Among those with Archbishop William Goh at the dedication Mass were (at the altar from left) Fr Edward Lim, Fr Ignatius Yeo and Deacon Cornelius Ching.Among those with Archbishop William Goh at the dedication Mass were (at the altar from left) Fr Edward Lim, Fr Ignatius Yeo and Deacon Cornelius Ching.

After two years of renovations, the Church of Sts Peter and Paul held its dedication Mass on June 29.

About 1,000 people attended the Mass of the Dedication of Church and Altar, and many could be seen smiling as they entered the newly refurbished 146-year-old building.

Some of the new features in the church include a high marble altar, black-and-white cement-tiled flooring, a new rose stained-glass window on the front façade of the church, and air-conditioning.

Priests and laypeople seated in the church during the dedication Mass on June 29. Priests and laypeople seated in the church during the dedication Mass on June 29. Parish priest Fr John Chua preparing the sealant for the depositing of the relics of Sts Peter and Paul into the altar.Parish priest Fr John Chua preparing the sealant for the depositing of the relics of Sts Peter and Paul into the altar.

“I think the church looks beautiful. Before the renovations, there was a sense of dullness,” said parishioner Cindy Wee, 54, adding that she felt the church looked “lifeless” before.

“Having these improvements definitely brightens the mood as evident by the smiles on people’s faces!”

Another parishioner, Mr Dustin Low, expressed his gratitude to all those involved in “renewing” the church. “I’m in awe of how the church looks now and can’t say how appreciative I am to everyone that has rallied to make this parish vibrant again,” said the 50-year-old. 

Archbishop William Goh celebrated the dedication Mass which included readings in Mandarin and Cantonese. In his homily, he highlighted the two saints the church was named after and urged parishioners to learn from their “example of discipleship”.

“They [Sts Peter and Paul] were undaunted in proclaiming the Gospel. They were willing to die for what they believed in. Our faith must be like them, especially today when there are so many challenges in the world,” said Archbishop Goh.

“They show us the way to renew the Church.”

During the Mass, Archbishop Goh also placed the bone fragment relics of Sts Peter and Paul into the altar.

Parish priest, Carmelite Fr John Chua, shared about the challenges the parish faced over the past two years at the end of Mass.

“Many times during the course of planning, there were many delays and setbacks. Looking back at all the incidents, there were reasons for all these obstacles which actually turned out to our advantage, such as more time to ... find better sources to improve the plans we had,” said Fr John.

He also expressed his gratitude to all parishioners and others who contributed to the renovation of the church.

After Mass, many viewed an exhibition featuring some of the treasured items of the church. They included bone fragment relics of Sts Faustina Kowalska, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross; a papal medal; old vestments and sacred vessels.

Bone fragment relics of Sts Teresa of Avila (left) and John of the Cross were on display at the exhibition held within the church compound. Bone fragment relics of Sts Teresa of Avila (left) and John of the Cross were on display at the exhibition held within the church compound.

“I was really impressed with the exhibition,” said Ms Caroline Sim, 41. “I had no idea the parish housed some of the relics on display. It was also nice to see my children taking an interest in the other items at the exhibition.”

The exhibition, held within the church compound, is on until July 24.

By Jared Ng
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