Our History


During the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei (CBCMSB) on 8 July 2019, the Bishops met with the Caritas staff from the Vatican and Asia for a dialogue. The Malaysian bishops then decided to re-new the lapsed membership with the Caritas federation.

On 9 January 2020, at the following Bishops’ Conference they unanimously decided to establish Caritas Malaysia as an overarching body for all organisations involved in charity and development work. They then appointed Bishop Bernard Paul as Chair of Caritas Malaysia and Charles Bertille as Executive Secretary of the National office.

A launching meeting was held with all diocese delegates and the Bishop Chair on 25 February 2020 at the APC, KL. They discussed the situation and need for capacity building, being systematic and research based in ministry work. There was a consensus to work together at the national level under Caritas. An interim Exco was established at this meeting and has been meeting regularly. They consist of Bp Bernard Paul, Charles Bertille, Dominic Lim from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Frs Galvin Richard Ngumbang & Alvin Ng from Kuching, Sarawak, and Alvin Santhanam from KL. Caritas Malaysia national office has been set-up in the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

Working ties have been re-established with Caritas Asia and Caritas Internationalis. The Bishops met on 23 June 2020 and approved the Caritas organigram and other operation matters to set-up or strengthen existing diocese Caritas offices. Caritas Malaysia was launched on 6 November 2020.



It all started with just one man. From humble beginnings in Germany 1897, Lorenz Werthmann founded the first Caritas. The organisation, named after a Latin word meaning love and compassion, grew to become one of the largest aid and development agencies in the world. In the 20th Century, Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, laid the foundations for an international network. In 1954, Caritas Internationalis was officially recognised.

Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development and social service organisations operating in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.

The Caritas confederation is unique. Wherever there is need in the world, there is a Caritas organisation to provide practical help, love and support. Caritas members on the ground respond to emergencies sparked by natural disasters and those created by humans.

Caritas comes to the assistance of victims of floods in Europe, to people caught in conflict in Africa, to those suffering the effects of climate change in Oceania. There, and in Asia, North and South America and the Caribbean and in the Middle East and North Africa, Caritas is an active, experienced and skilled provider of aid, long-term development, medical and educational services and advocacy for a better, more just world.

For further information, visit: caritas.org



Caritas Asia is one of the seven Regional Offices under the Confederation of Caritas Internationalis (CI). It was established by the Asian Member Organisations with the endorsement and approval of the Confederation, during the General Assembly of CI in 1999 in Rome. Caritas Asia maintains recognition at the international level within Caritas Internationalis, with the nihil obstat of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. It also complies with the CI Management Standards. 

Member Organisations

Caritas Asia is made up of 25 Member Organisations, of national character, mandated by their respective Episcopal conferences or Ecclesiastical authorities, responsible for the local Church’s socio-pastoral works.

The primary role of Caritas Asia is to serve and support its Member Organisations in the region in the achievement of their mission, in conformity and under the guidance of the local and universal Church, and in line with the decisions and plans approved by the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis. In fulfilment of this role, Caritas Asia has the responsibility to intensify interchange and mutual aid among Member Organisations for the promotion and harmonization of their work to achieve the goals pursued in the region by the Confederation.

There are four Caritas Asia sub-regions:

Southeast Asia sub-region Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam
East Asia sub-region Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, Taiwan
South Asia sub-region Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Central Asia sub-region Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

Each Member Organisation maintains its own individual autonomy in its relationships and operating procedures within the legal framework of the global Caritas confederation. As an integral part of Caritas Asia, Member Organisations have the responsibility to take part in the creation of the organisational structures and programmes of Caritas Asia. Member Organisations also have the responsibility to contribute towards the development and fulfillment of the strategic direction of Caritas Asia.

Member Organisations act in accordance with the Catholic Social Teaching, the Canon Law, the requirements of the competent Ecclesiastical authorities, and the norms of behaviour and criteria defined jointly within the Caritas Confederation with regard to international and regional cooperation. They accept coordination by Caritas Asia in relation to operations at the regional level and in terms of representation by Caritas Asia at inter-denominational and regional levels. Member Organisations jointly finance the bodies and activities of Caritas Asia, as they do with Caritas Internationalis.

Regional Secretariat

The Regional Secretariat of Caritas Asia, with its office in Bangkok, Thailand, consists of the Regional Coordinator and staff who are governed by the Regional Commission. The main function of the Secretariat is to carry out whatever works the Regional Conference and the Regional Commission entrusts to the office. The Secretariat is responsible for operationalising decisions of the Regional Conference and Regional Commission and is mandated to provide opportunities for capacity building for Member Organisations.

For further information, visit: caritas.asia


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