Fr Cosmas, members of the Pastoral Council, members of the Building Committee, parish groups, benefactors, parishioners, friends, ladies and gentlemen
Thank you for inviting me to your parish.
The opening and blessing of this new chapel is a historical event, not only to you but more so to me. It is historical to me because this is my first official function as the archbishop of KK to bless and open a new chapel. It is historical because it is the first of many more to come. I am sure there will be new chapels to be opened and blessed in other parishes in years to come. So Likas is the first. That’s why it is historical to me.
It is historical to you because the chapel is the first such building in the vicinity of Likas: an elegant, cosy and inspiring building for prayer and adoration.
When I first entered this chapel, I was attracted to the beautiful stained glasses which depict various images, both saintly and sacramental. The images straightaway led me through my faith journey and reminded me of the richness of my faith. The centrality of the magnificent tabernacle is drawing my attention to the presence of our Lord, who is there day and night for every believer to come and adore.
So, this new chapel is historical to you because it is the first of such buildings to be built since St Simon was elevated to the status of a parish. It is my prayerful hope that this chapel will attract daily worshippers to pray for their personal intentions and the intentions of your parish as well as those of our archdiocese.
Dear friends, in conjunction with the Year of Faith, I pray that Catholics in this archdiocese will set aside time every day to pray, for it is in that daily moment of communion with God that our faith grows.
In his apostolic letter at the beginning of the new millennium, Blessed John Paul II said, “Prayer cannot be taken for granted. We must learn to pray.” He therefore urged that “our Christian communities must become genuine schools of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly falls in love” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, no 32).
I hope the presence of this new chapel in Likas will spur your parish to be a school of prayer.
Finally, may I use this occasion to thank all of you for your kindness and generosity in raising the necessary funds for the new chapel. Special thanks also go to benefactors who are outside of this parish, those who have donated quite a sum to ensure that the project is completed. To the Building Committee, and of course, your parish priest Fr Cosmas, who has worked so hard to this day.
Thank you and may God bless each and every one of you.