As the Province of the Holy Spirit continued to flourish, so did the interest of expanding its missions. With friars already in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, another nation which needed support came to the attention of the Province - Singapore.

While there was a Franciscan presence in Singapore from 1958 with the Studium Biblicum, where friars translated the bible into Chinese languages to help stem the flow of communism. However, there was not yet an established Franciscan parish or centre for formation of local friars.

At the invitation of the Minister General of the Order, a friar from Australia, Friar Sylvester Campbell, arrived in Singapore in 1969. The following year, he became the first Parish Priest of St Mary of the Angels, a small community of approximately 25 Catholics. This number quickly increased and Sylvester was joined by other Franciscans from Australia: Friars Gregory Eccles and George Boggs. Friar Fulgence Gross from the United States remained after the Studium Biblicum closed.

As there was still no formal centre or clear program for initial formation, discussions began on whether the Franciscans in Australia should continue to take care of the Singapore candidates or whether the Taiwanese friars would train them as missionaries for China. After negotiations involving the General Curia in Rome, the Australians were given approval to conduct the formation program.

  In 1984, Friar Alban Mitchell arrived in Singapore as novice master, followed in 1986 by Friar Phillip Miscamble as Director of Vocations. Phillip Miscamble's enthusiasm, long hours and hard work paid off, resulting in an influx of young men joining the Order.

Friar Michael Goh became the first local friar to be solemnly professed in 1987 followed by Friar John-Paul Tan who, in 1990, became the first local friar to be ordained.

The Franciscan Custody of St Anthony of Padua in Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei, dependent on the Province of the Holy Spirit in Australia, was officially constituted in 1991.

In 2000, the Friars began ministering to the people of St Ann Mission, Kuching, East Malaysia. In 2008, the friars began parish ministry in St Therese Parish, Masai, West Malaysia. 

In 2004, a new era was marked with a fully local Custody administration installed. Friar Michael D'Cruz was elected as the first local Custos.In 2010, Friar John Wong was elected Custos. Currently, there are around 30 friars in the Custody, including three recently ordained, newly solemnly professed, and others in initial formation. Two friars minister in Pakistan and one in Australia. (www.franciscans.sg)