St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral was overflowing with family, friends and parishioners who gave a standing ovation before pouring into the Cathedral Hall for a joyful celebration on October 7. The previous evening, Catholics from the south came together for a Vigil Mass celebrated by their former pastor at St Luke’s Church, Noarlunga.
Only three weeks into his new role as Bishop of Darwin, the Maltese-born priest said Adelaide would always be home but he now had two homes. He said he was on a steep ‘learning curve’ as he familiarised himself with the vast diocese and its diverse Catholic population, one third of which is Indigenous.
While Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ reminded him that Uluru was part of the Port Pirie Diocese, Bishop Gauci joked that it might be a topic for discussion. “No it’s not,” Bishop O’Kelly retorted.
On a serious note, during his homily Bishop Gauci said in the short time he had been in Darwin he had already heard about the tragedy of suicides amongst the First Peoples and seen discrimination in action.
He warned against having preconceived ideas and urged the faithful to follow Jesus’ call to be “child-like” and “open”.
“It’s so easy to get confused about values, about what is real. We hear of scandals, abuses…and we can lose our bearings, that’s why we are gathered here today to be reminded of what is most important, to do what Jesus did, to take time to pray, to reflect, and be open to the friendship of God and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.”
Referring to “fake news” and unjustified attacks on Pope Francis, he urged people to “take 10 minutes of the day to spend with Jesus, to read the Scriptures, to find out all about our faith from the right sources”.
“Be open to the wonder of each moment; we are all far from being the ideal but by the grace of God we don’t give up,” he said.
“It’s not being so puritanical we condemn others, that’s not Christian, but on the other hand we don’t just say ‘it doesn’t matter’.
“Let’s seek real values, the values of Jesus, of our Church family, the treasures preserved for over 2000 years…old values that need to be understood in our contemporary reality.
“Be down to earth but with hearts soaring up high, letting the wisdom of God guide us.”Jump to next article