Mill Hill Missionary Brother Alberto Rottensteiner passes away

Rottensteiner with Peter in Brixen four years ago.

MIRI: Mill Hill Missionary Brother Alberto Rottensteiner, well known for his selfless service to the Roman Catholic Church and especially to the people of Long San and Marudi, passed away at the age of 87 on Wednesday (April 29) in Brixen, Tyrol in Italy.

Rottensteiner was born in Italy on Sept 16, 1933 and came to Sarawak before the formation of Malaysia. He had Malaysian PR and spoke Kayan and Kenyah fluently.

Activist Peter Kallang, who had known him for 55 years, said Rottensteiner’s passing was a shock because they spoke just days before.

“So, so, very sad to hear that Brother Alberto, who used to serve in Miri Diocese for around 30 years, most of that time in Long San, had passed away on April 29 after lunch in the Mill Hill Retirement Home in Brixen, Italy.

“I saw the message by Fr Gerald Hamill on Facebook today (Thursday) and confirmed with a call to Fr Guido Gockel in Rome, Italy,” he told thesundaypost.

During a Skye call to Rottensteiner on Monday, Peter said Rottensteiner was still doing what he loved best – working in the garden and praying.

“I spoke for about five to 10 minutes with Brother Alberto and his last parting words were ‘Send my regards to the people in Long San and also to Bishop Lee (Bishop Emeritus Anthony Lee Kok Hin)’, and I told him that Long San is still as lively and vibrant as before,” said Peter.

He described Rottensteiner as prayerful, hard-working, friendly, soft spoken, disciplined, and an innovator who did so many things that changed lives in Long San, the Parish, and beyond.

“I’ve known him since I was a boy of 15, studying in Good Shepherd’s Primary School in Marudi in the early 1960s.

“In those days, I often helped him to carry planks or materials for his building construction projects when he was serving in Marudi. His contribution to build the Miri Diocese is like no other – very innovative, for example using old engines and fabricating them for ploughing machines and other farm inputs,” he said.

Peter added Rottensteiner also gave training and coaching on the co-operative society, agriculture, carpentry, and construction, including building St Pius’ School Long San, St Paul’s Church Long San.

“He also built the first micro hydro in Baram (probably the first in Sarawak) supplying electricity to the school and church, besides making the parish self-sustaining by investing in shophouses in Long Lama,” Peter said.

Peter said he last met Rottensteiner in person four years ago in Brixen, Italy and brought along Sarawak coffee, which Rottensteiner requested and loved so much.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/05/03/mill-hill-missionary-brother-alberto-rottensteiner-passes-away/