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KUCHING – Thousands attended the installation of Most Rev Simon Poh as third Archbishop of Kuching Archdiocese on 20 Mar 2017 at St Joseph’s Cathedral here.
Those who came included the region’s arch/bishops, local politicans, and interfaith leaders.
In his homily Abp Poh said:
This simple and noble man, St Joseph, has inspired the Kuching Archdiocese in education, in the mission school that is St Joseph School, which is now opening a St Joseph private school and St Joseph international school. St Joseph was also my school and the school for many priests here.
Holistic education for life is one of the missions that I, as Archbishop, will work with the priests, brothers, religious, and importantly lay principles, headmasters and workers especially school teachers to foster.
Joseph also worked with his hands as a carpenter and today…throughout the world, we have Labour Day; we emulate by celebrating St Joseph the worker. …It means that the Church gives dignity to work and the human persons are servants of the Lord. We are called to get our hands dirty, to open the doors of our Church and get out into the streets serving the poor and the needy.
The archdiocese of Kuching embarks on the 3R process (Review, Reassessment and Renewal.) We are going through this process by using a questionnaire. I am glad that it is also available online. We are seeking a vision of what we want our Church to be and seek ways to live this vision in our parishes.
The new archbishop invited all the faithful to bring the questionnaire to the kampungs and all corners of their parishes so that the voice of the least, the last, the lost and the little would be heard.
The prelate concluded his homily by expressing his gratitude and loyalty to Pope Francis. He pledged his commitment to the faithful, Religious, Priests of the Archdiocese of Kuching and to the Malaysian Church, building on the good work that had begun with Archbishop Emeritus Peter Chung and carried on by Archbishop John Ha.
Archbishop John Ha in his speech expressed his gratitude to the Holy Father for accepting his request to resign from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Kuching and for appointing Poh as his successor.
The Diocese of Kuching was created as the Apostolic Prefecture of Sarawak by Pope Pius XI on 5 Feb 1927. On 14 February 1952, it was promoted to Apostolic Vicariate of Kuching by Pope Pius XII. Finally, it was elevated to the rank of a metropolitan archdiocese by Pope Paul VI on 31 May 1976, with the suffragan sees of Miri and Sibu.
Kuching has the largest Catholic population in the state.
There are 11 parishes, with an estimated Catholic population of 197,134. There is a mixture of various religions and languages in Kuching. Kuching’s population consists of Malays, Chinese, Iban, Bidayuh, other Bumiputras, Melanau, Indian and others. The Chinese consist of Foochow, Teochew, Hainan, Cantonese, Henghua and others. – HeraldMalaysiaonline