The Church of St Theresa is located in the town of Masai, approximately 15 km outside Johor Bahru. It was established as a chapel in 1937 by priests of the Paris Foreign Missions (MEP) on rubber estate land that originally belonged the Johore Corporation. The chapel catered to the pastoral needs of rural Catholics, who were mostly Tamil-speaking rubber tappers with some Chinese-speaking fishermen.
The pastoral care of the parish was eventually transferred to local priests of the Diocese and then to the Capuchin Friars before being placed under the care of the Order of Friars Minor in 2008.
The Church of St Theresa continues to expand in outreach, ministries, size and numbers, with many Sarawakians and Sabahans moving into the area as a result of urban development and government schemes. The parish boundaries presently cover an area approximately half the size of Singapore.
Industries have also brought new parishioners from English-speaking backgrounds as well as migrants from other parts of Asia and even Europe.
From a small wood-and-brick chapel with a congregation of 30 parishioners, the church now serves over 1,000 parishioners with sacraments being celebrated in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Tamil.
The present church building, which has been renovated to its maximum limit, is now proving insufficient for current needs, and will not be able to cope with the continued growth of the parish. As such, a new church complex is being planned to accommodate present and future needs for worship, formation and fellowship.
Church of St Theresa
PLO 684, Jalan Besar, 81750 Masai, Johor, Malaysia
Tel: +607 251 2836
Parish Pastor: Friar Arul Sagayaraj OFM
Parish Assistant: Friar Justin Lim OFM