The Capuchin Friar, Fr John Cooper OFM Cap speaking about
‘The Life and Accomplishments of Padre Atanasio Gonelli OFM Cap’
Palace Cinemas, cinema #1, 99 Norton St, Leichhardt, NSW Australia
Time: 6.45 pm
The Capuchin Friar, Fr John Cooper OFM Cap, has held many position in the Capuchin Order in Australia including Provincial Minister from 1996 to 2002, He is presently researching the life of Padre Atanasio Gonelli OFM Cap.
Fr John Cooper will speak about and bring to life for you, the wonderful person that Father Atanasio Gonelli was. He will talk about the joys and frustrations of researching his life, and as he quotes, ‘especially when documents are in another language and you have too much stuff to sort through and seemingly at the same time not enough to focus your story on’.
‘Padre Atanasio’ was born in 1923, in a tiny hillside village in Tuscany, Italy. At 16 he entered the Capuchin Order. His studies for the priesthood were done during the Second World War. He was Ordained in 1947 and arrived in Australia aboard the SS Giovanni Cabotto on the 28th of January 1950.
For the next 60 years, the scope of his ministry for Italian immigrants was all embracing. He guided spiritual, social, cultural, religious and even culinary activities to assist his people to settle into and become part of Australia. At the same time he wanted them to retain in every sense that cultural identity of being Italian or of being of Italian decent which enriches your life and has enriched the very life of our nation.
In 1996 the Italian Government conferred on him the title of Cavaliere all’Ordine del Merito della Repubblica Italiana.
For his enormous influence, he was the first person listed by the State Government of NSW on their Multicultural Honour Roll.
In 2014 a Memorial Garden on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour within the city of Leichhardt was dedicated in honour of ‘Fr Atanasio Gonelli OFM Cap (1923 – 2012) and to the Capuchin Friars and the Community they serve’.