Survey Promo
RVA App Promo Image

Evangelize with an energetic spirit, Malaysian cardinal invites Asians

Thanksgiving Mass on January 8 celebrated Cardinal Sebastian Francis's elevation to the College of Cardinals last September at the Minor Basilica of St. Anne in Bukit Mertajam, Malaysia. (Photo credit: Diocese of Penang Facebook Page)

A Malaysian cardinal called on every single Catholic Asian to proclaim the Gospel with a young and energetic spirit.

“We want to thank God for the sacrifices of all Asians who keep the planet young with [the] precious gift of children,” said Cardinal Sebastian Francis, Bishop of Penang. “The spirit of the Church in Asia [has] an inclusive, creative, and bridge-building spiritual energy.”

The cardinal was speaking during a Thanksgiving Mass on January 8 to celebrate his elevation to the College of Cardinals last September, making him the second cardinal of Malaysia.

Cardinal Giorgio Marengo of Mongolia delivered the homily at the Mass held at the Minor Basilica of St. Anne in Bukit Mertajam.

Cardinal Francis underlined the vibrant approach of Asians in evangelization, particularly their unique talent as natural storytellers.

“We desire to tell the story of Jesus Christ—the Gospel of joy, mercy, and hope—to all Asians and beyond,” he said. 

Cardinal Francis also emphasized the vital role of the Malaysian Church in engaging with people of different religious traditions and offering a helping hand to solve today’s most pressing issues.

“It sees mission as addressing all social issues, including poverty, inequality, discrimination, domination, manipulation, and corruption,” said the prelate. “It reflects on an evolving understanding... of the role of faith in contemporary society.”

“It includes environmental stewardship and empowering local leaders and communities to take ownership of their faith and work together towards a more harmonious and just world,” he also said.

Members of the Malaysian clergy and parish representatives were present during the cardinal’s Thanksgiving Mass.

Also in attendance were state executive councilors Lim Siew Khim and Daniel Gooi Zi Sen to represent the state government. Former federal ministers Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and Lim Guan Eng graced the event as well.

Upon his elevation to the cardinalate, Pope Francis assigned Cardinal Francis as cardinal-priest of Santa Maria Caua Noestrra Laetitiae Church in Rome.

Moreover, the cardinal is also the chairman of the Office of Social Communication (OSC) of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) since 2023.Luke Godoy


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.