Nicholas Chia

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The Most Reverend
Nicholas Gerald Chia
Archbishop Emeritus of Singapore
See Archdiocese of Singapore
Installed 7 October 2001
Term ended 18 May 2013
Predecessor Archbishop Gregory Yong
Successor Archbishop William Goh
Ordination 24 January 1964
Consecration 7 October 2001
Personal details
Born (1938-04-08) 8 April 1938 (age 79)
Nationality Singaporean
Denomination Roman Catholic
Motto Omnia Omnibus
(All things to all men)
1 Cor 9:22
Coat of arms Nicholas Gerald Chia DD, STL's coat of arms
Styles of
Nicholas Gerald Chia
Coat of Arms of Archbishop Nicholas Chia.png
Reference style The Most Reverend[1]
Spoken style His Grace[2]
Religious style Archbishop-Emeritus

Nicholas Gerald Chia Yeck Joo (Chinese: 谢益裕) (born 8 April 1938) DD, STL was the third Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore and the first Singapore-born clergyman to hold the office. He officially retired as Archbishop of Singapore on 18 May 2013, and is succeeded by Archbishop William Goh. He was educated at both Montfort Junior and Secondary schools.

Archbishop Chia received his Episcopal Consecration on 7 October 2001 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. His consecration was attended by the President of the Republic of Singapore, Mr S. R. Nathan, state dignitaries, sixteen bishops, one hundred and ninety priests and an estimated 11,000 Roman Catholics, together with representatives of the major religions in Singapore. His Principal Consecrator was Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, and the Principal Co-Consecrators were Archbishops Gregory Yong Sooi Ngean and Anthony Soter Fernandez.

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd was formerly the seat of Archbishop Chia before retiring and the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore.


  • (1938) Born on 8 April, the third son in a family of six children.
  • (1955–1957) Studied in St Francis Xavier Minor Seminary, Singapore.
  • (1958–1963) Studied in College General (Major Seminary), Penang, Malaysia.
  • (1964) Ordained priest at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Singapore on 26 January.
  • (1964–1966) Assistant priest, Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Singapore.
  • (1966–1967) Studied Mandarin in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • (1967–1969) Assistant priest, Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Singapore.
  • (1969–1971) Obtained licentiate in moral theology from the Gregorian University, Rome.
  • (1972) Did comparative studies on religions in Rome.
  • (1973–1977) Lecturer and Procurator at College General (Major Seminary), Penang, Malaysia.
  • (1978–1990) Director of the Singapore Pastoral Institute.
  • (1980–2001) Parish priest, Church of the Holy Cross, Singapore.
  • (1983–1996) External lecturer at the St Francis Xavier Minor Seminary, Singapore.
  • (1990–2001) Chaplain to Catholic students in the National University of Singapore.
  • (1995–2001) Chancellor and Procurator of the Archdiocese of Singapore.
  • (2001–2013) Archbishop of Singapore.
  • (2013–) Archbishop Emeritus of Singapore
  • (19 February 2014) Suffered a fall the day before, resulting in intracranial haemorrhage and a moderate coma. In intensive care at Mount Alvernia as of 19 February 2014.[3]

Coat of arms[edit]

Over the main door at the west end of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd was the coat of arms of Archbishop Chia.

The coat of arms of Archbishop Chia consists of a shield upon an archiepiscopal cross surmounted by a green galero with 10 gold fiocchi (tassels) suspended on each side. These are standard ecclesiastical heraldic devices indicating the coat of arms is that of an archbishop.

The flame and dove on the left half of the shield represents the Holy Spirit. The open book on the right half depicts the Word of God. The fish and wavy blue lines represent Singapore and the Archdiocese. The coat of arms also include Archbishop's motto Omnia Omnibus, which is Latin for all things to all men (1 Corinthians 9:22).

The coat of arms was designed by a team from the Catholic Audio-Visual Centre, Singapore.

Appointment as Archbishop[edit]

Prior to his appointment as Archbishop, Archbishop Chia was the Parish Priest to the Church of the Holy Cross. When Archbishop Gregory Yong retired, Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Chia to the office, other candidates for the office were current Vicar General Monsignor Eugene Vaz and then Rector of St Francis Xavier Major Seminary, Fr. Anthony Ho who has since retired.

Archbishop Chia reached the retirement age of 75 in 2013 and submitted his resignation to the Holy See. His resignation was accepted by Pope Francis at noon Rome time, 18 May 2013, Singapore 6pm. He is succeeded by Archbishop William Goh

The archdiocese website reported that the Emeritus recently had a bad fall at his retirement home, sustained head injuries and was warded in the republic's Catholic hospital Mount Alvernia Hospital where he is cared for by a team of more than five top notch doctors.

See also[edit]



  • Eugene Wijeysingha (2006), Going Forth... – The Catholic Church in Singapore 1819–2004, Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore, ISBN 981-05-5703-5
  • Episcopal Ordination of Reverend Father Nicholas Chia Souvenir Magazine
  • Archbishop Nicholas Chia Souvenir Publication, Church of the Holy Cross

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gregory Yong Sooi Ngean
Archbishop of Singapore
Succeeded by
William Goh Seng Chye