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It’s a case of mutual admiration for Henley Beach
parish and the latest addition to the pastoral ministry
team at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church.
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart newly-ordained
deacon Krish Mathavan has quickly endeared himself
to parishioners and clergy alike, with parish priest
Fr John Rate msc praising his positive outlook, “can-
do” attitude and “lovely sense of humour”.
As for Brother Krish, who was born in Singapore
and has been based in Sydney and Melbourne over the
past decade, he is more than happy with the relaxed
lifestyle of the beachside parish.
“It’s lovely, charming and not as crowded and
congested as Sydney or Melbourne,” he said.
“I can’t complain when I am in Henley Beach, I love
Fr Rate reflected on
Br Krish’s immediate
impact on the parish
community and his
artistic talents, which led
to him starring as Judas
Iscariot in the parish
Stations of the Cross
comfortable in himself
and can relate well
to all people...Krish
volunteers for any work
or ministry, and is very
generous with his time
Henley Beach Antioch
youth group member
and parishioner, Mirachel Rabusic, credited Br
Krish’s “friendly nature” to his ability to reach out and
befriend members of the community.
Long-time parishioner and mother of four Elizabeth
McCulloch agreed: “One doesn’t need to know
someone for long to realise how wonderful they are,”
“He has already gained the love and respect of our
parish community. Not only is Br Krish warm, friendly
and with an adorable sense of humour, his deep love of
God is evident.”
Br Krish’s call to the priesthood came after attending
World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008.
“In Singapore, I was doing research work in a
genetics lab, and was feeling a bit disillusioned with
where I was,” he recalled.
“I was thinking I was wanting something that was
impacting more on people’s lives.”
After visiting Sydney to meet with an old uni friend
and attend World Youth Day, Krish was invited on a
“After eight days, something wonderful happened,
and I had a really deep experience of God’s love for
me,” he said.
Br Krish couldn’t shake off the call to religious life
and said “there was a deep peace that came with that”.
Although his year of discernment involved
discussing his plans with his parents, who at the time
were hoping for grandchildren, Br Krish said that
“somehow God gives us the grace to keep going”.
energy and positivity
of youth, Br Krish said
his greatest hope for the
Church’s future was for
the culture around the
sexual abuse crisis to
be better recognised and
“It’s hard to read
about the anger towards
the Church, yet it’s also
a call to repentance,
a call to reform our
culture,” he said.
“We need a more
inclusive culture, to be
reminded of who Jesus
was for us, the servant
who gave His life.
“The Church needs to be a place where people can
come to experience God, to grow, be transformed.
“Young people are central in that vision because
they give the energy needed to grow as disciples and
transform people to be the light that shines in the
Br Krish recently celebrated his first baptism, and is
excited for his future at Henley Beach, where he plans
to be ordained a priest.
For more information on the Order of the
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and msc
vocations, visit https://www.misacor.org.au/
Joel Webber is a 23-year-old boxer,
gym instructor, lifesaver and sports
massage therapist, but last year he
realised he had a greater calling.
He has recently returned to
Adelaide after spending two and a
half months in Chile on a mission
experience in some of Santiago’s
Joel worked in the Columban
parish of San Matias where he ran
boxing classes for impoverished
children and young adults.
Joel’s journey began two years
ago after joining the 12 Stars
Boxing Club, which was formed
in 2000 by former Australian
boxing champion and Adelaide
Archdiocese deacon Anthony Hill.
The Club provides for spiritual
growth, pastoral care and the
overall fitness and wellbeing of its
Joel, who is coached by
Deacon Hill, is undefeated having
represented the club in two fights.
As a young Catholic, Joel said
he had always been drawn to
overseas mission work and the
perfect opportunity arose through
“I really felt like a mission was
my calling”, he said. “Anthony was
actually offered the opportunity
to go to Chile, but fortunately for
me he turned it down and put me
“I’d really been talking about
doing something like this for a
while and it all just fell into place, it
was the perfect timing for me.”
A month before his trip, Joel
began intensive Spanish lessons
with Columban priest Dan Harding
who is based in Adelaide.
“Dan gave so much time out of
his own day to help me,” said Joel.
“Four of five days a week he was
there teaching me Spanish and
everything about Chile, all the do’s
and don’ts, that kind of thing.”
Joel arrived in Santiago on
November 22, just before the
St Columban Day celebrations.
For the first month he stayed
with missionaries in the parish
and attended Spanish school to
improve his language skills.
In December he moved in with
a local Chilean family, where he
stayed for the remainder of his
“They were amazing,” he said.
“They were a lovely family of three
and they really took me in and were
always making sure I was safe and
well cared for.”
Joel began printing fliers for his
youth boxing class and handed
them out around the parish and
“My biggest fear was that people
wouldn’t show up,” he said.
“According to a lot of the people
there, attendance rates for things
like this aren’t usually too high, but
it worked out better than I could
Joel ran two classes for children
and adolescents each afternoon at
the local Holy Family Chapel and
almost 20 children between the
ages of nine and 17 participated.
The classes helped promote
fitness and Joel mentored the
students in self-discipline, respect
for others, community service and
faith in God.
According to Columban Fr
Michael Hoban, the parents of the
young boxers and the Holy Chapel
community were very impressed
by Joel’s dedication, faith and
During the summer school
holidays, Joel also worked in
the parish’s summer camp,
participating in sessions of
prayer and faith formation,
character building, games,
paintings, handicrafts and
personal development, as well
as accompanying children on
excursions to places such as the
“I spent a lot of time working
alongside the Columbans each
morning with all the kids during the
school break. When they’re not at
school they really need something
to do, so it was great to be able
to provide different activities for
them,” said Joel.
Joel said his mission to Chile was
a life changing experience that had
left him humbled and determined
to continue with his calling to help
“Living with the family was very
humbling,” he said. “What took me
aback most was that although they
lived simply, they were very happy
“I encountered so much amazing
generosity and kindness from all
the people I was lucky enough
to meet in Chile throughout my
Fighting with heart
INVOLVED: Brother Krish (centre), who is in his final preparation for the priesthood, participates in
the Passion Play on Good Friday. Picture: Craig Parham
Double blessing for
be a place
can come to
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