A private catechism lesson

During a trip in his car, as a token of my gratitude for his help, I made a naïve decision which drove me to an unfamiliar place.

During a trip in his car, as a token of my gratitude for his help, I made a naïve decision which drove me to an unfamiliar place.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – Car stories.

I needed to finalise some legal papers and asked Father Fatty where I could get them done. I was told to wait for him on a busy street. I didn’t recognise his car which more closely resembled a racing car with big painted stripes running head to tail on the top than a car for a priest.

Leaving the solicitor’s office, he asked me,”Do you want to convert to Catholicism?” I felt a pressure coming from him for me to say yes. I was indebted to Father Fatty for his help in organising another house for me to live with other Vietnamese refugee girls. He had also given help to me on another two previous occasions. I thought that he wanted me to be like all the other girls in the house, so I agreed to convert. But wait there’s more!

The convent

Things may have turned out differently had I was given my own safe space when I arrived in Australia as a refugee.

Things may have turned out differently had I was given my own safe space when I arrived in Australia as a refugee.

Comments about this post on ABC Open DRUM – Living alone.

April 1984, I arrived in Australia and stayed at Enterprise Hostel, Springvale in Melbourne. A week later, a religious Sister took me home to a six-bedroom Burwood parish house that accommodated thirteen Catholic Vietnamese refugees and me – a Buddhist. But wait there’s more!

My very first and frosty Australian Christmas lunch

It was a frosty Christmas lunch and the very first for me - a Vietnamese refugee.

It was a frosty Christmas lunch and the very first for me – a Vietnamese refugee.

Coming from a refugee camp in Malaysia, I arrived in Australia at the end of April 1984. After staying a week at Enterprise Hostel, Springvale, Melbourne, Sister Petite Peach took me to a six-bedroom Burwood-parish house that accommodated thirteen Catholic Vietnamese refugees and me – a Buddhist. But wait there’s more!

How I met her

I was a Catholic convert and she was my godmother. But her behaviour became that of a parent jealous of losing a child's love.

I was a Catholic convert and she was my godmother. But her behaviour became that of a parent jealous of losing a child’s love.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – How we met.

April 1984, I arrived in Australia and stayed at Enterprise Hostel, Springvale in Melbourne. A week later, a religious Sister took me home – a six-bedroom Burwood-parish house that accommodated thirteen Catholic Vietnamese refugees and me – a Buddhist. But wait there’s more!