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He presided over the first staff Mass at the chapel of Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing. Joining the cathedral staff were the staff of the Archdiocesan Centre Penampang.
In the history of the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish, this is a first for an Archbishop to assume the role of parish priest. Such action is within the canonical rights and duties of the Archbishop, which include appointment of parish priests. Nevertheless such appointments have always been made through a process of consultation.
Canonically speaking, the Cathedral is the principal church in the diocese in which the bishop usually presides, teaches, and conducts worship for the whole church community. The bishop has his fixed chair (cathedra, elevated seat) permanently erected in the Cathedral as a sign of authority.
Assisting him at the altar were assistant priests: Fr Jeffri Gumu, Fr Wilfred Atin, Fr Rhobby Mojolou, Fr Mitchelly Kiun, Deacon Abel Madisang and Seminarian Joshua Liew.
Archbishop John Wong told the staff that he was happy that the staff could come together to share Easter joy and to encourage one another through such joy. Taking the cue from the liturgical readings of the Easter Octave, he called on the staff to become witnesses of this joy in spite of difficulties for the Risen Lord has promised that His Peace would be given them.
“Do not be troubled or be anxious, for He has renewed the whole creation, and our life. Allow Him to take over your life and be filled with His Presence and Joy. It doesn’t matter who or what you are. Though you may be a ‘tukang sapu’, you are a special child of God”, said the bishop.
He continued, “In whatever different capacity you may serve, Jesus believes in you, and entrusts to you your role. Offer your life to this community, this diocese, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, fulfill what He has entrusted to you in this family.”
With this, and many other words, he encouraged the parish workers to fulfill their call to serve the Lord of the parish, that is, Jesus Himself.
An Easter fellowship meal, with some light fun activities, followed after the Mass at the canteen area.