"You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while" Mark 6:31
Background History….. the beginning
The history began first with the Sacred Hearts Minor Seminary
The building of this Sacred Hearts’ Minor Seminary was first mooted by Josef Cardinal Tomko, the Prefect of Congregatio Pro Gentium Evangelizatione in his letter dated 13th October 1990 to His Right Rev. Lordship Dominic Su, the Bishop of the Diocese of Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia. It’s main purpose was to be a preparatory Seminary to prepare the interested candidates for the Major Seminary. This idea was soon taken up with Rome and the green light was given to proceed with the project.
By March 1991, the site covering an area of 4.7 acres situated 10 miles away from Sibu town was identified and purchased. In June 1991, the architectural plan was ready. Soon this plan’s approval was obtained from Rome. The construction of its first phase began in the middle of 1992 and was fully completed in the last quarter of 1994.
The Sacred Hearts’ Minor Seminary began its first intake of aspirants on 1st December 1994 with Rev. Fr. Francis Su as its first Rector. It began with a total of six aspirants coming from the Sibu Diocese and the Archdiocese of Kuching, Sarawak. The formation programmes, a two-years course, were on Spirituality, Scriptures, Catechism, English Language Course and pastoral exposures. After this, the aspirants would continue their 7- years priestly formation programmes at St. Peter’s College, Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Kuching.
Decision made then, was to convert it into a Diocesan Pastoral Centre.
When it was re-opened in February 1998, Rev. Paul Chee was appointed as the priest-in-charge till May 1999. Mr Peter Ting was then appointed as the administrator until November 2000. Subsequently, Rev. Fr. Philip Su took charge from December 2000 till April 2001. In June 2001, Rev. Fr. Paul Chee resumed as the priest-in-charge of this retreat centre.
The Birth of Sibu Diocesan Pastoral Centre
His Lordship Bishop Dominic Su saw the need to provide the Diocese with the much needed facilities for its diocesan spiritual and pastoral formation activities. In December 1997, he sought Rome’s approval to start the construction of the second phase of the Sacred Heart’s Minor Seminary project. Finally, the green light was given to commence this second phase.
The commencement of this second phase of the Sacred Heart’s Minor Seminary, later named as “Sibu Diocesan Pastoral Centre”, began in the last quarter of 1998. Its left wing with its centre portion was finally completed around September 1999.