03 June 2021

Farewell from Fr James Puppady

Article by Fr James Puppady

Farewell from Fr James Puppady

“I will give thanks to you Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of your wonderful deeds.” Ps: 9:1.

My dear staff, students, parents/guardians and non-teaching staff,

Thanksgiving is one of the most important elements of worship. We recognise God’s presence in our lives. This does not only glorify God, it trains us to be more aware of God’s care in our lives. Gratitude is adapted from the Latin word “gratitudinem,” which means “thankfulness.” We need to recognise the blessings in our lives and cultivate a thankful spirit. So we need to develop an attitude of gratitude. This gratitude should come from the bottom of our hearts. If you look at Psalm 23, you will find it is a powerful reflection on God’s goodness. It is all about God’s care, spiritual renewal, his discipline and his protection. So it is very important to recognise the loving hand of God’s providence in our lives.

Now I would like to thank the Almighty God for his great providence and blessings throughout my life. I would like to thank all the bishops and priests who have supported me during the nine years of my journey at Drysdale. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those connected to Saint Ignatius College Geelong, located at Drysdale. We have an excellent principal, great staff, lovely students, very supportive parents/guardians, very expert board members and hard working non-teaching staff. Over the last nine years, I have witnessed that the College is growing day by day. It has a very good reputation as a connecting Jesuit Companion school. I have really enjoyed assisting with different programs at the College. Throughout my time at Saint Ignatius College, I have been a chaplain, a board member, and the President of the Canonical Administrators for four years. I have learned and experienced a lot from the staff and students.

My dear staff, you are great examples for your students through your faith and exemplary teachings. Always maintain your Catholic identity, not just by saying but by practising the faith. Your unity creates the best atmosphere in the school. You must have a strong relationship with God and your community where you share God’s love.

Fr James with our then College Vice Captains, William Palmer and Heidi Bakker,  at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Perth in 2019.

We need to have values in our life. If you buy and accumulate lots of luxuries, bear in mind that the most important and valuable things cannot be purchased with money. In your adolescent years, you are healthy and fit, but you do not possess a lot of money. In later years when you are a young adult, you will have possession of both health and wealth but lack time. And when we age, we will retain the money and gain time, but lose our health.

What do you truly mean by “love”? When you are preparing to go on a journey alone, but a voice says, “Don’t worry, I am here with you,” there is a certain security and safety in that tone. The phrase “I’m here with you” evokes such joy and comfort. Let us not only pour out our sorrows but also listen to others’ sorrows and pains too. Then we may experience some relief from our pains and sorrows. Real friendship is a form of extremely heartfelt attachment. The depth, breadth and value of such relationships transcend distance, time and seasons. Have the true treasures of life. I hope all parents and children will connect with their community, especially through the Eucharistic celebration where we share God’s Agape love.

I would like to express my gratitude to all the College’s Canonical Administrators and my fellow Priests for their support and advice.

Now I am leaving the parish, but I am not leaving you. Each and every one of you has a special place in my heart. I thank you for your love, concern, care, support and prayers.

Finally, knowingly or unknowingly, if anything I have done or offended you, kindly forgive me. Once again, a big thanks to all of you. I wish you all the best. God bless you all, especially all the children, with a great future. You are always in my prayers. Kindly pray for me too. Sometimes I will come and see you too.

I have been appointed for six years as Parish priest of Pascoe Vale and Coburg parishes. You are most welcome to visit my parish. 

Fr. Raymond Bugeja will be the Drysdale parish priest from the 9th of June 2021 onwards. He is a very good person and is a lovely priest. Kindly extend your cooperation and great support to him. God bless you all.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Fr. James Puppady

President of the Canonical Administrators.