Bishop Richard Ng with priests who concelebrated his thanksgiving Mass (Photo: Diocese of Miri Social Communications Commission)

By William Gan

Feb 21 2024

MIRI —Thursday, Jan 25, 2024 was a joyous day for the Christian community in Miri. It was the 10th anniversary of the episcopal ordination of Bishop Richard Ng, the bishop of the Diocese of Miri.

Over 1,000 parishioners thronged the St Joseph’s Cathedral in Miri to participate in the Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Bishop Richard with 20 concelebrating priests from nearby parishes. Religious Sisters, leaders and members of the various local church organisations were also present.

It being in the week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the occasion was also an ecumenical event with representatives from the Association of Churches in Sarawak as well as pastors from the local Methodist and BEM churches in attendance. Bishop Richard is currently the sitting president of the Miri branch of ACS.

An ad-hoc choir comprising choir members from various RC churches in Miri came together to lead the congregation in joyous song in multiple languages. Intercessors offered up prayers for Bishop Richard, his family members and the Church in the main languages. It was certainly a splendid occasion giving glory and thanks to Almighty God for the gift of a shepherd to lead his flock.

Jan 25 was the feast day of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle. In his homily, Bishop Richard mentioned that he specially chose this feast day for his ordination 10 years ago as St Paul was the apostle who, called by the Risen Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, through his life-long endeavour and sacrifices, brought the Good News to the Gentiles of his days to the extent that there were more Gentile Christians than there were Jewish Christians by the time of St Paul’s martyrdom in Rome.

Bishop Richard aptly chose as his motto, “Proclaim the Gospel” at his episcopal ordination to encapsulate his personal desire and mission.

A fellowship buffet followed immediately after the Thanksgiving Mass in the compound of St Joseph’s Cathedral where the congregation were treated to a special anniversary cake and an abundance of local dishes.

It was a memorable evening for everyone, with the young and old participating in the Fun Quiz about Bishop Richard. An interesting slideshow of a collection of photo montage of the Bishop’s 10 years in the diocese of Miri was also presented.

[Bishop Richard Ng was ordained a priest in 1995 in the Archdiocese of Kuching. After serving in the archdiocese for a number of years, he furthered his studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome and obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Scriptures in 2003. He then returned to Kuching to teach at St Peter’s College and later became the rector of the college in 2008. Bishop Richard received his episcopal consecration on Jan 25 2014 from his predecessor Bishop Emeritus Anthony Lee, with Archbishop Emeritus John Ha (Kuching) and Bishop Joseph Hii (Sibu) serving as co-consecrators. Bishop Richard Ng is the third Bishop of Miri Diocese.]

The evening ended with a closing prayer and blessing by Msgr Francis Kuleh. As the celebration ended and people headed for home, a large group of willing volunteers stayed back to wash up and to clean up as this event was organised without using any single-use plastic cups, plates or cutleries. There was also minimal food waste or rubbish. All in the spirit of “Laudato Si” and care for our Common Home. – Today’s Catholic