By James Gough
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture recently contributed RM30,000 to Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church (OMPH Church) as part of its social responsibility to the community and towards the upgrading of the church.
The cheque was presented by its Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Santhara Kumar to the Parish Priest Fr Patrick Massang.
Fr Massang said that Dr Santhara’s contribution was auspicious because April 15 was the same day in 1972 when the church was officially opened and blessed by the then Archbishop of Singapore, Rt. Rev Gregory Yong, as well as the Bishop of Penang.
“The church is celebrating its golden anniversary this year and the funds will go towards the upgrade of the church. After 50 years, OMPH Church is in dire need of major repairs.
“We are giving the roof a new set of tiles, resurfacing the car park, putting in a new outdoor shrine for the annual procession, painting the surrounding wall with a new coat of paint, planting a few more trees, adding extra drainage to overcome flooding, and landscaping. The work started in the middle of March and is 75 percent completed now.”
The early OMPH Church started in the 1960s at 31 Tambun Road, currently the site of the Travelodge Hotel, by Fr Jim Wallace and Fr Tom Creede from the Redemptorist Congregation. Back then it was known as the little chapel at Tambun Road, a centre for Mass and also a centre for Novena Sessions to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
Many Novena sessions were held on Saturdays to cater to the increasing numbers of parishioners from St Michaels Church, Church of Our Lady of Lourdes and non-catholics. When they held the feast day of Our Mother Mary, the grounds of the chapel would be overflowing with devotees.
With the expansion of the housing estate in Canning Garden and Ipoh Garden, the Redemptorist Congregation agreed to establish a new parish and named it Parish of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.