Expansion of Portuguese Roman Catholic Mission in Singapore.

The first Church of St Joseph was erected on a site chosen as early as 1822. Rev Father Vincentre de Santo Catharina used the funds left for constructing the Church by Rev Francisco de Silva Pinto I Maria, head of the Portuguese Mission. The foundation stone was laid on 14 December 1851 and the building was completed in 1853 but n 1906 the Church was pulled down and the present replaced it in 1912.

The present Church of St Joseph cost $15,000 to build it and gift were also sent from the King of Portugal. There is a tablet in the Church date 1 January 1919; it was placed by the congregation which recognized the 'generous aid towards completion of the Church' by Father Castro, Bishop of Macao. The Church was designed in the Gothic style by the architect firm of Swan and Maclaren; the central lower is octagonal in design with a dome and flanked by two small towers.

Next the Church is the Priest' House of St Joseph's Portuguese Mission built in 1912.

St Anthony's School was opened in 1889 by Father Jose Pedro Sta Anna da Cunha in a small shop house in Middle Road. Later the school moved to a compound house in Victoria Street near the Church in 1886. In 1893 the girls were separated from the boys who occupied the ground floor of the Parochial House. In 1894 the Society of the Canosianas Sisters in Italy took charge of the Girls' School.

It is interesting to note that the French and Portuguese Missions contended for the honour of evangelizing and pasturing in Singapore and this led to papal intervention in 1886. The pope decided the respective spheres of influences by the two Missions.

The building of the Church of St Joseph and other Churches opened by the Portuguese Mission is an example of the early expansion of the Roman Catholic Church in Singapore.