On Sunday September 17, Father Kevin Njoku was installed at St Mary’s during a ceremony officiated by the Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge.
Fr Kevin, who was originally from Nigeria, said it was a remarkable day and one he never dreamed of experiencing when he arrived in Australia in 2015.
“I came here from Jubilee parish in Brisbane and after being a priest for 12 years I had never experienced a country parish,” he said.
“This was a big change for me because I was so used to the city, where everybody is so busy and they want to celebrate mass in 30 minutes, preferably 20 minutes and then they’re out of there as soon as they can.”
“Coming to this place was a surprise because the people are so friendly, they have opened their arms to me and always ask what they can do to help.”
Fr Kevin said some of the challenges he faced when he came to Beaudesert included the cold winter and the fact that everybody seems to be connected in some way.
‘So you have to be careful what you say about anyone because you could be talking to their cousin,” he quipped.
“But the cold weather is improving and they tell me the hot weather will be arriving soon.”
Among the congregation at Sunday’s ceremony were members of Fr Kevin’s Beaudesert Soccer Club team.
“I’m a full time player on that team so a good number of my team was there for me on Sunday,” he said.
“We recently played the grand final and I not only played for them, I prayed for them – and we won.”
Father Kevin said he no longer misses the busy city life.
“This is a lovely place, it’s quiet, if you want to read or you want to pray there is always a quiet environment for that but there are still places to go and things to do,” he said
“I hardly go to the city any more.”