Holy Spirit Cathedral, Penang

Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Penang, currently Sebastian Francis. It is situated in the residential estate of Island Park[1] near Green Lane, Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia. It is a World Heritage Church (minor).[2]

Cathedral Of The Holy Spirit
Malay: Katedral Roh Kudus
Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in May 2022
LocationIsland Park, Green Lane, Gelugor, Penang
DenominationRoman Catholic
Dedicated2003 (as Cathedral)
Years built1969
DivisionPenang Island
ProvinceKuala Lumpur
Bishop(s)Rt Rev Sebastian Francis
Priest(s)Fr. Joachim Robert
Assistant priest(s)Fr Francis Anthony (priest-in-residence)


The parish was founded in 1958, with about 1,000 parishioners and they celebrated Masses at the canteen of Convent Green Lane. After 10 years of hard work raising funds, they were ready to build a church. Mr. Seng Tuck Hooi, a forward-thinking architect who designed the first high rise building in Penang (the 11-storey Ambassador Hotel) was appointed as the lead architect for the church project.

Construction of the church finished in 1969 and the church was blessed by Msgr. Gregory Yong, then Bishop of Penang. In the 1990s, the parish community hall was named Dewan Holy Spirit and three levels of Sunday School classrooms were open.

In 2001, the church was closed for renovations to prepare for the dedication ceremony 2 years later. In 2003, the cathedral status was transferred from the former Cathedral of the Assumption to the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. The Rite Of Dedication was held on 20 January 2003 and the new cathedral was blessed by Msgr. Antony Selvanayagam, Bishop of Penang.

In October 2007, the groundbreaking ceremony of the Church of Divine Mercy was held. The cathedral played a major role in the fundraising programs. The church, also called the Christian Community Centre, will have a main church accommodating 900 people, 15 classrooms for functions and a priests residence or known as a rectory.

It is located in Sungai Ara and caters to 2,500 parishioners living in Bayan Lepas (in which it also serves the Catholic staff members working at the Penang International Airport as well as nearby industrial factories). Previously, parishioners in that area had to travel to the cathedral 12 km away from the new church. The church was completed in July 2010 and the opening ceremony was held on 29 September 2010. It will be the first time in 41 years that a new Catholic church is built on Penang Island. On 29 September 2013, the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit was split to form a new parish, Church of Divine Mercy.

Currently, the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is administered by Rev Fr. Joachim Robert (parish priest) in which he is assisted by Rev Fr. Francis Anthony (priest-in-residence) and serves the Catholic parishioners population of Gelugor as well as Jelutong, which also include students and faculty members of the Universiti Sains Malaysia higher learning institute as well as their dependents and relatives.

Cathedral of the Holy Spirit vehicle entrance in January 2020

Mass Times

Daily Masses
7:00am English (Monday, Tuesday & Saturday)
6:30pm English (Wednesday, Thursday & Friday)

Saturday (Sunset) Mass
6:00pm English (English & Tamil Dual Language Mass on second Saturdays of the month)

Sunday Masses
8:00am Mandarin
10:30am English


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