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  • Nigel Akuani

Bishop Emeritus Gilles Côté: ‘Instrumental’ to Daru-Kiunga

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Kiunga, Western Province: The Diocese of Daru-Kiunga has a lot to be grateful for over the past 50-years, thanks to the committed and instrumental effort of Bishop Emeritus of Daru-Kiunga, Gilles Côté SMM.

These were the overall thoughts and sentiments expressed about Bp Gilles, by members of Daru-Kiunga’s Diocesan Team Pastoral Animation, after a detailed chat on Thursday 9th September 2021.

Vicar General Fr Andrew Moses, recalled how many of the deserved achievements and celebrations had Bp Gilles to thank for said that Bp Gilles definitely was a key player for the Diocese. “He has set the foundation for the Diocese’s Pastoral Planning and Formation by promoting it and living it, bringing it this far particularly to this transition where we now have Bp Joseph Durero SVD,” he said.

Fr Andrew said that although Bp Gilles was leaving, he remained optimistic and said he was prepared to collaborate closely with Bp Joseph to carry the Diocese forward. “We are glad to have Bp Joseph as our new Bishop and I believe he will do great in continuing with the people on their Journey of Faith, and the works of Bp Gilles. Judging from the way he has taken on board the introduction and involvement in the assembly, it has given us a sense of him taking on the responsibilities as the Bishop,” he explained.

Parishioner of St Gerard’s and Diocesan Women Coordinator, Mrs Joyce Hubert, thanked Bp Gilles for the inclusiveness of the Diocese’s Pastoral Plan over the years that showed an extra care toward many who were disregarded by society. “In all our Pastoral Plans, Bp Gilles always emphasizes the need to always be ‘Inclusiveness’. Many of which have been able to cater for our young people across the 13 different parishes where the majority of our Diocese is composed of. These are the people to continue with the program for the next change who will go on teaching the Diocesan programs in the Diocese,” she stressed.

Tobias Lawrence, Diocesan Human Resource Manager, admitted that although it was a sad and difficult phase for the Diocese to see Bp Gilles leave, he remained positive and said embracing change and the new was the way to go. “I’m sad for him that it has now come to this stage for him to leave. It’s a very big gap because he has spent 50-years here, and during this time he has touched and changed many of our lives,” he said.

He added, “But he has contributed and sacrificed a lot in service of the Diocese and in bringing every one of us this far. We want to hold onto the old but we need the change and this is what we are prepared to embrace with our new Bishop, Joseph Durero SVD.”

Bp Gilles described how it was an honour to live with the people of Western Province and expressed his sincerest gratitude for being granted the opportunity to serve. “It has been a grace and privilege to live with you and be faithful to the Teachings of the Second Vatican Council about the Church, to study and reflect with you, to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to us and our people, to take part in decisions together and then work very hard to put what is decided into actions that give life. It has never been only about me, but about all of us,” he concluded.

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