Francis begins his 'spiritual apprenticeship with Jesus'

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Seeing my faith used by God to serve Christ in the poor means a lot to me, says Francis Voon, new pastoral care officer at the Matthew Talbot Hostel, Woolloomooloo, in inner Sydney, reports The Catholic Weekly.

“My relationship with God is everything that sustains me,” he said.  “I like to call it a spiritual apprenticeship with Jesus. Through this encounter, I am challenged to grow daily in God’s love and compassion.

“It is exciting to think that as Christians we are called to share in the very life of God which overflows into loving service of others, especially those most rejected by society.

“I am also blessed to have the companionship of many others on this journey, whatever their faith or background; who work to build a more just and compassionate society, especially for those whom the dominant paradigms in society label outcasts, sinners and who live life on the margins. It’s important to me that whatever work I do, it fits in with my faith and values.”

The eldest of four children, Fran­cis, 29, was born in Malaysia and arrived in Australia in 1998. “My family have been Catholic for many generations in Malaysia,” said Francis, a parishioner at St Joseph’s Church, Newtown in Sydney's inner west.

“I have lived in various places throughout greater Sydney, and thus been involved in various Catholic churches, primarily in the Broken Bay diocese.

“I was active in many ministries, primarily in parish leadership, youth and young adult, CCD and music ministries.

“Music was how I started ministry in church. I joined a church youth choir and was an altar server in Malaysia.

“At the moment I am single. I’m not part of any organised sporting teams, but I do enjoy swimming.”

Francis completed his high schooling in the north-west suburbs of Sydney.

He studied at various tertiary institutions including the Australian Catholic University, the Catholic Institute of Sydney and the Broken Bay Institute.

“My professional background has spanned various fields; in education, psychotherapy and Church ministry in the Broken Bay diocese,” he said.

“I am really grateful that I have been blessed with all these opportunities because they all come together in the work and ministry that I do here at the Matthew Talbot Hostel.”

The Matthew Talbot Hostel is a Special Work of the St Vincent de Paul Society that aspires to live the Gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, just­ice, hope and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society.

FULL STORY Francis' 'spiritual apprenticeship with Jesus' (Catholic Weekly)

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