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Farewell

刊登日期: 2015.06.27
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父  

 

 Wow, we have completed another year’s issues of Joyful Youth. Your editor will be asking me whether I will write again next year. I am not sure. I think I am done writing for a while. In truth, I have never thought of myself as a writer. But, opportunity came when your editor proposed the project to me. I accepted then as a will of God to do something on your behalf. And how time flies. It has been five years. And I think I am done writing, for now. 

You see, unlike many writers who like to write, I don’t. I like to teach, to preach, to talk. And when I do write, I stay with what I am familiar, the teachings of the Church. Many writers are good at applying them as commentaries to current situations. I am not very good at that. I am more comfortable within the topics of Church teachings. Don’t get me wrong. I have many opinions on many areas. I am just not comfortable to write them down as part of Church teachings. 

As you can tell from these past five years’ writings, I am more of a topic writer. Aside from an occasional thought because of events or seasons, I am not very good at coming up with thoughts to express opinions based on Church teachings. That comes from my background as a teacher. I prepare classes by topics or subjects. And after five years, I am running out of topics that might be interesting to you or appropriate for you, the young readers. 

If I were to continue on writing, I would need your input. You may ask some specific questions or request some particular topics to be covered. And based on your responses I will make my decision and reply to the editor. In other words, it is up to you. 

I am not sure if I’ll get any response. I ask my parishioners to do the same for sermon topics or seminar ideas. I usually have 2 seminars a year, one for Advent and one for Lent. Very rarely do they make their thoughts known. As for sermons, a priest usually prepares them according to the seasons and the readings. Over the course of several years, many topics are repeated, though from different perspectives. But it would be helpful if he knows what someone would like to know. Then, when it is appropriate, he could include that in the sermon. But alas, it does not happen. 

My primary concern, since becoming a priest, is how well day-to-day Catholics know their faith. It is my experience that most do not know it enough to stay untroubled when events and issues come up in the world or in conversations. Unless one is truly versed in the Church’s teaching, has taken the time to study the Catechism, one is easily swayed by what sounds good. Go back to the devil’s temptation of Adam and Eve in Gen. 3. Eve saw that the forbidden fruit was “pleasing to the eye and good for food.” So she ignored what God said and gave in to the devil’s reasoning. We seem to be going the same way when it comes to many popular issues. 

What is a priest supposed to do? If he stays with the Church’s teaching, he is “conservative”, closed minded and unbendable. If he goes with the popular opinion, he is lauded and quoted. But, he will be betraying his responsibility and his mission to “teach them everything I have commanded you.” (Mt. 28:20) 

So, if you think I should write more, let me know. 

In the mean time, God bless. 

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