Church of St Bernadette

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Church of St Bernadette

12 Zion Rd, Singapore 247731

Website: http://www.stbernadette.org.sg/ 

In the 1950s, Father Stephen Lee envisaged the need for a new church to serve the spiritual needs of the growing Catholic population in River Valley, Tiong Bahru, Alexandra and Orchard areas. Archbishop Olçomendy decided to establish a new parish at Zion Road in 1958. This Church was dedicated to St Bernadette as that year was the centennial celebration of the apparitions at Lourdes.

The end of World War II brought a renewed growth in the Catholic faith all over Singapore. The number of Catholics increased and new parishes had to be developed to serve the expanding needs.

In the 1950s, Father Stephen Lee envisaged the need for a new church to serve the spiritual needs of the growing Catholic population in River Valley, Tiong Bahru, Alexandra and Orchard areas. Archbishop Olçomendy decided to establish a new parish at Zion Road in 1958. This Church was dedicated to St Bernadette as that year was the centennial celebration of the apparitions at Lourdes.

Dynamic, zealous and self-effacing, Father Pierre Abrial was appointed to head the construction project and raise the needed funds. Catholic families within the boundaries of the parish and well-wishers were approached, and in no time, the required funds were raised. Construction was started and completed in a record seven months.

On a wet and rainy 30th March 1959, the Church of St Bernadette was blessed and officially opened by Archbishop Michael Olçomendy. Within a year from its opening, extensions to the Parish House were added to provide for more space and meeting rooms and a parish hall was later added in 1962. In 1964, a school within the compound of the church was placed under the Infant Jesus Sisters, and was named Kellock Convent. Beside the IJ Sisters, the parish also had a long partnership with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) Sisters who were involved in the pastoral work of the parish by teaching catechism to children and adults.

By the 1970s, the Church had become a flourishing community. The local community went on to embrace the Indonesian community when the Keluarga Katolik Indonesia di Singapura group moved its base to the Church of St Bernadette in 1994. By the late 1990s, many more pastoral ministries like the Parish Pastoral Council were formed. The church underwent an extensive renovation in 2008 and the newly renovated church opened its doors again on 1st August 2009.  A special dedication mass of the Church took place on 18th October 2009 which also coincided with the Church’s 50th anniversary. During this special mass, a relic of St Bernadette was placed into a specially prepared aperture located on the altar of the main church. In line with its dedication, the interior walls of St Bernadette Church has 12 crosses anointed with holy oil, and represents the 12 Apostles on which the foundation of the Church is laid.

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