Mission in St. Jude’s Parish, Claretians, Bunan-Tebedu was founded by Fr. Leopold Van Rooyen, a Mill Hill Missionary in 1968. It had a tiny beginning with few families converted to Christianity and initially our Catholic faith was centred on two villages nearer to BunanTembawang. By the missionary works of Fr. Leopold Van Rooyen, Christianity was slowly spreading around 32 villages around Bunan. Indeed, it was a commendable work of few village leaders and good hearted people who joined hands along with Fr. Leopold Van Rooyen for building up the Christian communities. Dedication of Mill Hill Missionaries brought a tremendous growth in our Catholic Faith. As Fr. Leopold Van Rooyen left Sarawak in 1993, Archdiocese of Kuching took over the Parish until 2015.
Claretians of Province of Chennai namely Frs. Berkmans and Anup Hemant Lakra landed Sarawak, Kuching Archdiocese, Malaysia on 2nd April 2012. They were serving as assistant Parish Priests in St. Jude’s Church. On 01.01.2016 Fr. Berkmans CMF was appointed as the 7th Rector of St. Jude’s Parish Bunan-Tebedu. On 16th July 2017, a historical event of erecting the First Claretian Community in Sarawak took place in St. Jude’s Church, Bunan. Now, our presence in Sarawak being expanded to Miri and Sibu Dioceses too. Fr. Arockiya Paul Raj CMF landed in Miri Diocese on 3rd Aug 2017 to begin his first ever over-sea mission in Sarawak. Frs. Kulandai Selvan CMF and Michael Amirtharaj CMF are sent to the Diocese of Sibu, Malaysia to start our community with the pastoral ministry among the students of Catholic schools on 30th September, 2019.
The blessing and consecration of the newly built St. Jude’s Church at Bunan, Malaysia took place on 16th February 2020. On this day Roman Missal and Lectionary translated in Bidayuh Serian (Local Dialect) were published officially by Archbishop Simon Poh and Archbishop Emeritus John Ha first time in Malaysia. The Gethsemane Pilgrimage Centre is the initiative of Claretian Missionaries along with St. Jude’s Parishnors which was blessed on 26th May 2019 by Most Rev Simon Poh, Archbishop of Kuching together with Archbishop Emeritus John Ha and Peter Chung and Rev Fr. Jesudoss CMF, Provincial Superior of Chennai Province, India. St. Jude’s Parish has 46 substations and 4 mission schools with 5000 catholic families. There are 11 Claretian Missionaries serving in Sarawak mission. All Claretian Missionaries are serving in Sarawak among the natives, trying to keep the faith alive by our dedicated services and with creative ministries.