The Penang Catholic Diocese in Malaysia celebrated the creation of Bishop Sebastian Francis as a Cardinal by the Vatican with a Thanksgiving Eucharist on January 14.
Cardinal Francis led the Mass, joined by Cardinal Giorgio Marengo of Mongolia (Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar), Cardinal William Goh Seng Chye (Archbishop of Singapore), other prelates, priests, nuns, and laity.
Besides, former federal ministers Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and Lim Guan Eng also attended the occasion.
Daniel Gooi Zi Sen and Lim Siew Khim, state executive councillors, represented the state government of Penang, a Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Cardinal Francis was born in Johor Bahru on November 11, 1951. On July 28, 1977, he received ordination as a priest in Melaka, Johor. On July 7, 2012, he received the appointment as bishop of Penang and was ordained bishop on August 20, 2012. He is the fifth bishop of the diocese.
Pope Francis elevated him to Cardinal on September 30, 2023. During the consistory, Pope Francis appointed him as the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Causa Nostrae Laetitiae on the same day.
Santa Maria Causa Nostrae Laetitiae is a 20th-century parochial church on the eastern border of Rome.
He actively participates in all diocese-related matters in Penang and is a fervent supporter of youth empowerment.
Since 2023, Cardinal Sebastian has been serving as chairperson of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) Office of Social Communication (OSC).
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.