Louis six years ago at my Secondary Three Religious and Moral Education Retreat , it was impossible to tell that beneath the veneer of a somewhat shy and restrained disposition lay an individual genuinely passionate about his work with the youth in
Singapore schools .
Imet him again in February this year and one of the first things he said to me was , “ Many of the parishioners here at Novena Church actually don ’ t know who I am ”. While this remark was expressed casually without intention or agenda , it reflected a similar reality in SJI where although Josephians encounter the Redemptorist Mission Team ( currently spearheaded by Fr . Gerard ) at least once in the course of their four-year education , many students continue to be ignorant of the other work that the team is involved in . This work is beyond what we see of them in the Retreat ; work that takes place in the wider community .
As a young man , Fr . Gerard went out to clubs and chased girls just like anyone else his age . There was nothing different about him that immediately set him apart from his friends , hinting at the possible future of becoming a member of the religious . However , he gradually discovered that being like everyone else was an existence he found lacking . How or why remains a mystery , but he eventually saw this as an indication that the life of a lay