Bishop cel­e­brates decade at Townsville dio­cese

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - Emma Kennedy

BISHOP Michael Put­ney cel­e­brated a decade at the Townsville dio­cese at the week­end and said it has been the most ex­cit­ing time of his life.

The bishop has ini­ti­ated count­less projects dur­ing the past decade to aid the Catholic church.

‘‘ A lot of peo­ple have been say­ing they’re sur­prised it’s been 10 years, but I’m not,’’ he said.

‘‘ So much has hap­pened in that time and they’ve been the most ex­cit­ing, de­mand­ing and re­ward­ing years of my life.’’

Bishop Put­ney said in­ter­ac­tion with peo­ple was high on t he list of per­sonal achieve­ments.

‘‘ I could talk about the ren­o­vated cathe­dral as one of the ma­jor points, but I’d point to achieve­ments with peo­ple as the big­gest,’’ he said.

‘‘ We train to bring about change and the change with peo­ple is much more im­por­tant than any­thing else or any build­ing.

‘‘ One of the great things we’ve done is with in­dige­nous stu­dents and the num­ber of them in Catholic school­ing . . . it has in­creased hugely in the past decade.’’

Bishop Put­ney said he was half­way through his ser­vice as a bishop and would re­tire in 10 years af­ter a few more goals had been achieved.

One of his main fo­cuses for the fu­ture was youth.

‘‘ We have seven young peo­ple work­ing in the dio­cese and we’re hop­ing to get a lot more,’’ he said.

‘‘ If we don’t work with young peo­ple, we’re not go­ing to have any fu­ture.’’

The dio­cese hopes to send 50 young peo­ple to Madrid this year to be in­volved in World Youth Day cel-ebra­tions.

‘‘ I find what we’re do­ing very ex­cit­ing and I want to share it with young peo­ple,’’ he said.

Bishop Put­ney said when he started at the dio­cese 10 years ago, he was stand­off­ish but now he knew the area and was con­fi­dent in mov­ing for­ward.

‘ ‘ I want to fill our churches again. Num­bers have dwin­dled in the last few decades,’’ he said.

RE­WARD­ING: Bishop Michael Put­ney cel­e­brates 10 years as Bishop of the Townsville dio­cese

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