Charles Gauci will become the first Adelaide Archdiocesan priest in 45 years to be ordained a bishop when he is installed as the seventh Bishop of Darwin next month.
Bishop Elect Gauci will be ordained in St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral in Darwin at 7pm on Wednesday September 26. He will return to Adelaide to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral at 11am on Sunday October 7.
Announcing the ordination date, Administrator Delegate for the Adelaide Archdiocese Fr Philip Marshall said the people of the Archdiocese were privileged to support Bishop Elect Gauci into this service of the wider Australian Church, and described it as “an occasion of joy for us all”.
“On behalf of us all I assure Bishop Elect Gauci of our prayers and congratulations as he prepares for this new ministry, and send our congratulations and prayerful best wishes to our sister diocese of Darwin,” Fr Marshall said.
Bishop Elect Gauci will replace retiring Bishop Eugene Hurley, who has served as a bishop in Darwin for the past 11 years and Port Pirie for nine years.
The current Administrator of the Adelaide Cathedral parish, Bishop Elect Gauci will be the first Adelaide Diocesan priest to be ordained a bishop since Philip Kennedy was ordained a bishop in 1973.
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge welcomed the appointment which was made by Pope Francis on June 27.
He said Bishop Elect Gauci was known for his deep spirituality and real commitment to evangelisation.
“He has ministered to people from many walks of life – as a pastor in parishes, a chaplain to schools, a spiritual director and retreat leader,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“He will be a great gift to the Church in Darwin with all its challenges and also a good addition to the Bishops Conference because of his long and varied experience as priest and teacher of the faith.”
Bishop Elect Gauci, who migrated from Malta to Australia with his family at the age of 13, said he was committed to working with “all cultures” and he had a special place in his heart for the first Australians.
“I think there is much we can learn from them: I go very much with my learner’s cap on, willing to walk with and serve the Indigenous peoples as well as all the people of the Northern Territory,” he said.
“I want to be a servant bishop, a pastor,” he said, adding his new role was simply an extension of his approach to being a priest.
- The Bishop Elect’s ordination Mass will be held at St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral, Darwin, on Wednesday September 26 at 7pm. A Mass of Thanksgiving will be held at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on Sunday October 7 at 11am and he will celebrate the Vigil at St Luke’s Church, Noarlunga, on Saturday October 6 at 6pm.