MOVING ON: Parish pastoral associate Patrice Riordan and Meryl Kelly with Fr Gonzalo Garcia Duran, who was farewelled after six months in Warwick.
MOVING ON: Parish pastoral associate Patrice Riordan and Meryl Kelly with Fr Gonzalo Garcia Duran, who was farewelled after six months in Warwick. Gerard Walsh

Father Gonzalo isn't fazed about heading further west

FATHER Gonzalo Garcia Duran isn't fazed about heading to the Western Downs after a six-month appointment as an assistant Catholic priest in Warwick.

He is originally from Mexico and many of his family members have operated farms in his home country.

"I know the way of life in the bush," he said.

While based in Warwick, he was part of parishes encompassing churches in Warwick, Killarney, Yangan, Greymare, Karara and Gladfield.

Fr Gonzalo finished his theology studies in Hong Kong and worked there for 12 years before deciding to move.

"I was looking for another experience and had opportunities to go to Vietnam or the Toowoomba diocese in Australia," he said.

"Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin asked me to come to his diocese."

Fr Gonzalo said he had a wonderful time during his six months in Warwick.

"It was my first time as part of a community in Australia and a good beginning for me," he said.

Fr Gonzalo will celebrate the 8pm Mass at St Mary's Catholic Church on Christmas Eve and then the 10am Mass at Gladfield on Christmas Day.

After being part of Christmas masses on the Southern Downs, he will head west and be based in Chinchilla and work in the parishes of Chinchilla, Miles and Taroom/Wandoan, which will involve a lot of travelling.

 See details of services in all churches on Thursday.


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