St Luke's welcomes priest
FROM the religious melting pot of southern India to a priesthood in South Rockhampton, Shaji Joseph's spiritual journey has taken him halfway around the world.
On Sunday Fr Joseph will be commissioned as the new priest for St Luke's Anglican Parish, Wandal.
A packed church is expected for the 6.30pm service, including the Bishop of Rockhampton, Godfrey Fryar, who appointed Fr Joseph to the role.
St Luke's has been without a priest for several months since the Reverend Canon Janne Whitehead left in October and parishioners are looking forward to Fr Joseph's guidance.
"It's very exciting," Fr Joseph said from the church this week.
"Rockhampton is a great place."
He said he would be active in the local community and look for ways to connect with people from all walks of life.
He is particularly keen to support young people.
Fr Joseph said his childhood in the "melting pot" of southern India, where people of different religions live side by side, had given him a deepened sense of spirituality.
"I was part of the Christian community and becoming a priest was something that was looked upon as noble in life," he said.
"I love meditation ... spirituality is something all religions share in Indian culture.
"I came to Australia as an ordained priest in 2000."
Fr Joseph has been in Rockhampton for 19 months, serving at St David's and also as the multi-faith chaplain at CQUniversity.
After arriving in Australia, he spent 10 years in the Port Lincoln regional area.
- Bishop Godfrey Fryar has appointed Father Shaji Joseph as priest in charge of St Luke's Anglican Parish, Wandal.
- A commissioning service will be held on Sunday at 6.30pm at St Luke's Anglican church