The death on 10 October 2007 in Miami, Florida, USA, after a long battle with leukaemia, of the Papal Nuncio to Australia, His Excellency the Most Rev Ambrose B. De Pauli, was received with great sadness by the ACCC.
My last contact with the Nuncio was driving him to Tullamarine Airport on 5 July 2007 after his spending the day of 4 July 2007 with us for our Annual Conference. His parting gesture was so friendly that I was a little taken-back and knelt down at the kerbside asking for a blessing. His manner was typical of the man: his official communications were always those of a papal diplomat, but his personal demeanour was unpretentious and friendly. He told me that he’d never really wanted to be a diplomat, and that upon completing his Australia posting he wanted to retire to the Florida diocese for which he was ordained and have a few years being the pastor he had always wanted to be. It was not to be so. But for those who had the pleasure of dealing with him, we are able to testify to his pastor’s heart.
It is my expectation that there will grow in this country an appreciation of his particular contribution as the Holy Father’s representative to the renewal of the Catholic Church in Australia. The photograph posted at page 20 of this issue was placed before this sad news, and shows him in a more formal setting that he accepted, rather than desired. The photograph above, published after last year’s Annual Conference in Inter Nos of August 2006, captures a more typical demeanour of this servant of God and of the Supreme Pontiff.
As a tribute to the man, it is worth retrieving and re-reading his “Sacred Scripture as discourse with Jesus” from the May 2006 issue of The Priest. The late Nuncio joined us in offering the Holy Sacrifice for our past members. Let us make the oblation, too, for his eternal repose.