One in Love and Service

History of the Catholic Church in Singapore

The Roman Catholic Church in Singapore was initially under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Malacca erected in 1558. She was transferred to the Vicariate Apostolic of Ava and Pegu in 1838 and then the Vicariate Apostolic of Siam in 1840. In 1841, the Church was placed under the jurisdiction of the Vicariate Apostolic of Western Siam that was erected from the Vicariate Apostolic of Siam. Initially called the Vicariate Apostolic of Western Siam, the name was changed to the Vicariate Apostolic of the Malay Peninsula and finally the Vicariate Apostolic of Malacca-Singapore.

In 1888, the Church was once again placed under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Malacca when the Diocese was revived. The Diocese of Malacca was raised to the rank of an archdiocese in 1953. In 1955, the Archdiocese of Malacca was split and an ecclesiastical province was formed in its place comprising of the Archdiocese of Malacca-Singapore as the metropolitan see and the dioceses of Kuala Lumpur and Penang as suffragan dioceses.

In 1972, the Archdiocese of Malacca-Singapore was split into the Diocese of Malacca-Johor and the Archdiocese of Singapore with the Archdiocese of Singapore coming under the direct jurisdiction of the Holy See.

History of the Church of Christ the King

When Ang Mo Kio first established, there was no church in the estate for the Catholics to call their parish. Those living in zones 100, 200, 600 and 700 had to attend mass at the Church of Holy Spirit, which was a distance away along Upper Thomson Road. The other residents from zones 300, 400 and 500 had to travel to Serangoon Gardens for mass at Church of St Francis Xavier.

The Archdiocese thus decided to build a church in the new town to cater to Catholics. Fr Louis Fossion, parish priest of the Church of the Holy Spirit at that time, was entrusted as caretaker priest’ to build the church – both the building and the community – with the help of the Catholic Family Christian Movement. Costing around $3 million, the church, officially opened on 26 September 1982, was one of the most expensive churches to be built in its time.

As the population in Ang Mo Kio grew, the congregation at Christ the King grew as well. By the 1990s, the sanctuary had become too small to accommodate the congregation. Power blackouts were common as the church did not have a power station and the roof was leaking badly. In 1996, the church decided to undertake a rebuilding programme to construct a bigger church and a columbarium. The original building was demolished in 1999 to make way for the current building. The new building was blessed and re-dedicated by Archbishop Nicholas Chia on 13 April 2002.

In the church, you will also see an icon of the Mother of Perpetual Help. This icon dates back to the 1950s and was originally venerated in Novena Church till it was badly tarnished. It was then kept in a store till 1998 when it was given away to a devotee. The devotee, upon hearing about the church’s rebuilding, donated the icon for display in the church. The grime and dirt on the icon was later removed by an art restorer and a new frame was installed.

Timeline

20 Sept 1981 – Blessing and laying of foundation stone at the construction site of the church building was officiated by late Archbishop Gregory Yong.

Mid 1982 – The three pioneer shepherds sent by Archdiocese – Fr Anthony Ho (Parish Priest), Fr Frans De Ridder (CICM) and Fr Jean Pierre Benit (CICM).

1 Aug 1982 – Vision Sunday & first recruitment exercise was attended by 700+ residents from the estate to share their vision and plans “We come to serve, not to be served” for the new parish. Many signed up as choir members, wardens and altar servers after the event.

15 Aug 1982 – First Mass was held on Assumption Day concelebrated by all three priests and served by the newly formed ministries recruited on Vision Sunday.

29 Sept 1982 – Late Archbishop Gregory Yong blessed and officiated the opening of the Church.

27 May 1983 – Fr Edward Lim, a parishioner of CTK, was ordained in CTK on 27 May 1983. Since the ordination of Fr Edward, our parish has also seen four other priests ordained through the years – Fr Peter Koh (CICM), Fr Albert Ng, Fr Luke Fong and Fr Frederick Quek.

1996 – A major rebuilding project was undertaken to increase the seating capacity and solve the infrastructural issues.

1999 – The original building was demolished to make way for the new church. A temporary church was erected in the car park to serve the parishioners in CTK.

13 April 2002 – The new building was blessed and re-dedicated by Archbishop Nicholas Chia on 13 April 2002.

2003 to 2004 – “One in Love and Service” was chosen as the Parish Mission statement by the newly formed Parish Pastoral Council headed by Fr Peter Koh, consists of a three-tier structure – Parish Assembly (PA), Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and its Executive Committee (PPC-Exco).

2005 – The PPC, spear-headed by Fr Peter Koh decided to activety extend Our Mission – “One in Love and Service” to people outside Singapore by working with the Jesuit Regugee Service (JRS) to help refugees in Northern Thailand. The PPC embacked on a two-year adoption of Krung Jor Camp in Advent 2005.

October 2006 – In response to Archbishop Nicholas’ Annoucement on the possibility of having female Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (CatholicNews, 16 Oct 2006), eight ladies were appointed by our priests to become Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

July to December 2007 – “God’s Chosen People” was the central theme of the 25th Anniversary Celebrations with a Feast day mass concelebrated by Archbishop Nicholas Chia and the past and present priests of the parish on 24 November 2007.

2009 to 2010 – Pope Benedict XVI has declared 19 June 2009 to 19 June 2010 as the Year for Priests. The theme for the Year for Priests is “Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests.” The parishioners of Christ the King launched a series of activities to showcase their appreciation and support to the three parish priests, Fr Peter Koh, Fr Stephen Yim and Fr Kenny Tan.

5 to 12 February 2010 – St John Vianney @ Church of Christ the King. A week long activities were planned to host the statue of St John Vianney, it kicked off month ahead with a spiritual bouquets and affirmation prepared and written by the parishioners and ended with a presentation of scrapbook for the priests after the thanksgiving mass on 12 February at 8pm.

9 June 2011 – 25th Sacerdotal Anniversary of our parish priest Fr Peter Koh was graced by Archbishop Nicholas Chia on 9 June at 6.30pm thanksgiving mass.

15 October 2012 – Sacerdotal Ordination of Deacon Edward Lim of Jesus, OCD, a parishioner of CTK, presided by Archbishop Nicholas Chia on 15 October, 6.30pm mass at Church of Christ the King.

2012 to 2013 – In keeping with our parish pastoral concern and the Year of Faith (beginning 11 Oct 2012 and ending on the Feast of Christ the King, 24 November 2013), the parish is conducting a PARISH MISSION 2013 – “Rekindling Our Faith”, in collaboration with the Redemptorist Priests from Novena Church.

Church Fathers Appointment From To
Rev Fr Peter Koh Parish Priest              2003 Present
Rev Fr Paul Ngo Thanh Phong, (MEP) Assistant Parish Priest 2015 Present
Rev Fr John Khoo Assistant Parish Priest 2015 Present
Rev Fr Kenny Tan Assistant Parish Priest 2008  2015
Rev Fr Emmanuel Danjoux (MEP) Assistant Parish Priest 2011  2015
Rev Fr Stephen Yim Assistant Parish Priest 2004 2011
Rev Fr Robertus Sarwiseso (CICM) Assistant Parish Priest 2005 2008
Rev Fr Andrew Wong Assistant Parish Priest 2002 2005
Rev Fr Johnson Fernandez Parish Priest  1995 2003
Rev Fr Edmund Chong Assistant Parish Priest 2003
Rev Fr Timothy Yeo Assistant Parish Priest 1999 2002
Rev Fr Terence Pereira Assistant Parish Priest 1999
Rev Fr Cary Chan Assistant Parish Priest
Rev Fr Michael Sitaram Assistant Parish Priest
Rev Fr Anthony Ho Parish Priest 1982 1995   
Rev Fr Frans De Ridder (CICM) Assistant Parish Priest 1982
Rev Fr Jean Pierre Benit (CICM) Assistant Parish Priest 1982