The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
About The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
A Catholic church called the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also referred to as simply the Church of the Nativity, is situated at 1259 Upper Serangoon Road. Early on, the church provided services to the Teochew Catholic community, composed of farmers living in the Serangoon and Punggol areas. The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary presently predominantly serves a diverse neighborhood in the Hougang housing estate. In 2005, the gothic-style church received national monument status.
An attap chapel constructed in 1853 can get used to tracking the church’s history. St Mary’s Chapel, a masonry chapel, eventually took its place. The current church, which bears the name The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was constructed in 1901 by Fr. Jean Casimir Saleilles, a parish priest from 1881 to 1911.
Fr. Francis Chan served as the parish priest from 1946 to 1955, during which time he built St. Anne and St. Francis Xavier shrines in the enclosure behind the sacristy. A marble statue of Mary gets presented to the Nativity Church by Sultan Ibrahim of Johor thanks to his cordial connection. Fr. Chan originally blessed the statue on December 8th, 1946, at a Marian devotion with the procession.
Features of the building
The church’s initial shape was rectangular, constructed in the neo-Gothic style. The church now resembles a Latin cross due to the construction of transepts in the 1930s. A bell tower with an elaborate brass cross and spire is at the front of the church. The belfry and both transepts’ facades get decorated with rose windows.
Chapels of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Conception get located to the left and right of the ideal marble altar in the center of the church, respectively. On the walls of the side aisles, niches get adorned with saint statues. The Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Conception, St. Joseph, and St. Therese of Lisieux are each depicted in one of the five stained-glass windows behind the altars. Five previous Church priests’ graves are in the nave.
“The Immaculate Conception of Mary” is a famous statue that is visible in the foreground of the church’s entryway. In appreciation for their long-standing friendship, Sultan Ibrahim of Johor gave the church this marble statue in memory of Reverend Father Francis Chan served as the parish priest from 1946 to 1955 and would later become the Bishop of Penang.
Currently, the church serves 6000 or more parishioners. Since the Korean Catholic community permanently relocated and became based here in 2012, an additional 1200 parishioners have joined the congregation for Korean Mass.
In addition to holding religious services, the church launched the Nativity Church Kindergarten in 2003 for kids in Pre-Nursery, Nursery, K1, and K2. Senior Connection At Nativity is a senior daycare center that only opened in 2016 to offer daycare services to seniors in the neighborhood, irrespective of their religious affiliation.
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