Catholic priest from India joins Hardin parish

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Fr. Thomas Selvaraj

“The church is happy to have him,” said Jim Seykora, Hardin city judge and churchgoer, when Fr. Thomas Selvaraj joined the local St. Joseph’s Catholic Church as its new parish priest.

Selvaraj, who arrived in Hardin two weeks ago, belongs to the Heralds of Good News Apostolic Missionary Society from India, and was ordained on Jan. 6, 2001. He was invited by Reverend Bishop Michael Warfel to serve in the diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana.

The aim of Heralds of Good News, Selvaraj wrote in an email, “is to train dedicated, saintly, hardworking and zealous missionaries and send them to serve the diocese in India and abroad wherever they are in need.” In addition to India and Italy members travel to countries in Oceania, North America, Europe and Africa.

Selvaraj has lived in the United States less than a year, spending most of his career in India. During his 17 years as a priest, he served, at times, as a professor of theology, rector of a seminary and school correspondent. Before he came to Hardin, he worked in St. Matthew’s Church of Sidney, Montana for nine months as an associate pastor.

In his opinion, he wrote, “Priest is an alter Christus (“another Christ”). The great journey of every priest is the movement from understanding himself as a mere instrument of the Lord to understanding himself as being a priest in Christ’s own image.”

“The priest continues the works of Christ,” he continued. “All Christians are so called because we are ‘little Christs’ in the world in which we find ourselves.“

He looks forward to getting to know the people of Hardin and working to strengthen the faithful in their journey.

Fr. Selvaraj will be hosting a Sunday open house at 2 p.m. in St. Joseph Catholic Church, located at 710 N. Custer Ave., and would like to meet with people in the local community.

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