Soon after completing the Church, Fr Lee asked the Archbishop to be free of the responsibilities of being a parish priest. He wanted to set up a spirituality and retreat centre and the Archbishop gives him the green light to start St Francis Xavier Minor Seminary.

On September 14, 1997, Fr Michael Arro arrived at St Michael’s. “I was sent to St Michael’s by the Archbishop to look more into the parish life of the community. Fr Lee himself reiterated that a lot had to be done to build up the parish, something which he said was not his priority.” These few years have been a time where St Michael’s has truly grown. In 1997, there were just 12 weddings. In 2000, there were 67 weddings. There were also 140 baptisms-the highest in 29 years.

Congregation gathered in worship and Mass

Fr Arro decided to concentrate on a “new way of being Church“, with a Parish Assembly & District Assembly, church organizations, church services and neighbourhood groups, while still keeping to the traditional Masses, Mass with healing services twice a month, and Life in the Spirit Seminars with Alex Loo once a year.

LISS conducted by Alex Loo

St Michael’s is a very friendly, very close-knit community. There’s a sense of closeness, a sense that the church belongs to us,” says Fr Arro. “

Praying over someone- a typical scene at healing services

It’s something that you don’t see in bigger parishes. There is a lot of initiative here, a lot of volunteers, and it is really a parish of the people; in bigger parishes, it is more an organization. And people who come to St Michael’s notice this. We thank the Lord for the past 40 years and ask that He guide us and build us into one.”

A bird’s eye view of the Church of St Michael


Adapted from the Yearbook: Church of St Michael 40th Anniversary

Researched and compiled by Julianne Danielle Lim