Fr John Girdauskas is the second of five children born to Juozas Girdauskas and Catharina Redeker in Burnie. John’s parents arrived in Tasmania in 1951 following the war and were married at St Mary’s Star of the Sea, Burnie. His father was a displaced person during the war years having been imprisoned in Germany following his transportation from Lithuania. John’s mother was born in the Netherlands and arrived in Australia with her parents, who settled at Camdale, along Tasmania’s north west coast.
John was educated by the Sisters of Mercy, Marist Fathers and for a short period of time at Burnie State High School. In 1975 he entered the Marist Fathers Seminary in Sydney and was ordained a priest in the Burnie Civic Centre on the 20th May 1983 by Archbishop Guilford Young. He has spent most of his ministry life working in parishes on the mainland and in Tasmania. In the year 2000, John was appointed to the Newstead Parish in Launceston, and then in December 2001, together with Frs Terry Southerwood and Richard Ross, was a founding priest for the newly established Launceston Catholic Parish. From July 2004 until September 2008 he was Parish Priest of the West Coast Parish and since completing that appointment, he has been Parish Priest of the Mersey Leven Catholic Parish. Currently Fr John is parish priest at Burnie-Wynyard Parish. Fr John is currently the Diocesan Director for Clergy Life and Ministry, State Chaplain to St Vincent de Paul Society and a member of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission.
John’s interests are gardening, collecting old bottles and early bricks, as well as enjoying the company of his Maltese dog, Anya. "It is always a privilege to be part of the lives of people and an honor to work in partnership with parishioners, at this present time in the history of the Catholic church in Tasmania."