SINGAPORE: The new head of the Catholic Church in Singapore was ordained in a three—hour ceremony on Friday evening.
Coadjutor Archbishop William Goh will take over from Archbishop Nicholas Chia, who will be retiring in April when he turns 75.
About 14,000 people witnessed the ceremony at the Max Pavilion at the Singapore Expo.
Also in attendance were President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and other MPs.
Members of the Catholic community, who showed up more than two hours before the ceremony started, got a pleasant surprise when the new Archbishop arrived early to greet them.
He told Channel NewsAsia that his immediate priorities will be to engage the youth in the Catholic Church here.
William Goh, Coadjutor Archbishop, said: "I would like to pay particular attention to the young people because this is the important lot of people in the church. They are vibrant, they are creative, they are full of energy, so the church needs to reach out to these young people, so I would like to meet them too, and to understand their aspirations and how they can contribute to the growth of the church.
"Besides this, I would like to visit the parishes because basically I feel the bishop must be in touch with people’s needs. Wherever possible I would like to visit the parishes to reach out to them and to see what are their needs. Restudy the structure of the church, especially the organs of the church, how we can make it more effective, more efficient so that there will be better communication and understanding, and together the church can work in unity."
He added that he feels humbled and grateful.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong extended his congratulations to the new Archbishop.
In the foreword of the commemorative booklet of the Ordination, he wrote that the Catholic Church has played a significant role in Singapore’s history, and forms a key part of its diverse religious landscape.
"It has worked hard to build links and trust with other religious groups, and to foster the religious harmony that we enjoy and treasure in Singapore. The Catholic Church also has a long and illustrious history of providing excellent educational and social services to Singaporeans, regardless of race and religion," said Mr Lee.
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