The New Swedish Priest at the Singapore Norwegian Seaman’s Church

One fine day though, while having coffee with a friend, she told him that she had no idea what she wanted to do when she was older. Her friend simply looked at her and said, “Don’t you know who you’re fighting against?” Katarina was ordained two and half years later.

Fourteen years later, Katarina has yet to regret her decision and doubts she ever will. “I work for the highest boss,” chuckles Katarina, “Nothing to regret. He’s given me so much.” According to Katarina, for her personally, being a priest is one of the most diverse jobs. She remembers a time when she had to grovel on the floor and unplug the toilet with her hands. Later that night, she shook hands (yes, she washed them) with Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne.

Katarina visited Singapore in 2001 as a tourist and was acquainted with the previous Swedish priest. During her three days in Singapore, Katarina often dropped by the Norwegian Seaman’s Church.
“I remember standing on the church’s patio looking out at the Singapore Port,” says Katarina, “And I remember thinking ‘how nice it would be to work here.’”

Katarina later returned to London and stayed there for seven years before returning to Sweden to be a Military Chaplin. When the tsunami hit Asia, Katarina left once again to help out in Thailand for four months. At that point, she felt that she had to head home to Sweden and finally settle down, so she rented a cottage by the sea with every intention to relax. Unfortunately, thirteen months of peaceful living was starting to take its toll on ever energetic Katarina. Coincidentally enough, the Church of Sweden Abroad announced that there was a position in Singapore that was open. Katarina immediately jumped at the opportunity.

Since her three months here at the Singapore Norwegian Seaman’s Church, Katarina’s restlessness is more than fulfilled now that she’s been working non-stop. Despite being busier in Singapore, she feels time passes by because she’s enjoying every minute of her job.

She only wishes she had more time to enjoy the Singapore and its culture, food and people and perhaps travel to nearby countries as a tourist but that can all be done in due time, after all, she has three years to explore the Lion City.

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