I read with great interest this article published in Catholic Sabah. Catholic Sabah is the official monthly Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of Kota Kinabalu and the Diocese of Keningau.
10 vehicles which belong to a Bishop, 8 Priests and a Deacon were damaged by one deranged mentally unstable person, at the Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre, situated near the foot of the famed Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
The internet version is here http://www.kkdiocese.net/home/latestnews.cnt?c=ll
BUNDU TUHAN (CS) - Certainly when the clergy, deacons and seminarians of the three arch/dioceses went to the Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre (BTRC) for their annual fellowship on Jan 5-6, they were not expecting anything unusual to happen to them.
On the morning of Jan 6, Fr Paul Lo happened to look out of his window and saw someone breaking the windscreen of one of the vehicles parked at the carpark between the retreat centre and the Franciscan Sisters' convent.
He notified the others who were having their breakfast.
When they went out to see for themselves, they saw the culprit breaking the windscreen of Fr Aloysius Fidelis' vehicle with a large stone.
According to a reliable source, the culprit, a local, has suicidal tendencies ever since he returned from Semenanjung Malaysia.
He was later caught by a RELA member. When questioned by the police, the culprit said he "hated to see tall buildings and beautiful cars."
The clergy lodged a police report.
The following is the list of those whose vehicles were damaged:
1. Fr Nicholas Stephen SAA 2907D (Tuaran)
2. Fr Michael Modoit SAA 2539A (IY)
3. Fr Aloysius Fidelis SD 366C (Papar)
4. Fr Edward Raymond SA 6993X (Kudat)
5. Fr Alex Jimsy SA3257 (Papar)
6. Bishop Julius Gitom SAA 1746T (Sandakan)
7. Fr Simon Kontou SS4545L (Lahad Datu)
8. Fr Charles Chiew SU3922A (Keningau)
9. Fr Boniface Kimsin SA 6375H (Toboh) and
10. Deacon Rayner Bisius SA 2372T (KK).
However, the car used by Bisius was slightly damaged and there was no broken glass.
Both Gitom and Kontou had to have their vehicles towed back to Sandakan after the fellowship.
While the clergy were dismayed by the event, they were able to take it into stride.
Thankfully it was only the vehicles that were damaged and not the clergy themselves.
According to the source, Archbishop John Lee told the clergy that the Lord must have a message for them through this event.
Never in its history since its opening on 12 Sept 1984 by the late Bishop Simon Fung has such a thing happened at the Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre.
Throughout its 24 years of existence, many groups - both local and international - have come to make their retreat or attend a seminar there, enjoying the serenity and coolness of the atmosphere and its relative isolation from busy towns has made it an ideal place for one to get away from the rat race.
But this incident serves to show that no one place is really safe nowadays and it is time to beef up the security of the place.
More importantly, it serves as a reminder to always place oneself and all places under the protection of the Lord and never take one's safety and that of our properties for granted, even in fairly sleepy places like BTRC.
The damage incurred was estimated to be around RM10,000.