SEEK – EXPLORE & DISCERN
An afternoon on vocation and discernment.
A number of young people gathered at St Mary of the Angels on Sunday 20th November, to learn about discernment and explore their place in the Church and in the world.
If you want to know more about future vocational events, please contact Lucienne Hensel at email@example.com or visit our Facebook page.
ORDINATION TO THE ORDER OF PRIESTS – Father Alfred Tong
Annette Scullion – WelCom October 2022
Congratulations to Fr Alfred Tong who was ordained to the priesthood at St Joseph’s Church, Upper Hutt on Saturday, 24 September. Cardinal John Dew presided over the Rite of Ordination and Mass.
Alfred’s family was among the hundreds of parishioners and friends gathered in support. Alfred’s parents Antony (Moon Chi Tong) and Willma (Wai Ming Chan), his sister Anita (Tong) and brother-in-law William (Lu) and nephews Jacob (Lu) and Ryan (Lu) all live in Upper Hutt or in Trentham/Heretaunga and are parishioners of St Joseph’s and Our Lady of the Valleys parishes.
Cardinal John said in his homily, ‘Alfred, never forget the words of today’s Psalm, The Lord is My Shepherd. “My head Thou dost with oil anoint, and my cup overflows.” Today your hands will be anointed for sacred ministry, live that anointing every day.’
Following the Prayer after Communion, Alfred spoke about his journey to the priesthood. Earlier in his life the multi-talented Alfred wanted to be a concert pianist, chess master and a famous scientist, but he struggled to find what he wanted to do with his life. After tertiary studies gaining several science qualifications, his quest led him to enter the seminary. There, he said, ‘Jesus gave me the nourishment I needed. I realised I too can share the joy of finding Jesus at the well, just like the Samaritan woman. I too can leave my water jar of wants at the well and be courageous enough to go out into the deep.’
Alfred thanked his family for their prayers and sacrifices to allow him to journey on his vocation; the parishes that have nourished him – Our Lady of the Valleys, Our Lady of the Bays, Catholic Parish of Otari, Holy Trinity Parish and St Joseph’s Upper Hutt; and St Pat’s Silverstream and St Joseph’s School Upper Hutt ‘for planting the seed about Jesus’.
Fr Alfred concluded with a dedication to ‘Mary our Mother’ as he beautifully sang Ka Waiata ki a Maria.
Supporting Cardinal John were Deacons Suu Nguyen and Joseph Long van Nguyen both recently ordained of Dunedin diocese, Fr Patrick Bridgman, parish priest of Te Awakairangi, archdiocesan priests; and seminarians for the archdiocese Matthew White, Kinh Nguyen, Emilio Capin and Gerson Badoyos as altar servers. Sacred Heart Cathedral music groups directed by Sr Marie Gore rsm led the music, with cantor Bernadette Takacs of Holy Trinity Parish, Wellington.
Fr Alfred has been appointed assistant priest at Te Awakairangi Parish of Lower Hutt City and suburbs. Read more of Alfred’s story here.
VOCATION SUNDAY 2022
From Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations:
“… God addresses a particular call to each of us. He touches our lives by his love and directs them to our ultimate goal, to a fulfilment that transcends the very threshold of death. That is how God wanted to see our lives and how he sees them still.
Michelangelo Buonarroti is said to have maintained that every block of stone contains a statue within it, and it is up to the sculptor to uncover it. If that is true of an artist, how much more is it true of God! In the young woman of Nazareth he saw the Mother of God. In Simon the fisherman he saw Peter, the rock on which he would build his Church. In the publican Levi he recognized the apostle and evangelist Matthew, and in Saul, a harsh persecutor of Christians, he saw Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles. God’s loving gaze always meets us, touches us, sets us free and transforms us, making us into new persons.
That is what happens in every vocation: we are met by the gaze of God, who calls us.
COULD GOD BE CALLING YOU?
Has anybody ever said to you that you would make a good priest?
Have you thought about the idea, but tried to put it out of your mind?
Do you think you might have a vocation?
Do you have what it takes?
“Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach, but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess.
VOCATIONS BOOKLET FOR SCHOOLS AND PARISHES
Local priests and seminarians share their vocation stories in this illustrated booklet available for use in schools and parishes. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
When the Lord awakens a vocation, he thinks not only of what you already are, but of what you will one day be, in his company and in that of others.”
Pope Francis, Christus Vivit 289
“Today the Lord continues to call others to follow him. We should not wait to be perfect in order to respond with our generous “yes”, nor be fearful of our limitations and sins, but instead open our hearts to the voice of the Lord. To listen to that voice, to discern our personal mission in the Church and the world, and at last to live it in the today that God gives us.”
Pope Francis – 2018 World Day of Vocations
Contact Fr Andrew Kim – Vocations Director, Archdiocese of Wellington