St Mary of the Angels began as a small nameless hilltop chapel for the friars. Adjoining the Franciscan Sociological Centre, it was dedicated by Archbishop Michael Olçomendy in 1958.
In those days, the hill was surrounded by orchards, plantations and isolated villages, and neighbours would make their way up the hill to join the friars for mass. Over the years, a steady congregation would build up at the small public chapel next to St Anthony Friary.
In 1970, the Archbishop offered the friars a 25-year parish agreement and so the friars’ chapel became a parish church. A year later, the parish was formally given the name, the Church of St Mary of the Angels. It was named after St Mary of the Angels in Assisi, St Francis’ favourite chapel and the place where God’s graces and mercies were made known to many. Plans were announced that it would be extended by 29 feet to accommodate the growing number of parishioners.
In 1985, the Church of St Mary of the Angels was extended a second time due to the increase of parishioners resulting from the new blocks of HDB flats in the new township of Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak area. The existing parish hall and canteen, built in 1974, was greatly renovated, and in 1991, the new St Clare Centre included a parish office, a library, Sunday school classrooms and a kindergarten.
By 1998, with the building of high-rise housing estates all around the church, the congregation had tripled. It became clear once again that the size of the church was woefully inadequate to meet the needs of parishioners. Apart from overcrowding and parking problems, there was also an urgent need for major structural repairs in both the church building and the 40-year-old friary. A decision was taken to redevelop the site. The new church was completed in September 2003 and dedicated by Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia on 2nd February 2004.