A short introduction....
My full name is Fr. Dantus Thottathil. I am delighted that the Archbishop appointed me to this great parish community. It is my hope and prayer that we be filled with blessings through our journey together as disciples of Jesus Christ. I was born on 27th February 1982. Sadly, my beloved father Joseph and my elder sister Sr. Joe Maria. C. M. C who inspired me to become a priest passed away in January 2019 and November 2018 respectively. I miss them so much. In my home, I have my mother, one older sister who is also a nun and my twin brother who is married with two kids. I come from the southern part of India called Chandanakampara, in the state Kerala.
I was ordained to the priesthood on 30th December 2008, in India. The Religious order of priests to which I belong, is the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (MCBS). I was then appointed as the associate pastor in one of the parishes in Kerala. I have worked as a pastor in different parts of India. Finally, I was appointed as the administrator in our minor seminary. Then I came to Australia in 2015.
My first appointment was to Ipswich Parish for one year. My second to Burleigh Heads for the term of two years as associate priest. I’ve been Administrator of Stanley River Parish for two years. I am filled with hope that this new journey will bring abundant blessings, joys and spiritual fulfilment as we begin the new year. Thank you for welcoming me into your wonderful parish community. So please keep me in your prayers as I begin the next part of my journey, my ministry in this parish.
I look forward to meeting and working together with you all. God’s blessings and peace be upon you and Happy New Year....
Fr. Dantus Thottathil.
Christmas is just around the corner. I take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy and holy Christmas and a New Year full of grace and peace. Emmanuel - God is with us – is our joyful word of praise. When we gather this Christmas it is Jesus who draws us and who gives meaning to our experience of family and Church.
In fact we find Jesus in the sweet taste of mercy and compassion. Jesus makes our hearts burst with willingness to help all those in need. Jesus enables us to be close to everyone and everything. He was born to make us available for everyone. You will find Him in the beauty of nature, children, elderly and the young. Especially in those who are weak, sick and poor. Let us remember that Christmas is a wonderful gift. Emmanuel helps me to
go out to the weak and fragile and show them the way to health and wholeness. To be a real comfort for all who are sad and suffering.
God’s glory is shown in us when we are fully alive for others. Joy, peace and love all come from the heart in love of God and from a will full of goodness. Let us make this Christmas a true time of peace and adoration. To be still and feel the presence of God in each other.
Nine years ago I left Guayaquil in Ecuador to come back to Australia and start again as a parish priest in a new diocese. I had been twenty five years a priest and most of that time had been as a missionary priest in Latin America.
The only reason for leaving was due to serious health issues that made it impossible for me to remain. It broke my heart to leave and I felt that sorrow for a long, long time.
The beautiful people of Manly and Gumdale made me feel very welcome and it has been a joy to me to be part of this wonderful Catholic community. I celebrated my silver jubilee as a priest at Manly and will cherish the memories of these past nine years. Not only is it a beautiful place to live, it is also a place I call home where I have forged great friendships and a deep sense of belonging.
Within six months of being at Manly, I had the privilege of being appointed as parish priest to Birkdale and Manly together. The last eight years have been a time of a great deal of pastoral work and many changes. I love Birkdale parish and will always feel part of this very generous Catholic community that have welcomed me into their homes and hearts. It is a very blessed community of friends and family. I leave with a heavy heart but also one filled with deep gratitude and joyful memories.
Both communities have very generous volunteers who create a parish of spirituality and care. I have witnessed the practical charity of the St Vincent de Paul Society and the warm loving care given to the bereaved by the ladies and gentleman of Birkdale who serve the families after funerals with real compassion. The Rosary group at Manly founded by our dear Sr Teresa PVBM have inspired me with their spirituality and practical charity.
The many people of our parishes who help the care of the sick and home bound is just wonderful. The catechists who serve the sacramental programmes and the generous teachers of our two schools who give of their time and expertise is so admirable. The sacristans who keep our liturgies alive are so loyal and generous. The people of the music ministries are just so important and we are blessed to have their service.
Both our parish councils and finance committees are so kind and generous with their time and expertise and they have forged these communities into vibrant sound parishes. We hand on the baton to a new priest with confidence.
I wish to thank Fr Prem for his generosity and goodness to me and our parishes and to Fr Epati who worked bedside me for eight years. I am extremely grateful to them. It was wonderful to be part of Fr Tom Zaranski's journey to the priesthood. He has been a real blessing for us.
I cannot finish without thanking our two parish Secretaries Lisa and Collette. Without them the parish would not function. They have been loyal generous friends to me and to all of us. Over the years they have achieved a great legacy for our parishes. Their professionalism and generous service can never be repaid. It has been a tremendous privilege to work beside them and I have received so many blessings because of them. Thank you both sincerely.
In conclusion, I wish to express my deepest gratitude to everyone for your acceptance of me and the spiritual gifts you have given me. The love of Christ in the Eucharist and His Word alongside our love for Jesus in His poor, especially in our school that we have established with our sister parish in Metinaro, Timor Leste is reason enough for all of us to celebrate our Catholic faith and joy of being a parish family that makes a real difference in the world.
Ad multos anos and I finish with St Mary MacKillop's words "gratitude is in the memory of the heart" and St John Vianney who said "God is everywhere ready to hear your prayers..remember.. He is here.."
Thank you everyone
God love you
As our two schools close for the Christmas Holidays, we all turn our attention to the coming birth of Jesus. This week’s Gospel centres on reconciliation and being tolerant with each other. I encourage everyone to make available this opportunity to make a good confession in the sacrament of Penance before Christmas.
The gift of forgiveness is so important for every person to feel loved and to be able to make new beginnings and restore relationships.
As the “wolf lies with the lamb,” with a “little boy to lead them.” We hear that enemies become friends and “they do no harm, no hurt” to each other. What a beautiful image of the Christ Child leading us to be reconciled with God and with others.
Now at this Advent time, we try our best to be tender, loving and forgiving with each other.
It is now the time to leave past injuries done to us behind. It is with Jesus, the prince of peace, that we choose to forgive and get on with living our lives in the presence of God – Emmanuel – present in every person, especially those we find most difficult to love. It is what we do for them, not what they do for us, that matters.
May our generosity in forgiving be the start of a truly blessed Christmas.
God love you,
Fr Frank Farewell
Mass will be celebrated on Sunday 15th December at 8:00am followed by morning tea and refreshments. Please bring a plate of food to share. Donations towards a farewell gift for Fr Frank can be made at the Parish Office during business hours or by placing an envelope on the collection plates at weekend Masses marked “Fr Frank Farewell”. Everyone is welcome to come and share memories and wish Fr Frank farewell.