Cardinal Sim of Brunei laid to rest

Cardinal Sim died on May 29 in a hospital in Taiwan while undergoing treatment for cancer

Cardinal Cornelius Sim of Brunei was laid to rest on Tuesday, June 14, following a funeral service attended by hundreds people.

The funeral Mass was presided over by Father Robert Leong, apostolic administrator of the Vicariate of Brunei, and was attended by the cardinal’s immediate family members and parishioners.

Several foreign dignitaries and other Christian leaders in the country also attended the funeral service that was held at the Our Lady of Assumption Church.

In his homily, Father Arin Sugit paid tribute to the cardinal “who touched the lives of many of us” in his ministry.

“I guess his greatest legacy is his love for the poor… and his love for the youth,” said Father Sugit, the youngest of the vicariate’s three priests.

Cardinal Sim, who served the Church in Brunei for more than three decades, died on May 29 in a hospital in Taiwan while undergoing treatment for cancer. He was 69 years old.

His remains arrived in Brunei on June 14 and a wake was held overnight. The prelate was interred at the Christian Cemetery in Kuala Belait, a town in the westernmost part of Brunei.

Born in 1951, Cardinal Sim was ordained as Brunei’s first local priest in 1989.

When St. John Paul II separated Brunei from the Diocese of Miri-Brunei and established the Apostolic Prefecture of Brunei, then Father Sim was appointed prefect.

In 2004, the pope raised Brunei to the rank of Apostolic Vicariate and appointed the priest as its first Apostolic Vicar.

In 2005, he was appointed bishop and in November 2020, Pope Francis created him a cardinal.

On May 6, a day before he left for Taiwan, the cardinal celebrated Mass with his flock and told them about his treatment, which was supposed to take six months.

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