Thursday, February 24, 2011
God bless you.. Rest in Peace Father Joseph Dapoz. He was well known because of his ability to remember names and places and he was very fluent in the Kadazan-Dusun language, the Sabahan native language despite being an Austrian.
As reported by the Star on 24th February, 2011
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s last foreign missionary priest, Father Joseph Dapoz (pic) has died at the Holy Family Senior Citizens Residence in Kg Purak, Papar, at the age of 91.
A nun at the residence, Sister Clara Orou, said Dapoz had been complaining about having diarrhoea since Sunday.
He died at about 7am on Monday, 21st February 2011.
“Despite his discomfort, he seemed his normal self and had even finished a bowl of porridge.
“But he had told me he wouldn’t be able to perform mass at the residence on Tuesday,’’ said Orou.
Dapoz will lie at the St Michael’s Church in Penampang until the funeral mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 8.30am on Saturday.
He will be buried at the Catholic cemetery at Mile 4.5 Penampang Road here.
Dapoz was well-known among both Catholics and non-Catholics especially for his ability to remember names and faces.
He was born in a mountain village in Tyrol, Austria, in 1920 and arrived in Sabah in 1948.
Dapoz was posted to various parishes over the decades and was fluent in Kadazandusun.
After retiring from active ministry, he took up residence at the Holy Family Residence in Kg Purak.
Picture published by Catholic Sabah, shows the celebration of Father Dapoz's 90th Birthday at the Holy Family Residence in Kg Purak, Papar.
“However, he continued to perform religious duties until he became wheelchair-bound about six years ago,” said Orou.
Dapoz is the last in a long line of Catholic foreign missionary priests who were posted to Sabah in the last 100 years.
In a book titled Portrait of the Last Dinosaur about Dapoz, he told co-authors Rita Lasimbang and Leonard Alanza that all his life had been devoted to answering God’s call, and that he was looking forward to God’s final call to him.
“When the phone rings, I’ll pick it up.
“He (God) has my number,” the authors wrote.
And that call came on Monday morning.
God bless Father Joseph Dapoz.
Rest in Peace.