Sporting seminarian enjoys parish placement

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Sporting seminarian enjoys parish placement

Tasmania is a welcoming and friendly place according to seminarian Chathura Silva.

Mr Silva, 26, is enjoying getting to know more of the state and its people as he settles into a six-month placement in the Launceston Parish with Fr Mark Freeman.

He has been involved with sacraments, the youth group, visiting schools and hospitals, and helping out with a soccer team.

A fourth year seminarian at Corpus Christi College, Melbourne, Mr Silva is originally from Sri Lanka, the second of four children. He has an older sister and two younger brothers. His father is a van driver and his mother has home duties.

According to a 2012 census, Sri Lanka has about 1.2 million Catholics or 6.1 per cent of the population.

“The coastal areas of Sri Lanka are Catholic, due to the historic Portuguese and Dutch influences,” Mr Silva explained.

“I grew up in a Catholic village and went to a Catholic school.

“I thought about becoming a priest when I was a kid, but I didn’t have a clear idea then.

“Over time I slowly realised the depth of this calling and so my commitment grew deeper.”

Mr Silva said that moving to Australia to live and study was sometimes challenging.

“There is a different culture and different perspectives,” he said.

“But I am also enjoying my time here.”

Mr Silva had previously met Fr Shammi Perera, Administrator of Cathedral Parish, Hobart, and also originally from Sri Lanka.

“I heard that there was a need for more seminarians in Tasmania and I thought this might be a good place to come,” he said.

Mr Silva enjoys all sports, including soccer, basketball and football.

He is assisting with a soccer team at St Patrick’s College, Launceston, but is unable to play himself due to torn knee ligaments from a match in Melbourne.

He hopes to join a basketball team and he supports Hawthorn in the AFL.

“I love all sports. It is a good way to meet people and make friends,” he said.