Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

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Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu

Archidioecesis Kota Kinabaluensis

Keuskupan Agung Kota Kinabalu
KotaKinabalu Sabah Sacred-Heart-Cathedral-01.jpg
Sacred Heart Cathedral
Ecclesiastical provinceKota Kinabalu
MetropolitanKota Kinabalu, Sabah
Coordinates5°57′52.53″N 116°4′20.87″E / 5.9645917°N 116.0724639°E / 5.9645917; 116.0724639Coordinates: 5°57′52.53″N 116°4′20.87″E / 5.9645917°N 116.0724639°E / 5.9645917; 116.0724639
Area55,215 km2 (21,319 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2018)
228,251 (15.32%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteLatin Rite
Established1976, 2008
CathedralSacred Heart Cathedral
Secular priests41 (1 Retired)
Current leadership
Metropolitan ArchbishopMost Rev. Datuk John Wong Soo Kau
Vicar GeneralRev. Msgr. Primus Jouil
Bishops emeritusMost Rev. Datuk John Lee Hiong Fun-Yit Yaw

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu (Lat: Archdioecesis Kotakinabaluensis) is a Metropolitan archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in Sabah, a state of Malaysia on the island of Borneo.

The Archdiocese is the oldest ecclesiastical territory in Malaysia, with a long history slowly rising along with the Catholic population all the way from a prefecture to an Archdiocese with 2 suffragans, the Diocese of Keningau and the Diocese of Sandakan.

Its Cathedral archepiscopal see is Sacred Heart Cathedral, Kota Kinabalu.


Originally erected on 4 September 1855 as the Apostolic prefecture of Labuan and Borneo, created on territory split off from the then Apostolic Vicariate of Batavia (Java) (including the neighbouring Dutch East Indies).

On 5 February 1927 it was renamed the Apostolic Prefecture of Northern Borneo, and lost territory to form the Apostolic Prefecture of Sarawak.

On 14 February 1952 the prefecture was promoted to Apostolic Vicariate of Jesselton, hence entitled to a titular bishop. On 22 March 1962 its name was changed once more to the Apostolic Vicariate of Kota Kinabalu, after its see.

On 31 May 1976 the vicariate was elevated to a full Diocese of Kota Kinabalu, suffragan in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kuching.

The diocese lost territories twice, to create its present suffragans :

  • on 17 December 1992 the diocese the Diocese of Keningau with the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Datuk Cornelius Piong.
  • on 16 July 2007 the Diocese of Sandakan with the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Datuk Julius Dusin Gitom.

On 23 May 2008, the diocese was elevated to Metropolitan Archdiocese, whose ecclesiastical province comprises the above suffragan dioceses, both formerly part of the original territory of the diocese of Kota Kinabalu: the Diocese of Keningau and the Diocese of Sandakan.

On 21 June 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Rev. John Wong Soo Kau, director of the aspirants’ formation house in Kota Kinabalu, as Coadjutor Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu. His ordination took place on 1 October 2010.

As of 2013 the Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu is Most Rev. Datuk John Wong Soo Kau, appointed in 2010. His predecessor was Most Rev. Datuk John Lee Hiong Fun-Yit Yaw, appointed in 1987 and retired on 1 December 2012.


Apostolic Prefects of Labuan and Borneo[edit]

Apostolic Prefects of Labuan and Northern Borneo[edit]

  • Mgsr. Thomas Jackson, MHM (18 July 1881 – 20 October 1895)
  • Mgsr. Edmund Dunn, MHM (4 May 1897 – 5 February 1927)

Apostolic Prefects of Northern Borneo[edit]

  • Mgsr. August Wachter, MHM Matyr. (26 July 1927 – 1945)
  • Mgsr. James Bius, MHM, (18 January 1947 - 14 February 1952)

Apostolic Vicars of Jesselton/Kota Kinabalu[edit]

  • Rt. Rev. James Buis, MHM (1 May 1952 – 1969)
  • Rt. Rev. Peter Chung Hoan Ting, DD (15 Nov 1970 – 30 January 1975)
  • Rt. Rev. Simon Michael Fung Kui Heong, DD (29 August 1975 – 31 May 1976)

Bishops of Kota Kinabalu[edit]

Archbishops of Kota Kinabalu[edit]

List of parishes[edit]

As of 2018, there are 19 parishes including various sub-parishes and 305 Outstations found in the Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu.

  • Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish (Sacred Heart Cathedral, Karamunsing including the sub-parishes of Church of Mary Immaculate, Bukit Padang and Carmelite Monastery Chapel, Karamunsing)
  • St Pius X Church Parish, Bundu Tuhan, Ranau
  • St Paul's Church Parish, Dontozidon, Penampang (including sub-parishes Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Kobusak and St John's Chapel, Kopungit, Nosoob)
  • St Catherine's Church Parish, Inanam, Kota Kinabalu (including sub-parishes of Church of the Good Shepherd, Manggatal, Kota Kinabalu, and Church of the Divine Mercy, KKIP, Sepanggar, Kota Kinabalu)
  • Holy Trinity Parish, Inobong, Penampang (including sub-parishes Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Babagon, Penampang / Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Inobong, Penampang (centre) / Church of St Joseph the Worker, Pogunon, Penampang / Church of the Presentation, Pongobonon, Buayan, Penampang / Church of Christ the King, Kipouvo, Penampang / Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Togudon, Penampang / St Martin, Moyog, Penampang / Church of the Holy Cross, Togudon, Penampang / Church of St Andrew the Apostle, Longkogungan, Babagon, Penampang / Church of the Risen Christ, Timpangoh, Babagon, Penampang)
  • St Joseph the Husband of Mary Church Parish, Kiulu, Tuaran (including sub-parishes) St Martin's Church, Malanggang, St Michael the Archangel Church, Lokub and St John Vianney Church, Pukak)
  • St Edmund's Church Parish, Kota Belud
  • St Theresa's Church Parish, Kota Marudu
  • St Peter's Church Parish, Kudat
  • Blessed Sacrament Church Parish, Labuan
  • St Simon Catholic Church Parish, Likas, Kota Kinabalu
  • Holy Rosary Parish, Limbahau, Papar (including sub-parishes St Patrick's Church, Kinuta and St Sabina's Church, Titimbuongon)
  • St Joseph's Church Parish, Papar
  • St Michael's Church Parish, Penampang
  • St Peter Claver's Church Parish, Ranau
  • Stella Maris Church Parish, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu (including sub-parish of St Thomas More Church, Kepayan, Kota Kinabalu and St Catherine Laboure Church, Putatan, Penampang)
  • Holy Family Church Parish, Telipok, Kota Kinabalu
  • Holy Nativity Church Parish, Terawi, Penampang (including sub-parishes Our Lady of Fatima Church, Talang Taun, Ulu Putatan, Penampang, St Simon the Zealot Church, Duvanson, Putatan, Penampang and St Peter the Apostle Church, Tombovo, Putatan, Penampang)
  • St John's Church Parish, Tuaran (including sub-parishes St Mary's Church, Topokon, St Philip the Apostle Church / St Clare of Assisi Church, Tamparuli and St James's Church, Tenghilan)



Most Reverend Datuk John Wong Soo Kau, DD

Secular Priests[edit]

Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, Kota Kinabalu/St Paul Church Parish, Dontozidon

  • Rector: Rev Paul Lo
  • Asst PPs: Rev Russel Lawrine, Rev Saimon William

Catholic Archdiocesan Centre, Kota Kinabalu

  • Rector: Rev Isidore Gilbert

Aspirants Formation House, Kota Kinabalu

  • Rector: Rev Joshua Liew

St Peter's College (Initiation Year), Kota Kinabalu

  • Director: Rev Mattheus Luta

Stella Maris Church Parish, Tanjung Aru

  • Rector: Rev Msgr Primus Jouil
  • Asst PP: Rev Peter Abbas

St Pius X Church Parish, Bundu Tuhan

  • Rector: Rev Michael Modoit
  • Asst PP: Rev Tony Mojiwat

St Catherine Church Parish, Inanam/Holy Family Church Parish, Telipok

  • Rector: Rev David Sham
  • Asst PPs: Rev Mitchelly Kiun, Rev Mattheus Luta

Holy Trinity Parish, Inobong

  • Rector: Rev Alex Sipanul
  • Asst PP: Rev Jack Sigam

St Joseph Husband of Mary Church Parish, Kiulu

  • Rector: Rev Erik Jerome
  • Asst PP: Rev Postinus Kurup

St Edmund Church Parish, Kota Belud

  • Rector: Rev Ambrose Atang
  • Asst PP: Rev Florian Marcus

St Theresa Church Parish, Kota Marudu/St Peter Church Parish, Kudat

  • Rector: Rev Jalius Sading
  • Asst PP: Rev Wiandigool Runsab

Blessed Sacrament Church Parish, Labuan

  • Rector: Rev Thomas Madanan

St Simon Catholic Church Parish, Likas

  • Rector: Rev Cosmas Lee

Holy Rosary Church Parish, Limbahau/St Joseph Church Parish, Papar

  • Rector: Rev Thomas Yip
  • Asst PP: Rev Rayner Bisius

Holy Family Residence, Purak, Papar

  • Residing Priests: Rev Aloysius Fidelis, Rev Jimsy Jolius

St Michael Church Parish, Penampang

  • Rector: Rev Wilfred Atin
  • Asst PP: Rev Gilbert Marcus

Vianney Home, Penampang

  • Residing Priest: Rev Daniel Jomilong

St Peter Claver Church Parish, Ranau

  • Rector: Rev Nicholas Stephen
  • Asst PP: Rev Francis Tsen

Holy Nativity Church Parish, Terawi

  • Rector: Rev Frederick Raymond
  • Asst PP: Rev Johnny Raju

St John Church Parish, Tuaran

  • Rector: Rev Edward Raymond
  • Asst PP: Rev Abel Madisang

Religious Priests[edit]

Societas Sancti Trinitas (Clerical Society of the Most Holy Trinity) of Mirinae, South Korea

Woori Jib St Francis Xavier Children's Home Potuki, Penampang

  • Director: Rev Andrew Kim YJ, S.S.T
  • Asst Priest: Rev Lawrence Kim JS, S.S.T.

Priests on Study Leave[edit]


  • Rev Jeffri Gummu (Manila)
  • Rev Maxmilliano Hontor (Manila)
  • Rev Rhobby Mojolou (Rome)


  • Rev Leslie Joseph Bingkasan, SJ (Rome)

Priests Serving Abroad[edit]

  • Rev Francisco Basnayake, OFM (St Joseph Church, Edgecliff, in the Archdiocese of Sydney)
  • Rev Claurence Motoyou, OFM (Church of Immaculate Conception in the Diocese of Melaka-Johor)
  • Rev Cruzender Alex, OFM (St Vincent de Paul Parish, Archdiocese of Singapore)
  • Rev Ernesto Lagan (Diocese of Kaohsiung, Taiwan)


Religious Orders[edit]

Religious Men[edit]

  • Brothers of the Christian School (FSC); De La Salle Brothers
  • Brothers of St Gabriel (SG); Gabrielite or Monfort Brothers
  • Clerical Society of the Most Holy Trinity (SST)
  • Marist Brothers of the Schools (FMS)

Religious Women[edit]

  • Discalced Carmelite Nuns (OCD)
  • Daughters of St Paul (FSP)
  • Good Shepherd Sisters (RGS)
  • Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC)

Media Apostolate/Social Communications[edit]


  • Catholic Sabah (fortnightly newspaper) Established in 1957
  • Lu (Chinese bimonthly)


  • Catholic Books Distribution Centre (088-723973)
  • Paulines Media Centre (In Charge: Sr Magdalene Chong FSP; 088239932)

See also[edit]

Sources and external links[edit]