Fr Claude Barreteau, MEP, passed away on March 24.

Fr Claude Barreteau, MEP, was called home to the Lord on March 22.

His funeral was held in Montbeton, France, on March 24.

The French-born priest was born on July 7, 1929, and ordained in May 1955. He arrived in Singapore in 1959.

After a few months serving at the Church of the Holy Family, he spent 18 months in Kuala Lumpur learning Cantonese. He then took care of the Chinese community of Kluang for five years and became the first resident priest of Labis. He built the church there and stayed there for eight years.

He returned to Singapore in 1978 and served first in the parish of St Michael and later at St Joseph (Bukit Timah) where he built the parish house and centre.

He became parish priest of Sts Peter and Paul in 1993, where he contributed greatly.

As the more than century-old church building was rapidly deteriorating, he immediately initiated a major renovation. The church was repainted and a new steeple and new roofing constructed. The public address system was replaced.

He also oversaw the church’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

He was the only priest working in the parish and tirelessly ministered to both English and Chinese-speaking parishioners.

Towards the end of his tenure, he raised sufficient funds for the church and laid plans for the construction of the present parochial building.

Fr Barreteau retired in 1998 due to ill health. After a short home leave, he returned to Singapore and was posted to St Theresa’s Home for the elderly as its chaplain.

He returned to France in 2008. He died at the age of 81 after serving the Church in Asia for 49 years

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