Episcopal Ordination of Rev Fr Simon Poh Hoon Seng as the Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Kuching

More than 5,000 Catholics, from the Archdiocese of Kuching and other parts of Malaysia, celebrated the ordination ceremony of Auxiliary Bishop Simon Poh Hoon Seng, 52, on Sept 24 at Stadium Perpaduan.

Oct 08, 2015

KUCHING (Herald Malaysia): More than 5,000 Catholics, from the Archdiocese of Kuching and other parts of Malaysia, celebrated the ordination ceremony of Auxiliary Bishop Simon Poh Hoon Seng, 52, on Sept 24 at Stadium Perpaduan.

Archbishop John Ha was the principal consecrator, with Archbishop Emeritus Peter Chung and Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom the co-consecrators.

After the singing of the ancient hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, the Rite of Ordination began, with the homily by the principal consecrator Archbishop John Ha.

In his homily, Archbishop Ha said that the bishop-elect’s acceptance of the appointment as bishop entailed him having humility and the desire to serve the people

“As you well know, this office is one of service, not of honour. Its exercise requires a heart of humility and readiness to serve.”

“In exercising the pastoral care of Christ’s work and drawing people to it, you will always have to be mindful of Christ the good Shepherd. He knows his sheep and they know him,” Archbishop Ha reminded him.

He added that as Bishop, Fr Poh had to pray and to sacrifice himself for the people and to devote himself wholeheartedly to serving the Church to live up to his new appointment.

Archbishop Ha lauded Fr Poh for his close and generous cooperation with him since he took over as Archbishop of Kuching in 2003, and looked forward to working with the new bishop.

The ceremony continued with the promise of the Bishop-elect on matters of faith, followed by the Litany of Saints, laying of hands on the Bishop-elect and the prayer of ordination. Thereafter, the newly ordained Bishop was anointed with chrism and presented with the Book of Gospels.

The ring and mitre were presented by his parents to the ordaining bishop. Then, the staff was presented. After setting aside the pastoral staff, the newly ordained Bishop received fraternal kisses from the Archbishops and all the other Bishops present.

Immediately after he was ordained, Bishop Poh was welcomed by the community with a Cultural Welcoming Dance. The dancers were dressed in the traditional attire of the Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu and Melanau communities.

The Eucharistic Celebration continued with the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

The ordination was also witnessed by 19 Arch/bishops including Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Marino, 88 priests, 41 seminarians and members of religious orders in Malaysia and from Singapore and Brunei. Representatives of other Christian denominations and the Sarawak Bahai Assembly also attended the ordination.

Among the Ministers and dignitaries present were Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister, Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong and wife, Latin Sri Mary, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Leo Moggie, Tan Sri Celestine Ujang and wife, Datin Sri Elizabeth Ujang, Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum and wife, Datin Lucy Hon, Deputy State Secretary, Datuk Ose Murang and wife, Datin Valarie, State Legal Advisor, Datuk JC Fong and wife, Datin Annie Fong, Datuk Aidan Wing, Datuk Stephen Wan Ullok, and MBKS Mayor, Dato James Chan and wife, Datin Catherine.

Auxiliary Bishop Simon Poh Hoon Seng about Episcopal Ordination
“Today, as I stand in front of you as a bishop, it is not about me. It is about the Church gathered here. It is very beautifully put in our vision of the Archdiocese of Kuching (…), today we are celebrating our communion. We are one. Not only in the Archdiocese but throughout the world,” said newly ordained Bishop Simon Poh Hoon Seng.

Bishop Poh also thanked Fr Nicholas Ng, who was tasked with chairing the committee for the ordination and all those involved to make the celebration a success.

He once again brought the focus of the celebration of God’s blessing and mercy for the Archdiocese which is in the midst of a one-year preparation for the 40th anniversary of the Archdiocese and the Catholic Church in East Malaysia.

“May this episcopal ordination be, rightly, our thanksgiving to God as we celebrate our communion as Church, Celebrating God’s steadfast love and mercy.”

After sharing a little bit on his vocation, as well as on his family, he had this advice to parents, “Parents, give your children to God. (I assure you that) there will be blessings. Give thanks to our heavenly Father for he is exceedingly generous and he will give back 100-fold.”

Archbishop Joseph Salvador Marino about Episcopal Ordination
In his speech said, “The rich ordination ceremony which we have just witnessed and celebrated, places into focus one of the central characteristics of the Church, namely communion. That is the union that exists within the Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ.

He reminded Bishop Poh of his great responsibility upon entering the college of bishops. “Before us today, you promised that you would build up the body of Christ, the Church, in union with our Holy Father and in strict collaboration with Archbishop Ha.

“Your membership into the College of Bishops also brings about immediate pastoral consequences. Because, not only will you carry out your ministry in working with Archbishop Ha for the good of the Church in Kuching, but you also have a responsibility to show care and solitude and attention to the other churches throughout the world, especially to the ones who are suffering in need of support and care. And we know that there are many.”

Archbishop John Ha Tiong Hock about Episcopal Ordination
“For this I am grateful to you as bishop, you share my ministry even more closely and fully. Ours is not pastoral ministry of a parish but a diocese. Together therefore, we will pursue the vision the archdiocese and pastoral council set for the archdiocese at the archdiocese pastoral congress in 2012,” Archbishop John Ha added.

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