Marian Parish, the home of Brunei’s most famous Catholic
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim. It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.
Brunei cathedral, a haven for migrant Catholics
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption at the heart of Bruneian capital Bendar Seir Begawan, is the largest and mother church in country that caters to spiritual needs of a largely migrant Catholic population. As in other parts of this tiny but wealthy Islamic monarchy, the Assumption Church is a melting pot as majority of about 21,000 Catholics in Brunei belong to the cathedral parish. About 70 percent migrant Catholics are Filipinos, and the rest are Indians, Indonesians, Malaysians, and others.
Brunei’s St. John’s Church pays tribute to Spanish missionaries
St. John’s Church in Kuala Belait of westernmost Brunei carries the legacy of two Spanish Franciscan missionaries – Francesco de Santa Maria and Miguel Juan de Plasencia – who reached the shores of Borneo Island in 1587 and evangelized among local people. To keep the memories of great missionaries alive, when the church in Kuala Belait was constructed in 1953, it was named after St. John the Evangelist. The name of the church reminds about zeal for evangelization of the missionaries, in contrast to situation of religious freedom in Brunei.
Vietnam’s Tac Say Cathedral lives the memory of martyred priest
Vietnam’s Tac Say Cathedral is a telltale example of how Catholicism thrived in many parts of Asia through valiance and martyrdom of early Catholics. The church, also known as Father Diep Church, lives the memory of Father Francis Xavier Truong Buu Diep who served the parish church for 16 years and died a martyr’s death while defending local Catholics in 1946 from persecution of Japanese soldiers.
India’s Santa Cruz Cathedral, a repository of Portuguese heritage
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
Vietnam’s Marian Church with a feminist charm
Domaine de Marie Church on the Mai Ahh hilltop at Da Lat is famed for its feminist charm and known as Pink Church and Cherry Church, because of its walls made of pink limestones and a surrounding with tall, pink grasses that grow in the area. The church in the Central Highlands of Vietnam is a complex of buildings comprising the Marian Church, two convents of Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, and a school and an orphanage forchildren run by the nuns.
Vietnamese Cathedral bears testimony to history and heritage
St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi is a French colonial-era landmark and one of the oldest Christian worship places in the Buddhist-majority nation. The cathedral is a replica of Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris that also passed through political and social trajectories in the city over the past centuries.
Vietnamese cathedral holds the statue of miraculous Virgin Mary
Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, popularly known as Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, is one of the tourist hotspots in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city and former capital of Vietnam. This 19th century cathedral is a historic landmark from French colonial-era, but it gained significant prominence for the four-meter-tall statue of Virgin Mary that miraculously wept in 2005.