The College General (Malay: Seminari Tinggi Katolik) is a Roman Catholic interdiocesan seminary located in Tanjung Bungah, Penang, Malaysia. The college's foundation can be traced back to the 1665 establishment of the Seminary of Saint Joseph in Ayuthia which was then the capital of Siam (now Thailand).
- 1 History
- 2 People
- 3 Notes
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Ayuthia (1665 - 1765)
The College General traces its history to the establishment of theSeminary of Saint Joseph in Ayuthia, Siam in 1665 by the Vicars Apostolic Bishops Pallu and Lambert de la Motte of the Paris Foreign Missions Society. They officially requested the establishment of the Seminary to the Siamese king Narai on 25 May 1665, who granted them a large spot on the river Menam, and the Cochinchinese quarter named "Banplahet". King Narai requested that ten Siamese students be incorporated in the Seminary so as to learn European knowledge. Otherwise, the students of the Seminary came from Goa, Macao, Cochinchina, Tonkin and China.  In 1675, Mgr Louis Laneau, who had been nominated Vicar Apostolic of Siam two years before, became Superior of the Seminary.
Among the first two priests that graduated was François Pérez (Francis Perez), born of a Manila father and a Siamese mother, who was later consecrated a bishop and named Vicar Apostolic of Cochin-China in 1691.
In 1680, the Seminary was moved to a larger location in Mahapram, also near Ayutthaya, and was named Seminary of the Holy Angels.
The events of the Siamese revolution in 1688 saw the ousting of French forces from Siam, and the imprisonment of Louis Laneau and half of the students of the Seminary until August 1690, but the activities of the Seminary could resume from 1691.
Chanthaburi, Hon Dat, Pondicherry & Melaka (1765 - 1782)
The Burmese invasion of Ayuthia in 1765 forced the relocation of the seminary to Chanthaburi and later to Hon Dat in Cambodia (now in Vietnam). Pigneau de Behaine, who was to have a great destiny in Vietnam, was put in charge of the Seminary.
The political instability of that period resulted in the seminarians to live in poverty and although a new building was built, it was razed to the ground by rebels. The deteriorating political situation and constant persecutions forced the search for a more tranquil location for the seminary.
Despite its peaceful calm, Pondicherry proved unsuitable as it was too far from China and Indo-China where most of the seminarians came from. As a result, the seminary was temporary closed in 1782 until a more suitable place could be found.
Pulau Tikus, Penang (1808 - 1914)
The island of Penang, a British colony since its occupation by Francis Light in 1786 was eventually chosen due to its political stability and geographical proximity to the other mission lands. In 1808, a new Superior, Fr. Lolivier arrived with 5 seminarians from Macau and the seminary was revived with its current name the following year in Pulau Tikus, Penang with 20 seminarians from China. The college had prominent members take on the role as teaching staff, including Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert and Jacques-Honoré Chastan who served from 1821–1822 and 1827-1830 respectively. Both were martyred in Korea and later beatified in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Both were canonised in 1984 by Pope John Paul II. The college also was a sanctuary for the Vicar General of Annam and scores of seminarians during the persecutions of 1834-35 and among the number included Philip Minh Van Doan who was martyred and later canonised in 1988.
In 1885, the buildings were expanded to cope with the additional seminarians that came to Penang due to persecution in other territories in the region. With peace returning, enrollment was reduced with a large majority of the seminarians coming from the newly established missions in Rangoon and Mandalay in Burma.
Pulau Tikus, Penang (1914 - present)
At present, the College General which is owned and managed by three dioceses, Titular of Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Titular of Roman Catholic Bishop of Penang, and Titular of Roman Catholic Bishop of Malacca-Johor.
Rectors of the College General
|Michael Lolivier, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1808–1833|
|Francois Albrand, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1833–1839|
|Claude Tisserand, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1839–1848|
|Auguste Thivet, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1848–1849|
|Victor Martin, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1849–1868|
|Joseph Laigre, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1868–1885|
|Edouard Wallays, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1886–1917|
|Justin Pages, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1917–1931|
|Marcel Rouhan, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1931–1951|
|Rene Jean Davias, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1951–1960|
|Francois M. Ledu, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1960–1966|
|Jean-Marie Bosc, M.E.P.||Missions Étrangères de Paris||1966–1971|
|Anthony Soter Fernandez||Diocesan||1975–1977|
|Murphy Nicholas Xavier Pakiam||Diocesan||1978–1988|
|Edwin Paul ||Diocesan||2005–2010|
|Gerard Theraviam ||Diocesan||2010–2017|
|Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert / St. Imbert ||1839||Korea||1925||1984|
|Jacques-Honoré Chastan / St. Chastan ||1839||Korea||1925||1984|
|Philip Minh Van Doan / St. Philip Minh ||1853||Annam||1900||1988|
|Peter Quy Cong Doan / St. Peter Quy ||1859||Annam||1909||1988|
|Paul Loc Le Van / St. Paul Loc ||1859||Annam||1909||1988|
|John Hoan Trinh Doan / St. John Hoan ||1861||Annam||1909||1988|
|Joseph Luu Van Nguyen / St. Joseph Luu ||1861||Annam||1909||1988|
Saints and martyrs
- 2 canonised professors martyred in Korea (see above)
- 5 canonised seminarians martyred in Vietnam (see above)
- 50 beatified Vietnamese Martyrs 
- Coadjutor Archbishop of Rangoon, Burma (1964-1971); Titular Archbishop of Staurapolis, Asia Minor (1964-1971); Archbishop of Rangoon, Burma (1971-2002)
- Archbishop of Mandalay, Burma (1965-1978)
- Bishop of Penang, Malaysia (1977-1983); Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1983-2003)
- Archbishop of Thare and Nonseng, Thailand (1980-2004)
- Bishop of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (1987-2008), Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (2008-2012)
- Auxiliary Bishop of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1995-2003); Titular Bishop of Chunavia, Epirus Nova (1995-2003); Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur (2003-2013)
- Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur (2014-present)
- Bishop of Bassein, Burma (1955-1968)
- Bishop of Penang, Malaysia (1955-1967)
- Bishop of Toungoo, Burma (1961-1988)
- Bishop of Bassein, Burma (1968-1982)
- Auxiliary Bishop of Kengtung, Burma (1968-1972); Titular Bishop of Tortibulum, Italy (1968-1972); Bishop of Kengtung, Burma (1972-2001)
- Bishop of Malacca-Johore, Malaysia (1973-2001)
- Bishop of Prome, Burma (1975-present)
- Vicar Apostolic of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (1975-1976); Titular Bishop of Catabum Castra, Mauretania Caesariensis (1975-1976); Bishop of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (1976-1985)
- Bishop of Miri, Malaysia (1977-2013)
- Auxiliary Bishop of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1980-1983), Titular Bishop of Giru Mons, Mauretania Caesariensis (1980-1983), Bishop of Penang (1983-present)
- Bishop of Sibu, Malaysia (1986-2011)
- Bishop of Keningau, Malaysia (1992-present)
- Les Missions Etrangeres, p.327
- College General: A Brief History of College General
- Les Missions Etrangeres, p.329
- 'Les Missions Etrangères, p.329
- College General: Rectors of College General
- Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur: College General
- College General: Martyr Saints of College General
- College General List of Martyrs of College General
- Catholic Online: Sts. Imbert and Chastan
- Catholic Online: St. Philip Minh
- Catholic Online: St. Peter Quy
- Catholic Online: St. Paul Loc
- Catholic Online: St. John Hoan
- Catholic Online: St. Joseph Luu
- College General: Alumni promoted to the Episcopate
- College General: Treasuring the Past
- Les Missions Etrangères. Trois siecles et demi d'histoire et d'aventure en Asie Editions Perrin, 2008, ISBN 978-2-262-02571-7