Monday, February 4, 2008

last stop for the day! : Novena Church

After a well deserved brunch at Fish and Co. Xing Yu and i continue on our tour to the last place, that is the Novena Church. The hour was past the congregation time, we purposely choose to avoid it, as we did not want to get in the way of the people. A nice walk after a heavy lunch was the perfect thing, and again, it was a walking distance from the shopping center...

Welcoming worshippers before they enter the church...

Another interesting fact about this church is that they have a few congregation services in English and in Tagalog, for the Philippinos who goes there to pray. In fact, we were told, that this church is very famous, and people from different ethnic backgrounds, like himself, an Indian, would come there. It is a peaceful place he said, and we agree, place beside a major road, but, when you get there, to the church, it's not noisy at all...

I would agree with huda! The one common thing we realise in all the places of worship is the serenity and peacefulness within the premises, even when its located off the main road like the Novena church.
I am always intrigued by the classic beauty of old architectures, and unlike much of the recent churches that are located in contemporary designer-liked building, the novena church is a timeless beauty of the glory of architecture of its time. Having repainted and 'touched-up' on several occassions, this buildings still maintain its old time beauty. Take a close look at the grills, the pillars and windows and you will understand what i mean :)
As mentioned by Huda in the earlier part of the blog, they do conduct services in tagalog for the Fillipinos who were living/ working in Singapore. And as mentioned by the indian man we have met, the church do have events such as the NOVENAS which is held on alternate saturdays on hourly basis for believers or even non-believers. It is also the location for many of the 'functions' held by the catholic community.
The church is open daily, 24/7, and its definately a great place to get out of the city buzz and chaos in life, to say a simple prayer and find peace from within.
Did you know...

1) The Novena church is also known as the Church of St. Alphonsus, named after its founder - St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

2) Novena is named after the famous Novena Catholic Church along Thomson Road. Balestier Road is named after Joseph Balestier who owned a sugar plantation along Balestier Road in the mid 1800s and who was also the first American diplomat in Singapore.
-streetdirectory singapore-

3) The area surrounding the church used to be a Jewish cemetery. When the original Jewish cemetery behind Fort Canning was closed for development, the Jewish synagogue bought this piece of land in 1900 to replace the old cemetery. A wealthy and prominent Jew, Sir Manasseh Meyer who built both the synagogues in Singapore, also contributed by buying another piece of adjoining land for the new cemetery. Most of the Jews in Singapore are Sherpardi Jews who came to Singapore from Bombay and Culcutta. Ashkenazi (European) Jews were smaller in numbers and migrated mainly from Hamburg in the 1890s.

No comments: