Sunday, August 29, 2010

KL – St. Anthony Church and From Chinatown to Pasar Seni Station

A few years back, while living in London’ s Cricklewood area, I’d sneak inside an Anglican church whenever I felt the need to pray. I knew somehow that God would listen wherever I do it, but it was comforting to do it inside a house where hundreds of souls congregate to pray. That is, after all, the concept of a church: a commune of believers. 

I couldn't find a nearby Catholic Church from the Gladstone Park area, so a small Anglican church in the neighborhood became a surrogate house of prayer. It didn't matter then that I was a Catholic inside an Anglican church. It felt safe, and it gave me the security of being heard.

Kuala Lumpur (KL) has few Catholic churches. The archdiocese's Mother Church (the seat of its Archbishop) is St. John's Cathedral. Unfortunately, I've never even visited St. John’s. The current Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur is Archbishop Tan Sri Datuk Murphy Nicholas Xavier Pakiam who was appointed by Pope John Paul II on May 24, 2003.

St. Anthony Church along Jalan Robertson.

After a satisfying few days in Kuching (Sarawak), I finally found a catholic church near Jalan Pudu. I walked towards Tung Shin Hospital, crossed the street then turned right when I saw Jalan Robertson, an empty street that's isolated from city hustle. There were few parked vehicles, and derelict buildings. Just a block from Pudu, I found a structure decked in church - St. Anthony Church.


There has so far been 8 St. Anthonys which includes a Diocletian martyr, Kiev’s Cave saint, a Florentian Antoninus, and the founder of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I had a hunch KL’s is St. Anthony of Padua (Lisbon, Portugal). St. Anthony is known to have become the "quickest" saint in the history of the Catholic Church because he was canonized by Pope Gregory IX less than a year after his death on the 30th of May of 1232. 

St. Anthony is popular in Brazil and Portugal being the patron saint of marriage because legend has him helping couples on a rough patch. Meanwhile, In Uvari, a town in Tamil Nadu, the church of St. Anthony is home to an ancient wooden statue that is said to have cured the entire crew of a Portuguese vessel suffering from cholera.

Unfortunately for me, KL’s St. Anthony Church seemed to be closed most of the time, except during Sunday mass. When we got there, we walked around the compound, but there was nothing to see. Nevertheless, the visit made me feel good. Without much activity (or people for that matter), the area felt a bit eerie, with no shops nearby, except for a garbage truck that took forever to load their garbage. Jalan Robertson was a dead street, which we found unusual since it was just a block from Jalan Pudu. For more information, please call 02-2141-4172 once you’re in the capital.

From the church, I just walked right back to Jalan Pudu and headed towards Chinatown. I didn't have intentions of passing by Jalan Petaling which was always chaotic, so I took the street parallel to it. I made a right along Jalan Sultan (at the end of Petaling) then leisurely watched the Chinese shops that dot the place. There were fruit stands, guesthouses, internet shops, and a row of restaurants. I noticed a colorful shop selling red plastic-and-paper flowers, bird cages, and some giant vases painted in gold. Such colors used to amuse me, but as we age, these things turn kitschy – garish colors not soothing to the eye. But fascinating nevertheless.

I liked walking along Jalan Sultan. I saw Plaza Warisan, a shopping center that serves mostly working-class shoppers. It is located along Jalan Tun HS Lee which I was familiar with, since it's where Bangkok Bank is, and a few skips from the Central Market. 

A short distance away is Pasar Seni LRT Station. I've had a history with the station which sits beside a stream called Sungai Kelang, running alongside Jalan Sultan Mohammed. That station is almost never congested. Other landmarks in the area are as follows: the main post office, the Central Market, Klang Bus Station, Chinatown, and Puduraya Station.

This is the Eye in the Sky.

A Chinese shop at the Chinatown District along Jalan Sultan.

Red is the color of China.

Ocean Shopping Center and Plaza Warisan (location map below)

Jalan Sultan Mohammed at the end of my walk along Jalan Sultan.

Pasar Seni Station for the KL Monorail train.

Sungai Kelang. The Vistana is a business hotel that has 364 rooms. Visit its site here:

St. Anthony de Padua (Lisbon)


pau ayam said...

thx..finally i found a complete guide

eye in the sky said...

It (the post) isn't as complete as I'd like, but thanks, Paul. You're very welcome. :)