Archbishop William Goh, the new Archbishop of Singapore

As of today, Saturday, 18 May 2013, on the eve of the Pentecost Sunday, the Holy See and the Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Archbishop Nicholas Chia, who will immediately become the Archbishop Emeritus of Singapore. This is in fulfillment of the Code of the Canon Law Can. 401§1, that all bishops upon reaching the age of 75 must tender their resignation to the Holy See, and the See will be empty once the resignation is accepted.

Chia Photo0001

(Above : The now Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia of Singapore)

Archbishop William Goh, the Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, therefore, being the coadjutor archbishop, has an immediate right of succession, and thus immediately become the new Archbishop of Singapore, and the proper Ordinary of the Archdiocese, according to the Code of the Canon Law, Can. 404§1, as of today, Saturday, 18 May 2013.

Although today’s (18 May 2013) Vatican bollettino has yet to include this announcement of appointment, but as this news comes from the Apostolic Nunciature to Singapore, it is expected that by Monday, the bollettino will reflect this new change in the Church.


(Above : The new Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh)

The installation Mass of the new Archbishop of Singapore is expected to be soon, to be held at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, which will also be soon closed for major renovation.


(Video) Entrance Procession of the Episcopal Ordination of Coadjutor Archbishop William Goh of Singapore (Friday, 22 February 2013)

The entrance procession of the Episcopal Ordination Mass of Coadjutor Archbishop William Goh of Singapore, the future Archbishop of Singapore in the MAX Pavilion, EXPO, Singapore.



Also included is a portion of the Te Deum, during which the newly ordained Coadjutor Archbishop blessed the entire congregation, as well as part of the exit procession.

The music is by the Combined Choir of the Archdiocese of Singapore, led by the Cathedral Choir of the Risen Christ under the command of Sir Dr. Peter Low, the Choirmaster of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

Holy Week 2013 Schedule for the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Archdiocese of Singapore

Here is the schedule for 2013’s Holy Week (Sunday, 24 March 2013 – Sunday, 31 March 2013) at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Archdiocese of Singapore :


1. Palm Sunday : Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 6.30 pm; Sunday, 24 March 2013 at 8 am, 10 am, and 6 pm

(Mass at 10 am will be celebrated by Archbishop Nicholas Chia, the Archbishop of Singapore)


2. Cena Domini (Mass of the Lord’s Supper) : Thursday, 28 March 2013 at 6.30 pm. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after the Mass until midnight.

(To be celebrated by Archbishop Nicholas Chia of Singapore, Coadjutor Archbishop William Goh of Singapore, and Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli)


3. Good Friday : Friday, 29 March 2013 at 2.30 pm and 5.30 pm

(Service at 2.30 pm with Way of the Cross, Service begins at 3 pm and to be celebrated by Archbishop Nicholas Chia, the Archbishop of Singapore)


4. Easter Vigil : Saturday, 30 March 2013 at 9 pm

(Celebrant : Archbishop Nicholas Chia, the Archbishop of Singapore)


5. Easter Sunday : Sunday, 31 March 2013 at 8 am, 10 am, and 6 pm

Official Video of the Highlights of the Episcopal Ordination of Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh

The official video of highlights on the Episcopal Ordination of the Coadjutor Archbishop William Goh of Singapore at MAX Pavilion, EXPO, Singapore on Friday, 22 February 2013. Released by PixelMusica, the official photographer and videographer of the event.

I am still waiting and hoping for them to release the full video coverage of the Episcopal Ordination.

Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh ordained at MAX Pavilion, EXPO on Friday, 22 February 2013

On the Feast of Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle, in the presence of 14,000 of the faithful and many other invited state and religious dignitaries, and the presence of several bishops of the region, the priests of the Archdiocese of Singapore, and the priests and religious from the region, from Malaysia, and even from India, and Myanmar, Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye was ordained bishop by the Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli.

Aiding Archbishop Girelli, as the co-consecrators were Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop Nicholas Chia, and Metropolitan Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Archbishop Murphy Pakiam. Also present, and helped with the ordination were the Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Kota Kinabalu, Archbishop John Lee; his successor, Archbishop John Wong; the Bishop of Penang, Bishop Sebastian Francis, and many other archbishops and bishops from the region.

In his speech at the end of the Mass, the newly ordained Archbishop William Goh thanked all those who had made the Ordination Mass possible, despite the short time period of 55 days since the announcement that he has been made the Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore. He thanked the organising committee for their hard work to ensure that a proper place is secured and everything falls right into place on the day of the event. He showed that the Church in Singapore is vibrant, and can indeed grow even more, and that all of us the faithful, has to be proactive, and reach out to others, and not be passive. He and Archbishop Girelli also warned against the temptations of the modern world, including moral relativism and other forms of relativism.

Now that our Coadjutor Archbishop has finally been ordained, let us all pray for him, that as he begin this new journey, this new ministry as bishop, Archbishop William Goh will continue to be guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit, that through him and his works, our faith in God will continue to be ever strengthened.

Programme of the Episcopal Ordination Mass of Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye (programme and details of the Mass, including the hymns to be used in the Episcopal Ordination Mass)

FRI 22 FEB 2013 AT 7.30PM


Time Event Remarks
4.00pm Doors open  
6.30pm Praise and Worship  
7.00pm Arrival of Guests  
7.10pm Arrival of Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and Mrs Menon Welcomed by Archbishop Nicholas Chia, Mr Xavier Wan, Chairman of Organising Committee and Mr Andrew Low, Vice-Chairman of Organising Committee
7.15pm Arrival of DPM, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean and Mrs Teo
7.20pm Arrival of President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Mrs Tan
7.30pm – 10.30pm Mass begins with Entrance Hymns:
1) Priestly People
2) Praise to the Lord
3) The Church’s One Foundation
4) Great is Thy Faithfulness
5) Behold Among Men
6) Great Is Thy Faithfulness
7) Entrance Chant
Procession of Archbishops and Priests
Greeting, Penitential Rite, Kyrie  
The Gloria  
Liturgy of the Word:
1) First Reading 
(1 Peter 5: 1-4)
2) Responsorial Psalm 
(Ps 22)
3) Second Reading 
(2 Cor 5:13-21)
To be seated
Gospel Acclamation To stand
Gospel (Matthew 16: 13-19)  
Rite of Ordinationbeginning with Hymn Veni Creator Spiritus To stand
Presentation of the Elect  
Reading of the Apostolic Letter and Consent of the People To be seated
Homily Remain seated
Promise of the Elect  
Litany of Supplication To stand
Litany of the Saints To kneel; Non-Catholics may be seated
Laying on of Hands To stand
Book of Gospel  
Prayer of Consecration  
Anointing of the Bishop’s Head
· Chrism
· Bread to clean oil from head
· Zucchetto
· Wash bowl for Consecrator
Remain standing
Presentation of the Book of Gospels  
Investiture of Bishop
· Ring
· Mitre
· Crozier
Antiphon: Cantate Domino Cantate Novum
Procession to Seat of Bishop
· Anthem based on Bishop’s motto
Remain standing
Kiss of Peace
· Hymn – Make us True Servants
Seated during singing of hymn
Liturgy of the Eucharist
· Offertory Procession
· Singing of Hymns –
1) Jubilate Deo
(done in 4 languages – Bahasa, English, Mandarin, and Tamil)

2) Take my life and Let it Be
· Preparation of the Altar and The Gifts

Remain seated
Invitation to Prayer
Prayer over the offerings
To stand
Eucharistic Prayer
Memorial acclamation
Great Amen
To kneel; Non-Catholics may be seated
Lord’s Prayer To stand
Lamb of God To kneel; Non-Catholics may be seated
1) Ecce Panie
2) I Am the Bread of Life (verses in Bahasa, English, Mandarin, and Tamil)
3) Holy Is the Lord
To be seated
– Reception of Holy Communion is only for Baptised Catholics
– At this juncture, Priests on stage would be led by wardens to 120 different points within TMP and Hall 9 to distribute Communion
Solemn Blessing
1) Te Deum
2) Magnifcat
To stand
– Newly ordained Coadjutor Archbishop will walk around TMP and Hall 9 to bless the congregation
Short Address by His Grace Archbishop Nicholas Chia To be seated
Short Address by Coadjutor Archbishop William Goh
1) Long Live The Pope
2) We Stand For God
To stand
Procession of Priests
10.30pm Dispersal of Congregation  
Light Refreshments for VIPs only in Omega Room 1&2

Reminder : Episcopal Ordination of the Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, Msgr. William Goh at EXPO tomorrow, Friday, 22 February 2013

The Episcopal Ordination of the Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, Msgr. William Goh, will be held at the EXPO, Singapore, tomorrow, Friday, 22 February 2013, on the Feast of Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle, beginning at 7.30 pm.

For those who are going for the event, the doors will be open at 4.00 pm, and sessions of prayer will begin at 6.30 pm to prepare for the Ordination Mass which will begin at 7.30 pm. The event will be held at both MAX Pavilion and Hall 9 of EXPO. It is highly advised to take the public transport to the site, as parking spaces may be limited, and to avoid traffic jam during the event.

For more details on tomorrow and the following events after the Ordination Mass, please visit the CatholicNews site at :


The official press release on the Episcopal Ordination of the Coadjutor Archbishop can be found here :

(Text below)


The Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli will preside at the Mass for the Episcopal Ordination of Monsignor William Goh as the Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore. He will be assisted by Archbishop of Singapore Nicholas Chia, and Archbishop Murphy Pakiam from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). The Ordination will be held on 22ndFebruary at 7.30 pm at the Singapore Expo (The Max Pavilion and Expo Hall 9).

The Ordination will be witnessed by the President  and Mrs Tony Tan Keng Yam, who will be joined by other dignitaries including Deputy Prime Minister and Mrs Teo Chee Hean, Members of Parliament, the President and members of the Inter-Religious Organisation, the clergy, religious and laity from Singapore and around the region.

On Saturday, 23rd February 2013, at 10.30am, Prime Minister and Mrs Lee Hsien Loong, as well as Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Lawrence Wong, will attend an Official Reception at the Catholic Spirituality Centre at Upper Serangoon Road, together with other VIPs.

Meanwhile, the Mass is expected to attract a capacity crowd of about 14,000 people from across the Catholic community in Singapore. This historic milestone in the calendar of the Singapore Catholic church comes close on the heels of the Vatican’s announcement of Msgr William’s appointment on 29th December, 2012 as the Coadjutor Archbishop

Mgsr William, who is the fourth and current Rector of St Francis Xavier Major Seminary in Singapore, was ordained as a priest on 1st May, 1985 by the late Archbishop Gregory Yong at the Church of the Holy Family. During his 27 years of service as a priest he has distinguished himself as a visionary and change-agent, turning around not just the culture of organisations especially the way seminarians are formed but also the lives of thousands through the Conversion Experience Retreats that he conducts. He is also a persuasive homilist and convincing teacher, drawing large audiences to the weekly spiritual growth talks that he conducts at the Catholic Spirituality Centre and the daily scripture reflections he posts on its website. Hence, the wide interest among many who will come to witness the Mass for the ordination of Msgr William. Among qualities attributed to him are that he is a people’s priest; one who is at once passionate about his ministry and the Church yet compassionate with all those who are wounded and in need of spiritual, emotional and psychological healing. Notwithstanding the many demands on his time, he is always ready to make time for others, often at the expense of his own comfort. He is a unifying figure who firmly subscribes to the Principles of St Augustine of unity in essentials, diversity in non-essentials but in all things, charity.

Msgr William, in sharing his thoughts on his new role said: “I see a powerhouse of bubbling enthusiasm, grace and talent among the Presbyterium and Laity (particularly the youth) that can be harnessed and unleashed to propel the Church forward in this new millennium. Together, we must find new and creative ways to catechize our youth, who are looking for a faith that is personal, real and tangible.  We must harness modern technology to influence the values of society. We must also give greater attention to the family and married life, which is under threat by a world that no longer believes in the sanctity and indissolubility of the Sacrament of Matrimony.  We must protect the institution of the family, which is the first cradle for Catholic spirituality.  The Church must reclaim its voice in influencing world views, without fear, particularly with respect to the universal values of truth and justice. We must continue to steadfastly resist the lure of secularism and relativism which threaten to suppress the voice of God by working assiduously in the areas of inter-religious dialogue and ecumenism. Unless religions unite, faith will be relegated to the private domain of an individual’s life, thereby weakening the impact of religions on society and morality.”

Notwithstanding the issues at large, Msgr William said, “What I hope for above all in my episcopacy is to be both an encouraging and supportive brother to my priests, empowering them in their ministry, and a compassionate and caring father to the laity. We must, therefore, work to becoming a vibrant, faith-filled, visionary and evangelical Church and not be complacent or satisfied with a maintenance Church. This will be achieved not only by me, nor the clergy, religious or just the laity, but together as the entire People of God in unity. Hence, ‘passion’ and ‘compassion’ will be the hallmarks and thrust of my ministry in renewing the Church in Singapore.”

The Ordination Mass
The Ordination Mass will be preceded by half an hour of Praise and Worship at 6.30 pm.

The Episcopal Ordination Mass begins with the procession of Bishops and Priests, followed by the Greeting, Penitential Rite, the Gloria, the Collect and the The Liturgy of the Word.

This will be followed immediately by the Rite of Ordination, when the Elect is presented. The Apostolic Letter is then read and the Consent of the People given. His Excellency, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, will then deliver a Homily, after which the Elect will make his Promise, followed by the Laying on of Hands on the candidate.

Following this will be the Prayer of Consecration, Anointing of the Bishop’s head and Presentation of the Book of Gospels before the Investiture. During the investiture ceremony, the newly-appointed Bishop will be presented with his ring, the mitre and crozier. The newly ordained Coadjutor Archbishop will then be led to the Seat of Bishop and embraced by the Bishops in a Kiss of Peace.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist will follow, where there will be an Offertory Procession, Holy Communion and Solemn Blessing.

A 322-strong combined church choir from the 31 parishes in Singapore will be in attendance to provide the sacramental music. In addition, 579 lay volunteers drawn from parishes across Singapore will serve in various capacities as altar servers, wardens, ushers, security, public relations and other duties. The Episcopal Ordination Mass will be concelebrated by 17 bishops and 151 priests from Singapore and the region.

As Coadjutor Archbishop

Msgr William will be the second Singapore-born clergyman to hold the office of Archbishop. The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd will be the seat of Coadjutor Archbishop William when the current Archbishop Nicholas Chia retires. Thereafter, Archbishop William will lead the flock of 31 churches (28 parish churches and 3 non- parish churches).  As at October 2012, there are 71 diocesan priests, 71 religious priests, 35 religious brothers and 166 sisters serving the people in different capacities, from parish priests, counsellors, social workers to teachers and nurses.

The Catholic population in Singapore is approximately 303,000, which includes permanent residents and foreigners living and working here.