The Church in Post-War Singapore

(1945 – 1972)

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The Church in Post-War Singapore
1972

The Church in Post-War Singapore

1945 - 1972

1945
1st June 1947

A new Bishop

Two years after Bishop Deval’s death, Father Michael Olçomendy was appointed Bishop of Malacca and consecrated in the Cathedral on 1st June 1947.
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1949

Arrival of the Franciscan Missionaries of Divine Motherhood

“China Pioneers” Mother Angela and her Sisters from the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood arrived from China to take over the tuberculosis wards of Tan Tock Seng hospital. Their nursing care also extended to the Leprosy Settlement as well.
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1950

Marist Brothers arrive in Singapore

The Marist Brothers arrived in Singapore to supervise the educational programme of the Catholic High School. They went on to set up more schools for boys.
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1952

Catholic medical professional body set up

The Catholic Medical Guild was set up in 1952 with Father Joy SJ as the spiritual director.
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19th September 1953

From Diocese to Archdiocese

The Diocese of Malacca which included Singapore, was raised to the status of an archdiocese. Bishop Olçomendy became the Archbishop of Malacca-Singapore.
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1957

The first Franciscan Friars arrive in Singapore

The first friars established a sociological institute for outreach and research. In Aug 1958 Archbishop Olçomendy officially declared the presence and ministry of the Franciscan Friars (Order of Friars Minor), followed two months later by a formal decree from Rome on the canonical establishment of this new community.

The Franciscans’ pastoral began in a small chapel in Tuas dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. This was to be followed by the Church of St Francis of Assisi and later Church of St Mary of the Angels.

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April 1959
Beginnings of Catholic Welfare Services

Beginnings of Catholic Welfare Services

The inaugural meeting of Catholic Welfare Services took place on 20th April 1959. The President was Archbishop Michael Olcomendy, and his two vice-presidents, Monsignors Noel Goh and Hippoloyte Berthold. Dr Joseph Ee Peng Liang was the Chairman, Mr Cyril Chew and Brother Albert SG, were the honorary secretary and treasurer respectively.
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1960s

Rise of Catholic Social Study Groups

Several Catholic Social Study Groups were set up to encourage Catholics to discuss social issues, but also to meet and socialize. These include Catholic Workers Movement and the Young Catholic Students Movement.
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1st Oct 1961

Church of St Michael celebrates its first mass

The first mass was celebrated at St Michael’s on 1st October 1961, with Father John Lei as parish priest, in a two-story house purchased for the church. This was one of the first parishes in Singapore that was formed to serve a specific territory instead of a linguistic group.
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1962

Rose Villa opens

Rose Villa opened in response to the growing number of unmarried mothers who were approaching the Good Shepherd Sisters for shelter during their pregnancy.
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1964

Students do their part too!

Students from Catholic secondary schools were recruited in 1964 to join the Catholic Welfare Services’ Workers’ Corp to bring cheers to needy patients of the Kwong Wai Sui Free Hospital and to distribute ready-made food to them. The first group of members came from Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, St Anthony’s Convent and St Joseph’s Institution.
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16th September 1967

Going mobile to rural Singapore

The Mobile Clinic, managed by the Canossian Sisters, began the provision of medical services in three rural areas with one visit a week. Visits started for Tuas Village and Jalan Kayu in 1967 and later for Changi in 1968. The Mobile Clinic was phased out at the end of 1979 when more Government outpatient clinics were opened.
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August 1969

Nazarene centre to reach out to the former Bukit Ho Swee Victims

The Bukit Ho Swee Community Service Project, better known as the Nazarene Centre, was initiated by the combined efforts of the priests of St Bernadette, an Anglican Pastor and the Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. This was in response to a felt need to improve the living conditions of the residents in low-cost housing built for needy families affected by the Bukit Ho Swee fire.
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1972

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