7th Bishop of Darwin and the Northern Territory

Charles Victor Emmanuel Gauci was born into a Catholic familyatFloriana (also known by its title Borgo Vilhena) a fortified town in the South Eastern Region area of the island Republic of Malta, just outside the capital city Vallettaon 31 March 1952 the first child (of six)of his late parents John Gauci and his wife Violet (née Briffa). He has two brothers and three sisters.

Before his birth, the future Bishop’s maternal grandparents migrated to Australia with seven of their grandchildren. His family followed 16 years later,and he turned 13 on the day their ship crossed the equator on the way to Australia.

His father’s two sister died as Franciscan nuns and his younger brother, Fr Joseph Gauci Sacco SJ has served on the Jesuit mission in India since 1957 working mostly among the Santals, the largest tribe in India.

The Bishop-elect had his primary education in Malta and completed secondary school in Adelaide where he attended a mixture of government and Marist Brothers’ schools.

The future Bishop entered St Francis Xavier’s seminary in Adelaide in January 1971. After study and formation, he was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Adelaide in the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier by Archbishop James Glesson, Archbishop Emeritus of Adelaide on 10 December 1977. After his ordination, he trained to be a spiritual directorand was formed in Ignatian spirituality.

From his ordination until the announcement of his appointment to guide the people of the Diocese of Darwin, which comprisesalmost all of the Northern Territory, the future Bishop served in different roles in the Archdiocese of Adelaide notably as a member of the diocesan College of Consultors, member and President of the Council of Priests, member of the appointments board, Chaplain to the council for youth and young adults and as a dean.

His pastoral life has seen him assigned to various parishes in the Archdiocese of Adelaide: in January 1978, he was appointed assistant priest of Hectorville Parish; in 1983,he was appointed to Woodville Parish; in 1985,he was appointed to Elizabeth North Parish; and, in 1987, he was appointed to Elizabeth Parish for 11 years in stream ministry across the two Elizabeth parishes.In 1998 he was appointed to the Parish of Noarlunga Seaford. In the year 2001 was also assigned the Willunga Parish to which group were eventually added the parishes of Kangaroo Island and Victor Harbor-Goolwa. From February 2017 until his appointment to Darwin, he served as Administrator of St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Adelaide.

Until his appointment to Darwin, he served as a chaplain to several schools and ministered as a Spiritual director and director of retreats.

A big influence in the future Bishop’s life has been The Society of Christian Doctrine (founded by St George Preca and known as MUSEUM after the acronym of its motto Magister UtinamSeguatur Evangelium Universus Mundus – May the whole world follow the Gospel), which he first encountered as a boy in Malta. He was enrolled into the Society in 1970 just before entering the seminary and was itsnational Chaplin in Australia at the time of his appointment.

The Bishop-elect has a personal interest in outdoors activities, hiking, swimming and gardening. He is a lover of history and literature.

Coat of Arms

One of the priorities of the Bishop-elect is to listen to and walk with our Aboriginal sisters and brothers and a central element of the otherwise traditional coat of armswhich he has chosenis an Indigenous design (which he has called Many Yet One).

Many Yet One represents coming together as one people with different journeys and much diversity into the infinite love of the Holy Trinity.

The central element of the design represents the Holy Trinity. The blue colouring reflects the waters of Baptism as well as the communities of the north coast and the islandsin the adjacent sea. The other colours represent the variety of communities throughout the whole Diocese. The circles of dots reflect the collaborative nature of the consultation which the Bishop-elect wishes to be a mark of his episcopacy – a community of communities working together with different paths leading to respect and unity.

Many Yet One derives from a design by Indigenous artist Lyn Walkerby whose generous permission it as been adapted for use by the Bishop-elect.

The arms also contain elements of the arms of the Gauci family and reflect his Maltese origins. While the castle is derived from the Gauci coat of arms, it also represents the interior castles of our hearts leading us into contemplative union with God as expressed by St Teresa of Avila.

The arms which the Bishop-elect has chosen may be emblazoned in the language of heraldry:

Or, on a base, Vert, a castle, Sable; in chief between two Maltese crosses, Azure, Many Yet One, Proper.

or, in plain English:

On a gold field, a black castle on a green base surmounted by Many Yet One between two blue Maltese crosses.

The Bishop’s Motto is The Word Became Flesh(Gospel of St John 1:14)

The arms are placed before anepiscopal cross and are ensigned with the green galero (hat) with six fiocchi (tassels) on each side. These are the traditional distinguishing features of the coat of arms of a Bishop.

The arms were designed by Richard d’Apice AM KCSG and Fr. Guy Selvester and illustrated by Sandy Turnbull.