The Holy Father appointed two Asian cardinals as members of the Dicastery of the Roman Curia on October 4.
They are Cardinal Stephen Chow Sau-yan, S.J., bishop of Hong Kong, China, for the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, and Cardinal Sebastian Francis, bishop of Penang, Malaysia, for the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
According to Vatican News, Cardinal Stephen Chow Sau-Yan, S.J., of Hong Kong, was born on August 7, 1959, in Hong Kong. After the period of pre-university studies, he was awarded a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, in the United States of America.
He then entered the Society of Jesus on September 27, 1984. From 1984 to 1986, he completed the novitiate and was subsequently awarded a licentiate in Philosophy in Ireland before continuing his studies in Theology from 1988 to 1993 in Hong Kong, where, on July 16, 1994, he was ordained a priest.
He obtained a master’s degree in organizational development from the Loyola University of Chicago (1993–1995) and was awarded a doctorate in Human Development and Psychology (Ed. D) from the University of Harvard in Boston (2000–2006).
He professed his final religious vows on April 17, 2007. From that time on, he carried out various services in the educational field and as a formator within the Jesuit community.
From 2012 to 2014, he served as a member of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Hong Kong, from 2013 to 2017 as a provincial consultor, and since 2017, a member of the diocesan Education Council.
From January 1, 2018, until 2021, he served as provincial of the Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus and, since 2020, deputy secretary of the Association of Religious Superiors of Male Institutes of Hong Kong.
On May 17, 2021, Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of the Diocese of Hong Kong after the See had remained vacant since January 3, 2019, when Bishop Michael Yeung died after less than two years as its bishop. He was consecrated bishop on December 4, 2021.
Cardinal Sebastian Francis was born on November 11, 951, in Johor Bahru. After completing his studies in Philosophy and Theology at the Major Seminary in Penang, he was ordained a priest for the diocese of Malacca-Johor on July 28, 1977.
After several assignments, he studied in Rome, receiving a licentiate in Dogmatic Theology from the Angelicum. After several other pastoral assignments, he received a Law degree in 1991 and subsequently went on to the Maryknoll School of Theology in New York.
On July 7, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Bishop of Penang, and he was ordained on August 20 with 10,000 Catholics in attendance. Since January 1, 2017, he has been president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei.- Madonna T. Virola
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