A Tribute to our Twin Towering Padres


January 2015

Hot on the heels of our outgoing much loved Parish Priest ( Fr Surian), breezed in a tall, well built, young man of 48years, serious and solemn in demeanour. A former legal eagle of eight years experience , he had been plucked by the Lord to serve in His Vineyard as the new shepherd of Jesus Caritas and Kristus Aman!

It was at the farewell dinner for Fr Surian at the JCC canteen that I first met Fr Michael Chua, sharp, confident, observant and measured in his words. Quite aware of his predecessor’s obvious popularity, Fr Michael Chua trod carefully at the start as he surveyed his new terrain and the waiting, watching flock of variegated personalities.

It was clear from the start that Fr Michael was not going to dumb down his homilies or compromise on content, depth and insight in his breaking of the Word. Despite initial whines and groans from some disgruntled species, our new pastor soldiered on unfazed. Gradually the hills were made low, water flowed through the valleys and sunshine burst forth with each homily, reflection, retreat or Biblical course conducted.

A scholar, teacher, preacher, pastor, fastidious, thorough and historically astute in his teachings and fascinating audiovisual, presentations at sessions like:

  • Making Space for Others- A Trinitarian and Communal Spirituality - 4 July 2015
  • The Church is Catholic - 15 November 2016
  • 1 and 2 Corinthians - July - October 2017
  • Silent Retreat - Seven Fountains - 5 days in July 2019
  • Advent Reflections - 2020
  • Advent Prayer Service and Reflection - 2021

Fr Michael enlightened our minds, enhanced our knowledge of the Bible, Church history and Christian Art and gave us invaluable guidelines on living better Christian lives.

Notably, Fr Michael’s Sunday afternoon series on 1 and 2 Corinthians from July-Aug 2017, for both KA and JCC was a soul searching experience for participants. Questions for reflection and group discussions were incisive and convicted us of the Corinth like environment still prevalent in many of our parishes today! A wakeup call indeed!

A true shepherd with a loving and caring heart, our dedicated Parish priest was alert to the needs of the flock, always ready to respond to emergency calls for the sick even in the early hours of the morning!

Personally, my sojourn at Seven Fountains, Chiang Mai for the 5 days Silent Retreat with Fr Michael as Spiritual Director was a second watershed experience for me. The talks, meditations, Mass, Holy Hour, quiet moments of reflection in the chapels, solo walks in the vast green paradise, consultation and spiritual direction, Penitential Rite were invaluable and life changing.

In 2017 Abba Father dropped us manna from Heaven! Waltzing through the portals of JCC and KA was young deacon Dominic Tan, (30+?), fresh from College General and on his pastoral stint in our ‘Corinthian ‘ vineyard, enroute to Ordination. Quiet and unassuming, the ‘newbie’ had his orientation at the weekday Masses in JCC and Weekend Masses at both churches. The daily Mass goers noted that he usually did his morning prayers and reflection in the chapel like some of us. From day 1, even as a deacon, he impressed us with his nuggets of Biblical truths and sage wisdom all encapsulated in his pocket homilies!!! Like fresh spring water trickling down, Dominic Tan sated the thirst and hunger of the pilgrims with his succinct, compact and insightful mini homilies. The Word of God came alive, refreshed our spirits and expanded our horizons. Deacon Dominic Tan was a hit with his trademark stamp of highlighting key points of his homily at the beginning and rounding off with an encapsulation of salient points at the end – so typical of a model lecturer! (his former ‘life’).

Needless to say, the captive congregation and eager parishioners turned out in full force for his ordination on 1st May 2018 and also requested the Archbishop to ‘return‘ Fr Dominic Tan to KA and JCC! He did!

Now as Assistant Parish Priest, Fr Dominic Tan was to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the scholarly Parish Priest to tend to or rein in the frolicsome flock of two churches! He did not disappoint. In fact he eagerly jumped onto the bandwagon of enhancing the parishioners’ search for more adventures and in-depth knowledge of the Bible, Church History, Scriptural reflections and commentaries. Eager to share his wealth of knowledge and vast arsenal of academic experience, Fr Dominic Tan plunged us enthusiasts into an exciting rollercoaster ride of more thrilling discoveries and new Biblical gems from Genesis to Revelation!!! We thoroughly enjoyed the online sessions during the historic long, weary, scary, uncertain days of ‘COVID-l9’/MCO/RMCO. Fr Dominic made a huge impact on participants even from overseas! New realms of knowledge unfolded, Biblical and historic sagas, actions, patterns of behaviour and trends oft repeated in todays maelstrom of political, economic, social turmoil, spiritual aridity were made crystal clear as we journeyed through the Scriptures with Fr Dom.

I was hooked from the start! The immersion was a literary and scriptural one as Fr Dominic’s teaching method is akin to my own in another life! Detailed and lucid in his analysis of lines and words, evocative and explicit in his explanations and commentaries, he opened up more windows in our minds, trapped in the inertia of repeated lockdowns.

Within three years of his maiden parish posting in KA/JCC, he launched us into dizzying and exciting odysseys as he unraveled the treasures of:

  • Luke - August 2019
  • Revelation - 2020
  • Psalms - July - August 2021
  • Mark - October 2021

We were treated to virtual tours of the Holy Land and other religious or pilgrimage sites in 2021! Now at the tail end of his nascent pastoral ministry here, Fr Dom is cohosting and enriching us with

Advent Prayer Service and Reflection 2021

Young Fr Dominic is now becoming more forthright and incisive in his homilies to this ‘Corinthian’ crowd he will be leaving behind and goes on to pilot another!

Our Dynamic Duo have certainly made a lasting and far reaching impact on many lives far and wide.Fr Michael’s novel podcasts of his ‘Daily reflections, homilies, and rumination have become an integral part of our daily Spiritual manna. Aware of the need to draw the flock into closer communion with God, our shepherds created a more beautiful and conducive ambience for prayer by beautifying the main altar of Jesus Caritas. As a team, they have ignited and nourished the spiritual pastures of their flock in KA and JCC and left indelible footprints in their wake!

Merci Beaucop Fr Michael and Fr Dominic!!!