Novena Church (Church of St Alphonsus)

Rachel church thing

If you ask a Catholic where the Church of St Alphonsus is, they would probably stumble over their words and the answer you would ultimately get would be a confused shrug of the shoulders. However, both Catholics and Non-Catholics know the existence of Novena Church. The Church of St Alphonsus, more famously known as Novena Church, is located at 300 Thomson Road next to the shopping mall Velocity @ Novena Square. It is maintained by the Redemptorist community in Singapore, a group of people dedicated to preaching the Good News of the Lord to the abandoned.

Novena Church is usually empty, with the exception of a handful of people. However, it gets crowded during mass times, it gets even more crowded during its weekly Saturday ‘Novena’ devotion services, where at least 25,000 people consisting of both Catholics and Non-Catholics gather. In fact, it got so popular that the church had to close a few years back in order to expand as its original structure from the 1950s was having difficulty withstanding the large crowd that gathered for the Saturday ‘Novena’ sessions. It reopened in late 2017 and has attracted even more people with its beautiful architecture. A ‘Novena’ is a series of prayers said 9 consecutive times with the hope that your petition will be answered by God.

A ‘Novena’ is a series of prayers said 9 consecutive times, or more usually over 9 consecutive days in the hope that your petition will be answered by God. The ‘Novena’ devotion sessions are held in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, who is also known as the mother of Jesus, Mother Mary. The reason why these sessions are so popular is because Novena Church is known as a place where miracles happen and a place where petitions are answered. During these Saturday sessions, as many as 800 petitions and thanksgivings are submitted each week, some of which are read out by the priest. Petitioners usually ask for Mother Mary to intercede their prayers to Jesus.

To interest you further, here are a couple of miracles that have happened at Novena Church. An old lady who was losing her sight went for the ‘Novena’ devotion sessions 9 consecutive times. Although she eventually lost her sight, she continued going for the devotion sessions and he sight was finally restored on her 11th session. Going back to a 1990s, a mother and her daughter went for the ‘Novena’ devotion sessions to pray for the daughter’s PSLE. As they were walking into the church, the mother saw the statue of Mother Mary blink at her. Her daughter ended up being one of the top students in the country.

Even if you aren’t a Catholic, you are still welcome to visit the church simply for its beauty. The peace and tranquility of the place makes it the ideal place for one to live in the moment, rest, or bawl your eyes out. While you are at it, feel free to drop by the bookshop and get a souvenir!

Address: 300 Thomson Road, 307653

Rachel Goh

S3 Wisdom





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