Fr Vijay installed as Parish Priest of Benalla

 

Vijay Bishop 350By Fr Vijay Bandanadam ALCP/OLS

Five years ago, I said good-bye to my family in India and arrived here in Austraila. I had accepted my new mission of living outside my homeland, in God’s vineyard here in the Diocese of Sandhurst. Challenges awaited me as I wanted to become an Australian Permanent Resident, to be able to live my call of serving God in this land known as the lucky country. Little did I dream that it would take five years of hard work to become a permanent resident.

Finally, a month ago, I received the official notification of my permanent residency which had seen many hurdles overcome. With support from parishioners this goal was finally achieved. I now knew in my heart that God’s plans for me were slowly unfolding.

Last Sunday, 20 March, Bishop Shane officiated at my installation as the new Parish Priest of St Joseph’s Benalla. As I knelt before him to renew my priestly vows, lots of emotions arose, especially knowing that my own family couldn’t be here to witness this occasion. Yet I realised God had given me another family. The parishioners have been so kind and supportive of me; it was fitting that this Installation occurred during our regular Sunday Mass.

The parishioners came to witness this ceremony which would have been a first for them. As Bishop Shane handed me the keys of the Tabernacle, I thanked God within my heart for that moment. The keys represented all that had led to this moment and all that would be in the future. Bishop Shane announced in one part of the ceremony that I, Fr Vijay would now be the parish priest of St Joseph’s for the next six years. The applause at the end of Mass reminded me of the love my parishioners continually show me. Their loving support had led me to this moment. More importantly, God’s grace had made all this possible. As scripture says, “It’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me.”

Fr Vijay Bandandam is from the Apostolic Life Community of Priests in the Opus Spiritus Sancti (ALCP/OSS) based in Hyderabad, India.

 

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Fr Vijay Bandanadam was born in Veeravally, Telangana, India and is one of eight children.

He was ordained a priest of the Apostolic Life Community of Priests in the Opus Spiritus Sancti (ALCP/OSS) in his home village of Veeravally in December 2009.

Before coming to Australia Fr Vijay served as Assistant Priest at St Joseph’s Nellikudur in Telangana, and Parish Priest at St Joseph’s, Chagalamari in Andhra Pradesh. So, it is no surprise that Fr Vijay loves to celebrate the Feast of St Joseph in Benalla.

Fr Vijay was also a rector of a Minor Seminary in Suryapet Telangana prior to coming to Australia.

Vijay Installation 3