Tribute to Father Atanasio Gonelli
TRIBUTE TO FATHER ATANASIO GONELLI
Motion by the Hon. MARIE FICARRA agreed to:
1. That this House notes with sadness that, on Sunday 26 February 2012, Father Atanasio Gonelli passed away.
2. That this House notes that:
2. That this House acknowledges the enormous contribution Father Atanasio Gonelli made to Australian society and his years of devotion to the Italian Australian community and the Catholic Church.
(a) over one thousand people, including the Hon. Victor Dominello, MP, Minister for Communities and Citizenship; the Hon. Marie Ficarra, MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier; and Mrs Franca Arena, AM, former member of the Legislative Council attended Father Atanasio's funeral held at St Fiacre's Church, Leichhardt,
(b) Mr Giuseppe Fin, OAM, co-founder of the Italian Committee for Assistance [CO.AS.IT] and the Patron of the Father Atanasio Gonelli Charitable Fund Inc, gave the eulogy which outlined Father Atanasio Gonelli's 61 years of dedication to the Catholic Church and devotion to serving the community,
(c) Father Atanasio Gonelli was born in Catognano village in the province of Massa Carrara, Tuscany on 11 February 1923, and was baptized with the name of Luigi,
(d) at 12 years of age, Father Atanasio Gonelli entered the diocesan seminary, on 8 September 1940 he joined an order of Capuchins Fathers and on 1 March 1947 he was ordained a priest at Reggio Emilia,
(e) for the next two to three years in Italy, Father Atanasio Gonelli conducted welfare activities to help sick people in hospitals,
(f) at the end of 1949, Father Atanasio Gonelli left Italy and settled in Australia to start his apostolate work in Sydney helping new young Italian emigrants in Australia,
(g) in 1961, Father Atanasio Gonelli started an Italian radio program on Radio 2SM and founded the Italian newspaper La Fiamma, holding the position of director for several years,
(h) in 1964, Father Atanasio Gonelli launched the first course to teach the Italian language to Italian children at Annandale, Brookvale, Liverpool and Blacktown,
(i) in 1968, Father Atanasio Gonelli was co-founder of CO.AS.IT and was spiritual director of almost every Italian association of saints, military, regional and cultural arts group in New South Wales,
(j) on 8 September 2011, the Father Atanasio Gonelli Charitable Fund Inc. was officially launched by the Hon. Victor Dominello, MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities, and
(k) in 2011, Father Atanasio Gonelli celebrated 61 years of service and was presented with a Papal certificate through the Apostolic Nunzio in Australia commending his service and a congratulatory letter from His Eminence, Cardinal George Pell.