Bukankah kita seringkali dipenuhi dengan keraguan? Namun, iman kita mengatakan bahawa Tuhan senantiasa menyampaikan kehendak-Nya kepada kita. Pesanan Tuhan itu adalah konsisten, dan utuh. Kita tidak pernah bersendirian dalam perjalanan ini. Yesus memberikan kita Roh Kudus untuk memimpin kita dalam mengenali “tanda ” yang menunjukkan kita ke hala tuju yang benar.
Saksikan renungan salah seorang friar yang terlibat dalam Promosi Panggilan. Friar David Au, OFM menggambarkan perjalanan beliau sebagai seorang Fransiskan.
Don’t we all long for that kind of clarity? Nonetheless, our faith assures us that God is always communicating his will to us. God’s message is consistent, sure, and irrefutable. We are not alone on this journey; Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us on the way to read the “signs” that point us in the right direction.
Check out this reflection by one of our friars involved in promoting vocations. Friar David Au, OFM describes his journey as a Franciscan friar.
Over a thousand people from Singapore and beyond, attended the solemn profession of Friars Robin Toha, Crispus Mosinoh, Sixtus Pitah and Gerald Tan, at the Church of St Mary of the Angels, Bukit Batok, on the 8th February 2020.
The solemn profession mass, presided by the Minister Provincial of Holy Spirit Province, Friar Phillip Miscamble, began with a procession: firstly, of the four friars accompanied by their parents, then followed by the other Franciscan friars and celebrants. Gracing the event with their presence were families from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, diocesan seminarians, religious congregations including the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC), the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM), the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM), the Redemptorists, Canossian Sisters, Infant Jesus Sisters, Gabrielite brothers, Good Shepherd sisters, Missionaries of Charity (MC) sisters, Carmelite friars, secular Franciscans and many others.
What was unique about this solemn profession was the blessing of the four friars by their parents, a ceremony similarly found in an Indonesian traditional wedding. The Custos of the Custody of St. Anthony, Friar Derrick Yap thanked the congregation who came from near and far, in spite of the on-going threat of the CoVid-19 virus in Singapore.
The four friars who just had taken their solemn profession will continue to stay at Greccio Friary, Chestnut Drive as they continue their studies at St Francis Xavier Major Seminary, Singapore. They are expected to conclude their seminary formation by 2021.
Finally, and most importantly, we thank the Lord for calling each one of us on the path of holiness and conversion. Whether as consecrated religious or not, may all of us be channels of peace and grace after the example of our beloved saint, St Francis of Assisi.
On 8th February 2020, we were blessed to have Julian Chua (from Church of St Mary of the Angels, Singapore), Sylvester Singh (from Church of Christ The King, Singapore), and Timothy Fong (from Sacred Heart Cathedral KK, Sabah) begin their Franciscan life in our Custody.
The new postulants were welcomed by the brothers at St. Anthony Friary Chapel in a simple but meaningful liturgy with brother Philip Miscamble, the Minister Provincial.
Under the direction of Friar John Soh, the three postulants will begin their journey as Franciscans. Apart from activities such as gardening, household chores, studies, and recreation in a typical day, they are also undergoing initiation year in the historical College General in Penang, studying subjects including Salvation History, Growth & Spirituality, Vatican II, Introduction to Liturgy, and Music. They are also involved with the apostolate for the blind.
When asked about their wishes in this journey, all three expressed a desire to follow Christ in the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi. “In my postulancy, I hope to flourish in living the gospel of Jesus Christ,” shared Br Timothy, “to be assisted in pondering the innermost roots of my vocation and to experience the Franciscan life step by step.” Br Julian, likewise, hopes “to be immersed in Franciscan community life, prayer, and ministry”, and adds that he seeks “to be guided in the preparation for religious life.” Br Sylvester hopes to deepen his love of Christ through a fraternal life of joy, prayer, and service with his fellow brothers. “I pray for the grace of openness to the Holy Spirit, our Teacher and Guide.”
Let us pray for our three new postulants in this stage of their discernment.
In John 15:16, Jesus says “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” Indeed, that was true during the final week of October 2019, when the Custody of St Anthony Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei saw the ordinations of Friars Cruzender Alex and Aiden Peter Jr to the priesthood, amidst great thanksgiving and joy.
The two Sabahan friars entered the novitiate together in 2011, and after journeying for nine years, became friar-priests in the same month. Friar Cruzender made his way back to his hometown of Tuaran, Sabah for his ordination by Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu on 22 October. Friar Aiden Peter received the sacrament through the hands of Singapore Archbishop William Goh at the Church of St Mary of the Angels, Singapore on 27 October.
Present at the ceremonies were the Friar Phillip Miscamble, Provincial Minister of the Province of the Holy Spirit to which our Custody belongs, Custos Friar Derrick Yap and many guests who came from far and near to be with the newly ordained. The journey of any Religious entails the support and sacrifice of those around him, particularly his loved ones, and Friar Phillip thanked Cruzender and Aiden’s families for the gift of their sons to the Franciscan Order and the Church. Friar Phillip also made special mention of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who have been instrumental in promoting Franciscan spirituality and vocations among the youth in Sabah, to the point that our Custody is now blessed with enough young friars to consider establishing a presence in Sabah in the not too distant future.
In his thanksgiving remarks, Friar Cruzender admitted to having gone through many struggles on his journey towards priesthood, but added that the Lord continues to grant him hope and assure him of His divine assistance. Friar Aiden thanked his pillar of support – all those who supported him through prayers or mentorship – and urged the young people gathered to consider the challenging but rewarding life of a Religious.
Truly the week was yet more proof of God’s unfailing providence in the growth of His kingdom in this region.
Novice Marvin Voo recently entered the Franciscan novitiate house in the Philippines. He shares a short reflection on his formation journey thus far.
My journey has been very exciting and challenging. My postulancy time of come and see with the friars was about two and a half years. It began in St James of the Marches Friary in Johor Bahru in 2017, moved to the Franciscan Friary in Penang in 2018, and moved to Singapore in 2019. I was in Greccio Friary in upper Bukit Timah from early to mid this year. Now I am in Juan De Plasencia, the Franciscan Novitiate House in Laguan, Liliw, Philippines. Yes, the wind blows wherever it pleases (John 3:8) in the life of the Franciscans.
My time experiencing Franciscan life with the friars as a Postulant was more about knowing myself and establishing a deeper relationship with God as our Father, as St Francis did when he was rebuilding the physical church. I continued to say yes to God, and He brought me here to the Philippines for my novitiate. I wish to cherish whatever experiences come here as the next step of my relationship with God, to know more of him and to follow the way of St Francis in following Jesus, so that what is bitter becomes sweet.
We novices had our Investiture on 15 July, after a three-day Investiture Retreat. Please pray for us in our year of discernment.
The Investiture is the formal reception of the Franciscan habit. During the ceremony , newly received members of the community symbolically shed their former identities in the world and begin their new lives as religious.