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New Bishop Ordained for Diocese of Padang

Archbishop Piero Pioppo, the Ambassador of the Holy See to Indonesia, consecrated Msgr. as a bishop of Padang dioceses on September 7.

The new Bishop Vitus Rubianto Solichin, belonging to the Xaverian Society (S.X.), was ordained at St. Theresia Cathedral Church, Padang, North Sumatra province

"Walk in the Lord. Be a loving father to all the people," said Archbishop Pioppo.

Archbishop Pioppo advised the newly ordained bishop "to be a trustworthy guide and a teacher rooted in the Word of God," strengthening love towards those who suffer.

Pope Francis appointed Father Solichin as bishop on July 3. The newly ordained bishop succeeded bishop Martinus Dogma Situmorang who died in 2019.

"I do not know how to express my feelings. There is a strange feeling. I feel very small, but I feel close to all of them," said Bishop Solichin.

He was born in Semarang, Central Java, on November 15, 1968.

The ordination ceremony was attended by Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, archbishop of Jakarta, along with more than 20 bishops/archbishops, several priests and nuns, families, and some parishioners from the Padang diocese, as well as more than 400 online participants.

"Hopefully, Padang diocese has much to contribute to society and church under the leadership of the new bishop; it has a distinctive historical context," said Cardinal Hardhoatmodjo, the representative of the Indonesian bishops' conference.

"I hope that the Padang Diocese Church will work together so that a community is formed, and participation will be cultivated that will strengthen the missions," the prelate said.

Cardinal Hardhoatmodjo invited all Catholics in Padang to love and nurture the love for Indonesia.

Bishop Adrianus Sunarko, O.F.M. of Pangkal Pinang, looks forward that the ordination will make the newly ordained bishop a good shepherd who will find joy amidst the Padang diocese people. And people will also rejoice in having a good shepherd.

Bishop Solichin previously worked as a lecturer at the Driyarkara College of Philosophy in Jakarta after earning his Doctorate in Scripture from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.

His motto of life as a bishop is "Misericordia motus" (moved by compassion).

"I feel happy for this ordination as the bride of God. God called all of us from the womb, and I could not run away from that call," the new bishop said.

Bishop Solichin said that, like the prophet Isaiah, he submitted and was willing to accept the task as Bishop of Padang.

The newly ordained bishop appreciated the people for all their prayers and support, which led him to become the shepherd of the people in the Padang diocese.

Padang is a suffragan diocese in the Archdiocese of Medan, with an area of about 140 thousand km.

The total population of Padang as of 2019 is 9,758,000, with the number of Catholics in this diocese about 123,030 or 1.3%. spread over 22 parishes, with 55 priests.

The Xaverian congregation (S.X.) commemorates its 70th anniversary in Indonesia. The bishop's ordination is considered a gift from God and the church on the 70th anniversary of their presence, as the newly ordained bishop is a member of S.X. Currently, S.X. works in four dioceses in Indonesia.

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