South East Asia nor am I a stranger to Malaysia as I would often come from the Philippines to attend Mill Hill Society meetings in Kuching and Sibu.
Fr. Terry Burke MHM, whom many of you know and who is sadly no longer with us, suggested the idea to me about coming to work in Malaysia. With the blessing of our General Superior and his Council and with the agreement of Bishop Richard Ng, Bishop of Miri I was assigned here to work with the local Church. These past few months have been spent getting to know Miri Diocese, its people and my fellow priests. I am in the process of learning Bahasa Malaysia and Iban; learning languages takes time and a lot of patience! I help with pastoral duties here and on a few occasions, have celebrated Mass with the Christians in a Kampong named Sungai Liam! I believe there is also a place somewhere in the Diocese called Long Liam, how interesting!
At the request of the Bishop and his Vicar General I now go every weekend to say Mass in a Mission Chapel at a place called “Bukit Peninjau”, which is a forty-minute drive from Miri. A Mill Hill Missionary opened the Mission in the 1960’s. The mission comes under the pastoral care of a neighbouring parish due a shortage of personnel. I look forward to these weekend pastoral visits, meeting the people and familiarising myself with rural life.
I was pleased to have met the ‘Friends of Mill Hill’ in Kuching and Miri. Thank you so much for your financial and Spiritual support in this very important apostolate of training future missionaries. I look forward to meeting many of you again. Please keep us all in your prayers and let us continue to pray for the soul of Fr. Terry Burke and all our deceased missionaries who have served the Church in Borneo. May they rest in peace. God bless you all.
Fr. Liam Durrant mhm