Huon Valley to farewell Fr Devaraju Dusi

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Home > Media > News > Huon Valley to farewell Fr Devaraju Dusi
Huon Valley to farewell Fr Devaraju Dusi

When Father Devaraju Dusi departs from the Huon Valley Parish to return home to India, he leaves with ‘a heart of gratitude’ for his Tasmanian experiences.

Fr Dusi, 65, is due to depart on May 18, although the coronavirus pandemic has put that date in doubt.

He is a noted hymn lyricist in his home country, with more than 30 years of gospel music ministry.

Fr Dusi, who celebrated his 40th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood on January 25, spent four months in Hobart’s Cathedral Parish and then three years in the Huon Valley.

“It is a naturally beautiful place … When the bushfires came last year I was praying on my knees: ‘May the bushfires not destroy these beautiful places’. It was a miracle. My favourite place is Sacred Heart School and the bushfires were very close to Geeveston,” Fr Dusi said.

“Huon Valley is a parish with character: beautiful people who received me, accepted me and co-operated well. I am very grateful for their wonderful attitude. I am going with a heart of gratitude.

“My priestly mission is to build a community of faith, a community of hope, and a community of charity. That is my vision; that unity comes and that we live as one, brothers and sisters united in Jesus, part of God’s family. I try to bring unity, harmony and peace to the parish.”

Fr Dusi came to Tasmania after a suggestion from his bishop in India.

“It was like a thunderbolt.  I did not have a notion of coming to Australia, but my bishop had surplus priests and he said there is an opportunity to go to Australia for a mission,” he said.

Now Fr Dusi is returning to his home country, following the deaths of his parents, to attend to family matters. He is the eldest of eight children. A sister died in childhood.
Fr Dusi described India as a mission country where evangelisation is strong.

“Because it is a mission country, there is more zeal. Missionaries came from France and they promoted the vocations to become a priest. The inspiration to become a priest came from there.”

His parents were Hindus who converted to Catholicism.
“My father and mother were among the first Christians in our area. They wanted their children to give their lives to Christ in gratitude.”

Fr Dusi’s younger brother is a Jesuit priest in Rome.
He says a turning point in his life was on a ‘very beautiful charismatic retreat’ in 1976 when he says he found Jesus and never looked back.

“I became a true disciple and follower of Jesus. The coming of the Holy Spirit, the example that Christ set, that was something magnificent,” he said.

“In the seminary, every year we have retreats, but this was a special retreat that transformed me and my life.”

Fr Dusi has a talent for music and lyric writing. He spent more than 30 years in the ministry of gospel music, and has produced more than 300 hymns used in Mass in his region of India.

Fr Dusi thanked the Archbishop and priests for the kindness they had shown him, and also Fr Christopher Kasturi, now at Circular Head Parish, who is from the same home diocese.

Fr Warren Edwards, from the Diocese of Parramatta, NSW, is set to take over as parish administrator of the Huon Valley.