Canadian Bishop Gilles Côté SMM has dedicated 50 years of his life as a missionary Priest and 25 as a Bishop to PNG’s Western Province [Diocese of Daru-Kiunga]. During his time as Bishop, Palms Australia has sent 12 participants to meet requests from the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga to help build capacity in education, health, agriculture and financial/admin management.
Under his motto ‘Unity in Diversity’, he richly contributed as Priest and later as Bishop to the spiritual, but also social, physical, and economic development of the people of Western PNG fulfilling.
Through the Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Bishop Gilles established the Vangeke Institute to offer renewal and on-going formation programs to all Melanesian Priests. He also led the process for developing sexual abuse protocols and child protection policy within the PNG Catholic Church.
On behalf of Palms Australia, we thank Bishop Gilles Côté for the partnership that we have shared over the last 25 years and for the support and pastoral guidance that he has provided for Palms participants whilst they were in Kiunga. His focus on working towards sustainable skill development by preparing the Diocesan programs staff for independence, has ensured that program skills have been localised. We wish Bishop Gilles good health and happiness in his retirement!
In saying goodbye to Bishop Gilles, Palms Australia welcomes and looks forward to an ongoing partnership with the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga through the new Bishop-Elect Fr Joseph Tarife Durero SVD.
Testimonial from Bishop Gilles Côté honouring Palms 60 Years
For many years our Diocese has been blessed with the presence and selfless service of Volunteers from Palms Australia. These Volunteers came to the Western Province of Papua New Guinea to build up the capacity of our staff and manage some of our Diocesan Services such as Administration, Human Resources, Projects, Education and many others. Those who benefitted most from their maturity, past experiences and skills were the ones with whom they worked and team up with. Their presence among us, marked by dedication, hard work, sacrifices and a good spirit of partnership, has always uphold the good name of Palms Australia. When we add up all the years that the Volunteers of Palms Australia served in our Diocese, we can indeed say that these years were moments of great blessings to all of us. Congratulation Palms Australia on the anniversary of 60 years of service to people in need.