Tasmanian inducted as Vinnie’s new national leader

Catholic Voice

Long-time Launceston resident, Mark Gaetani, was officially inducted as the 18th National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society 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.

Incoming St Vincent de Paul Society National President Mark Gaetani receives a loaf of bread from Archbishop Prowse symbolising his work with those most in need. Photo: Catholic Voice

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.

Along with his wife Mary, Mr Gaetani is an active member of the Catholic Parish of Launceston. He had a long career in the banking and finance sectors before becoming Treasurer of the Tasmanian State Council in 2016. Two years later he was elected State President of the Society in Tasmania.

In 2019 he joined the National Council of Australia as the Tasmanian representative and he is also a member of the National Social Justice Committee and National Audit, Risk and Finance Standing Committee.

Top image: Archbishop Prowse with National President Mark Gaetani and his predecessor, Claire Victory.

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