BSC KUCHING: With the new appointments and pastoral assignments for priests in the Archdiocese of Kuching effective 1 January 2023, several parishes in the Archdiocese of Kuching have witnessed the installation of their new rectors.

Fr Leonard Yap was installed as the new Rector of Blessed Sacrament Church on 15 January, taking over from Fr Patrick Heng who has now been assigned as the Rector of St Peter’s College. Fr Leonard was the Rector of St Theresa’s Church, Serian prior to his new assignment.

At the Mass presided over by Archbishop Simon Poh and concelebrated by Fr Patrick and Fr Leonard, the prelate presented Fr Leonard to the community and asked that they pray to the Holy Spirit and Jesus to help him.

Archbishop Simon, in presenting the office staff and parish councillors to Fr Leonard, said: “Share this ministry in a spirit of mutual trust.” He asked the new rector to “always be a loving father, a gentle shepherd and a wise teacher to the people so that you may lead them to Christ who will strengthen all that you do.”

Thank You Fr Patrick and Welcome Fr Leonard

In appreciation of his three years shepherding the flock of Blessed Sacrament Church, the parish councillors organised a farewell lunch for Fr Patrick. It also doubled up as a welcome reception for Fr Leonard to his new parish.

Fr Patrick, in acknowledging his “short term in BSC” thanked everyone at the reception for “listening and discussing with each other and making decisions together.” The collaboration was a “synodal process” and he was confident it would continue with Fr Leonard.

He encouraged the community to “be joyful for all we do” and to pray for him as he takes up his new role in the formation of priests at the Seminary.

“I come to do your will”

Fr Leonard invited the community to “work, walk and travel together” with him. He said he was greeted with the words, “Here I am Lord; I am here to do your will” as he entered Blessed Sacrament Church for the installation celebration. So, he is now at his new parish “to do your (Lord’s) will.”

The lunch reception was graced by Archbishop Simon Poh, Archbishop Emeritus John Ha and invited clergy and they were pleasantly surprised to also receive appreciation CNY red packets.

A farewell gift was presented to Fr Patrick Heng by PPC Chairperson, Pauline Lim. He received thank you gifts from other parish ministries as well.


By Ivy Chai
Photos: Dominic Bong/ Peter Chai/ Crystal Chong