Roman Catholicism in Singapore

Roman Catholicism in Singapore

Roman Catholicism in practiced by about 4.6% of Singapore's populace, or about 210,000 people. Roman Catholicism is practiced by people of Chinese (including Peranakan) and Eurasian descent, along with an Indian and European minority.


Roman Catholicism in Singapore has its roots from the Portuguese established Diocese of Malacca soon after Affonso de Albuquerque's conquest of Malacca in 1511. It is believed that the first Roman Catholic priest set foot in British Singapore in 1821 to attend to the needs of the growing community comprised largely of Europeans and some Chinese; however, it is probable that there had been Portuguese missionaries operating out of Malacca in Singapore during the Portuguese period, 1511-1641, prior to the British conquest. Within a time span of several years, notable Catholic churches, such as the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, were built. Missionary schools, notably Saint Joseph's Institution, were established and attended by Roman Catholics and non-Catholics (many of whom became converts).

Historically, Catholic communities were divided along racial lines - centred along the entire length of Queen St in town.

The vast majority of Catholics in Singapore at that time would comprise the Eurasians, who were chiefly located in the Waterloo St and Serangoon Road areas and were members of St Joseph's Church (143 Victoria St, rear of Queen St), the former Portuguese Mission church, along with the two schools, St Anthony's Boys School and St Anthony's Convent.

The Europeans congregated at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. (1A Queen St)

Indian Catholics, added the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes on Ophir Road, at the other end of Queen St.

Chinese Catholics in the city area were found at Sts Peter and Paul (Queen St), and the Sacred Heart Church (Tank Road). Conversion to Roman Catholicism among the Chinese community in the 19th century was met with disdain among Chinese immigrant societies in Singapore. Many of these Chinese Roman Catholic converts, a large number of whom were wealthy plantation owners, were frequently subjected to harassment from Chinese Secret SocietiesFact|date=February 2007. These were mainly located in the Upper Serangoon and Hougang areas where the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is located in what was traditionally a Teochew speaking heartland.

During World War II, in an attempt to manage the growing needs of the local people in Singapore, many Roman Catholics of Eurasian and Chinese ethnicity were deported to Bahau, also aptly called "Fuji Village" at that time, to be self-sufficient in their own food supply.

In 2005, Singapore held an exhibition, dubbed "Journey of Faith", on artefacts from Vatican City in the Asian Civilisations Museum at Empress Building, Roman Catholic-oriented artefacts, focusing on art and history, were put on display from June to October 2005.

List of Roman Catholic churches in Singapore

*Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
*Church of Ss Peter and Paul
*Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
*St Joseph's Church
*Church of St Bernadette
*Church of St Michael
*Church of St Teresa
*Church of the Sacred Heart
*Novena Church
*Church of the Holy Family
*Church of the Holy Trinity
*Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
*Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace
*Church of St Stephen
*Blessed Sacrament Church
*Church of St Francis of Assisi
*Church of St Ignatius
*Church of St Mary of the Angels
*Church of the Holy Cross
*Church of Christ the King
*Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea
*Church of St Anthony
*Church of the Holy Spirit
*Church of St Joseph
*Church of the Risen Christ
*Church of St Francis Xavier
*Church of St Vincent de Paul
*Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
*Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
*St Anne's Church (Singapore)

List of foreign roman catholic communities in Singapore

*Filipino Catholic Community of Singapore
*French-speaking Catholic Community of Singapore
*German-speaking Catholics
*Hong Kong Catholics
*Indonesian Charismatic Catholic Holy Spirit Prayer Group (KKIHS)
*Indonesian-speaking Catholics
*Japanese Catholic Group
*Korean Catholics

See also

* Archdiocese of Singapore
* List of Roman Catholic churches in Singapore
* Christianity in Singapore

Further reading

* [ One hundred years' history of the Chinese in Singapore, by Song Ong Siang] ISBN 0195826035
* [ Journey of Faith: Art and History from the Vatican Collections by Asian Civilisations Museum] ISBN 9810535058
* [*listing*title Syonan: My story the Japanese occupation of Singapore] ISBN 9812043608

External links

* [ The official Website of the Archdiocese of Singapore]
* [ The Website of the French-speaking catholic community of Singapore]
* [ The Catholic Church in Singapore] by Giga-Catholic Information
* [ Journey of Faith: Art and History From the Vatican Collections]
* [ Vatican treasures]
* [ The Hindu: Journey of faith]
* [ Journey of Faith exhibition]

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