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Asian Catholic Directory

Marian Parish, the home of Brunei’s most famous Catholic

Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei Marian Parish, the home of Brunei’s most famous Catholic

The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim.

It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.

The church sits at the corner of Jalan Raja Isteri and Jalan Lor Satu Barat areas, close to St. Michael School, a prestigious Catholic school. The church invokes a homely feeling thanks to its distinctive hip and valley roof structure.

Newly completed Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Seria in 1956.

The white-colored church symbolizes immaculate conception of Mary and visualizes her call to holiness for everyone. The serenity of the surrounding makes the church a conducive place for prayer and reflection.

A beautiful crucifix adorns the altar of the church. Its spacious front yard and greeneries enhance its natural ambience.

Cornelius Sim, the eldest of six children of his parents. was baptized in the church on Oct. 7, 1951, less than one month after birth. He was ordained as the second native Bruneian priest in this church on Nov. 26, 1989. He also served as a parish priest in 1991 and 1993.

Local Catholics cheered when Cornelius Sim became a bishop in 2005 and their joy knew no bounds when Pope Francis made him the first cardinal from Brunei in 2020.

Despite his death from cardiac arrest barely seven months after becoming a cardinal, Cornelius Sim remains a towering figure in the history of Brunei Church.

Although tiny, Catholic Church in Brunei still has strong social impacts thanks to its three renowned co-educational Catholic schools attached to three churches, imparting quality education hundreds of students each year, mostly from Muslim community.

28th July, 1956 - Church of Our Lady, Seria blessed and opened by Monseigneur Vos, Vicar Apostolic of Kuching.

The Church of Immaculate Conception is a living witness of spiritual and pastoral blessings of Mary for all Bruneians irrespective of religion, class, and gender.

On the feast day of Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, the church turns into the pilgrimage site as thousands of Catholics flock to have their prayers and wishes fulfilled with intervention of Mother Mary.

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