In 1928, Father Souhait was directed to take charge of the spiritual needs of the Catholic residents in Kang and surrounding districts including Kuala Selangor and Kuala Langat. He was soon aware of the need for a permanent church building and set about to acquire the present site. Eventually he succeeded in getting the land where the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes and SekolahMenengah Convent now stand reserved for worship. The Church, grotto and the parochial house (where Wisma Lourdes now stands) were completed for $45,000. They were declared open and blessed by Bishop Perrichon in 1928.
Fr. Souhait was a student of architecture before taking up Holy Orders. He played a large part in the design of the church building, modelling it on the pilgrimage church in Lourdes, France. The design of the church follows the style of a Gothic architecture. Gothic architecture grew out of the period in European history when the Church had become established as the religious and political power in Europe. I this sense, Gothic architecture is an expression of a movement as much as it is a specific style of construction. Our church exhibits the Gothic style in many of its features, including the nave, transepts, sanctuary and ribbed dome.
One glance at the façade and one can identify the three sections that are in proportion and symmetrical in design. The twin towers of the main façade located at left and right wings of the façade rise in three stages with cross-tipped pinnacle at the four corners joined by arcaded railings. A blind arcade separates the upper two stages from the base. The central bay’s main entrance arch is flanked by the towers’ lower side arches. A beautiful rose window of quatrefoils around a floral heart is the centerpiece. Pairs of arched windows on the towers complement the façade.
Gothic design is also evident on both sides of the church with the exception of the type of material used. Timber framing was used for all tracery of the window and nave doors to suit our tropical climate. The adaptation of diagonal buttresses with clay bricks and plaster finish brings out the late 12th century design.
The aisleless nave is a single vaulted space with a loft over the entrance reached by wrought iron spiral stairs. The nave has attached columns with capitals of ram-horn volutes and leaves in two designs. A band of quatrefoils link the capitals at the springing of the vault.
A steel spiral staircase at the western tower leads to the loft with a seating capacity of about 150. Ancient bells mounted on both sides of the tower can be seen from the loft. It is in the form of a cup-shaped cast metal resonator with a flared thickened rim, and a pivoted metal striker or clapper hanging from its center inside. The bell is suspended at its apex from a horizontal axle, so it can swing from side to side. A rope is tied to a pulley on the axle, and hangs down to ground level.
The original timber pews fitted with slots behind each pew is one of the hallmark of old furniture in this church. The interior design of doors and windows displays its elegant tracery and it creates an ambience of worship. These traceries are also found at the altar supporting the stained glass and flanked by Roman pillars. The altar is placed in front of the apsidal east end, lit by a pair of arched windows. A wooden crucifix hangs over it. A door at the back of the altar leads to the sacristy, where once again the Gothic design comes alive. A closed string open tread timber staircase leads to a small attic.