In a ceremony of Catholic tradition and Aboriginal culture, the Diocese of Darwin welcomed Bishop Charles Gauci as its new shepherd.
In June Pope Francis announced that Fr Charles Gauci, then-administrator of St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Adelaide, would succeed Bishop Eugene Hurley, who had served in Darwin for the past 11 years.
Pope Francis’ ambassador to Australia, Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, read the apostolic mandate from the Holy Father, announcing Bishop Gauci’s appointment. Bishop Hurley served as principal consecrator at an overflowing St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral.
In his homily, Bishop Hurley welcomed Bishop Gauci to the Diocese, but also reminded him of the task that lies ahead. Bishop Hurley said trust between the people and the Church in Darwin has been built over more than a century.
Bishop Hurley said that the special bond between the Catholic Church in the Northern Territory and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a privilege, but there are also significant duties such as listening to the people and being humble while assessing their situations, particularly the young people.
He expressed his desire to follow the example of Bishop Hurley, who has been “such a good bishop, so loved”, and in “continuing to build the Body of Christ” in the Darwin Diocese.