John Ha Tiong Hock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Ha Tiong Hock

Archbishop Emeritus of Kuching
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed21 June 2003
Installed16 July 2003
Term ended4 March 2017
PredecessorPeter Chung Hoan Ting
SuccessorSimon Peter Poh Hoon Seng
Ordination14 December 1972
by Charles Reiterer, MHM
Consecration6 June 1998
by Peter Chung Hoan Ting
RankMetropolitan Archbishop
Personal details
Born (1947-03-05) 5 March 1947 (age 77)
Previous post(s)Auxiliary Bishop of Kuching (1998-2003)
MottoVerbum caro factum
Styles of
John Ha Tiong Hock
Reference styleHis Grace
Spoken styleYour Grace
Religious styleArchbishop Emeritus
Ordination history of
John Ha Tiong Hock
Priestly ordination
Ordained byCharles Reiterer, MHM
Date14 December 1972
PlaceSt. Joseph's Cathedral, Kuching
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorPeter Chung Hoan Ting
Co-consecratorsAnthony Soter Fernandez & Gregory Yong Sooi Ngean
Date6 June 1998
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by John Ha Tiong Hock as principal consecrator
Julian Leow Beng Kim6 October 2014
Simon Peter Poh Hoon Seng24 September 2015

Dato John Ha Tiong Hock (born 5 March 1947) is a Malaysian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the Archbishop of Kuching, from 2003 to 2017. Previously, he served as an auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese from 1998 to 2003.

Early life and education[edit]

Ha was born on 5 March 1947 in Kuching, Sarawak. He studied at St Joseph's secondary school. At that time, the late Brother Albinus and the late Brother Hilary were instrumental in inspiring him to join the priesthood.[1]

Ordination and ministry[edit]

Ha first joined the religious order as a De La Salle brother.[1] However, he decided to join College General in Penang and was ordained to the priesthood on 14 December 1972. He was later sent to Rome, Italy to study at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. He then obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture and later with Doctorate in Sacred Scripture.[2]

After a two-year pastoral work back in the Archdiocese of Kuching, Ha was appointed to teach Bible at College General. After the St. Peter's College seminary was set up in Kuching, he was appointed as its second rector, from 1986 to 1991. He was commissioned to run the Bible Year and served as the rector of the St. Joseph's Cathedral, Kuching. In 1997, he was appointed back to the seminary again.[2]

Episcopal and ministry[edit]

Auxiliary bishop of Kuching[edit]

On 17 January 1998, Pope John Paul II appointed Ha as auxiliary bishop of Kuching and titular bishop of Canapium. He received his episcopal consecration on 6 June 1998 from Archbishop Peter Chung Hoan Ting with Cardinal Anthony Soter Fernandez and Archbishop Gregory Yong, serving as co-consecrators.[2]

Archbishop of Kuching[edit]

Coat of arms as Archbishop of Kuching

On 21 June 2003, Ha was appointed Archbishop of Kuching to succeed Archbishop Peter Chung Hoan Ting who resigned upon reaching canonical age. He was installed on 16 July 2003.[3] During his tenure, he was the president of the Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei Episcopal Biblical Commission.[4][2]

After several years of serving as archbishop, Ha revealed that he was increasingly feeling his age after it gradually showed symptoms. Thus, he saw the need for an auxiliary bishop. He took a considered decision to write a letter to Fernardo Cardinal Filoni, requesting the appointment of an auxiliary bishop.[5] Fr. Simon Peter Poh Hoon Seng was appointed and consecrated in September 2015.[6]

On 4 March 2017, Ha tendered his resignation from the archbishop's office, deliberately coinciding with his seventieth birthday. He took into consideration age 70 as the perfect age for a person to retire. The following day, Pope Francis accepted Ha's resignation and appointed Auxiliary Bishop Simon Peter Poh Hoon Seng as his successor.[5] Ha officially handed over the archdiocese to Poh on the night of 20 March 2017. On the same day, Poh was also installed as the third archbishop of the archdiocese.[7]


Honour of Malaysia[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Zora Chan (6 August 2013). "Former student cherishes fond memories of the late Brother Albinus". The Star. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "Archbishop John Ha". Woomb International.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Muslim group attends Catholic Mass in Malaysian "breakthrough"". Catholic News Agency. 26 October 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  4. ^ "The beauty of family". L'Osservatore Romano. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Archbishop Emeritus John Ha: I retire with peace of mind and heart". Today's Catholic. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  6. ^ Emmor (11 July 2015). "Pope appoints Fr Simon Poh as auxiliary bishop". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  7. ^ "Most Rev Simon Poh is the third Archbishop of Kuching Archdiocese". Herald Malaysia. 2 April 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  8. ^ "105 terima darjah kebesaran Sarawak". 11 July 2018. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Paul Michael Boyle
Titular Bishop of Canapium
6 June 1998 – 16 July 2003
Succeeded by
Jonas Ivanauskas
Preceded by Archbishop of Kuching
16 July 2003 – 4 March 2017
Succeeded by