On 3 August 2017 Deacon John Bosco Tipiloura celebrated ten years of ordination in the presence of
Bishop Eugene Hurley at Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island. Mass was offered for the deacon in the presence
of his family, friends and members of the community who came to offer their support and congratulations
at this proud moment. During mass we were honoured to hear part of his life story and the events which
Jed him to begin the journey towards the diaconate. It is evident that his life has indeed been transformed
by the power of God.
Ihave been privileged to work with Deacon John Bosco for almost three years and have found him to be a
‘most faithful man to God and the life of the Church here at Wurrummiyanga. His contribution is invaluable
and from a priests point of view is it is wonderful to work as a team with a married deacon.
Deacon John Bosco Tipiloura was part of a founding group of men and women who began the practice
and art form of pottery on the Tiwi Islands. Naturally this pottery was beautifully decorated in Tiwi design
with many pieces that were created specifically for use in the church that bear the initials JBT on the base.
This includes chalices, patterns, and cruets (the small vessels that hold the water and wine used during
Providentially, a few weeks before we celebrated the 10 years of ordination a storage shed for the old
mission garage was demolished and inside were found a set of cruets made by Deacon John Bosco.
Thought gone forever they were cleaned up and used for the anniversary mass.
Currently there are only three Aboriginal deacons in Australia which contributes to the significance of this
joyful milestone. So we congratulate you on this achievement and be assured of the thoughts and prayers
of people all over the country. May God continue the good work that is taking place in you.
Article by Fr Pat Mara msc