11 years to the day after arriving in Australia from India, Fr Suresh Kumar was installed as Parish Priest of Padre Pio Parish, Glenmore Park on Sunday 4 February 2018.
Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, celebrated Mass with the installation and delivered the homily.
“Today, we have come together to celebrate a new beginning or a new chapter in the life of this community. After a period of discernment, preceded by some rather unsettling events, we are called to begin again through the leadership of Fr Suresh,” Bishop Vincent told the congregation.
“I am confident that he will rise to the new challenge and like a good steward, he will work with you in bringing forth treasures both old and new, for the benefit of the community. It will be an opportunity for us to build on the legacy of the past as well as to meet the new challenges of the future.
VIEW: Images from the installation below or click here.
“Today, as we begin the task of rebuilding our community again, we renew our commitment to follow the footsteps of Christ. We pledge ourselves to be the church that heals the sick, eradicates evil, cares for the weak and strengthens the weary. Let this new beginning be the opportunity for us to deepen our sense of being a presence, an oasis of hope and Good News. May we learn to be a soothing presence, a warmth of God’s care and a gentle reach of God’s hand, affirming, healing and uplifting. May God bring to fulfilment what he has begun in us as Padre Pio Parish 14 years ago.
“The Word of God infuses us with hope and optimism. God’s love revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus will help us overcome all things. It is for this reason that Paul was able to say, ‘I made myself all things to all people in order to save some at any cost; and I still do this for the sake of the gospel, to have a share in its blessings.’ Mother Teresa was another who refused to give in to pessimism and hopelessness. She was determined to make a difference to others by coming to their aid without asking questions; by seeing the face of Christ in them no matter how disfigured they look.”
After he was installed by Bishop Vincent, Fr Suresh addressed the congregation and thanked them for attending. In particular, he paid tribute to his parishioners, his friends, his mother and his family.
In a surprise, a video message from Fr Suresh’s mother and family in India was broadcast on monitors across the Church. His mother, speaking in Tamil and English, said she was very proud of her son. The tribute to Fr Suresh moved him to tears.
The congregation included friends and supporters and supporters of Fr Suresh from his previous parishes, including Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes, St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta, St Anthony of Padua Parish, Toongabbie and also from the Catholic community around Sydney.