Fr Bartha commences role as new Moonah-Lutana Parish Priest

By Josh Low

Serving God and His people is at the heart of the mission of new Moonah-Lutana Parish Priest, Fr Bartha Paniyadimai MSC.

A priest of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC), Fr Bartha commenced his new role at the beginning of the year, replacing Fr Krish Mathavan MSC who returned to Singapore to care for his father.

Originally from Kodimunai, in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Fr Bartha was ordained to the priesthood in 2018 and served as a priest in Darwin and Sydney before arriving in Tasmania.

Fr Bartha explained that the charism of the MSCs is to promote love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

“Our aim is to be on earth the heart of God, and to inspire in people a love of the Sacred Heart,” he said.

“We are happy to move anywhere to spread the charism around the world. That is our call.”

He added that his appointment as Parish Priest came as a shock initially, followed by excitement.

“I was excited to come to start my new ministry. It’s a next chapter of life,” he said.

Arriving in Tasmania at the end of December, he has jumped head-long into his new role, having already celebrated the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation at the parish, along with first Holy Communion at Mass.

“The parishioners are amazing,” Fr Bartha said. “It’s really a welcoming community, and I hope to speak to the people, catch up with them and get to know them better.

“Community is very important. There is a multicultural community here – Australians, English, Polish, Indians, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Africans; very multi-cultural community.

“But when they come here, they are like one family. It’s beautiful. That is the Church,” he said.

As well as administering the sacraments, Fr Bartha hopes to build community in the parish.

“To serve God and to serve the people through my ministry as a priest, that is my goal,” he said.

“I would like to introduce more spiritual activities for people… prayer groups, maybe a youth or young adults’ group, Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation every Friday and Saturday.

“I also hope to connect the spirituality of the MSCs with the spirituality of the Parish and St Therese of Lisieux,” he said.

Tags: Front Page News, Moonah-Lutana, Southern Deanery