Sport one of ways to connect to parish life for Father Suresh

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Home > Media > News > Sport one of ways to connect to parish life for Father Suresh
Sport one of ways to connect to parish life for Father Suresh
Father Suresh at St Bernard's Parish in Claremont

Sport has always been an important part of life for Father Suresh, who grew up playing cricket in his native India.

“For our cricket team we went to a forest and cut down a trunk, making a bat out of its wood,” he said.

“We took the thrown away branches of trees and cut them into stumps and eventually our parish priest felt sorry for us and bought us some stumps and a bit.”

However, a connection to the sporting world runs far deeper for Father Suresh, who also sees the spiritual value of exercise,

“Pope Pius XII spoke about sports saying sports play an integral part in the human beings growth. Being social beings, we need sport as entertainment… (but) we need to know that sports only play a part in our lives, not the central part.”

The ‘central part’ of Catholic life for Father Suresh, who moved from Armidale diocese to Hobart one year ago, is a connection to one’s parish and to the mass.

“God doesn’t say spend your whole Sunday at church, but merely that a balance is important. Growing up, this message that God is important in our lives was really drilled into us.”

Reminding Catholics of these important truths has not been without its challenges, however,
“Catholics are given opportunities to go to mass, but sometimes, don’t seem to understand that they should use these opportunities,” he said.

“My philosophy for the parish is ‘church, school and family.’ If people are coming together in their church, in their school and in their family, then we will have successful parishes.”

In addition to working as Parish Priest of St Bernard’s in Claremont, Father Suresh also serves as chaplain to Latin Mass communities in Hobart and Launceston, school chaplain to St Virgil’s Primary and Secondary School in Austin’s Ferry and to Holy Rosary Catholic School in Claremont.

“It’s very important to me that the children know that a Priest is there for them to speak to, is approachable and is someone they can ask questions of,” he said.

“It bridges the gap between the school and the parish.”

His work with young people is particularly rewarding for Father Suresh.

“It fulfils me, it reenergises me and helps me to feel younger,” he said.

“I love doing it.”