Sacerdotal Ordination of Rev Deacon Nicholas Hoh Jeng Kin, OCD - 31st January, 2018

Deacon Nicholas OCD

Rev Deacon Nicholas Hoh Jeng Kin :

               St. Therese, in writing her famous autobiography The Story of a Soul, says that in writing her life’s story, she was singing of the “mercies of the Lord”.

              Perhaps unconsciously, in choosing this phrase from the book of Lamentations as the theme for my priestly ordination, I too had been moved together with Thérèse in praising God for his great love in my life. For it has been said by some, that nothing that He does is accidental, and that all things work for the good for those who love Him.

              First and foremost, God has blessed me with a good and loving family. Although we were not Catholics, my family taught me good values and gave me a loving and stable environment while growing up. They have been supportive and encouraging all throughout my life, and with the conversion of my parents to the Catholic faith in Easter 2006, were the ones who gave me my first concrete introduction to the faith. My parents journeyed with me and my sister on our own RCIA journey the following year at St Francis Xavier’s in Petaling Jaya, and after our own baptism in Easter 2008, grew together in the faith as a family, from attending formation talks, daily Mass, prayers at home, and even to our first forays in serving our parish of St Thomas More and the wider Catholic community.

              Even looking back at my youth, I see the love of God discreetly working in the circumstances of my childhood. Although growing up as a Buddhist, I had in my circle of friends many Christians of various denominations, who showed me good examples of living Gospel-centred lives. The charity they possessed, their joy in having Christ in their lives, and their hopefulness even in difficult moments, made a deep impression on me. It convinced me of how Christians who sincerely live the Gospel are truly the salt of the earth, bringing goodness and love in discreet and quiet ways.

              However, it is probably in my vocation to religious life that the love of God shines most strongly. It was the spiritual testimonies of Carmelite saints, touched by their deep, personal encounters with God who is Love, that so inspired and emboldened me to take the decisive step to leave behind a promising career and the comforts of the secular world. It was the desire to live these very experiences of the saints – St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, and St. Therese of the Child Jesus – that made me feel compelled that only a life lived in allegiance to Christ was a life worth living.

              In fact, it was while in religious life that I felt the call to priesthood. A priest is nothing other than an instrument of God’s love for his people. Christ the Good Shepherd, who gave his life out of love for his flock, continues to work his labour of love through the ministry of the priest. The Lord Jesus, who forgave sins, healed the sick and set captives free, continues his work through the sacraments of the Church. It is with this desire to bring the love of Christ to those who need to experience it, that has given me the impetus to embrace this call given by God.

             The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end. These words mean to me that it all begins with God’s love for us. It is a mantra that I would like imprinted in my heart in my future priestly ministry, that a priest is called to be a sign of God’s love for his people. It is also important to me, that I can only serve as a priest well if I am continually nourished by this very same Love. Therefore, I hope that in my priestly ministry, you, dear brother and sister in Christ reading this, will see the face of our Father, who loves and cherishes you like no other.


            About the Discalced Carmelites Order :

The Discalced Carmelites or Barefoot Carmelites are a Catholic mendicant order with roots in the eremitic tradition of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. (Discalced is derived from Latin, meaning "without shoes".) The order was established in 1593, pursuant to the reform of the Carmelite Order of the Ancient Observance by two Spanish saints, Saint Teresa of Ávila and Saint John of the Cross. The Discalced Carmelite order is now known by the initials "O.C.D".

Carmelite spirituality is characterised by an intense thirst for an immediate and direct experience of God, reflected in the order's motto "Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum" (With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts). Carmelite spirituality in its most fundamental expression is thus centred on prayer, understood as loving friendship with God, and contemplation as the free gift of God.

For this reason, Carmelite spirituality is focused on attention to one’s relationship with Jesus. This is expressed in various ways in the major sources of Carmelite spirituality, such as the Rule of St. Albert, the writings of the founding saints, and indeed in the writings of all the Carmelite saints.

The Friars of the Order of Discalced Carmelites of Seremban in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur ask for the prayers of the faithful of the Archdiocese on the occasion of the Sacerdotal Ordination of Rev Deacon Nicholas Hoh Jeng Kin, OCD, that with zeal he may be zealous for the Lord God of hosts.

Source: Archdiocesan Social Communication Ministry