THE PARISH of St Patrick’s in Fremantle will say goodbye to Fr John Sebastian Ramesh OMI on December 22 as he leaves Perth to take up a new role in Victoria.
Fr John Sebastian has been assisting at the parish for about four years, and has also been the chaplain to the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle during that period.
His new position will be as the assistant priest at St John Vianney’s Parish in Mulgrave, one of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate’s homes in Victoria.
Fr John Sebastian will visit family in India before commencing his role in the Mulgrave parish at the end of January.
At the same time, Fr Andrew Chen OMI will take up the assistant priest role at St Patrick’s as well as becoming UNDA’s chaplain for 2014.
Fr John Sebastian was appointed as chaplain for UNDA in February 2010, taking over from Fr Gerry Conlan OMI.
He was the youngest chaplain in the University’s history in Australia, being just 31 at the time of his appointment.
He studied for the priesthood at St Paul’s Institute in Chennai, India, before his ordination in the same city in 2005.
Parish priest of St Patrick’s, Fr Tony Maher OMI, said Fr John Sebastian had contributed much to the parish.
“He’ll be greatly missed here,” he said.
“He’s added youth, which is a great thing, he’s a very homely man and he preaches beautifully and warmly to the people.
“He mixes with all nationalites and people of all ages, he’s open and engaging and he’ll be certainly missed by the parish.”
Meanwhile, the Oblates, who minister in ten parishes and three colleges in five States of Australia, will host the National Oblate Youth Encounter in Victoria in January.
Youth from Oblate parishes and schools around the country will gather from January 9 to 12 for the event, which is based on the theme: “You are the light of the world”.
It will be the 15th year the event, which is aimed at people between the ages of 16 and 30, has been held.
The Oblates arrived in WA in 1894, and extended their missionary activity to the East coast of Australia some 32 years later, in 1926.