St Vincent de Paul Society elects new national leader
Mark Gaetani was officially inducted as the 18th National Council President by Archbishop Christopher Prowse at St Christopher’s Cathedral in Canberra last weekend.
“It’s an absolute honour to have been chosen by my peers, my fellow servant leaders,” said Mr Gaetani. “I look forward to taking on the responsibility of leading the Society nationally.”
During the ceremony, Archbishop Prowse thanked Mr Gaetani on behalf of the Bishops of Australia for taking up this “important role”, noting that even in a popular city like Canberra homelessness is rife.
“We walk with you with great anticipation and hope, especially we think of those who you will directly affect – who are on the margins, the peripheries of life, as you do the work of the Lord,” Archbishop Prowse said.
As part of the ceremony, Mr Gaetani was presented with items symbolising the importance of his role.
They included a bible, to be guided by the principles of the Gospels; a loaf of bread and a glass of water, symbolising those most in need; the rule of St Vincent de Paul Society, reflecting the leadership and responsibility of the role and a candle representing the hope that Jesus brings us.
Mr Gaetani thanked his predecessor, Claire Victory, for her “inspiring leadership” and generosity in supporting him and the councillors. Ms Victory has been a member of the National Council for over 12 years.
Mr Gaetani commenced his involvement with the St Vincent de Paul Society in Tasmania as a member in early 2016, taking on the role of Treasurer of the State Council. In November 2018, he was elected President of the State Council and then joined the National Council of Australia the following year as the Tasmanian representative on Council. He is also a member of the National Social Justice Committee and National Audit, Risk and Finance Standing Committee.