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Henry engineers a future with Jesus as the keystone

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Charissa and Henry Tsoi with their children Akina, Karina and Ryland following the children’s baptisms at Kingsgrove. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

Tsoi family among dozens of new Catholics at Kingsgrove

Civil engineer Henry Tsoi says that his pride in laying foundations for the city pales in comparison with the joy he has found in Jesus Christ.

The father of three can think of no better grounding for his family’s future than the Gospel message and the Catholic Church’s time-honoured wisdom.

Henry helped to design the pavement (including for the local roads, bridges and 9km twin tunnels), road signage and tolling gantries for Stage 2 of Sydney’s WestConnex, linking Beverly Hills to the St Peters Interchange.

I have often been selfish about my time…but now I realise that you also need to think about your team members and give them opportunities to grow.” – Henry Tsoi

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This Easter he led his family into the Church, being baptised along with his wife Charissa during the Easter vigil Mass at Our Lady of Fatima in Kingsgrove. Last Saturday their three young children, Akina, Karina and Ryland, joined them when they were baptised at the parish by Fr Hamilton (Casey) Ureta.

The family numbered along with a dozen adults and 15 children received into the Church this Eastertide at the vibrant parish, including another young family.

“My own journey into the Church goes back to when I became a father,” said Henry. “I was talking to my friends who had older children and teenagers about the sorts of problems they were facing and how difficult it is for them to make the right choices sometimes, or know how to decide what to do often when there is that grey area between what we know is right and what is wrong.

“I had studied at a Christian school growing up in Hong Kong so I knew a bit about Jesus Christ, I knew that Christians have the Gospels and the Holy Spirit in their hearts to help guide them.

“I thought that as a father, I want to provide the best for my children now and in the future. That’s why I was drawn to go to church, to become a good role model for them and to give them these things.

“My wife’s friend is a Catholic, and we mentioned this to her and she said why don’t you join the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program at Kingsgrove and see if it interests you or not?”

Henry said that the course, which began via Zoom in June last year, impressed him by not only deepening his appreciation of Scripture but teaching him more about the human person and the Church’s tradition of moral discernment.

“I see a transformation in myself and my wife,” he said. “For me, because I’m always so very busy with work, I have often been selfish about my time and did things by myself, but now I realise that you also need to think about your team members and give them opportunities to grow.

Inspired by Jesus, many step forward

“The Gospel parable of the talents helped me to appreciate this. At home I think I’m more calm and have slowed down a little bit, although the kids still tell me I’m always busy.”

Kingsgrove RCIA co-ordinator Mary Leung said that she was ecstatic to see the Tsoi family join the Church this Eastertide. “I’m over the moon, they are already living the Gospel message and we are so happy to welcome them as part of our parish family,” she said.

Mary said the parish’s RCIA program is very strong and well supported by the parishioners. “It makes our parish very lively. You see our new Catholics not only coming to Mass each week but volunteering for the choir, or as readers, or acolytes.”

What is RCIA?

By Simon Yeak, Sacramental Life and RCIA co-ordinator

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is a journey in coming to encounter the person of Jesus Christ intimately. We walk with people who desire a deeper meaning to life and slowly reveal to them the Blessed Life that God has in store for them.

He desires all of us to find the truth and happiness that we never stop searching for. Thus, RCIA is a relational journey that accompanies a person through gradual stages from seeking the faith to professing the faith.

Courses that can be very helpful for a parish RCIA program are those offered on Parishes can sign up for a discount through Parousia Media –

How can we encourage someone who expresses a desire to become Catholic or someone who is looking for a deeper meaning to life?

We very simply ask them what has happened in their life that has brought them to this point of enquiring. This can take place over a coffee or casual conversation. Just listening and asking about how they have come to this point, helps give shape to their desire. Thereafter, it is a matter of finding a parish community with an RCIA program that can journey with them.

If you have trouble finding parishes with RCIA, contact [email protected].

Any initiatives coming up for non-Catholics or returning Catholics?

A number of parishes in the Archdiocese of Sydney aim to have programs running from Pentecost onwards. For more information contact [email protected].


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