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Cardinal Sebastian Francis

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Meet His Eminence Cardinal Dato' Seri Sebastian Francis

Meet His Eminence Cardinal Dato' Seri Sebastian Francis

Meet His Eminence Cardinal Dato' Seri Sebastian Francis

Be Disciple of Hope!

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The Titular Roman Catholic Bishop of Penang

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Penang is situated in the Northern region of West Malaysia covering 5 states, namely Penang, Perlis, Kedah, Perak and Kelantan. The Diocese of Penang and the Diocese of Melaka-Johor are Suffragan Dioceses of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur.

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Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia | 11.11.1951

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18 November 1951

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4 October 1959

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5 August 1962

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Meachery Joseph Francis, born in Kerala, India in 1895; Mary Kollanur Joseph, born in Kerala, India in 1917

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English, Malay, Tamil

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Reading, traveling, outdoor activities such as hiking, hill climbing, and brisk walking

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Received the state award, Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN) which carries the title Dato’ in conjunction with the Yang di – Pertua Negeri Pulau Pinang TYT Tun Dato Seri Utama Abdul Rahman Abbas 78th birthday celebration on the 9th of July 2016
Awarded the degree of Darjah Gemilang Pangkuan Negeri (D. G. P. N) and was bestowed the title Dato’ Seri on 22 July 2021

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Attracted to spending time with the rural indigenous communities in Sabah & Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia, Bali, Indonesia, Australia and India which His Eminence has personally visited; Loves seeing lives of the indigenous in the rural areas and aboriginal communities at its original innocence which is not spoiled by the modern contemporary & artificial lifestyles.

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Must include life of contemplation & reflection in silence which people generally call prayer and also must have spiritual energy for sustenance. Must have good human & emotional maturity and balance, always be opened to creative thinking inclusive of all especially ethnic, racial and religious differences. Open to the Gospel values of LOVE, TRUTH, SACRIFICE, FREEDOM and BEAUTY which is mentioned in the Coat of Arms represented by the five arrows.

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    1958 – 1963 | Primary Education @ St. Joseph’s Primary School, Johor Bahru run by the Brothers of St. Gabriel for six (6) years

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    1964 – 1967 | Secondary Education @ Montfort Secondary School, Singapore also run by the Brothers of St. Gabriel for four (4) years (until Senior Cambridge)

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    1964 – 1966 | Joined the Juniorate of the Brothers of St. Gabriel in Singapore and resided with the Brothers in Community

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    1967 – 1970 | Joined St. Francis Xavier’s Minor Seminary in Singapore

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    1967 | Passed Senior Cambridge examination in Singapore

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    1970 | Passed Higher School Certificate at St. Francis Xavier’s Minor Seminary in Singapore

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    1971 | Enrolled into College General Major Seminary in Penang, Malaysia and completed the two years course in Initiation and Philosophy in 1972

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    1973 | Worked as a temporary teacher at St. Theresa’s Secondary School, Sungai Petani, Kedah (a Government Aided Mission School run by the De La Salle Christian Brothers) and assisted in the Church of Christ the King, Sungai Petani, Kedah, Malaysia as a Seminarian on pastoral leave for one year.

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    1974 | Returned to College General Major Seminary in Penang, Malaysia and completed Theology in 1976

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    January 1977 | Ordained Deacon at Church of the Immaculate Conception, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia and appointed to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Johor Bahru, Johor.

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    28 July 1977 | Ordained Diocesan priest of Melaka – Johor Diocese at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

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    July 1977 – Sept 1977 | Assistant Priest at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Johor Bahru, Johor

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    Sept 1977 – Jan 1981 | Assistant Priest at Church of St. Francis Xavier, Melaka

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    Jan 1981 – October 1981 | Assistant Priest at the Church of Immaculate Conception, Johor Bahru, Johor

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    Jan 1981 – Jan 1984 | Appointed as a Consultor of the Melaka – Johor Diocese

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    Oct 1981 – June 1983 | Studied Dogmatic Theology at the Angelicum Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy

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    Jun 1984 – Dec 1984 | Studied and practiced Bahasa Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia, & Keningau, Sabah

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    Jan 1985 – June 1998 | Lecturer for Dogmatic Theology, Formator and Spiritual Director at College General, Penang

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    Sept 1985 – June 1998 | Chaplain to University Undergraduates at University Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia and appointed Spiritual Director for Tamil Charismatic Renewal, Diocese of Penang, Malaysia.

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    Dec 1987 – Feb 1988 | Served at Church of Sacred Heart, Queensland, Australia

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    July 1990 – June 1991 | Studied and obtained Advanced Degree in Justice and Peace from Maryknoll School of Theology in New York, USA

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    July 1991 – June 1998 | Second term as lecturer, formator, Spiritual Director at College General, Penang.

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    July 1992 – Sept 1992 | Pursued Programme on Personal Growth, Development and Spirituality for formators in Ashirvad, Bangalore, India

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    September 1996 – June 1998 | Administrator of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Pulau Tikus, Penang

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    July 1998 – Feb 1999 | Pursued Spirituality Course at St. Joseph’s Spirituality Centre, Bangalore, India

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    Feb 1999 – May 2003 | Appointed assistant priest and then as the administrator of Sacred Heart Cathedral, JB

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    Mar 1999 – Mar 2008 | Appointed Director of Pastoral Institute of Melaka – Johor Diocese

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    1999 | Appointed member of the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Team (PMPT) and chairman of its meetings

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    Feb 2000 – 2011 | Appointed Vicar General Melaka – Johor Diocese

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    Dec 2001 – May 2003 | Appointed Diocesan administrator of Melaka – Johor Diocese

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    Apr 2003 – Jan 2011 | Appointed Parish Priest of Church of St. Louis, Kluang, Johor and the Administrator of Church of St. Philip, Segamat, Church of St. Peter, Mersing, Church of St. Henry, Batu Pahat and Church of St. Anthony, Cha’ah

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    2006 – 2011 | Appointed Chairman of the Melaka – Johor Diocesan Finance Committee

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    2006 | Organised the Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Convention (PMPC) III for the Peninsular Malaysia Arch/Dioceses and the Melaka – Johor Diocesan Synod

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    2009 | Director of formation for seven candidates to the Permanent Diaconate ordained at Sacred Heart Cathedral in August 2011

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    Jan 2011 | Appointed Parish priest of Church of Christ the King, Kulai, Johor

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    March 2012 | Appointed assistant priest at St. Peter’s Church, Melaka

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    7 July 2012 | Appointed Bishop of Penang

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    20 August 2012 – Present | Ordained and installed as the Bishop of Penang, Rt. Rev. Sebastian Francis. D.D

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    2015 – 2017 | Appointed vice president of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) and the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM)

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    2017 – 2023 | Appointed President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei (CBCMSB) and member of the Central Committee for the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC)

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    January 2023 | Appointed Chairman of the FABC Office of Social Communication (OSC) which includes the governance of the Radio Veritas Asia (RVA)

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    9 July 2023 | Elected to the College of Cardinals

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    August 2023 | President of the Episcopal Regional Commission for Social Communication, for Consecrated Life and for Malaysian Catholic Education Council, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei.

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    30 September 2023 | Appointed Cardinal at the Consistory in Rome and assigned a parish in Rome at the Church of Mary, Cause of Our Joy (Parrocchia S. Maria Causa Nostrae Laetitiae) located at Piazza Siderea, 1/A 00133 Rome, Italy.

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    4 October 2023 | Appointed Member of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.