‘Third time’s the charm’ for Deacon Francis Go

On Thursday, August 6, Francis Go Sheau Peng, OFM Cap will be ordained to the Order of Presbyter by Archbishop Julian Leow at the Church of St Francis Xavier, Petaling Jaya. One of our writer spoke to him on his calling and journey towards priesthood.

Aug 01, 2020

By Lavinia Louis
The term ‘Third time’s the charm’ has never been so true as when Deacon Francis Go Sheau Peng, OFM Cap heard God’s calling and finally answered it. “I first heard God’s call while I was still in secondary school, at the age of 16, but just like any other teenager, I just brushed it off and moved on in life. “The second encounter I had was in 1992, when I was 21 years old. At that time, I gave the excuse that I wanted to explore the world but God had other plans for me. He once again called me the third time and this time I had no excuse to deny it,” he said.

“Then, in April 2002, I ran into Bro David Yeo outside the Cathedral of St John’s. I felt compelled to approach him. This was the first time that I had encountered a Capuchin. Bro Yeo then invited me to attend a vocation camp held at the Church of St Francis of Assisi, Cheras.

“After that encounter, there was no denying God’s call to the religious life. I told myself this is the third call I had and it really shows how much God loves me. That decision was the turning point for me to join the religious life. I was attracted to join the Capuchins.

“Why the Capuchins? There is just something about that brown habit that makes them unique and mysterious. Even today it is still a mystery to me,” laughs the 49-yearold deacon.

Born and raised in Gemas, Negeri Sembi lan, Deacon Go is the eldest of five siblings.

“My siblings and I were brought up in a typical Chinese family. We went to a Chinese Primary School and a Government Secondary School.

“I enjoyed a myriad activities such as swimming, travelling overseas, reading,  shopping and collecting items such as batik, sarongs, and rosaries.

“I worked in the IT field before joining the Capuchins.

“When I first informed my mother of my decision to join the religious life, she was calm and told me that if I felt that God was really calling me, then I should go ahead.

“As for my dad, he was passive and went silent when I told him.

“I am sure you are aware of the responsibilities that the oldest has in a Chinese family, but my parents were agreeable for me to take on the religious life,” he shared.

Francis Go joined the Capuchin Order in 2003 as a postulant for two years. In 2005 he entered his Novitiate in Baguio, Phil ippines, and made his First Profession in 2006. After being sent to Bangalore, India, for his Franciscan Spirituality for two years, he made his Perpetual Profession in 2010.

“My greatest joy is to be a Capuchin where I can give a little witness by persevering as a religious (a man of faith) for Jesus Christ, that after 2000 years that Jesus is still living among us. “Even if I did not answer the call at first to be a priest, I am still a Capuchin, I am a religious first before a priest. Being a priest for us is a call within a call,” he reiterates.

Bro Go returned to the Philippines to continue studying Philosophy at St Anthony Mary Claret College, and graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Major Philosophy. He studied Theology at Divine Word Seminary (SVD) in Tagaytay until 2019.

He then completed four years of the Ecclesiastical Course and Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB) which is affiliated with the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome, Italy, in May last year, “I returned to Malaysia and was ordained a transitional deacon on October 7, 2019, by Archbishop Julian Leow.

“I really enjoyed my years as a seminarian. As for my family, I was fine with leaving them as I believe that God will take care of them.

“Leading up to my ordination on August 6, 2020, I was so glad that I answered God’s call to join religious life. It is a gift to be come a priest, to serve the people. It sure took time to convince me but I am sure that He loves me so much that He never gave up on me,” he said, Deacon Go would like to emulate the late Fr Ignatius Huan. “He was a good, intellectual and kind priest. I always looked up to him.”

“My hope for the younger generation is they go for Mass every Sunday (though it is a bit difficult now with the partial lockdown), and join the church’s activities. Be part of the community.”

“And for anyone who has a desire to serve God and the people as a priest, I would advise him to pray hard, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide and enlighten him. Ask your Spiritual Director to discern with you. Lastly, go and stay in a religious house or Seminary just to experience their lives and see whether it suits your calling to be a priest.”

Total Comments:0