Novena - nearly 7 decades of history

Novena Church 3D.

In 1935, a group of Redemptorist priests - part of a Catholic order founded in the 18th century in Naples, Italy - travelled to Singapore from Australia to carry out mission work.

After renting various properties including units at 339 and 418 Thomson Road, they settled down at No. 300 in 1948 - the site of Novena Church today.

The first property there, featuring a two-storey building where a room was converted into a chapel, was purchased from wealthy Chinese towkay Wee Kah Kiat for $120,000.


The church held its first Novena prayer devotion session with about 80 people in the chapel.

Work on a new church building began and was completed in 1950. Over time, features such as three arches were added to its facade. In 1964, a front walkway and bell tower were developed.

The church conducted about 10 packed Novena services every Saturday before it closed for upgrading in September 2014. The sanctuary was conserved in 2011.

Melody Zaccheus

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2016, with the headline 'Novena - nearly 7 decades of history'. Print Edition | Subscribe