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Singapore’s Archbishop says he never expected to be Cardinal

Cardinal William Goh with gifts of Spiritual Bouquets (Photo from his Facebook page)

Singapore’s Archbishop says he never dreamt of becoming a Cardinal.

"It was never in my dream or mind that I would be chosen to be a Cardinal," said William Goh.

Goh, 64, the city state’s first cardinal, was one of the 20 new cardinals Pope Francis inducted at the Vatican on August 27.

In a Facebook post, the city-state’s first Cardinal Goh thanked Catholics and others who have supported him in his pastoral ministry.

"In fact, I never even thought I would be supported by so many, especially the non-Catholics and those abroad. What I have really just been focusing on is following the will of God as He directs. I am very edified that He has used me to touch the lives of those I have not even encountered simply by doing His will," he said.

He also wrote about the "spiritual bouquets" he received.

"Recently, I received a spiritual bouquet from 414 fellow Catholics, as well as non-Catholics and people from other countries, who offered prayers, rosaries, Masses, divine mercy chaplet, fasting, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and alms for my intentions," he said.  

A couple of weeks ago, the young confirmands from Saint Vincent De Paul Church in the Archdiocese of Singapore also presented him with a portrait of their prayers, assurance of love, and encouragement.

"As I have said, there is nothing greater you can do for me except to support me in your prayers. Without your prayers, I would not be able to do what I am doing, for all that I do is by the grace of God," Cardinal Goh said.

He thanked everyone for their love, demonstrated by the spiritual bouquets he received.

He said, "Let us continue to allow God to use us as long as we remain obedient and faithful to His commands."

Among the cardinal electors, Goh is the only ethnic Chinese prelate.

Born in Singapore to Chinese parents in 1957, he was ordained a priest in 1985 after studies in Singapore and at the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome. Later, he studied dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

In 2013, he was named Archbishop of Singapore. From 2015 to 2021, he served as Episcopal President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei (MSB) for the Apostleship of the Sea.

Singapore is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country with a population of approximately 5.7 million people. Most Chinese are Buddhists, while the majority of Malaysians are Muslims.

Christians make up about 15% of the population. The Archdiocese of Singapore, which encompasses the entire island, has approximately 360,000 Catholics divided into 32 parishes. 


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