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Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore

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Coordinates: 1°17′45″N 103°51′05″E / 1.29596°N 103.85131°E / 1.29596; 103.85131

Archdiocese of Singapore

Archidioecesis Singaporensis
Cathedral of the Good Shepherd 14, Jan 06.JPG
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Singapore.
MetropolitanImmediately Subject to the Holy See
Coordinates1°17′45″N 103°51′05″E / 1.29596°N 103.85131°E / 1.29596; 103.85131
Area639 km2 (247 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
185,208 (3.7%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteLatin Rite
CathedralCathedral of the Good Shepherd
Current leadership
ArchbishopWilliam Goh
Vicar GeneralAmbrose Vaz
Philip Heng S.J.
Bishops emeritusNicholas Chia Archbishop Emeritus (2001–2013)
Website of the Archdiocese

The Archdiocese of Singapore (Latin: Archidioecesis Singaporensis) is an exempt archdiocese of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church. Its territory includes all of Singapore. Its current archbishop is the Most Reverend Monsignor William Goh Seng Chye, DD, STL. Archbishop Goh took over the Archdiocese on 18 May 2013, after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of his predecessor Archbishop Nicholas Chia Yeck Joo. The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Singapore.

As an exempt diocese, the archdiocese is not a part of an ecclesiastical province, but comes under the direct jurisdiction of the Holy See. The archdiocese is a member of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.



The Roman Catholic Church in Singapore was initially under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Malacca,[1][2][3] which was established on 4 February 1558 as a suffragan (other being Diocese of Cochin) to the Archdiocese of Goa.[4]

The diocese of Malacca was transferred to the Vicariate Apostolic of Ava and Pegu[5][6] in 1838 and then the Vicariate Apostolic of Siam[7] in 1840. In 1841, the Church was placed under the jurisdiction of the Vicariate Apostolic of Western Siam that was erected from the Vicariate Apostolic of Siam. Initially called the Vicariate Apostolic of Western Siam, the name was changed to the Vicariate Apostolic of the Malay Peninsula and finally the Vicariate Apostolic of Malacca-Singapore.

In 1888, the Church was once again placed under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Malacca when the Diocese was revived. The Diocese of Malacca was raised to the rank of an archdiocese in 1953. In 1955, the Archdiocese of Malacca was split and an ecclesiastical province was formed in its place comprising the Archdiocese of Malacca-Singapore as the metropolitan see and the Diocese of Kuala Lumpur and Diocese of Penang as suffragan dioceses.

In 1972, the Archdiocese of Malacca-Singapore was split into the Diocese of Malacca-Johor and the Archdiocese of Singapore with the Archdiocese of Singapore coming under the direct jurisdiction of the Holy See.

From 1838 to 1981, there was dual jurisdiction situation in Singapore, one tracing authority from the Vicariate Apostolate of Siam down to the present Archdiocese of Singapore and the other with the authority from the Portuguese Mission first from the Archdiocese of Goa and then the Diocese of Macau. This was a legacy of the padroado pronouncement in the 16th century. Dual jurisdiction was ended in 1981, when the Portuguese Mission handed over St Joseph's Church to the Archdiocese of Singapore and, thus, the whole island of Singapore was brought under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore.


Diocese of MalaccaEdit

  • (1558–1576) Jorge de Santa Luzia, O.P.
  • (1579–1601) João Ribeiro Gaio
  • (1604–1612) Cristovão da Sá e Lisboa, O.S.H.
  • (1613–1632) Gonçalvo (Gonzalo) da Silva
  • (1637–1638) António do Rosário, O.P.
    • Sede vacante (1637–1691)
  • (1691–1701) Antonio a Saint Theresia, O.F.M.
  • (1701–1738) Emmanuel a Santo Antonio, O.P.
  • (1738–1743) Antonio de Castro
  • (1746–1748) Miguel de Bulhões e Souza, O.P.
  • (1748–1760 Geraldo de São José, O.P.
    • Sede vacante (1760–1782)
  • (1782–1785) Alexandre da Sagrada Familia Ferreira da Silva, O.F.M.
    • Sede vacante (1785–1804)
  • (1804–1815) Francisco de São Dâmaso Abreu Vieira, O.F.M.
    • Sede vacante (1815–1838)
    • Sé suprimida (1838–1841)

Vicariate Apostolic of Malacca-SingaporeEdit

  • (1841–1844) Bishop Jean-Paul-Hilaire-Michel Courvezy (Vicar Apostolic of Siam from 1834 to 1841)
  • (1845–1871) Bishop Jean-Baptiste Boucho
  • (1871–1877) Bishop Michel-Esther Le Turdu
  • (1878–1888) Bishop Edouard Gasnier

Diocese of MalaccaEdit

  • (1888–1896) Bishop Edouard Gasnier
  • (1896–1904) Bishop René-Michel-Marie Fée
  • (1904–1933) Bishop Marie-Luc-Alphonse-Emile Barillon
  • (1934–1945) Bishop Adrien Pierre Devals
  • (1947–1953) Bishop Michel Olçomendy

Archdiocese of MalaccaEdit

Archdiocese of Malacca-Singapore (Metropolitan See)Edit

Archdiocese of SingaporeEdit

Statistics (2012)Edit

  • Roman Catholic population: 303,000 (including PRs, Expats and Immigrants)
  • Churches: 32
  • Seminary: 1
  • Diocesan Priests: 71
  • Religious Priests: 71
  • Religious Brothers: 36
  • Religious Sisters: 166
  • Candidates for the Priesthood: 12
  • Baptisms: 3521
  • Catechumens: 895
  • Marriages: 977
  • Charitable and Social Institutions: 18
  • Educational Institutions: 54 Schools, 53,124 Students

Key office holdersEdit

Following the appointment of Archbishop William Goh, a new group of key appointment holders were appointed to assist him.[8] There are as follows:

  • Vicar General (Pastoral), Rev Msgr. Ambrose Vaz
  • Vicar General (Administration and Religious), Rev Msgr. Philip Heng, SJ
  • Chancellor, Rev Fr. John Paul Tan, OFM
  • Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelisation, Rev Fr. Terence Pereira
  • Financial Administrator, Deacon Clement Chen


The archdiocese is divided into five districts covering the entire city-state of Singapore, namely the City District, East District, West District, North District, and Serangoon District.

Of the thirty-two churches, three churches in the City District are not parishes, namely, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Saint Joseph's Church, and the Church of Saint Alphonsus.


  • St Francis Xavier Major Seminary

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Diocese of Malacca | Original Catholic Encyclopedia Archived 20 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Diocese of Melaka–Johor, Malaysia". GCatholic. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  3. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Malacca". Archived from the original on 9 September 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  4. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Goa". Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Vicariate Apostolic of Ava e Pegù". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Country consisting of the kingdoms of Ava and Peg - Original Catholic Encyclopedia". Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Vicariate Apostolic of Siam - Original Catholic Encyclopedia". Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  8. ^[permanent dead link]


  • Johnson Fernandez (2013), Catholic Church Directory 2013 – Archdiocese of Singapore, The Catholic News Office, ISBN 983-3201-00-8
  • Eugene Wijeysingha (2006), "Going forth, The Catholic Church in Singapore 1819–2004", The Office of the Archbishop of Singapore, ISBN 981-05-5703-5

External linksEdit