Redemptorist Fr Francis Vijayan said that ‘counselling people about marriage, addictions and other issues’ is something he enjoys as a priest.

By Jared Ng

Reflecting on his vocation since being ordained on Sept 8, 2016, Redemptorist Fr Francis Vijayan says that the priesthood “has been a growing experience,” one which has made him more aware of his “limitations”.

Some of these, he said, are whether he has lived up to the role he has been called to and if he is inspiring vocations through his work as a priest.

Others include dealing with the workload as well as people’s expectations of him as a priest.

At the end of the day, though the challenges are many, Fr Francis, 35, said he brings it all back to God.

“He makes up for my limitations, my flaws. I try and remind myself everyday of His presence.”

On what have been some of the joys of his priesthood, Fr Francis said that “journeying with and encountering people where they are at” is something he enjoys.

Also, “counselling people about marriage, addictions and other issues.”

With the young people, he said that he has been doing a lot of “fathering”.

“Others my age are probably fathers now. My role as a ‘father’ towards the young people is really journeying and listening to their struggles and concerns. To be more of a friend or brother for them,” he said.

Fr Francis also touched on some significant issues in today’s society.

“The use of technology has to be guided by a moral compass,” he said adding that technology should not replace face-to-face relationships.

He also warned that there are a lot of distractions that come with technology, leaving no time for silence and reflection.

Fr Francis also stressed that a lot of “accompaniment and acceptance” is needed for those with different sexual orientations, and it is important to let them know that the Church welcomes them.

One of Fr Francis’ main responsibility is overseeing the media ministry in Novena Church.

The ministry is looking to “revamp” its media platforms for “long-term sustainability and to better connect with the people,” he said.

Fr Francis also compared being called to be a priest or Religious to falling in love. “When you love God, you will be doing things you never thought you would,” he said. 

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