Bishop John Tong Hon called yesterday for unity among Catholics and others in society to work for the common good, when he was formally installed as the new head of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese. Led to assume his episcopal seat in the Catholic Cathedral in Caine Road by his predecessor, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, the 69-year-old also vowed to continue the diocese's role as a 'bridge' to mainland Catholics and to work for religious freedom. 'I hope every member of the diocese will work together to spread the gospel, and work closely with everybody in society to promote the common good of our city,' Bishop Tong said. Hundreds of Catholics, leaders of other Christian denominations, foreign dignitaries and Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen attended the installation Mass, where they gave rounds of applause to Cardinal Zen, who retired last month after 12 years in office. 'Times flies,' said the cardinal, who waved to his former flock. 'Now God has given you a new pastor ... As you have accepted me, please also accept Bishop Tong in the same way by obeying him, supporting him and co-operating with him.' Praising Cardinal Zen for his 'outstanding leadership' and 'great contributions', Bishop Tong said his priorities would be to carry on implementing policies established by his predecessors. On the question of religious freedom on the mainland, Bishop Tong said he would 'spare no efforts' in continuing the Pope's directives, making the diocese 'a bridge Church' to Catholic communities across the border. 'I hope to see them enjoy full religious freedom as early as possible so that they can make greater contributions to society,' Bishop Tong said. He said he would continue co-operation with other Christian churches and other religious groups. He had previously said education and social services were also among his priorities. More than 200 representatives of Catholic groups followed the lead of senior clerics from the Vatican and Macau to embrace Bishop Tong, and express their gratitude to Cardinal Zen. Last night's installation Mass was among Bishop Tong's first major public acts since taking the helm as Bishop of Hong Kong in April 16. He earlier appointed three new vicars-general in charge of key diocesan positions. There were Caritas director Father Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, who will direct the diocese's administration and social communications; Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, who will direct parish affairs; and Father Pierre Lam Minh, appointed to co-ordinate work including the Church's participation in social justice issues. The appointments by Bishop Tong were seen as a reflection of his expected direction, delegating the running of the diocese's daily operations to others. During his inaugural press conference last month, Bishop Tong said he would personally speak out on key social justice issues, but established organs in the diocese would handle day-to-day business.