A seed, the Chapel dedicated to St. Anne, was planted in July 1906 by Fr. Victor Renard, the Parish Priest of St. John the Baptist. The Chapel was to meet the needs of the fast growing Sentul Catholic Christian Community.
Thereon, Fr. Victor Renard and Fr. Francois Le Mahec continued with their pastoral work and also saw to their well-being. They planned for a Tamil school that still exists as St. Joseph’s Tamil School, Sentul.
As there were a larger number of Catholic workers in the Sentul FMS Railway Depot, the Chapel of St. Anne was rededicated in honour of St. Joseph on 15th November 1908, as an icon to the dignity of the workforce.
With the establishment of St. Anthony’s Church in 1913, the pastoral care of the Catholics in Sentul came under the purview of St. Anthony’s Church in Pudu, as a Parish for the Tamil-speaking community.
Now, Fr. Francois Le Mahec as Parish Priest of St. Anthony’s Church and Fr. Noel Deredec his assistant continued the pastoral work done by the Parish of St. John the Baptist, Bukit Nanas.
In 1925, the old Tamil School built in 1921 was demolished and a new wooden structure which we see today, was built. This dwarfed the House of Worship.
Fr. Francois Le Mahec was not at peace looking at the poor state of the Chapel as compared to the school. This paved the way for discussion with the faithful, poor as they were but to offer a month’s salary each towards the cause of a new church building. As plans were moving ahead, Fr. Francois Le Mahec entered eternal glory on 10th May 1927.
In 1927, upon the demise of Fr. Francois Le Mahec, Fr. Victor Hermann and Mr. Michael Ponniah a “lay worker” shouldered the pastoral work in Sentul.
Fr. Victor Hermann laid the beginnings of St. Joseph’s Church building and on the 28th October 1928, Bishop Perrichon Blessed and Officiated the Church of St. Joseph, Sentul.
Hereon, Fr. Victor Hermann continued pastoring the flock in Sentul and assisted by Fr. Louis Guittat.
Mr. Michael Ponniah was appointed as the First Sacristian of St. Joseph’s Church, Sentul. He retired in 1973.
In 1938, St. Joseph’s Church, Sentul was blessed to have Fr. Ernest Belet as its first Resident Parish Priest to carry on the vision and mission of his predecessors.
by Louis Kanoo…Church Historian
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