De La Salle Br Kelvin Tan (third from right) poses with family members and fellow Religious (Br Thomas Lavin, left, and Br Gregory Lim) after taking his perpetual vows.
De La Salle Br Kelvin Tan, who took his perpetual vows recently, says discerning God’s call for him was a process that unfolded over the years.
After being baptised in his primary school days at his parish, Holy Family Church, he said he felt God calling him to a deeper relationship with him when he was a student at St Patrick’s School.
“I thought God’s call could be satisfied by involving myself with parish ministry as a catechist,” said the 35-year-old, who took his final vows on Dec 19 at St Patrick’s School chapel in Katong.
“As the years passed and with prayerful discernment, I took the bold step in 2003 to join the Brothers” and live with them as an aspirant and postulant, said the teacher at St Anthony’s Primary School.
“I was firm in my decision to answer God’s call to the Religious life but there were apprehensions, especially having to leave my family, friends, job and country to a totally unfamiliar culture in the Philippines.”
The words of the founder of his religious congregation, St John Baptist de La Salle, has always been an inspiration to him, he added: “Not to look upon anything but with the eyes of faith, not to do anything but in view of God, and to attribute all to God.”
“To me this spirit is clearly expressed in living and becoming a Brother through my community, prayer, apostolate in St Anthony’s Primary School in Bukit Batok and the continuous call of God to be personally responsible for my own formation.”
To all young people discerning a vocation in the Religious life, he offers a quote from St Thérèse of Lisieux: “To offer oneself to God does not mean that one loses anything at all of one’s natural tenderness. It is just the opposite, for this tenderness deepens as it becomes purified by centring on divine things.”
Br Kelvin’s family and Br Thomas Lavin, the De La Salle provincial for Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, were present at the Dec 19 ceremony.