The Korean Catholic community in Singapore has settled down in their new home at Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
They relocated from the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd to its current location at the end of October due to upcoming renovation works at the cathedral.
The community’s first Masses at Nativity Church began on Nov 4.
The move is permanent, according to Mr Daniel Kim, the community’s president.
The Korean Catholic community needed a big enough space for its activities and following consultations with various parishes, Nativity Church gave the community permission to use its premises.
The community also makes use of classrooms for its meetings, catechism classes and Masses.
Speaking to CatholicNews through Mr Kim, Korean chaplain Fr Louis Kim said that there are slightly more than 1,000 registered Korean Catholics in Singapore, though the actual number could be higher.
The average age of the community is about 40. The community comprises mostly families and is very active, Mr Kim told CatholicNews. About 350 to 400 people attend the group’s Sunday Masses while 50 to 70 people attend the weekday Masses.
The community also has a Legion of Mary curia. It also organises catechism classes for the children and youth as well as bible classes.
Mr Kim said that the community also takes part in mission outreach activities such as fundraising to help the needy in Vietnam and Myanmar, an annual mission trip within South East Asia, and supporting charities and old folks’ homes in Singapore.
Meanwhile, Mr Kim said that they are looking forward to integrating more with the local Catholic community, starting with the community in Nativity Church, with “open heart…open arms”.
And one way is through Korean language classes which the community is thinking of offering, Mr Kim added.
Korean Catholics CatholicNews spoke to said that they are trying to adjust to the move and the minor inconveniences.
Mr James Jeong said he is fine with the move though he prefers the more centralised location of the cathedral in town.
Madam Lydia Kim told said she is also adjusting to the move and the location, and believes that things will get better with time. She hopes to be able to know the local Catholics better.
Meanwhile, Mr Kim said that if the need arises, they would look at organising shuttle services for community members.
Korean Masses at Nativity Church
Sunday: 12.45pm (main church). Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (Block C3-4): 10am. Thursday: 7.30pm (Block C3-4). Saturday: 2.30pm (Children’s Mass at St John Auditorium), 5pm (Youth Mass at Block C3-4).
By Darren Boon