New priests come from afar

By Robert R. Jones III

ST. MARTINVILLE – Notre Dame Catholic Church has been blessed with the arrival of two new priests from far reaches of the globe who now call St. Martinville home.

The Rev. Augustinus Seran, a native of Indonesia, ordained as a priest in 1999, arrived in Acadiana shortly after his entry into the priesthood.

He began his service at Notre Dame in 2000, but was soon after called to serve at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Jeanerette. He returned to Notre Dame several months ago.

Father Augustinus said he truly enjoys his life in the priesthood, and felt very fortunate to return to the parish where he began his service to God.

“We have wonderful people here,” he said. “And it is made more special because this is where I began in the priesthood. I enjoy it, and a large part is the congregation here is very kind and helpful.”

Augustinus said he also enjoyed the genuine friendship of those leaders in faith.

“As a whole, St. Martinville is a very loving community, and it shows in our church,” he said. “It makes our calling as priests very enjoyable. Father Justin and I are both new, but everything is orderly and everyone helps, so it is very easy for us.”

Father Justin Arockiasamy, a native of India and a priest for 16 months, said he has been in St. Martinville since June.

Like Father Augustinus, he said he was pleasantly surprised by the kindness of those in his flock.

“This is a wonderful place, and these are very good people,” Justin said. “It makes me happy all the time.”

He added he also enjoys the history of St. Martinville and looks forward to learning as much as he can of his new home in the future.

“I am still trying to familiarize myself with my surroundings,” Justin said. “It is a good place to be.”

Just as his surrounding are new, Justin said the way people show their faith here is also different, but he added people are much closer to God than American TV portrays to the world.

“My culture is very different from here,” he said. “Here, people are much more open and free. I am impressed by the deepness of people’s faith here. Before I arrived, I always heard people in the U.S. and Europe were losing their faith, but that is not totally true. My experience is, here, people do have faith deeply rooted in Jesus. Younger people seem to lose faith, but it is my experience they eventually fall back into their faith. That is my hope and prayer.”

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