Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Adventure in Kunming 昆明历险记 ( 4 )










sending off

Fr. Leo Chang left his home village and family more than sixty years ago. His life and his Vocation was filled with events and adventure. He came from a non-Christian family and entered seminary at the age of 12. When the Communist took over China, he was evacuated. Together with other seminarians, they fled the country to Hanoi. By ship, they sailed from Haipong to Singapore. Later they settled in Penang and continue their seminarian formation at the College General. After the study, he was accepted by the then Bishop Vendagan and ordained as a diocesan priest. His first posting was the Assumption Church in Seremban as an Assistant Parish Priest.

Throughout his priestly formation years and later more than fifty years of priesthood, his life was peppered with events of joy and sorrows. He was quite reluctant to celebrate anniversary and birthday. They brought back memories, bitter memories. He must have given a long thought before deciding to celebrate his 80th birthday and Ordination anniversary in his home village in China.

Eightieth birthday and Golden Jubilee of priestly Ordination were grand occasions. The villagers in Fr.'s home village must have took pride in this celebration. The grand welcoming, the big turnout at the dinner and beautiful presentations at night, the 3 sets of 8-tier birthday cakes, must have touched the heart of Fr. Leo Chang. Not many people can live to see such grand occasion and celebration.

His village was proud of him. His life-long dedication and services for the Kingdom of God has been recognised and appreciated.

When we left, there was a small group of villagers and relatives walked us to the exit of the village. They knelt down for Father's blessings, lighted firecrackers before we bid one another goodbye.

I am glad that Fr. was happy of the trip to his home village and enjoyed very much of his birthday and anniversary celebrations. His wish has been fulfilled.

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