With his work visa finally in place, new Gawler Catholic Priest, Father Sefo Mulipola, got down to work and officiated at his first mass at Sts Peter and Paul Church on Sunday (Sunday 11th Feb).
Fr Sefo told the congregation that he was pleased to be appointed as the local parish priest and has appreciated the warm welcome he has received from the parish.
Fr Sefo, 51, has been a member of the Salesian Order for 25 years and a parish priest for 18 years. Originally from Samoa, Fr Sefo arrived in Australia in 1996 ti undertake his studies, including attending the Catholic Theological College in Melbourne.
He undertook his practical training in Sydney and was involved in youth and parish activities.
Fr Sefo said from 2002-2005, he moved back to Melbourne to complete his Theological Studies and to fulfill his dreams of becoming a priest.
“On January 7th, 2006, I was ordained a priest in Samoa,” said Fr Sefo.
“It was a wonderful day for my parents, family and friends.”
Fr Sefo worked as a parish priest in Samoa across a few parishes, but the assignment was not easy. He said he encountered hardships and sorrow but found satisfaction in his calling.
“I now look forward to working together with the Sts Peter and Paul parish community. I trust and hope that we will be able to share our stories of happiness and peacefulness, as well as challenges in the spirit of a family,” said Fr Sefo.
Fr Sefo welcomed the multicultural character of the Gawler Parish.
Local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo welcomed Fr Sefo and said he looked forward to working alongside him for the wellbeing of our community.
“Our local clergy of all faiths play an important pastoral role in our community.,” said Mr Piccolo.
“Along with their churches, our pastoral leaders provide very practical support to people in need.”
“In these difficult times, our pastoral leaders remind us that there is hope for a better future and there is always someone who cares for us.”
Fr Sefo replaces Fr Jose who returned to Sydney in January.
Please note, all quotes attributed to Father Sefo are sourced from his message to the local parish, published in the weekly bulletin.