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Sacred Heart Cathedral
Malay: Katedral Hati Kudus
5°57′54″N 116°04′19″E / 5.965°N 116.072°E / 5.965; 116.072
LocationKaramunsing, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
DenominationRoman Catholic
Founded1911 (Parish)
Dedicated22 June 1911 (original church)
14 August 1938 (rebuilt church)
11 December 1949 (rebuilt church/cathedral)
21 November 1981 (current cathedral)
Past bishop(s)John Lee Hiong Fun-Yit Yaw
Architect(s)Shen Dah Cheong (Principal)
Rev. Tobias Chi (advisor)
Completed1911-1938 (original church)
1938-1945 (rebuilt church)
1949-1979 (rebuilt church/cathedral)
1981 (current rebuilt cathedral)
ProvinceEcclesiastical Province of Kota Kinabalu
ArchdioceseKota Kinabalu
ArchbishopJohn Wong Soo Kau
RectorPaul Lo
Assistant priest(s)Russell Lawrine
Saimon William
Terans Thadeus

Sacred Heart Cathedral is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, and the seat of its current archbishop, John Wong Soo Kau. The current cathedral was built from 1979 to 1981, with its dedication held on 21 November 1981.


In early January 1903, Fr Henry van der Heyden first arrived in Jesselton. His aggressive policy of importing Chinese workers by the Chartered Company Government sudden flooded the town with the arrival of hundreds of Chinese immigrants. The mission was named Sacred Heart of Jesus in June 1903.

Panorama of the Sanctuary
Interior and Ceiling of the Cathedral

The bulk of the early Catholic community was made up of poor Hakka farmers in a completely new land striving to adjust to all the harsh conditions of a new life. Surrounded by experience of much struggles and suffering in their daily lives, Fr Heyden thought of God's compassionate love for His children in Borneo, and remembered that Jesus also suffered and died for them, which is possibly the reason the church was then named Sacred Heart.


See also