St. Michael's Parish Penampang, P.O.Box 110, 89507 Penampang, Sabah

St. Michael’s Parish Cafeteria


A decent home is everybody’s dream. People would have different ideas on how a decent home should be.  However, there is always a common element for everyone no matter how complicated or how basic the design of a decent home would be.  There has to be a kitchen. Whether small or large, “the kitchen is the hub of the home”. It is where meals are created – the meals which fuel the bodies, minds and souls of friends and families. Some people even say that without a kitchen, a home would likely feel empty and confused, without a direction.

The idea of having a Parish Cafeteria is inspired by the concept of kitchen as the hub of the home. The Parish Cafeteria will be “the hub” of the parish where parishioners would sit down together as a big family, enjoying delicious cuisines while chitchatting on any topics from  simple talks to  serious subjects, like faith formation. It will be a place to welcome guests, making new friends and even just be there to relax with a cup of locally brewed coffee after the Sunday Mass.

A parish cafeteria that is functional and aesthetically pleasing will draw parishioners into the very heart of our parish and envelop them in the warmth of our parish. It is for these reasons that the Parish Cafeteria Ad Hoc Building Committee consented to the idea of building a “presentable” parish cafeteria that would be a “pride” for the parishioners of St. Michael’s, Penampang.


As a Parish Cafeteria, it belongs to the “parish” as a whole NOT just to one particular zone. But since St. Michael’s Church is the mother Church of all churches under Penampang Parish, it would be just right and fitting that the Parish Cafeteria should be built somewhere near the main Church. Having that in mind, the Ad Hoc Building Committee has agreed to build it adjacent to the Parish Pastoral Hall within Penampang zone (Google Map Coordinates: 5.9083141, 116.1103435).


The estimated budget is RM120,000. This cost is inclusive of the site preparation, building materials, labours charge, electrical and plumbing works. However, since we are currently experiencing economic fluctuation due to Covid-19 pandemic the initial budget could be deviated from the final budget. The cost could be more. We have not discussed  the contingency budget yet but it looks like it would have to be included as well.

Financial Funding

This section probably is the toughest issue. As I have already mentioned, we are now experiencing economic crisis. Some parishioners most likely would not be keen on the idea of doing any project at this time. But if one understands the Chinese word for CRISIS, he/she might have a different perception. The word CRISIS in Chinese is “wēijī”. It consists of two syllables that are written with two separate characters, wēi (danger) and jī (opportunity).  So, CRISIS is indeed a DANGER but also an OPPORTUNITY.  

We haven’t had Sunday Masses for the past few months. Most parishioners are now supporting the parish via online donation and understandably, the amount has significantly dropped from the usual Sunday collections. Not that they don’t want to contribute but (as I was made to understand) many are still not accustomed to the online banking transaction. Having this project around this time therefore, is an opportunity in the sense that our parish is giving a platform for parishioners to exercise their obligation to support the Church.

We proposed the following fundraising methods:

  • Online Bazaar
  • Parish Raffles

Again, many parishioners probably would raise their eyebrows at these fundraising methods. In the briefing on a new pastoral approach for parish financial supports a few months ago, I introduced the Parish Envelope System. It was supposed to replace the conventional fundraising methods which included those two methods above. But sadly, the concept of Parish Envelope System was not well-received. To-date less than 3% of the Penampang parishioners have responded. The last time I checked only 30 family have registered to the Mission Office for the Parish Donation Pledge. So, it looks like people in general still prefer the conventional way of fundraising.

1. Online Bazaar

I am proud to announce that the Catholic Women’s league (CWL) of Penampang has  truly been the proponent of the Parish Cafeteria proposal from day one. Even before the project commenced, the CWL has already collected a total of RM52,868.00. They conducted the first online Bazaar sometime in July, 2020 during the total lockdown. Even though not all CWL zones were able to participate they collected RM9,640. The second online Bazaar on July 2021 was a BIG success! This time it was participated by all CWL zones. They managed to raise a total of RM43,228.00.  CWL Penampang Zone alone collected a sum of RM20,000. Other CWL zones like Sugud, Minintod and Kinarut also did very well. I would like to thank all the CWL members for the efforts and hard works. Of course, honestly, I would expect more contribution from some Kg.CCs based on the report submitted to me by Datin Tracie Gom but overall, I am happy with all of our CWLs. They are awesome!

2. Parish Raffles

This second method is surely familiar to all but with a bit of modification on the Modus Operandi. We have organised the printing of 8,000 raffle tickets for this purpose.  All Kg. CC leaders will be responsible  to distribute these raffle tickets to all families in their respective Kg. CCs.  We have agreed to give 20% of the raffle sales to each Kg. CC. Hopefully, this incentive will motivate the leaders to do as many sales as possible. The ticket price is ONLY RM20.00 each and there are plenty of prizes waiting to be won. The grand prize especially is rare—an old-school Volkswagen Beetle, a pre-loved collection of Rev. Fr. David Sham. We will notify each Kg. CC leader to collect the raffle tickets from the Mission Office once they are ready. We hope to get them ready by the first week of September. The draw will be done on 29 December 2021. It falls on the Parish Family Day Celebration. So, it will make this event all the more exciting!


We were actually planning to start the Parish Cafeteria Project this month. Remember, we have been talking about it since last year (2020). But we are bound to the SOP due to the pandemic aside from the fact that we have yet to have sufficient fund. Regardless, we hope to start it the latest by October, 2021. If everything goes well, we could celebrate the opening of it by March 2022. Anyway, our Ad Hoc Committee will work out the details. We will post it in the Parish Website once it is ready.

Spiritual Motivation

As Christians we should always remember that God wants us to give because it shows that we recognize he is truly the Lord of our lives. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”. (James 1:17, NIV). Everything we own and everything we have come from God. So, when we give, we simply offer him a small portion of the abundance he has already given to us. 

Giving is an expression of our thankfulness and praise to God. It comes from a heart of worship that recognizes everything we have and give already belongs to the Lord. When we give freely to God, we receive freely from God. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”. (Luke 6:38, NIV)

Let us reflect on this little spiritual motivation and try to connect to this Parish Cafeteria Project. RM20.00 could be anything for you. Some might see it just as a small amount. Others, especially those who are not well-to-do might have a different opinion. But putting our contributions together, regardless of where we come from, we can make a difference. Not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love.

“Towards an amazing Parish”

Yours Sincerely,
Fr. Wilfred Atin
Parish Priest of Penampang
25 August 2021



In aid of St. Michael's Church New Cafeteria
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