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Aspiring deacons inspire others


In a major shift from his days as a pharmacist where the approach was “a pill for every ill”, aspiring deacon Tee Ping Koh’s now hopes his ministry as a hospital chaplain will show patients how God’s love can help them in their time of need.

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On March 24 Tee Ping was installed as a Lector and Acolyte, and together with Alfred Donat from the African Catholic community both were admitted to diaconal candidacy by Apostolic Administrator Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ.

While both men are on the same journey to becoming a deacon, they come from very different backgrounds.

A pharmacist by training, Tee Ping is now helping the sick in another way, as the Catholic chaplain with the Flinders Medical Centre.

“My spiritual journey that leads me to my current hospital chaplaincy ministry is inspiring me to make the love of God real for them (patients) through my care and presence. In their moments of vulnerability, I humbly bring them God’s courage and grace, lifting their spirit and helping them to find peace and dignity in their sufferings.

“This is a major shift from my pharmacist day where the approach was ‘a pill for every ill’,” he said.

Tee Ping and wife Mary Ann are both members of the Blackwood parish and he has been engaged in Ministry Formation since 2017.

He will complete a Master’s degree with the Australian Catholic University in Theological Studies in Semester 1 2020, travelling to Rome later this year to study the unit ‘Spirituality in the Catholic Tradition’.

Alfred started his Ministry Formation studies in 2014 and will complete his Master’s degree in July. He also studied a unit in Rome last year.
Married to Hellen, the couple has seven children and is originally from South Sudan.

An elder and role model to the Madi community, Alfred and Hellen offer support and counselling to families when needed.

He is a familiar face in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, serving regularly at the 11am Sunday Mass.

Alfred said he is inspired by the words of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel: ‘I am among you as one who serves’ Luke 22:27.


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