This is a story of a man, who has jumped from one uniformed group to the next.

When I was a boy, I was more fortunate than others. At least I had my father with me till the age of 13. A nasty case of nasal cancer took my father away. My mother had to venture once again into the working world, after many years of staying at home as a typical housewife. It was tough for a widow who had no special skill set.  The world outside was capable of bringing any widow to her knees, but it was no match for my mother armed with a fierce determination to bring up her son.

Bring up her son, she did. It was no small feat. Taking two jobs at times, my family managed to pull through those difficult years. One of the greatest gifts in life in which my mother gave to me, is that of thanksgiving. She is content with what she has and is grateful for many in her life. Living life with a persistent sense of thanksgiving even when the world around me crumbles, has been such bliss.

I had the privilege of journeying with my mother in the Chinese Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) journey at the Church of Holy Cross. I was her sponsor, while Fr Frans De Rdidder was the wonderful Spiritual Director then.

My mother’s baptism became my greatest source of thanksgiving. Her faith did not just end at baptism, as in some cases. God placed fellow parishioners around her to encourage her to join the ministry of RCIA and the Chinese charismatic group. While she ensured that her son received a decent education, she was not highly educated. Bible sharing, writing of testimonies and prayers were new challenges for her. Her newly found sisters in Christ encouraged her and helped her in any way they can. They were the human face of the Catholic Church.

You can imagine my surprise when I returned from the sailing in the navy, and opened the door to find my mother reading the bible, praying the rosary, and doing silent meditation. The faith given to her that goes beyond that of a cradle Catholic who only attends Sunday masses each week, is one that I am immensely thankful to God for.

My mother and I learned many things together in her journey of faith. When I was young, my mother tirelessly taught me to read, write and shared with me about the ways of the world. It seemed apt that since I have now grown up, I can return in kind to share with her on the love of God. That joy is indescribable.

My mother nurtured this passion for Christ in me. It is a privilege to be able to see one’s own mother growing in faith each day. It is a blessing of such a magnitude that one is filled with a tremendous amount of thanksgiving and gratitude. I long to serve God, and God willing, to return in kind the blessing I have received.

The journey continues.

Fr Gabriel Wong shares about his journey towards his priestly ordination.
Br Gabriel Wong
This story was adapted from St Francis Xavier Major Seminary’s website
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