DIAMOND JUBILEE (60 YEARS)
Though well past the normal age of retirement, he continues to be involved in parish work, celebrates Mass for the parish’s Small Christian Communities every month, and baptises children every third month.
He is spiritual director to six Legion of Mary praesidia, and of the North Curia. He is also spiritual director to the St. Vincent de Paul conference in Risen Christ and the North District, and to the parish’s ministry for the sick. Read more about Father Loiseau at www.catholicnews.sg/index.php?view=article&id=3353.
GOLDEN JUBILEE (50 YEARS)
FATHER PAUL TAY is the parish priest of Church of the Sacred Heart, a position he has held since 2002. Under his leadership, the parish has recently added a new community building christened “Doulos”.
Doulos was not Father Tay’s only building project. He helped to establish the Catholic community in Tampines and built the Church of the Holy Trinity there.
Father Tay had also served in the parishes of St. Michael, St. Teresa, St. Joseph (Bukit Timah), Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, and in parishes in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Muar. He studied Mandarin in Kuala Lumpur.
Holy Trinity parishioners Daniel Tan and Bessie Joseph describe Father Tay as a priest with a generous heart.
“As the then parish priest of Church of Holy Trinity, he was instrumental in providing free food and drinks during our parish feast day. He has now transformed Sacred Heart into a vibrant and beautiful church and even provides free food and drinks to the poor every Sunday morning under the banner of Doulos,” Mr Tan said.
Both remember Father Tay working out of a rental flat in Tampines to build up the physical church, the parish ministries, and Small Christian Communities in the Pasir Ris, Tampines and Simei areas.
Father Tay also said Masses out of the rented flat. He had started the Holy Family shrine in the parish of the same name. Till today, the shrine still makes its rounds among the parish neighbourhood groups.
Mrs Joseph recalled that Father Tay would delegate work to the parishioners to build up the various ministries of church.
Once, she said, a woman looking for a priest approached Father Tay, but mistook him for a gardener. Father Tay was wearing just a singlet, shorts, and a hat then.
“He looked like a gardener, and the woman was quite shocked when we pointed out that he is the parish priest!” Mrs Joseph said.
FATHER PAUL GOH LIAN KOK, SJ is the Director of the Centre for Ignatian Spirituality and Counselling (CISC) where he promotes and conducts courses on Ignatian Spirituality, gives retreats and conducts psycho-spiritual seminars.
Father Paul describes his vocation in the priesthood as to serve the Church “in preaching the Christian faith and morality, promoting faith formation and psycho-spiritual growth of the people, help them interiorise the faith and practise it by means of prayers and retreats”.
Florence Sim, who attended one of Father Paul’s retreats, said that Father Paul has helped her to cope with her problems, by sharing from the experiences of others whom he has encountered and by using Bible passages to inspire her to overcome her troubles.
A trained psychologist, Father Paul administers psychological tests to assess candidates for admission to the seminary and religious congregations. At the same time, he provides psychological assessment to people who are troubled by mental disorders.
“My psychological services are integrated with spiritual means to help people who need psychological and spiritual healing,” Father Paul said.
Father Paul also ministers the sacraments to the Mandarin-speaking community and celebrates Sunday Mass for the parish communities of St. Michael and St. Anthony. He also teaches a short course of spiritual direction and spiritual discernment in the seminary, and gives counselling and spiritual direction to some seminarians.
On his 25 years as a priest, he is grateful to God for his religious vocation and priesthood.
“I am very happy, joyful and peaceful about my vocation. It is with God’s grace and tremendous love, and not by my own merit, that I have persevered for so long,” he said.He added: “I am mindful of the ultimate purpose of my life aiming at loving and serving God. My strength of living a dedicated and faithful religious life and priesthood comes from God’s grace and intimate relationship with the Lord sustained by daily prayer and the Eucharist.”
FATHER IGNATIUS HUAN is lecturer and spiritual director to the seminarians at St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary. He is currently on loan from the Malaysian Church. Father Ignatius has a keen interest on redemptive suffering and spirituality which he conducts workshops and classes on. Read more about Father Ignatius at www.catholicnews.sg/index.php?view=article&id=3959
FATHER WILLIAM GOH is Rector of St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary. He is also Spiritual Director for Singapore Archdiocesan Catholic Charismatic Renewal (SACCRE) and Catholic Spirituality Centre (CSC) where he gives formation talks and retreats.
By Darren Boon