The Church of St. Anthony of Padua at Teluk Intan in Malaysia is a wonderful tribute to the wonder worker Portuguese saint by French missionaries in Perak state.
French missionary Father René-Michel-Marie Fée from Paris Foreign Mission Society (MEP) founded the parish. The priest had great devotion to St. Anthony of Padua. So, he built a small wooden chapel in 1894 and dedicated it to the Portuguese saint to allow local Catholics to experience the miraculous wonders.
Father Fee had sown the seeds of Catholic faith in Teluk Intan and defied various challenges to establish the local church, which is now a part of Penang Diocese. Thanks to his great missionary endeavors Father Fee became the bishop of Malacca in 1896 and then of Singapore.
The interior of the Church
The wooden church was gutted in fire in 1914. The local church struggled for years to raise adequate funds for a new place of worship. Finally, the church building was completed in 1923.
The parishioners hail from ethnically diverse communities who speak Tamil, English, Mandarin and Malay. The church holds liturgical services in four languages.
It might be mere coincidences or miraculous gifts of St. Anthony that two of its pioneering parish priests – Father René-Michel-Marie Fée and Father Pierre-Louis Perrichon – became bishops of Malacca and Singapore.
With great respect for ethnic and religious diversity, the parish strongly follows a norm to maintain communal harmony: "No Hate Speech or Bullying."
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