It was year 2001, May*.

Fresh out of highschool, I stepped foot into a local university – MARA University of Technology / University Technology MARA (UiTM) along with thousands of others at the Sarawak Branch, specifically at Samarahan Campus, in Kuching, Sarawak.

That’s where I met Galvin.

Always a fun-loving and jovial person to be around, with a positive attitude and a boisterous laugh, he quickly became a friend – so quick that I don’t even remember how it happened. We were taking different courses and therefore were not classmates, but we were both Catholics and belonged to the Young Catholics Undergraduates (YCU) community – which was more like a family – in UiTM Samarahan Campus. Our much awaited activity every semester was the Singai Camp, where we would spend a spirit-filled weekend at the Catholic Memorial Pilgrimage Centre (CMPC), located at the Slope of Mount Singai, Kampung Tajong Singai, Bau. The weekend would consist mainly of Mass, Sacrement of Reconciliation, Counselling sessions, Talks by invited speakers, Praise & Worship, Prayers (eg. Taize) and of course, fellowship among our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Apart from the Singai Camp, there were weekly gatherings (with Praise & Worship, Bible Sharing/Talks etc and Fellowship) and also main activities like the Christmas Caroling and Final Exam Blessing Mass.

I left Samarahan Campus for the main campus in Shah Alam, Selangor in 2004, thus leaving YCU behind – physically but never spiritually or emotionally. I was and always will be a YCU alumni and be part of YCU Family. That is why, even after my days at YCU, whenever we would bump into fellow YCU members even long after we physically left YCU, the bond is still there.

Forward a few years, we were both already working, neither in Kuching. At that time, I was working in Brunei and him in Sibu. Since I was in Sibu at one time, we met up for a quick catch up at Farley Foodcourt (of course) in Sibu. After that, it got a bit fuzzy for me. I believe it was a few years later that I found out that he went to Taize, France and then entered seminary (or was it vice versa) but I do remember visiting him while he was in St Peter’s College, the seminary in Kuching once.

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In Kuching, 2012 (he was already a Seminarian then)

Actually, I remember it vividly as it was quite an awkward experience for me, as a lady, to visit him, a man, in a seminary. We were sitting in the canteen (is that what it’s called, Gal, err, Fr Gal?) and when his fellow seminarians or formators would pass by he would wave to them and introduce me as his friend… and I would give an awkward wave back to them. He’s the only seminarian (now priest) I had ever visited in a seminary. Hahaha.

So of course, I would be at his Ordination!

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23.04.2017 – Diaconate Ordination of Deacon Galvin

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22.09.2017 – Sacerdotal Ordination of Rev. Fr. Galvin

I am used to having priests becoming my friends, but this is the first time I have a friend who is now a priest! 😍🙏

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Congratulations once again dear friend, on your priestly ordination and on this new journey in your priesthood.

Your ordination is just the beginning of the blessings that He will pour out on you, your family and loved ones and all those around you – for you and through you. I pray that you be blessed continually in your ministry.

And as Pope Francis and AB Simon Poh mentioned: “Be a Shepherd that smells like his Sheep / Jadilah Gembala Berbau Domba”

P.S. Hope to see you visit the sheep in Bintulu one day. Once again, Félicitations!!! 😊 #ycufamily

*sorry, no photo as that was pre-Facebook period (shocking!)

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