On Christmas Eve 1959, in a new building that was far from completion, the Christmas Midnight Mass was celebrated. It was the first mass in the Church of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya. For the priest and the people, it was a night of joy, a triumph for the Faith.
In the early 50’s, Petaling Jaya was a new township off the Old Klang Road. At that time, the handful of Catholic families who lived there came under the care of the Holy Rosary Church in Brickfields, the parish priest of which was a certain Fr. Edouard Giraud, MEP. When the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary arrived in 1954 – with more faith than material resources no less – they brought life to this town, especially to its Catholic community. One that opened its hearts and homes to each other and on Sundays for the next two years, its members joined the Sisters for Mass in the Convent chapel which was celebrated by its chaplain, Fr. Noel Maury, MEP. It was the beginning of a parish community even without a church building.
Two years later, a committee headed by the Town Engineer, Frank McWilliams, raised funds and helped build the Petaling Jaya Catholic Chapel where the parish house now stands. For certain, a parish was beginning to take shape. There was daily mass at the chapel. It had a sacritan and altar servers who were retired men volunteering their services. The parish was beginning to take shape.
The first church organisation, a presidium of the Legion of Mary was formed. Called “Queen of the Assumption”, it provided a much-needed avenue for reaching out to the people. Bishop Vendargon foresaw that life was moving fast and the Catholic community would soon outgrow the chapel.
It needed a proper church.
Bishop Vendargon bought a piece of land. To Fr. Giraud, the Bishop entrusted the responsibility of raising funds for a new building on the half-acre plot beside the Assunta Foundation. It was Fr. Giraud’s first building fund experience and his enthusiasm was infectious. He assembled a committee and they quickly set to work on this mission. A census of the Catholic community was taken, a lottery organised and monthly contributions, pledged by Catholic families. R.B Pereira, the architect for St. John’s Cathedral, and (the later) SFX Church in PJ, was commissioned to design the Church.
On 15 August, 1959, Bishop Vendargon laid the foundation stone and on 24 January, 1960, he blessed the church, dedicated it to Mary and called it the “Church of the Assumption”. Fr John Wang was appointed the parish priest. He had the early task of gathering the people. The Legion of Mary got started by setting up a girls’ junior praesidium. Sweeping the church on Saturdays was one of their duties. Some older ladies initiated the Altar Ladies Society. Meanwhile, not to be left behind, the men served as wardens in the SVDP and in any way they could. All this time, the FMM’s and the La Salle Brothers Schools provided for the secular and faith education of children. The Daughters of St Paul also set up a convent in the town. After Fr. Wang, came other priests, each with his own charisma. Among these are Fr. Leon Diffon, MEP and Frs. Brian Kelly, Patrick Grogan and Harris, gifted priests who have brought with them and strengthened the traditions of the Faith.
In the wake of Vatican Council 2, Fr. Stephen Tsao had the unprecedented task of gathering the people. The full impact of the Council would take years to be felt but he prepared the people for change. The sanctuary was renovated, the altar replaced, and priest and people faced each other at Mass. It was time, too, for the organ and choir to descend from the gallery.
Then began a month-long community-building mission conducted by the Redemptorist priests. Following this, area-based prayer groups were organised with the help of Sr. Paulinus. After the Aggiornamento in 1976, these evolved into BCC’s and later, what we now know as BEC’s. Committees too were formed for the different needs of the parish. And the various parish groups were brought together under the Parish Council.
In the midst of all this excitement, Fr. Tsao died of a heart attack. In his replacement was a genteel and quiet Fr. Daniel Lim who wasted no time in consolidating the work of his predecessor. His assistant, Fr. Philip So, became the much-needed pastor for the Mandarin speaking people. Fr. Andrew Volle, MEP, literally and spiritually built up and brightened the church.
Thanks to his practical approach to life and problem-solving which enhanced the faith and numbers of the parish. It was during Fr. Daniel Lim’s tenure that the family house was built and BEC’s took root.
Many other priests have since contributed to the liveliness and solidarity of the parish. Fr. Gilbert Griffon, MEP, became known as the priest for all times and for all peoples. Frs. Clarence Dass and Simon Labrooy – while young in age and ministry – have proven to be priests who can carry the church into the new millennium. Under the stewardship of Frs. Dass and LaBrooy, a new church of a new generation has evolved, ready to worship in the new era of the digital divide. Other pastors who have served in the parish are Fr. Franc Servajean, Fr. Bernard Vrignaud MEP’s, Deacon Felix Declores & Father Albert Arokiasamy.
Rev Phillips Muthu, the current parish priest since 2003 is working towards building the BECs and to implement the Vision and Mission jointly finalised by the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, the Diocese of Penang and the Diocese of Melaka-Johor for the churches in Peninsula Malaysia during the Second Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Convention (PMPC II) held from 30 August to 2 September 1996.
The Assumption Parish has had its share of momentous milestones and has, from its earliest days, been blessed by God with many faithful and fruitful sons and daughters. Among the blessings are the many vocations to the Priesthood and religious life.
Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy
Sunday 6.45am, 8.30am, 11.15am, 6.00pm
Monday to Friday 6.30am & 6.00pm
Saturday Novena @ 5.45pm,
Sunset Mass @ 6.30pm
6.30pm every 3rd Saturday @ Assumption Hall
4.00pm every 1st Sunday in Church
Prayer Devotions (in Church)
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every 1st Friday @ 5.30pm
Novena to the Sacred Heart @ 5.30pm on other Fridays
Recitation of Rosary before Novena on Saturdays
Every 1st Thursday from 8.00pm to 9.00pm in Church
8:00pm every Friday in Church [preceded by prayer of the Rosary @ 7.30 pm]
Fellowship: 9.30 pm [after meeting]
Healing Services: Every last Friday of the month
Catholic Business Leaders’ Mass
12.15pm every last Friday @ Assumption Hall
Catholic Women’s League Mass
10am every 1st Friday @ Assumption Hall
The prayer room is situated next to the Parish office. It opens daily from 10am to 10pm.
Monday to Saturday 8:30 am – 7.30 pm
Sunday 9:00 am – 1.00 pm
The office will be closed on all gazetted public holidays.
70 Jalan Templer
46050 Petaling Jaya
Selangor DE, Malaysia
Phone: +6(03) 7782 5854 | 7784 4470
Fax: +6(03) 7782 4561
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