Deacon Gabriel Wong with his mother Ms Grace Chew and Archbishop.

Jared Ng

When your cross of service becomes heavy, remember that you are not alone. You have Jesus, your fellow priests and me.

These were words of encouragement offered by Archbishop William Goh to Gabriel Wong, who was ordained a
deacon on July 25.

This ceremony at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on July 25 marks the final stage in his preparation for priestly ordination.

“Serve the people with love and joy as you would the Lord. Remember that you are a disciple who came not to be served but to serve,” said Archbishop Goh.

He reminded Deacon Gabriel to “serve with humility, compassion, love … so that Jesus can be seen through you.”

“Our ministry is for the glory of God, not for our own glory,” he said.

Deacon Gabriel, 36, in his address, delivered an emotional message to his mother in Mandarin in which he thanked her for raising him, the only child in his family. His father passed away when he was 13.

Deacon Gabriel giving holy communion to his mother.

In an email interview with Catholic News, Deacon Gabriel said he was looking forward to becoming a priest and journeying with people. 

The former naval officer said he aims to have a Christlike heart and to keep his eyes “fixed on Jesus”.

During this period of transition towards the priesthood, the deacon can celebrate the Sacraments of Matrimony and Baptism but not the Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, according to Fr Valerian Cheong, Archdiocesan Vocation

However, the deacon can assist the priest in preaching at Masses.

Fr Valerian said that the transitional diaconate usually lasts for a minimum of six months but that decision is left to the

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