Back to the Beginning: The Sungei Way Chapel
Our story as a Catholic community actually began long before we were located at Taman Plaza. When the village of Sungei Way was opened up in the 1960s, Jesuit Fr Edmund Sullivan was sent to minister to the spiritual needs of the Catholics residing in Sungei Way. In time, a wooden house was obtained which was converted into a Chapel – the original SIC. Initially, small numbers gathered at the Chapel for Mass but the congregation soon grew as Catholics living beyond Sungei Way came for Mass and other services. Besides daily Mass, the Chapel was the venue for prayer gatherings and Catechism classes which were held both in the Chapel and in nearby houses. When Catechism was in session, families gathered for Coffee Mornings held at the side of the Chapel. The Chapel soon began to ‘burst at the seams’ and, clearly, more space was needed. In the faith that bigger premises could be obtained, Fr Sullivan set up the SIC Building Fund Committee in May 1972. Plans to raise funds were initiated soon after.
Fr Edmund Sullivan and Fr Francis Ng
Prospects for a new Church brightened in February 1973 when the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur,Tan Sri Dominic Vendargon, informed the Building Fund Committee that the CDD Fathers had agreed to donate a parcel of their land at Taman Plaza for a new Church. With the endowment of the land at Taman Plaza, SIC thenceforth became synonymous with the CDD Order. CDD Priest, Rev Fr Francis Ng, was assigned to assist Fr Sullivan at Sungei Way. When the health of the elderly Fr Sullivan faltered, Fr Francis took charge of the Chapel in August 1975, thus becoming the first CDD Parish Priest of SIC. In addition to his pastoral work Fr Francis spearheaded the drive to raise funds for a new church.
The Move to Taman Plaza
However, 12 years would pass before approval for the conversion of the status of the Taman Plaza land from agricultural to building and for construction of a Church was given by the local authorities in July 1986. Things moved fast thereafter. Building works began in June 1987; along with the Church, Parochial House and adjacent service quarters, a two-storey Training Centre was built, with facilities for a multi-purpose hall on the ground floor, classrooms on the first floor and eight bedrooms on the second floor.
Apart from catering to the needs of the Parish, the Training Centre was built to possibly serve as a vocation centre for the CDD. Funds for the new Church were raised through the goodwill and generosity of the Parishioners and benefactors as well as through the grant of an interest-free loan from the CDD. In August 1988 the Church and surrounding infrastructure were completed.
Blessing of the New Church
SIC as we know it today was blessed by the incumbent Archbishop Soter Fernandez on 3rd November 1988. Parishioners and their families and friends gathered for the joyous occasion to witness the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams.The whole premises including the Parochial House was opened for viewing for a few days.Truly, it was a time to thank God that after so many years there was a place that could facilitate the further growth of the community.
Development of Facilities
The Training Centre was used for Sunday School, RCIA, and the activities of all other Parish groups until the numbers attending Mass and living around the Church increased. In 1994, the time came for the Parish to further enlarge the Training Centre. The then Parish Priest, Fr Joseph Chang, launched the project for a multi-purpose Annexe to the Training Centre, a project later completed by Fr Joseph’s successor, Fr John Chia. The expanded facility, now called the Costantini Community Centre (after the founder of the CDD Order, Cardinal Celso Costantini), was blessed and opened on 20th April 2003 by CDD Superior General Fr Stephen Ng. Besides Sunday School classes and meeting rooms, the Centre also houses halls for seminars and other programmes and two funeral parlours.
Further amenities have been added to the SIC premises over the years. The much visited Grotto to Our Lady was built in the mid1990s and the Church was air-conditioned in 2007.In 2010 the Parish Office was relocated to the covered car park with the building up of a two storey floor space next to the Cafeteria. In 2013, to alleviate the critical car parking situation, 154 new car park bays have been built along the riverside behind the Church.
Footnote on the Sungei Way Chapel: The Sungei Way Chapel continued to serve as a Mass Centre for SIC Parishioners until November 2005. Administration of the property was then taken over by the KL Archdiocese. A new Community Centre was built where the Chapel once stood, and the Centre now caters to the pastoral needs of Migrant Workers.mmunity Centre was built where the Chapel once stood, and the Centre now caters to the pastoral needs of Migrant Workers.
Source: SIC 25th Anniversary publication