On 25 March Fr Michael Tate will commence duties as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Hobart, assuming this responsibility from Fr Mark Freeman who has served as Vicar General for both Archbishop Porteous and Archbishop Doyle since March 2005.
This change follows the increased need of the Archbishop for Hobart-based support.
“The role of Vicar General is a very important role in the administration of the diocese and I feel that Fr Tate has many outstanding qualities which, I’m sure, will really be of great assistance to me in my role as Bishop here,” said Archbishop Julian.
Fr Mark has been serving as Vicar General for 12 years. During that time he has also had additional responsibility as a Parish Priest – in Mersey Leven, the Huon Valley and for the past seven years in Launceston. Fr Mark will continue in his role as Parish Priest of Launceston.
“I have been personally grateful for Fr Mark’s wise advice on many occasions as well as his support and encouragement.
“I felt the need has developed whereby I need the role of a Vicar General to be working more closely with me on a daily basis,” His Grace said.
“I spoke to Fr Tate about that possibility, which would mean that he would have to withdraw as parish priest of the Huon, and be available to work in the office here. He very kindly accepted.”
Fr Tate spoke fondly of his time as the Huon Valley Parish Priest.
“The support, and dare I say it, affection from the parishioners has been terrific. I will miss that, and the opportunity after only two years to reach out in a more missionary way.
“I will keep the Way to St James pilgrimage going. It is good evangelizing, and gives a focus to the whole of this very spread out southernmost parish in Australia.”
Fr Tate will work closely with Archbishop Julian to progress the work of the church throughout Tasmania.
“If I can help him simply get the gospel to the centre of the church’s life, then that will be good for Catholics and attractive to others,” said Fr Tate.
Prior to Fr Tate’s assumption of Vicar General responsibilities later this month, Fr Devaraju Dusi has been appointed as the Administrator of Huon Valley Parish, and Fr Christopher Kasturi as Priest in Residence to assist Fr Devaraju.