Macau Catholic Diocese Receives Delegation from Archdiocese of Singapore

Visit Marks Mutual Exchange Towards Strengthening Ties and Cultural Preservation Between Both Dioceses

Benedict Keith Ip

On January 9, 2024, the Diocesan Office of Historical Archives and Patrimony (Departamento Diocesano de Arquivos Históricos e Património Cultural, DDAHPC) received a delegation from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, including Fr. Joe Lopez Carpio, Mr. Alvin Tan of St. Joseph’s Church, Singapore, and Ms. Jennifer Joseph, Archivist of the Chancery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore. The Bishop of Macao, D. Stephen Lee, met with the delegation at the Sala dos Papas in the Bishop’s House and had a discussion about the Church affairs and exchange of ideas.

The delegation also visited St. Joseph’s Seminary and Church, Macau, Treasure of Sacred Art of St. Joseph’s Seminary, as well as the Museum of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia.

Fr. Joe Lopez Carpio said that St. Joseph’s Church in Singapore, located at Victoria Street, is an important place in the Portuguese Mission. It was originally built in the 19th century by Fr. Francisco da Silva Pinto e Maia, a representative of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Macau, who was also a missionary from Macau to develop the Catholic mission in Singapore. The church was then rebuilt with the support of Bishop of Macau, D. João Paulino de Azevedo e Castro in 1912 to its present structure.

Fr. Joe continues to explain, after five years of renovation before COVID, St. Joseph’s Church finally completed the restoration in 2022 and the restoration of the parish office area in 2023. “We are very grateful to Archbishop of the Diocese, Cardinal William SC Goh and Vicar General Fr Philip Heng, SJ, for their full support in this difficult challenge, which has enabled the entire Church community to work together to complete the restoration. We are also grateful to the National Heritage Board of Singapore for a grant of S$1.9 million for the restoration, and to the Diocese de Macau for its support and analysis of the historical archives, which enabled us to carry out a complete restoration in some key areas,” he said.

Ms. Jennifer Joseph told O Clarim that the Chancery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, which has been in existence since 2015, welcomed a new archives space in December 2023. Internally, they are currently working on the aftermath of the relocation of the archives, including up to 40 boxes of new records and additional preservation and cataloguing work; externally, they are exchanging and showcasing Archdiocesan archival artifacts and resources, as well as improving the website content ( She said that apart from the National Archives of Singapore (NAS), there are not many professional organizations on archival Science in Singapore, and it is very encouraging to see institutions that share the same vision within the Catholic Church.

In December 2023, DDAHPC visited the Archdiocesan Archives in Singapore for an archival and patrimonial management exchange, which marked the first official mutual exchange between the two Dioceses. Both archives agreed that it would help deepen the friendly and cooperative relationship between the two dioceses and open up a wider horizon for the preservation of our cultural heritage and the spread of the Gospel.

(Departamento Diocesano de Arquivos Históricos e Património Cultural)