Friday, August 18, 2017

Parish History

A church was established in 1957, primarily to meet the needs of the catholic community in rural town Kuala Kangsar. The initial structure on the present property was a simple frame wooden chapel/residence. In recognition of the overwhelming Irish heritage of the early fathers, this new church was named St. Patrick.

It all begun with the MEP priest Fr. Eusebe Chevauche (1911-1914), the parish priest from Klian Pao Church Taiping, used to travel 28kms to build a community in Kuala Kangsar. In 1912 he erected a wooden chapel dedicated to St. Patrick, on a piece of land donated by the British District Officer of Upper Perak, Mr. Bekeley.

Fr. Cardon, MEP (1919 – 1931) continued to visit the small community whenever he traveled to Grik, near the Siamese border and other places along the way. Another piece of land was donated by a generous parishioner Mr. John Thivy and a house was built for a resident, Mr. Fernandez who was catering to the Catholics scattered in the villages or estates such as Kati, Karai, Lenggong on the way to Grik.

In 1953, Fr. Noel Clement from St. Louis Church, Taiping (1947 – 1955) with help of Fr. Norris built a church and a proper house for the catechist. In 1955, work to build a parochial house was started for the priest and in 1958 the place was ready to receive its first resident priest, Fr. John Hiong.

A hall for meetings and parish activities was built in 1965 and a kindergarten was opened for at two-fold purpose: to give education to children and to provide resources to the parish that had no income.

In 1970 Fr. Rene Chineau succeeded Fr. John Hiong. The previous facilities were found to be no longer sufficient for the increasing congregation. Fr. Rene renovated the church and kindergarten to accommodate them. In 1983, Fr. R. Chineau was posted to Batu Gajah Parish.

Fr. Thomas Chin administered the parish from 1983-1985. For a short period the parish priest of Taiping was appointed ‘the priest in charge’ of Kuala Kangsar. Fr. Maiccal Sinnappan took over the Parish in 1986. During his time, the Youth Wing was formed and the Church Choir revived. He built a grotto for our Lady in the church compound. Fr. Maurice Surmon succeeded Fr. Sinnappan in 1992 as a parish priest. A multipurpose hall was built by him in 1996.

In 1996, Fr. Robin Andrews succeeded Fr. M.Surmon as the next parish priest. He was then replaced by Fr. David Lourdes in 2002. Fr. Michael Dass was posted to the parish when Fr. Lourdes went for a renewal course in 2003. Fr. Michael Dass ministered for about a year and he was later transferred to Sungai Petani Parish. Fr. Victor Louis became the administrator for a few months before Fr. Anthony Pillai assumed his responsibility as administrator in March 2005. In 2010, Fr. Michael Dass was re-posted to the parish.