Diocese of Miri
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Church History

Church History

In 1807, Pope Pius VII erected the Prefecture of the East Indies, which Pope Gregory XVI made a Vicariate on Sept. 20, 1842. This territory embraced all of what is now Indonesia, including the part of Borneo today forming East Malaysia and Brunei.
In 1885, Pope Pius IX separated the Island of Labuan and North Borneo (which were British dependent territories) from the Vicariate, making it a Prefecture and entrusting it to be legendary Father Carlo Guarteron, a one-time pirate.

Former St. Joseph's Church, Miri
In 1878, the Mill Hill Society was invited by the Pope to take over Borneo Mission and, three years later, in 1881, the first Mill Hill priests arrived in Kuching. In 1885, the first Franciscan missionary sisters arrived.
In 1927, the Prefecture Apostolic of Sarawak was established. Twenty-five years later, 1952 the Vicariate Apostolic of Kuching was erected by the Holy See and Msgr. J. Vos was ordained the first Catholic bishop in Sarawak. In 1995 the local congregation of the Little Sisters of Saint Francis of Sarawak was founded by local-born sisters who separated from their European Franciscan counterparts.
On Dec. 19, 1959, the Vicariate of Miri was established and, in the following year, Father Anthony D. Galvin was consecrated the first bishop of the Miri Vicariate. He was ordained by Pope John XXIII in Rome on May 5, 1960. On Jan. 2, 1966, Father Anthony Lee, Miri Vicariate's local priest, was ordained.
On May 31, 1976, Pope Paul VI established a new Church province in East Malaysia and Miri Vicariate was raised to the level of a Diocese.
On Sept. 5 of the same year, Bishop Galvin died suddenly while on holiday in his native England.
On May 20, 1977, Pope Paul VI appointed Father Anthony Lee as the first bishop of the Diocese of Miri. He was ordained bishop in St. Joseph's Cathedral, Miri, on Nov. 20 and the Diocese of Miri was officially proclaimed on the same day.
A Brief history


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Miri & Lutong

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From the Bishop's Desk

That desiring to know what God has to say to you personally, is the most important thing in the world. There are many who go through their whole life without ever wishing to know this and so remain ignorant of the things of God, and who is God and what would He have them do, to their great detriment.
A personal message from our Bishop, sharing his thoughts and reflections on the word of God together with you on this journey of faith.


Wisma St Joseph is a journey of faith, a prestigious enterprise needing everyone's involvements, both material and spiritual. We the people in Sarawak know the power of "gotong-royong" and what it can accomplish in a short time, with minimum amount of people...read more...

Since September 15,2014

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