Jesus shapes me everyday

Ervin TanFeature

Patrick Yu (centre) dressed as St Patrick, Bishop of Ireland and his parents at the “Be a Missionary” dress-up competition at Catholic Foundation.
Photo: Catholic Foundation

“Jesus shapes me everyday”

One of the highlights of the Catholic200SG festivities for 10-year-old Patrick Yu was the “Be a Missionary” dress-up competition organised by Catholic Foundation. His mother, Sharon Yu, gives us an insight into the heart of this missionary young man.

Ever since the age of five, Patrick has been fascinated by the stories of saints. He read up a lot on the lives of the many saints, how they lived, cared for the poor, helped others and most importantly, followed Jesus. Their stories inspired him to love his faith, just as they did. He also developed a particular love for his namesake, St Patrick of Ireland, a bishop and missionary to Ireland.

Inspired by St Patrick

What moved Patrick most about the saint’s life was the fact that, after being sent to Ireland, he preached the Good News to almost the whole country, until many were converted. Patrick was especially inspired by how the saint used the shamrock (a three-leaf clover), a symbol of Ireland, to preach about the Holy Trinity to them. Now, every time Patrick travels to another country, the first thing he does is to look for a church dedicated to St Patrick, just for an opportunity to say, “You see, this is my Church!”

So it was no surprise that when Patrick heard about the “Be a Missionary” event that Catholic Foundation was organising, he leapt at the opportunity to dress up as St Patrick. It took him about three days to fully construct his costume, but he enjoyed every minute of embodying his favourite saint, especially during the 200th anniversary of the Catholic Church in Singapore.

A Remarkable Love for Christ

Patrick has always treasured his faith, especially the Eucharist. In fact, one of his favourite activities is to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament because to him, there is nothing like spending time with the person who loved him so much that He sacrificed His life for him. The Eucharist is also the reason he became an altar server at his parish.

Other than spending time in adoration, Patrick enjoys learning more about the history of the Church. He scours the Internet buying books on Church history, and looks forward to weekly catechism. He also loves to draw – the inspirations for his pictures are often either Biblical characters or Church architecture.

For Patrick, being a Catholic is not something he takes for granted; he truly sees it as a gift. When I asked him to identify one thing that he wasgrateful for, he said, “I amvery lucky to be a Catholic atthis young age. Thanks be to God! Jesus shapes me every day. He is the light and the Good Shepherd of my life.”

Reflecting on Catholic200SG

The most important gift that Patrick received from the week-long Festival was being able to learn so much more about our local Church and its history. He hopes that the celebration encouraged Catholics to reflect on the significance of this milestone and bring more people to come to know and love God more, especially in this period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When asked what he loves about the Church, he surprised me with this heartfelt response, “I love the Church because it is the Body of Christ. In church, I feel very close to Jesus. In church, I am surrounded by friends, teachers and mentors who can actively encourage my faith with Jesus and accompany me on this journey with Him.

“I appreciate the deacons, priests and the bishop for working tirelessly to support the Church and I appreciate all the Catholics who are serving the Lord. I believe I can contribute more when I grow up. I dream of becoming a priest so that I can serve the Lord more closely and spread His Word to more people in the world. Please pray for me.”

He then added jokingly that when he becomes a priest, he hopes to build a St Patrick’s Church in Singapore.

For us, a family within this one big family of God, we too pray that the celebration of Catholic200SG inspired Catholics to continue spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

May more people come to recognise the love of Christ in their lives, just as my son has.

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