He was assigned to a major case in his early years in legal practice that involved promoting the movie The Da Vinci Code. But Catholic MP Christopher De Souza felt uncomfortable about taking it on as he felt the movie misportrayed his faith.
Although he felt nervous about it, he decided to ask the senior law partner to allow him to withdraw from the case.
Not only was he permitted to do so, he was respected for standing up for his faith and was put on major cases from then on.
“Trust in the Lord and He will see you through,” said the 37-year-old litigation lawyer.
Mr De Souza, a Church of St Ignatius parishioner, was speaking at a talk for business professionals organised by the Catholic Business Network (CBN).
The event, part of the My Journey Series in which Catholic business-leaders share how their faith has shaped their workplace practices, was held at the Church of Sts Peter and Paul on July 18.
Mr De Souza, who has also taken on criminal cases, recalled one in which he helped a foreign construction worker accused of taking part in a riot.
The worker was later acquitted after it was discovered that he helped to break up the fight instead.
It is in such situations that Mr De Souza felt he really helped people as a lawyer, he shared.
Being an MP and a law firm partner means his schedule is packed. Nevertheless, he said he makes the effort to spend time with his family.
For example, he would spend time with his two daughters in the morning before going to work. His elder daughter would tell him what she was going to do for the rest of the day, and he would then carry his younger daughter to watch the rubbish truck go past the house as she enjoys seeing it.
Mr De Souza also shared his thoughts on his role as MP when asked by a member of the audience during the question-and-answer session.
When making important decisions, he would ask himself, “How would this benefit my neighbour?”
Members of the audience CatholicNews spoke to said they enjoyed the talk.
Ms Beatrice Benturi said Mr De Souza showed how it was possible “to soar to the top echelons of business” and still “keep the faith and make a difference to the community”.
Mr De Souza also told CatholicNews that he and his wife, Sharon, are involved in outreach programmes in their personal capacities.
These include reducing the exploitation of women and children especially in the vice trade in Thailand. They also seek to provide educational opportunities to needy children and work with the Jesuit missions in Timor Leste in this regard.
By Benedict Tang