By Patricia Ang
SINGAPORE - The Father Damien Centre, the new building which replaces the former Damien Hall at Blessed Sacrament Church, has been officially opened after a construction period of more than 18 months and at a cost of $3.25 million (contract fee). The centre includes space for a bookshop, a St. Vincent de Paul room, an adoration room, a library, and 12 meeting rooms. The attic is reserved for the youth to meet.
The centre's official opening on Sep 22 was celebrated with Mass by Msgr Eugene Vaz and priests from the parish, several Redemptorist priests from the Parish Mission team, and Jesuit Father Charles Sim. The celebrations coincided with the 44th Parish Anniversary Mass and Dinner.
The new centre also houses the Family Counselling Room, classrooms for the kindergarten, canteen, a large basement and a multipurpose hall which can accommodate about 300 people.
The anniversary dinner was held at the new multipurpose hall. Happy parishioners were entertained by Gerard Pereira, priests, and various church groups such as the Mandarin-speaking, Filipinas, youth, and Catholic Neighbourhood Groups which performed dances and skits.
At the end of the dinner, Parish Priest Father Anthony Hutjes expressed his hope that the upcoming parish mission, which was to commence the second week of October, would mark a new beginning for the parish, and that it may grow into a community which is "fully alive".