KUCHING — St Joseph’s Church was consecrated on 19 March 1969 by the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Charles Reiterer MHM. It was elevated to St Joseph’s Cathedral on 31 May 1976 when the Vicariate of Kuching became an Archdiocese.
In celebrating its Golden Jubilee Mass on 19 March 2019, Archbishop Simon Poh thanked God for the gift of the Cathedral that was dedicated exactly 50 years ago.
The Mass was concelebrated by Archbishop Emeriti Peter Chung and John Ha, Bishop Richard Ng and 33 priests from the Archdiocese of Kuching.
The Cathedral was packed to capacity. At the end of Mass, Archbishop Simon invited Archbishop Emeritus John Ha to launch the commemorative coffee table book that he had authored for this special occasion.
In his speech, Emeritus John Ha stressed the importance of history for any community, society and nation, as it entails how and why they have reached their current status, and provide lessons for them to chart the future.
St Joseph’s Cathedral has a history that began in 1881. Today, the Cathedral stands as a monumental testimony to the Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Kuching, of our Christian and spiritual growth, as a local church.
Emeritus John Ha said to date, little has been recorded of the Cathedral’s growth. He was baptised and confirmed in the old Church, and ordained as a priest and bishop in the Cathedral.
He dedicated the book as a token of gratitude to God for the gift of the Gospel and gift of the Cathedral. He was on hand to personally autograph his book ‘ICON OF CHANGE’ after the launch.
Archbishop Simon also launched the St Joseph’s Cathedral Refurbishment Fund, with Fr Vincent Chin elaborating, through audio visual aids, the impressive refurbishment plans for the Cathedral.
They include stained glass at the main entrance, as well as an air conditioning system. Electrical rewiring, repair of roof leaks, upgrading of sound, projection and lighting system are also in the works.
Outside the Cathedral, the construction of an open piazza, side terracing, covered walkway, Mother Mary’s shrine among others, will certainly be an inviting sight for one and all.
The refurbishment works are planned with facilities intending to serve the community for the next 10 to 15 years, if not more.
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