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shepherds-voiceFirst of all, I want to thank each and every one of you, especially my brother bishops and priests, and those of you who come from far and near, for joining me in celebrating my succession to the seat of Kota Kinabalu.  We celebrate this event not only for me, but above all, for continuity of leadership and tradition.

Archbishop Emeritus John Lee has served us for more than 25 years as our shepherd.  Many of you would agree with me that he has served us well, a lot of time with great love, dedication, patience and understanding.  He has also led us through some changes in pastoral moves: from one diocese in Sabah to three, from a pastoral approach based on annual PAX themes to one that is moving towards a Diocesan Vision.

The beauty in the tradition of the Church is that we have what is called the “apostolic succession.”  The bishops are connected to the apostles, who were entrusted by Christ to continue His mission.  When a bishop retires or dies, he is succeeded by a new bishop selected by the Church.  This tradition has been firmly established since the time of the apostles.  Today, we are here to witness the continuity and living out of this tradition.

At this moment I have a lot of mixed feelings.  It is my hope that in this Year of Faith, we will live out our Christian faith in words and actions.  The command to “go and preach the Good News” is a vocation for all — priests, religious and laity.  But it is through our life witnessing that modern people will slowly recognise and believe in Jesus Christ.

Finally, I wish to thank each and everyone  for your presence and contribution to the celebration this morning.  Thank you to those who contribute in the forefront, those who work behind the scene, those who donate in cash and kind, and those who pray for the success of this event.  May God bless you generously.

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