Music an important part of Fr Martin’s ministry

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Music an important part of Fr Martin’s ministry

Music and faith are closely intertwined in the life of Fr Martin Aye Ngwe.

For 15 years in his home country of Myanmar (Burma), Fr Martin was a drummer in a band.

Fr Martin (now the administrator of the West Tamar Parish), played rock, heavy metal, disco and pop music styles.

The band entertained at Catholic celebrations and of the four members, three were to become priests.

Fr Martin also plays keyboard, guitar and can sing.
While his rock band days may be behind him, music still plays an important role in Fr Martin’s ministry.

Each week, he can be found playing guitar at St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School at Riverside and teaching faith-based songs to the students.

Fr Martin also takes regular sessions at the school with a focus on aspects of religious education such as the sacraments, baptism and reconciliation.

“I am so lucky to be assigned here - lovely teachers, lovely students,” Fr Martin said after taking a singing class with grade one students.

“I am so happy, but I am happy wherever I am assigned.”
Fr Martin, who was ordained in 1997, studied zoology at university level, holds a diploma in social communications from the Catholic University of Lyon in France and a has diploma in pastoral communication from the Pontificia Universita Gregoriana in Rome, Italy.

He was based in Sydney parishes for nine years, where among his many duties, he played bass guitar with a youth choir.

He was appointed to the West Tamar Parish nearly two years ago.

Fr Martin specialises in evangelisation through media and communications, and music plays a role in that.

He sees it as vital that St Anthony’s and the parish work closely together to educate and support students in their faith during their school years.

Assistant to the Principal (religious education) Maria Deane, said that Fr Martin was an active participant in the school’s programme.

“Fr Martin really makes a connection with the children through music,” Ms Deane said.

“It is a universal language.

“The children love him coming to visit and it builds a link between the parish and the school.”

The West Tamar Parish includes the churches of St Francis of Assisi at Riverside, St Canice at Glengarry and St Francis Xavier at Beaconsfield.

To view more photos click here!