Over the holiday break, Catholic Outlook is showcasing some of its most viewed, inspiring and thought-provoking articles from 2021.
This year, the Diocese of Parramatta said an emotional farewell to four members of our clergy family. We invite you to read their obituaries, and we continue to pray for the repose of their souls.
Vale Fr Renato Paras
12 September 1938 – 26 October 2021
Fr Renato Mario Alonso Paras, former Parish Priest of St Aidan’s Parish, Rooty Hill and first chaplain to the Filipino Catholic community in Australia, died 26 October 2021 at Melva McDonald Lodge, Rooty Hill, aged 84.
Born in Cebu City in the Philippines on 12 September 1938, Fr Renato was ordained to the priesthood on 3 December 1967. He was incardinated to the Diocese of Parramatta in 1995, having arrived in the Diocese in 1993.
Prior to that, he had served as the first Filipino Catholic chaplain in Australia for the growing number of Filipino migrants to Australia. Assigned to work in Australia by the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) Missionaries, he arrived here in November 1980. Soon after arriving, he celebrated the first-ever Filipino Mass held in Australia on 1 January 1981, before being certified by Cardinal James Freeman as Chaplain of the Filipino in NSW in February the same year.
During this time, he was instrumental in the formation of the Filipino Catholic Organisation of Sydney (FILCOS) designed to promote strong Christian values amongst the Filipino migrant community.
His first role in the Diocese of Parramatta was as Assistant Priest at Christ the King Parish in North Rocks in 1993. He then served as Parish Priest at St Thomas Aquinas Parish in Springwood from 1996 to 1998. His last appointment in the Diocese was as Parish Priest of St Aidan’s Parish Rooty Hill from 1998 until his retirement in 2011.
In November 2017, Fr Renato celebrated 50 years since his ordination to the Divine Word Missionaries in the Philippines in 1967.
In 2019, Fr Renato was interviewed about his life.
“I have fond memories of my time in active priestly ministry,” he explained. “I am thankful to have been of service, to you, the people of God.
“Thank you for welcoming me into your lives and allowing me the privilege of sharing the joyful moments and the difficult times in your lives.”
In your charity, please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Fr Renato and remember his family in your prayers.