Farewell for parish priest who appreciates the giftedness of others

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Farewell for parish priest who appreciates the giftedness of others

The Parish of Moonah-Lutana will be farewelling their parish priest in January as he takes up a formation role within his religious community.

Fr Mark Hanns MSC will leave Tasmania in mid-January after nearly four years serving the faithful at St Therese of Lisieux Church in Moonah.

His departure comes after he was recently appointed as Director of Post-Novitiate Formation for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart’s Australian province, a role which will necessitate a move to Blackburn, in Melbourne. There he will guide the formation of men who have professed their first vows, and will either continue as religious brothers, or study for the priesthood.

Fr Mark, who arrived in Tasmania in March 2016 from Adelaide, says he has ‘mixed feelings’ about the move.

“This is God’s own country down here, and people here are beautiful, you know? The people of Moonah, and the people of Tasmania are just extraordinary. So there’s sadness in having to leave here, but I’m peaceful also,” he said.
His replacement as parish priest Fr Krish Mathavan MSC will – like Fr Mark - have come most recently from South Australia.

Fr Mark says the friendliness of the people of his parish has been a joy during his time in Tasmania.

“I’ve discovered friends that I didn’t know I had before,” he said.

“I didn’t have grand visionary plans [for the parish]. I think it is probably more about being than doing, and to be as authentic as I can.

“And to be in love with Christ, and then out of that whatever ministries I do, come from that, I hope.”

Fr Mark says he’s relied on the gifts of others around him during his time at the parish.

“I’m aware of my limitations, and that there’s a lot that I don’t know how to do,” he said.

“I’m surrounded by people who have those gifts in the areas that I don’t have gifts, and I think that’s what parish ministry is all about, or any ministry is about … It’s necessary to recognise that it’s a team effort. I’m not the Messiah, none of us is the Messiah. We don’t have to do it all by ourselves.”