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Youth council praises efforts of Bishop Elect

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Members of the Archdiocese’s Council for Ministry for Young People paid tribute to the outstanding efforts of Bishop Elect Charles Gauci when they met for their regular monthly meeting in July.

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This was the last meeting attended by Bishop Elect Gauci, who was a founding member of the council when it was established in 2010 and later commissioned in 2011.

The meeting gave members of the council the opportunity to reflect on Bishop Elect Gauci’s ministry with youth and young adults which has spanned several decades.

Michael Vial, coordinator Religious Education for Catholic Education SA and a founding council member, recalled how Fr Gauci was instrumental in initiating the diocese’s approach to youth ministry.

“When I was young and involved in the youth group in the Newton parish in the late 1970s, Fr Charles, as curate in the Hectorville parish was responsible for the employment of the parish’s first youth minister – who was the first in the Archdiocese,” he said.

When Fr Charles moved to parishes at Elizabeth and Noarlunga/Seaford he was again involved in employing youth ministers to work within parishes and schools.

“He is certainly very popular and in demand to preside at school Masses,” Mr Vial said. “He is a great communicator with young people. He is accepting, friendly and interested in the concerns of young people and speaks the gospel in plain and accessible ways.”

Mr Vial said the Maltese-born priest also served the youth in the diocese as chaplain for several World Youth Day pilgrimages from the Adelaide Archdiocese.

“We are certainly going to miss Bishop Elect Gauci, but the youth in the diocese of Darwin will benefit from having him there.”

The youth council was established to promote the participation and engagement of young people in the Church. Some key achievements over the past eight years have included supporting the work of the Office of Catholic Youth and Young Adults, forming strong links with youth from various cultural backgrounds, hosting the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Adelaide in 2015, promoting consultation for the Synod on Youth and Year of Youth celebrations in 2018.

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