緬懷故友 — 賴培德
1956年4月24日 ~ 2017年12月7日

賴培德同學不幸於2017年12月7日,因食道癌於美國紐約 Long Island 離世,息勞歸主。





Thank you all for coming to my Dad’s funeral service. This is my 15th day visiting the Town of North Hempstead, spending time in the Village of Mineola and the Hamlet of Carle Place. During my stay and taking care of Dad in his final days, I have been accompanied by a combination of my wife Jenny, who came with me from Honolulu and my mom Margaret and brother Ben from Atlanta. Now we also have my Dad’s siblings joining us from Orlando and Hong Kong.

On behalf of all of us, we appreciate your encouragement, support, and prayers during these difficult times. For those nearby, you have been the good neighbor and extending your hands of assistance in our time of need. For those who have traveled from afar, we are grateful that you have come to pay your respects to my Dad. We look forward to talking to you all during the fellowship time in the adjacent Parish Hall.

You may have been a congregant of Dad’s many parishes at which he served. You may have worked alongside him in caring for hospice patients. Or maybe Dad was simply a friend to you. Whatever your relationship, I wanted to share a few things with you about Dad: some things you know from experience and some things from his journey of fighting so valiantly against his illness since September and, along the way, discovering a deeper sense of living for God.

My Dad was thoughtful and caring. When I lived in Boston, I would take one of the buses into Manhattan to visit and he would drive almost an hour into the traffic to pick me up so we could spend a few days together at his various residences in Nassau and Suffolk County throughout the years. Not only was he thoughtful, he was full of thoughts, and, as anyone who spent more than a minute in conversation with him can tell you, he’d have no reluctance to explain them to you.

He was enthusiastic and dedicated. Having served as a priest for many communities, I know that he was eager to get to know his new congregation and immerse himself with the local citizens, most recently shown in his devotion for St. Mary’s and Carle Place. On a lighter note, his enthusiasm was shown through rooting for sports teams while I was growing up. Whatever teams he liked, we cheered for, and whatever teams he did not care for, we cheered for their opponents.

He was also a seeker of truth. Anyone who visited his house would see countless books on theology and spiritual life. You can ask any family member or close acquaintance to confirm how much he loved to read and write.

Finally, I turn to these past months and weeks since his cancer diagnosis, a little over 100 days ago.

As his illness made his everyday life harder and harder to deal with, he shared with me how he had been profoundly humbled by the major adjustments he had to make from his health condition. For three years, he was a hospice chaplain for MJHS, a healthcare system here on Long Island. His responsibility each day was to meet with patients and their families, as they faced the patient’s end-of-life, and listen to their spiritual needs. In the first month coping with his cancer complications, he realized that if he were ever able to go back to work, he would approach his patient care with a greater empathy than before.

Facing the likelihood of not having much time left, he also confessed regrets of the past, whether sins of omission or sins of commission, and how God was distant at times because of this. I reminded him that none of us are perfect in the eyes of God and nothing of our own efforts will meet God’s holy standard. And yet, in repentance from those sins and faith in Christ’s work for us, we have the hope to be made into new Creation that God intended us to be.

I further reminded him of what I knew to be found in the Book of Common Prayer, the liturgy from which our service is derived today, core to the Episcopal faith. Although I am not an Episcopalian, I grew up hearing this and knew it was what Dad needed to hear. He affirmed that this is what he believed and needed to hear as he encountered death. I reed the following found in the Confession of Sin, Holy Eucharist Rite 1.

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against thee
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved thee with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in thy will,
and walk in thy ways,
to the glory of thy Name. Amen.

I think Dad would want to pass along two lessons from his fight with cancer. He would first emphasize the need to speak to and reconcile with loved ones. If you ask anyone in our family, he certainly accomplished that. Second, he would tell us to slow down life in order to contemplate it. Although his daily hospice ministry was a meaningful and worthy task in spiritually guiding people at the end-of-life, cancer appeared like a speed bump for his life, causing him to decelerate, and forcing him to recognize that he had been working too hastily.  Let us not wait until we are physically helpless to pause, meditate, and be sober about life in the face of God.

I’ll be honest, my relationship with my Dad had many things to improve and often I had every opportunity to try to move it in the right direction, but did not. In God’s mysterious ways, He used Dad’s critical health situation to bring us back together and more importantly, help Dad, in the words of St. Richard’s prayer: to know Christ more clearly, love Him more dearly, and follow him more nearly, day by day as his condition deteriorated. I praise God that in God’s timing, Dad’s final chapter could be written, putting to use all the knowledge he had accumulated.

In closing, as I kept many people updated about Dad’s dire medical status in the last 12 days of his life, I heard over and over again, how the Reverend, or Father Peter Lai, was instrumental in their faith journey and how they were praying for his recovery. And, as hard as it was to see him suffer in the last 12 days of life, at the end of it, I feel like I could fully appreciate my Father, Peter Lai. We will meet each other in Heaven, Dad. Amen.
Justin Lai
December 10, 2017

In Remembrance of Peter Lai
Ng King Tong 吳景唐

My mom and all my siblings knew Peter well when he was a child living in the same street diagonally from our home.  They remembered him as a joyful kid with buoyant attitude.  Peter and I enjoyed exploring our neighborhoods when we were in Pui Ching Grade School.  Besides classical symphonies, we also found our common love of chemistry in Junior high.  To this day, I still couldn’t believe how we made some caustic soda (NaOH) out of table salt on the rooftop of his condo building.  I pursued our beloved field to study chemical engineering, but Peter followed his heart and eventually pursued something profoundly deeper.

Living far apart from each other on the opposite coasts of the country did not deter us to connect periodically.  Especially the last few years, we phoned frequently and discussed wide topics on world religions, particularly on the religious conflicts among our mankind.  We debated on the ‘would-be’ consequence of western civilization if there was no Christianity.  He never preached on me, not because I’m an atheist, but because he truly respected individual’s freedom of religion, faith, and belief.

My retirement last year propelled me to convince him that after his life time devotion and serving for so many decades, he owed it to himself to retire and enjoy his golden years.  Later I found out the retirement was never in his mind.  For Peter, following the passion of serving the church and comforting the patients in hospice daily to the very last of his healthy days was in essence his golden years!



忘記了與培德同班有多少年,中學時期的 "賴鬼"給我的印象是"鬼鬼馬馬",又是"真真實實",從無"虛虛偽偽",好一個正人君子!



我明白上帝不是個會給我們 "無風無浪" 的神,反之,祂是個會鍛練我們成為 "無風無浪能打倒我們"的神。


In Memory of A Recently Reconnected Old Friend
Alfred Kwan 關毓輝

Back in 2016, I came across Peter’s business card online and the address of the church on his card heightened my interest. I had walked by that church regularly on my way to high school in Elmhurst. I reached out to Peter and we met at the 2016 Origami USA Convention at the St. Johns University in Queens, NY. I had registered for the Convention, but I didn’t attend a single event. Instead, we walked through the origami exhibits and spent most of the day reminiscing about the old days in Pui Ching
Peter and I met again at the 2017 Origami USA Convention. He was full of life, proudly showed me his new car, and talked about his work with the hospice patients.  
I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of an old friend. My heartfelt condolences to the Lai family.