Pope’s man in Silver City
Friday, 16th March, 2018
By Myles Burt
For the first time in Broken Hill’s history the Pope’s Ambassador to Australia has come to the city, and for a special purpose.
At a mass in the Cathedral last night Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, the Apostolic Nuncio for Australia, bestowed on Mrs Yvonne Johnson a prestigious award that has only been given out twice in Broken Hill - the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.
Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green of the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese nominated Mrs Johnson for the award for her 34 years’ service to the Church.
“It holds the Parish together and she’s been doing so much to help the priests and the bishops over so many years,” said Bishop Columba.
“Just so happens I’ve got the Apostolic Nuncio to present it,” he said.
Nuncio Yllana said the award in Latin means ‘For the Church, for the Pope’ and is a pontifical honour that is given by the Holy See.
“This is given to people within the church who have dedicated their lives, their energy in serving the Church,” he said.
“It’s an honour given by the Holy Father, and this is exactly what is being given.”
Nuncio Yllana said he had very much enjoyed Broken Hill and the warmth of the locals, as well as discovering the landscape of the Far West.
“Look, the kangaroos, the emus, the goats, but you see the people - these people are strong.
“Out here they can give you a smile, and they can welcome you. They’re not the business type, they approach you as a person.”
As an Apostolic Nuncio, his role is to travel around Australia as the Ambassador for the Pope to exchange knowledge from the Holy See and Diocese and looks for new ways for the Church to promote itself and make positive contributions to the country.
“So I can help promote the unity with the (Bishops) and the Holy Father, so that there is only one Church.”
Nuncio Yllana has been very impressed with the Silver City and hopes his visit to the Far West can show there is still a strong connection with the outback and the Vatican.
“Just to show there is no distance in the outback, the Pope is there because he sends me. Just to tell you no, no, the Pope is bringing you his greetings and his concern for you.
“I’m very happy and thanks to your Bishop, he invited me to come here. The Pope sends me, of course, but he’s so kind to give me this opportunity to see your people here.”