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Officially known as the Church of the Holy Family but affectionately called the 'Katong Church' or the 'Katong Catholic Church' by the older generations, Holy Family was the first Roman Catholic Church built along the eastern coastline of Singapore. Like the holy family of Nazareth, the parish started from very humble beginnings: worship and prayers were conducted in a makeshift hut made by the LeSalle brothers.

Consecrated in November 1923 as the Chapel of the Holy Family on a plot of land donated by a wealthy Eurasian, James Scheerder, the faith community expanded exponentially in the two decades before the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. Lured by the presence of Catholic missionary schools, a more vibrant faith community and the fascination of living near the beach, many Eurasians moved to set up homes in eastern Singapore.

At the same time, many Straits-born Chinese or Peranakans living in the town areas also made the move to Katong. They were converted and became part of the growing congregation at Holy Family. By the late 1920s, it was plainly evident that the chapel was too small to house the community of worshippers and plans got underway to erect a new building on the existing site.

Completed in 1932, the new Holy Family parish became a vibrant focal point for the Eurasian and Peranakan communities in Katong, especially on Sundays when parishioners would gather in the bakeries and coffee shops nearby after mass.  These two communities brought with them an eclectic blend of culture, food and fashion unique to Katong; so prevalent was the influence of the Peranakan community that today, the Church of the Holy Family remains the sole Catholic Church in Singapore to celebrate Peranakan masses on the eve of every Lunar New Year.

In April 1936, Rev Fr. Ruaudel was appointed Parish Priest of the new parish and the first Christmas Midnight Mass was celebrated that same year. Until 1961, the Church of the Holy Family remained the only Roman Catholic church attending to the spiritual needs of the faithful in the eastern side of this island.

In 1999, a massive reconstruction of the church that took some two years to complete was undertaken at a cost of more than $10 million. A new church building with a sixteen-panel stain glass imported from Italy was installed on the back of the building.  The front sculptures of the church building are the only parts that were retained from the original church.

 

1902

 

 


  • Eurasian landowners who joined the LaSalle Brothers for mass at their timber houses mooted the idea of building a church.
  • A wealthy Eurasian landowner, James Leonard Scheerder donated a piece of land to be used to build a chapel in Katong.
  • A laterite road along what is presently known as East Coast Road was under construction and would become the main road facing the church

1923

 

 


  • Construction was completed and the Chapel was blessed on 11 November 1923 and dedicated to the Holy Family of Nazareth, on the request of James Scheerder, the donor.

history1923

1931

   
  • The exponential growth of the Catholic community in the Katong area led to the decision to demolish the chapel and build a bigger church.

1932

   
  • Construction of the church was completed and the church was blessed on 19 June 1932

1936

 

 


  • The chapel was designated a parish and became the first Roman Catholic Church on the eastern side of Singapore.
  • It was named the Church of the Holy Family.
  • Fr. Pierre Ruaudel was appointed as the first Parish Priest on 25 April and the first Christmas Midnight Mass was celebrated on Christmas Eve in 1936.

history1936a history1936b

1949

   
  • The Legion of Mary was established

1954

   
  • The Society of St Vincent de Paul was established

1965

   
  • The church was expanded with funds raised among parishioners. Notable changes made included additions made to the church building, the building of a new wing facing Sea Avenue, and the construction of a two-storey Youth & Welfare Centre and a two-storey prebystery

history1965a

1970

   
  • The expansion was completed on 4 April 1970

history1970

1975

   
  • The late Fr Alfred Chan became the first local Parish Priest of the Church of the Holy Family. He served for 19 years and left for the Seminary in 1994.

  • Fr Chan made immense contributions to the parish during his tenure. Most parishioners would remember him as the priest who introduced the Peranakan Mass on the eve of Chinese New Year. To date, this tradition continues.

history1975a history1975b

1994

   
  • A plan to reconstruct a whole new church building was drawn up. Fr Anthony Ho, newly-posted to Holy Family as parish priest, took on this daunting challenge. A Building Fund Raising Committee was tasked with raising $10 million to construct a four-storey church building which would include:
    - a basement columbarium capable of housing 1,000 niches
    - above-ground space for 200 parking lots
    - Church to have a seating capacity of 2,000 parishioners on the first and mezzanine levels
    - Meeting rooms and Multi-Purpose Hall on the Second Level
    - Childrens' Play Centre and Canteen on the Third Level

    On 27 December 1997, Feast day of the Holy Family, a last mass was celebrated before the church was demolished.

history1994a history1994b

1999

 

 


  • The construction of the new Church of the Holy Family was completed and blessed by the late Archbishop Gregory Yong on 26 Dec 1999.

history1999

2000

   
  • Fr John Baptist Tou succeeded Fr Anthony Ho as Parish Priest of the new Holy Family Church.

2002

 

 


  • Fr Patrick Goh was appointed parish priest. The New Way of Being Church and Small Christian Communities became the vision of the parish.

history FrPat

2005

 

 


The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) was formed.

2006

 

 


  • The Timor Leste Christmas Project was jointly organised by the parish and the Jesuit Refugee Service.  The church also provided assistance to refugees; scholarships for school children and created a new Dental Clinic for the community of refugees.
  • Nearer home, an Advent Project provided financial support to the Marine Parade Family Service Centre for needy families and elderly.

2013

 

 


  • 'Living the Faith' was launched and three parish priorities - families, the less fortunate and overseas parishioners - were initiated to become the focal points driving the church forward

2014

 

 


  • 'Living my Christian Faith in the City' - the church has a vibrant faith community including a substantial population of parishioners from overseas

  • Is supported by a strong and united collaboration between the church's different Ministries, Organisations and Groups (MOGs) and her 12 Neighbourhood Christian Communities (NCCs).

  • The World Christian Meditation (Singapore) has its centre at Church of the Holy Family.

  • Fr Patrick Goh is supported by Asst Parish Priests Fr Damian de Wind and Fr Donatien Davaine.

history2014a history2014

 

   

MASS TIMINGS

Weekdays
6.15 am (Mondays to Saturdays)
6.15 pm (Mondays to Fridays)
8.30 am (Public Holidays)

Saturday Sunset Masses
6.00 pm (English)
8.00 pm (Mandarin)

Sunday Masses
7.15 am
9.15 am
11.30 am
6.00 pm

Confession
30 minutes before weekend masses

Novena
5.00 pm Saturday

PARISH PRIORITIES

sideButton families

sideButton lessfortunate

sideButton overseas

Calendar

Getting here

BY BUS:
East Coast Rd: 10, 12, 14, 32, 40, 47
Still Road: 13, 55, 966
Marine Parade: 15, 16,  31,  36, 47. 48, 76, 135, 196, 197, 966

BY MRT:
Nearest MRT station is Eunos (~2.5km)

Parish Office Operating Hours:
Weekdays: 9am to 9.30 pm
Weekends: 9am to 6pm
Lunch Break: 1pm to 2pm

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