I can think of many: for example, in school, when my students share anecdotes or pose innocent questions (which can sometimes be embarrassing). These always bring a smile to my face!
What do you like best about being a Religious/consecrated person?
Devoting my life to God: serving Him in my daily life and constantly remembering that He has offered a gift which I had accepted freely.
What has sustained your life as a Religious, especially in the face of challenges/changes?
This may seem like a standard reply but it is of utmost importance that prayer sustain my vocation. Without this relationship and trust in God, the ministry can be very challenging and tiring. However with God as my soulmate and friend, all things are possible.
What was one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a Religious and how did you deal with it?
The scrutiny from some people who feel and think that they can do without God. I have to admit that at times I feel and think likewise, hence it can be a very real personal challenge. Therefore, I appeal to everyone who is reading this and praying for vocations to persevere and even double your efforts in appealing to our Mother to intercede to her Son, our Lord Jesus, to help us be more aware of the presence of God in our daily life.
How would you make vocations attractive to youth today?
First, they need to encounter God in the Religious: God who is love, as St Paul says in Corinthians chapter 13. Only when they see God in the Religious and how God is an important part of their life would they be able to open up and be ready. Second, familial support and encouragement, especially from parents. Parents play an important role in vocation promotions and this is often overlooked or neglected.
How would you summarise your life today as a Religious ?
I find that most people view the Religious as a miracle worker, like a holy person who goes around healing the sick. They sometimes fail to realise that Religious are also human. I am just like everyone else: I get angry, I have shortcomings and like many others, my vocation is not a bed of roses. I also need continual commitment in my relationship with God.
Pope Francis calls for a Church for the poor, by the poor. How do you live that within your vocation?
The Lasallian schools are the main focus of my ministry. “The poor” to me, are those who never had a chance to learn about God, or even those who have but choose to view God as an abstract and unreal concept. My vocation, then, is to debunk such views and I hope to share the presence of God with everyone.
What do you like doing most when with your biological family?
Nothing actually (laughs). I love my mother and sister and give them the opportunity to pamper and shower me with love while I just sit back and relax. They support my vocation and it is amazing how God has in turn showered on them His abundant blessings.
Singaporean Br Kelvin Tan
De La Salle Brothers