Hornbill Unleashed

October 7, 2014

Catholic church marks new milestone, installs 4th KL Archbishop

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Catholic priest Reverend Father Julian Leow Beng Kim during his ordination ceremony at the Holy Family Church in Kajang today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, October 6, 2014.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Soon after being installed as the fourth archbishop of Kuala Lumpur today, Reverend Father Julian Leow Beng Kim pledged himself and his pastoral office to healing and building the nation which he said was at the “crossroads”.

In his speech at the end of the three-and-a-half hour ordination and installation ceremony today, Leow said people needed to write a fresh narrative for the nation which included mutual respect, interdependence and cooperation.

“We are at the crossroads of our future as Malaysians, a future from a shared past, that we as people of many faiths have built up and sacrificed much for. I truly pray that common sense will prevail and that difficult but right decisions are made always by us and by our leaders.

“Therefore with your support, I dedicate myself and my office to this task of healing and building our nation, Malaysia,” he said to applause from the crowd.

“This new narrative is not about competing with each other, to see who is first, who is more superior or who is more successful, but our strength as a nation is gauged by how we treat the weakest and the most vulnerable among us.

“The most neglected of our society must be our priority to move this nation forward,” the new archbishop said.

This morning, Leow was installed and ordained as the fourth archbishop of KL, a post appointed by the Vatican.

The ceremony at the Holy Family Church in Kajang was attended by some 12,000 Catholics as well as foreign dignitaries.

Busloads of Catholics from all over the country began arriving at the church as early as 7am to witness the two-part ceremony – the ordination of 50-year old Leow as bishop and his installation as archbishop of Kuala Lumpur.

As Leow made his way to the altar at the start of the ceremony, his parents, sitting in the front pew, held his face and kissed him.

A long and thunderous applause followed after Leow was ‎bestowed with the symbolic ring, mitre and crozier – symbols of his pastoral office.

As the archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Leow will lead some 180,000 Catholics from 40 parishes and chapels in Selangor, the Federal Territories, Negri Sembilan, Pahang and Terengganu.

Leow was appointed by the Vatican on July 3, taking over from Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, who retired in December upon reaching the age limit of 75 after serving as archbishop of Kuala Lumpur for ten years.

Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph Marino was presider at the ceremony.

President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, Archbishop John Ha, was the main celebrant.

Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez and Pakiam were the two co-consecrators.

A native of Seremban, Leow completed his primary and secondary education at St Paul’s Institution, Seremban.

He then obtained a Bachelor of Building from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 1989.

After a three-year working stint in the private sector, Leow commenced his seven-year formative studies to the priesthood at College General Major Seminary, Penang in 1994.

He was ordained a priest on April 20, 2002 at the Church of the Visitation, Seremban.

Leow also said that his pastoral priorities would focus on four L’s – the lost, the last, the little and the least.

The lost were those who had strayed from the church, the last were migrants and foreigners who had left their homes to search for better lives, the little were the young and youths, and the least were the “voiceless, neglected and the oppressed”.

“The church must speak out and care for the weakest in our midst,” he said.

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