Jean-Marie Beurel

Jean-Marie Beurel

Jean-Marie Beurel

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Jean-Marie Beurel was born on 5 February 1813 at Plouguenast, in Lower Brittany, France. He was assigned to the Mission of Siam by the Missions √Čtrang√®res de Paris and arrived in Singapore on 27 October 1839 at the age of 26. He was responsible for the construction of the Church of the Good Shepherd - now the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Singapore - and worked in the Mission for the next 29 years till 1868 when he returned to France on account of illness. He died in Paris, France on 3 October 1872 at the age of 59 and was buried in the Montparnasse Cemetery.

Father Beurel had come as a parish priest for the Roman Catholic chapel on Bras Basah Road. When Bishop Jean-Paul-Hilaire-Michel Courvezy talked of extending the chapel because it was getting too small, Father Beurel suggested that a church be built elsewhere so that the current site could be used for a school for boys. He left Singapore on 28 October 1850 for France and came back in 1852 with some brothers from the Brothers of the Christian Schools to start Saint Joseph's Institution in the former chapel.

While he was in France, Father Beurel also approached the Reverend Mother Superior General of the Infant Jesus Sisters to enlist some sisters in starting a school for girls. He also asked the Singapore government for land next to the church for a charitable institution for girls. When he was told that there was already sufficient land given to the church, he was said to have bought with his own money a house...
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