Friday, 8 February 2013 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Jerome Emiliani, and St. Josephine Bakhita, Virgin (Psalm)

Psalm 26 : 1,3,5,8b-9abc

The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fail; though war break out against me, I will still be confident.

For He will keep me safe in His shelter in times of misfortune; He will hide me beneath His roof, and set me high upon a rock.

I seek Your face, o Lord. Do not hide Your face from me nor turn away Your servant in anger. You are my protector, do not reject me; abandon me not, o God my Saviour!

Friday, 8 February 2013 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Jerome Emiliani, and St. Josephine Bakhita, Virgin (First Reading)

Hebrews 13 : 1-8

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to offer hospitality; you know that some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember prisoners if you were with them in chains, and the same for those who are suffering. Remember that you also have a body.

Marriage must be respected by all, and husband and wife faithful to each other. God will punish the immoral and the adulterous.

Do not depend on money. Be content with having enough for today for God has said : “I will never forsake you or abandon you”, and we shall confidently answer : “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Consider their end and imitate their faith. Christ Jesus is the same today as yesterday and forever.

An excellent article on what a Coadjutor Archbishop/Bishop is (from the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Archdiocese of Singapore)

The Article :

On December 29, 2012 the Vatican announced that Rev Msgr William Goh has been appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore. What does this term “Coadjutor” mean? Read on to find out!

It’s been all over the catholic news in Singapore since our year of 2013 begun – the news of Rev Msgr William Goh being appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore. In order to understand what this all means, read this article which explains in depth what a “Coadjutor bishop” is, what he does, and why he is appointed.

What is Coadjutor?

In terms of Sacramental Character or Sacramental “powers”, a Coadjutor bishop is truly a bishop, for he receives Episcopal consecration just like the diocesan bishop. He therefore has the power validly to ordain priests, to confirm, and to consecrate other bishops.

In terms of ecclesial “title”, the Coadjutor has similar a title to the resident Bishop, or in the case of our Archdiocese, the Coadjutor is similar in ecclesial honour to our Archbishop.

However, the jurisdiction, or governing authority, of a Coadjutor bishop is another matter. Within a given diocese, the existing diocesan bishop alone has full responsibility for the entire diocese which the Pope has entrusted to his care (cf Paul VI, Muto proprio, Pastorale manus, on the powers and privileges granted to bishops, 30 November 1963. AAS 56 (1964) c. 381.1).

A Coadjutor bishop, therefore, is not to be construed as a co-leader of a diocese, as he does not have full authority over that diocese—only the existing diocesan bishop himself does.

A coadjutor bishop, as described in canon 403.3, also is given special faculties. In a sense a Coadjutor bishop can be given governing power, but it is generally limited to certain geographic sections of the diocese, or to certain aspects of it. Regardless of a Coadjutor bishop’s duties, however, the existing diocesan bishop retains ultimate authority

Why appoint a “Coadjutor Bishop”?

The exact time when a bishop will be replaced by a successor is not always predictable, of course. Obviously, a diocesan bishop can always die unexpectedly, or find himself obliged to resign (for medical or other reasons) with relatively short notice.

In these cases, there is normally a period of time—ranging from months to even years, depending on the circumstances—when the diocese is without any bishop at all. The code provides strict rules about who has authority, and in which situations, during this vacancy (cf. Muto proprio, Pastorale manus cc. 416-430).

But often it is easy for Rome to foresee that a diocesan bishop will need to step down. Usually this is due to the bishop’s age. Diocesan bishops are requested to submit their resignation to the Holy Father when they reach their 75th birthday (c. 401.1).

The Pope is not, however, required to accept it, and he may choose to extend the bishop’s tenure in his diocese for many more years if he sees fit (and, of course, if the health of that diocesan bishop permits). But the Pope can, and frequently does, accept bishops’ resignations as soon as they are submitted—and in these cases a successor naturally has to be chosen as soon as possible.

In some case, the Holy Father may decide to pre-empt the resignation of the existing bishop, and after the due process of selection of a new bishop, he may name a coadjutor bishop for Bishop X’s diocese right now.

What are the benefits?

For instance, the coadjutor bishop already knows that in June, Bishop X will resign and he himself will be the new diocesan bishop. Between then and now, this gives the coadjutor bishop a period of several months to become acquainted with the diocese, its people and its problems—and since the soon-to-be-retired diocesan bishop is still present, he can give his successor-to-be some pointers!

What are the formalities required of a “coadjutor bishop” (cf Paul VI, Muto proprio, Pastorale manus, on the powers and privileges granted to bishops, 30 November 1963. AAS 56 (1964) c. 381.1):

The Coadjutor needs to formally “take office”

Can. 404 §1 The coadjutor Bishop takes possession of his office when, either personally or by proxy, he shows the apostolic letters of appointment to the diocesan Bishop and the college of consultors, in the presence of the chancellor of the curia, who makes a record of the fact.

§3 If the diocesan Bishop is wholly impeded, it is sufficient that either the coadjutor Bishop or the auxiliary Bishop show their apostolic letters of appointment to the college of consultors, in the presence of the chancellor of the curia.

He undertakes responsibilities and appointments

Can. 405 §1 The coadjutor Bishop and the auxiliary Bishop have the obligations and the rights which are determined by the provisions of the following canons and defined in their letters of appointment.

§2 The coadjutor Bishop, or the auxiliary Bishop mentioned in can. 403 §2, assists the diocesan Bishop in the entire governance of the diocese, and takes his place when he is absent or impeded.

Can. 406 §1 The coadjutor Bishop in can. 403 §2, is to be appointed a Vicar general by the diocesan Bishop. The diocesan Bishop is to entrust to him, in preference to others, those things which by law require a special mandate.

When dealing in matters requiring decisions

Can. 407 §1 For the greatest present and future good of the diocese, the diocesan Bishop, the coadjutor can. 403 §2, are to consult with each other on matters of greater importance.

§2 In assessing matters of greater importance, particularly those of a pastoral nature, the diocesan Bishop is to consult the auxiliary Bishop before all others.

§3 The coadjutor Bishop since they are called to share in the cares of the diocesan Bishop, should so exercise their office that they act and think in accord with him.

The coadjutor’s liturgical and pastoral functions

Can. 408 §1 As often as they are requested to do so by the diocesan Bishop, a coadjutor Bishop are obliged to perform those pontifical and other functions to which the diocesan Bishop is bound.

§2 Those episcopal rights and functions which the coadjutor can exercise are not habitually to be entrusted to another by the diocesan Bishop.

He has right to succession

Can. 409 §1 When the episcopal see falls vacant, the coadjutor immediately becomes the Bishop of the diocese for which he was appointed, provided he has lawfully taken possession.

Where must he reside

Can. 410 The coadjutor Bishop and the auxiliary Bishop are bound, like the diocesan Bishop, to reside in the diocese. Other than for the fulfilment of some duty outside the diocese, or for holidays, which are not to be longer than one month, they may not be away from the diocese except for a brief period.

Episcopal Ordination Mass & Reception

The Episcopal Mass and Reception in conjunction with the upcoming Ordination of our Coadjutor Archbishop, Rev Msgr William Goh will be held as follows:

Date : Friday 22 Feb 2013
Time : 7.30 pm
Venue : Singapore Expo (The Max Pavilion and Exhibition Hall 9)
1 Expo Drive, Singapore 486150
Presider : The Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli & assisted by our Archbishop Nicholas Chia and Archbishop Murphy Pakiam from Kuala Lumpur
Admission : Tickets will be allocated to Parishes by mid-Feb 2013
Dress Code : Smart casual

Date : Saturday 23 Feb 2013
Time : 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm
Venue : Catholic Spirituality Centre
1261 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534796
Admission : No tickets required. Open to ALL parishioners to meet the new Coadjutor Archbishop
Dress Code : Smart casual

View article on Catholic News


The Parishioners at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church sends their heartiest congratulations and good wishes to Coadjutor Archbishop, Rev Msgr William Goh on his Episcopal Ordination.

We pray that the wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit will be with him as he takes on the role as Shepherd for the Church in the Archdiocese of Singapore. May the good Lord Bless, guide and protect him always!

My Personal Comments and Additions: 

Therefore, in simple summary, coadjutors are successors to the diocesan bishop, while auxiliaries are helpers to the diocesan bishop. This does not mean that auxiliary bishops cannot be selected as the successor by the Pope, but it means that this kind of succession is not automatic, whereas coadjutors are guaranteed the succession (automatic).

But coadjutors actually do not always succeed the diocesan bishop, as in some cases, some coadjutors actually died before the diocesan bishop resigned, and therefore never succeeded as the rightful diocesan bishop. In some other cases, coadjutor of certain diocese may be reassigned as a bishop/archbishop of another diocese/archdiocese before their succession).

Lastly, as there are still confusion on the nature of coadjutor archbishop’s office, they are no longer assigned any titular see, which is a formerly active diocese that had been suppressed due to lack of Christians or historical reasons (Muslim conquest, etc., which is why many titular sees are actually ancient dioceses in North Africa and Eastern Mediterranean region), and then restored as a titular diocese.

Auxiliary bishops are assigned a titular see upon their appointment as auxiliary, and coadjutor bishop/archbishop too were once (before around 1970) assigned a titular see upon their appointment. However, in present practice, coadjutors are named as Coadjutor Bishop/Archbishop of the diocese/archdiocese that they are going to succeed in (example : Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore (Archdiocese), William Goh), and no titular see is assigned to the coadjutor.

I hope these simple explanations do help many who still have questions in understanding more on the office of the bishop and his helpers (and successor).

+Ut Omnes Unum Sint, ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam+

(That they all may be One, for the greater glory of God)

Thursday, 7 February 2013 : 4th Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

The Lord in today’s reading sent out His disciples to begin spreading His work across broader spectrum of the society of Israel. This is also the base of the authority that our priests and bishops today have, since the Lord has commissioned the Apostles to heal the sick and cast out demons, with authority that came directly from Himself. Through the Apostles, in an unbroken chain of succession, this authority is passed down to our bishops today, and thus to all our priests. It is in this authority that our priests today exercise many of the similar faculties as those of the Apostles.

Our priests are also important in the Church, since they administer to us spiritual healing of our soul, they listen to our sins and by the authority given to them by our Lord through the Apostles, our sins can be forgiven in the confession, if we truly repent and vow to change our sinful ways. They also can cast out demons with the authority of the Lord, in what we know as exorcism. Although this rarely happen today, but it does still happen, and we must always keep each other strong in faith that we do not allow evil to dwell within us, and exploit the absence of light in our hearts.

Sadly, despite the good works that Christ has commissioned the Apostles to, and therefore, the missions that our priests and missionaries have, many still reject the approaches that the Lord has made. Ironically, even many of these rejections also come from ourselves, from those who believe in the Lord. It does not mean that once we are baptised and in the Church, that we no longer need to listen to the Word of God, and receive God’s good graces and work through the priests. We still need these, and indeed, it is important that we read the Scripture and reflect on it daily, in order to gain our daily ‘food’ of the Word of God.

The priests too, by the same power and authority, conduct the Transubstantiation, which is the turning of the bread and wine into the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the same Sacrifice that the Lord made once and for all in Calvary, the very blood that Christ, the Lamb of God, poured down on us, and being a blood more worthy than all others, even that of Abel’s, this perfect offering is accepted by God, and thus, also the Precious Body and Blood on the Altar at the Mass, for our salvation and redemption from sin.

Therefore, let us strive to regularly and frequently receive the Lord into ourselves, and make ourselves always ready and worthy to receive Him into ourselves. That Jesus will be in us, and we in Him, and through Him, we are justified in our faith. Let the Lord to reside in us, and keep ourselves also nourished always with the words of the Holy Scripture, keep ourselves holy, and anchor all our actions in love, in the love that is of the Lord.

Let us pray together too, my brothers and sisters in Christ, that the Lord will ignite the hearts of those whom He called, to be priests of the Lord, and ministers to all the faithful in Christ. Remember that while the harvest is truly plentiful, but we do not have good labourers and workers to harvest them. We need holy, young, and faithful young men blessed and called by the Lord to be His missionaries, just like how Jesus sent the Twelve Apostles. We pray for all the seminarians and those who are on their journey towards the priesthood, that God will bless them and keep them holy and faithful in their journey.

We also pray for ourselves, that all of us can also increase further in faith, in love, and in our dedication to God and to the mission that has been entrusted to all of us. Help one another, and support one another in faith, through love. May God bless all of us, and bless His most holy Church, all the priests, religious, and our Pope, Benedict XVI. Amen.