Sunday, December 03, 2006

Church of St. Anthony, Kuala Lumpur

Just beside the Puduraya Bus Station, along a lonely road and surrounded on all sides by tall high rises is the Church of St. Anthony. Because the Church in Kuala Lumpur is starved for land, the Church is now surrounded by the 4 story Archdiosecan Pastoral Institute and the private archdiocesan high school, Stella Maris. The compound also houses the Cahaya Suara Communications Centre and gift shop.

The Church just underwent a major restoration as its roof almost caved in. Thus, the centenary celebrations had to be celebrated in the Pastoral Centre Hall. However, I think the restoration managed to preserved the best elements of the building's heritage and no wreckovations were carried out.

Surrounded on all sides in the heart of the city, the Church, one of the oldest and architecturally one of the most imposing, still manages to inspire and awe. By the time I walked here from the Cathedral, it was almost 6 o'clock and the rainy and overcast sky was darkening fast.
Some migrant workers were practicing for Mass the next day as I made my way into the Church.

The left side altar is dedicated to St. Anthony, patron of this Church.

The right side altar is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The side altar is made of wood and painted white. I guess that this was done during the restoration because the wood must have started to deteriorate. The roof did cave in after all.

On the left and the right of the High Altar are the statues of Mary and Joseph respectively.
The sacred dimness of the Church is pierced by the stained glass rosettes that line the wall and the transepts.

Here's the view from the altar towards the back of the Church.

From the main door looking towards the altar.

A close-up of the apse.
The the stained glass depicting events in the life of St. Anthony gives
a sacred aura to the sanctuary.

The High Altar was preserved in the restoration The marble is inlaid with mosaics with plant and floral motifs. Note that the tabernacle is still veiled.

Some shots of the High Altar, where the Blessed Sacrament is still reserved.
The four panels of stained glass. One of the shots is blurry, which I did not notice until I got back.

The old wooden confessional.

When I left to catch my bus, the sun was finally beginning to set with the overcast sky framing the defiant spire of the Church.


The Hymn Selector said...

Nice pictures. Another church of similar architecture and even more impressive interior would be Holy Rosary Church in Brickfields, which is just about 2km away from St. Anthony's Church.

The colour combination of the marble high altar is rather odd, though, and certainly not to my liking. Green and brown...yucks.

Anonymous said...

I'm very pleased to see how this church is well restored and preserved.
The missionnary priest who founded this church is François Le Mahec. He was the brother of my grand mother.
I would like to thank all the people who participate in this restoration.

Pierre BOUSSARD (France)

Anonymous said...

The restoration is good yet necessary;however what happened to the other images in the church? The little st Anthony,the pieta,st Sebastian,our Lady,St Jude,and St Thresa of the child Jesus are all missing from the renovations. Why?Are we becoming protestants? Let us remember that there are a good number of indian catholics have great devotion not only to st Anthony but also to st sebastian and Jude.Moreover nobody has the right to remove thse images as they were donated by people of the parish ages ago. Removing them is an insult and ingratitude to those who donated them;and an insult to devotees.

Andrew said...

Dear anonymous, I totally agree with you that the statues, which I was not aware were there, should not be removed. It's part of our Catholic heritage and the veneration of the saints is an integral part of our Faith.

In Penang, the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, which is a very Protestant looking round Church, recently installed statues of many saints inside. Among them are St. Anthony of Padua, St. Faustina, St. Francis and others. This is a step in the right direction.