'No problem serving in Australia'
Fr Michael Lim will serve in Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.
Despite being a Singaporean Chinese, Fr Michael Lim says he has no problem ministering to the Australians in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.
The newly ordained priest, who has spent the last two years in Australia, said that his sharing of how he converted to Catholicism “was an inspiration to many returning to the Church after many years of being lukewarm and indifferent to the faith”.
“I can see the hand of God opening the doors of the hearts of the many Australians that I minister to,” Fr Lim, a former Buddhist, told CatholicNews in an email interview.
The 51-year-old is now serving in the Mary Queen of Apostles parish as assistant priest in Goulburn, New South Wales.
The Catholic media there and the Goulburn Post reported on his conversion.
When he was 35, he witnessed a miracle happening to his sister at a healing service. It was then that he decided to embrace Catholicism, according to the media reports.
He entered the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary in Singapore three years later where he trained for eight years. However, “the hand of God led me to seek a mission other than my own country after I completed my studies”, Fr Lim said.
He added that those were challenging times for him but “I came to realise that those who trust in the Lord will never labour in vain. I received an invitation to come to this Australia diocese.”
Fr Lim was ordained on March 25 by Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge of Canberra and Goulburn. The event was held on the Feast of the Annunciation as Fr Lim has a special devotion to Our Lady.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, also attended the event.
Also present were Fr Lim’s family members as well as well-wishers from Singapore and Australia, the Catholic Voice reported.
The ordination has been a “humbling experience” for him, Fr Lim said. “Just who am I to be consecrated to Holy Orders to bring ‘divine life’” to others, he asked.
Yet, Fr Lim acknowledges that he is “now a man of mission to spread the faith”.
Fr Lim is unfazed by the environmental differences between Australia and Singapore. While Singapore is small, urban, tropical and sunny, the terrain of his diocese is vast, has changing seasons, and is surrounded by farm and grazing land as well as the Snowy Mountains.
“Nevertheless we are called to minister by the Lord to wherever we are sent. The graces are always there to tide us through. It is not easy but it is not impossible,” Fr Lim said.
According to Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn’s website, the 160,000-strong Catholic population is spread across 57 parishes in Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, over an area of 88,000 square km.