Received a call at about 9:30 am from a fellow parishioner. He informed me he was at Fr. Leo Chang's residence with a priest and a nun from India. They were interested in Fr. Leo's collection of books and asked may they have them. I informed him that I have no time to check on all items left behind by Fr. Leo Chang. Father may have promised to give them (or part of ） to someone. Give me sometime to sort out first. He persisted as if there was no reason to keep the books there, after all they were priest and religious who wanted them..... At the end I have to be firm and said "NO".
I was very sad and annoyed. It reminded me the scene of Jesus' death. "When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another, 'Instead of tearing it, let's throw dice to decide who is to have it.' In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled: They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothes. That is what the soldiers did. "(John 19:23-24)
Why so hurry? why so cold? Did they care about feeling of others? Couldn't they wait to keep the place in order in memory of the deceased for a little longer?
I recalled another incident upon the death of our Catechist Lucy Leong more than ten years ago. There were few Religious Sisters staying upstairs of her in an apartment owned by the church. Few days after Lucy's death, the Sisters were impatient to move into Lucy's apartment on ground floor. They called me many times even willing to assist if I was not free to do so （clearing of Lucy's belongings). The same passage of Jesus' death appeared in my mind then. I had to tell them curtly: "Please wait. I will inform you once it is ready. "
In a parish or a community, there are many good people who are very good to the priests, taking good care of their meals, material needs and other chores. I always appreciate such people in the community. However, some of these good people sometimes may be over zealous and overdoing. They behaved as if they "own" the priests. They are not hesitate to use their influence, to show off their close friendship and some even take advantage on the close relationship with the priests to influence decisions.... I have seen them all !
I am not keeper of Fr. Leo Chang. As the Chairperson of Parish Pastoral Council serving Fr. Leo Chang in Kajang until his retirement, I continue to maintain contact with him when he was staying in Montfort Boys Town and later at Sri Seronok Retirement Home. He was well looked after by the Archdiocese. Together with many other former parishioners, we visited him regularly and attended to his other needs whenever we can.
I would prefer clearing and sorting out Fr. Leo Chang's belongs slowly (within a month), and cherish, reminisce his presence at his former residence before his death. This is our respect to him.