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Monday, July 07, 2003

What a week!

A Priest, Finally...
The ordination went well beyond everybody's expectations. The choir was excellent and became the talk on everyone's lips after the celebration was over. The church was overflowing with well-wishers and worshippers who came to witness the special occasion. The dinner reception was good with about a hundred tables of guests and friends from various parishes. And of course, I got ordained. The feeling? Wow! There will never be another moment like this for someone whose life took a complete change for Christ and his kingdom, ever.

The Trip Home
Took a short break and followed my family home to Melaka after the ordination. Was there from Monday (30 June) to Friday (4 July). While there I was doing my rounds celebrating week day Masses in St Theresa, St Peter's and St Francis Xavier. Had the opportunity to step into my alma mater, SFI, and celebrate Mass at the Chapel. The people of Melaka also feted me to an 8-course dinner at a restaurant at Melaka Raya. The feeling? Grateful! It is not often that the Scripture adage of Jesus is put on its head. This one took the prize. I wasn't rejected in any particular way, instead welcomed and given gifts!

There was also a great moment when I went back ot my birthplace and after 33 years stepped into the parish of St Andrew's where I was baptised as an infant. There I celebrated my first Mass with my uncle, Fr Joseph Pang. Had the opportunity to meet up with an old family friend, Sally, whose daughter, Patricia, just took her first vows with the Carmelites in Mantin, Johor.

The First Sunday Mass
Back in Holy Family, began my duties as a priest and was thrown into the water with my first weekday Mass on Saturday morning. After the initial jitters I managed to cope with the entire mindset of celebrating a Mass and following that, faced the Sunday 11.15 am and 6.00 pm masses. I also had my first taste of celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The feeling? Awe!

The entire dimension and outlook from the priest point of view has taken a siginificant turn from the diaconate as the challenges and responsibilities begin to sink in. Don't know how these all will affect my life here in Holy Family. When the dust begins to settle, and the novelty of a having a young priest around fades away I may then get a better picture. Till then, I'll enjoy the new found feeling of being newly ordained and cross the bridge when I get to it.

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