Matthew 19:14—-> “Let the little Children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
It is the duty of Catholic parents to spread the faith to their children, and their children’s children and the rest of the family. Personally, I have not gained that duty yet as I’m only a 17-year old boy for now. However, although I am not a parent, I see my role as similar in some ways to that of a parent. I am a mentor and teacher to my catechumens as a sponsor in the Church of the Holy Spirit. I am mainly in charge of the younger catechumens: Dominique, Denzel, Tricia, Clara, Jareth, Brendan. All of them, like everyone created by our Almighty Father in Heaven, are more than students or friends to me; they are my siblings, the siblings I had longed for since I was a child since I am the youngest in my own family. I never had a sister as the only daughter that my parents actually had, that is, my older sister, passed away three days after her birth in 1990 due to organ failure. Wherever she is now, I really hope she is in the Feast with our God. My catechumens have given me the chance of being a big brother to them.
Yesterday, 2/11/13, I found the reason for writing this. There were actually two children with whom I had conversed at my aunt’s shop at Thomson Plaza. This primary three girl and her younger brother inspired me to write this as they reminded me of the childhood rivalry with my brother when we were kids. Sibling Rivalry. You know how that is….. The two siblings, however, aren’t the only children that their parents have. They have a baby brother.
Now I’m am going to tell you about my own faith story. A mini-biography of 17 years of my life. I was born as Ryan Chong on 22 April 1996 to Philip and Iva, my parents. My brother is Ian Ferdinand who was baptized and confirmed in 2007. A lot of things happened to me during my childhood. If I remember correctly, I was told I had six surgeries when I was young. One of them was to remove my tonsils which explains the manly voice I have at a very young age. IT seemed as if I did my growing up in a hospital as I was so often hospitalized.
One of my doctors, Dr Elizabeth Khor, told my parents that I would only live till the age of five. She was wrong and I am still here in the flesh. After this, I knew God had really favoured me. I was born with Eczema and allergies which I think I will have for a lifetime. My parents had always told me that those sufferings were part of a mission given by God. We all have missions from God. All of us have our own crosses to carry and daily troubles to face. Why would God want to add extra weight for me, I had always asked. For this, I have sometimes doubted God.
I was enrolled in a Catholic kindergarden in my childhood. I went to mass with my family at the Church of St Mary of the Angels in Bukit Batok even though my father wasn’t baptized till in 2006. My brother got baptized in 2007. My parents bought us a children’s bible with lots of pictures for us to see and read when we were kids. I went to Nan Hua Primary School and Bishan Park Secondary School and now I am currently studying in ITE College East. It was not until the near end of my N-Levels that I was given a vision from God himself that if I should continue on my current path, I would go straight to eternal damnation in the pits of Hell. It seemed to me that it would be best if I could return to Church after having left for six years.
After receiving this vision, I joined the RCIY as a Catechumen and then an Elect. There I met friends very unlike my own friends. These care for me and they make sacrifices for each other. One of them I am very sure you would be familiar with is Jo Liow. If it weren’t for Josephine, my faith wouldn’t have grown that fast. Eugene, Jude (who later became my Godfather) , and Elizabeth, are my sponsors for my batch. All these people still work with me as Sponsors for this year’s batch along with Joshua Jeremiah and Ryan James (ryanjamesseah) who were catechumens and candidates themselves from my batch. I got baptized and confirmed on 30 March 2013 and rejoined the RCIY as I knew who to sacrifice my time for. I became Ryan Constantine Chong. Then in August this year, Josephine asked me to join the blog which gives you these wonderful articles to spend time reading. That pretty sums up my life, but not all. (Do request if you want the full biography.)
Therefore, like the title of this article, you can see why I spend so much time writing about my life since birth till now because Faith begins from young. God has already chosen us. He has also chosen people for us to guide into the kingdom of heaven. This is our duty. Amen.