A passion for preaching the Word of God

By Catherine Sheehan

Fr Arokia Aruldas has brought his passion for evangelisation and preaching the Word of God from Bangalore to Tasmania.

Having arrived in Hobart in September, Fr Arokia said he was keen to carry out his priestly ministry in new surroundings.

“Evangelising is very dear to my heart, and I love to preach,” Fr Arokia said.

“I love to be missionary like that and bring people closer to God.”

Fr Arokia has been appointed Administrator of the West Coast Parish in Queenstown and will assume the role on 8 January 2024.

Born and raised in a Catholic family in Bangalore in southern India, Fr Arokia joined the Precious Blood Missionaries in 2000 and was ordained a priest on 14 April 2010.

His journey to religious life and priesthood was not smooth however. After joining the Precious Blood Missionaries his brother in law passed away suddenly from a heart attack, and not long after his father died.

While he was studying for the priesthood his younger brother passed away from blood cancer. The tragic loss of his sibling had a profound impact and made him ponder deeply the meaning of life.

“I really love him, because we were so much one, in thought and mind. He was a lovely person, very nice and simple, a very helping nature.”

Even today, Fr Arokia said, it was “painful” to recall his brother’s suffering.

It was however a turning point in his life that confirmed him in his decision to become a priest.

“It was an experience that made me listen to the voice of God. And that voice of God enabled me to come to a way of life called the priestly life.”

Following his ordination Fr Arokia served in several parishes in the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore, and later in the Archdiocese of Bangalore.

He also taught economics and geography and worked as a researcher at Bangalore University in the geography department.

In 2021 his superiors announced that there was an opportunity for one of their priests to serve in the Archdiocese of Hobart.

“I was thinking that this was another opportunity to venture into a new life, new environment, new people,” Fr Arokia said.

“Without a second thought I said, ‘Yes, Father, I’m ready’.”

Fr Arokia said he felt blessed to have been selected for the position.

“That’s the grace, that’s the blessing,” he said.

Helping to build up the kingdom of God in Tasmania is high on his priority list.

“I still have the passion for building the kingdom of God. I work for the kingdom of God, that is the primary aim.”

Tags: News, West Coast