Church opens mini museum of relicsBy NG SU-ANN
PENANG: A tooth relic of Saint Jacques Chastan from France is among the exhibits in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church’s new mini museum in Pulau Tikus.
The church’s parish pastoral council chairman, Paul Seah, said Jacques, who served the church as its fourth parish priest from 1830 to 1833, was martyred in Korea while trying to protect the Christian faith.
The 194-year-old church had received the tooth relic in 1984, he said in an interview.
Seah said artefacts in the museum included ritual vestments, brass candle stands, paintings and incense burners.
“We will place the items in glass cabinets once our collection is complete. Between RM30,000 and RM40,000 was spent to set up the museum, thanks to the generous donations from our parishioners,” he added.
The church was founded at Kelawei Road in 1811 by Father John Pasqual from France, he said, adding that its parishioners then comprised of early settlers from the Eurasian community.
It was later relocated in the late 1800s to its present site in Jalan Burmah and the original church site was converted into a Catholic cemetery, he said.
Today, the church had some 5,000 cosmopolitan parishioners including expatriates, Indonesians, Filipinos and locals, he said.
He added that the museum was the brainchild of the current parish priest, Father Francis Xavier, who wanted to preserve the church’s history and treasures.
The museum’s opening on Saturday was held in conjunction with the Penang Diocese golden anniversary celebration.