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Broome Diocese

Balgo

The Divine Word Missionaries have accepted an invitation to take up the pastoral care of the indigenous community of Balgo in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region.

Fr Paulo Vanuitu SVD arrived in December 2023, joined by Fr Ronaldo Rodriguez SVD in early 2024.

The Balgo mission was started by the Pallotine German missionaries in 1939 and has, over the years, been home to the Jesuits, St John of God Sisters, Sisters of Mercy and Lasallian Brothers. Along with the parish, there is a Catholic bilingual school.

Linked with both the Great Sandy Desert and the Tanami Desert, the 2021 census recorded Balgo's population as 430.  Balgo is a multicultural community of Aboriginal peoples, with seven other language groups besides the main language Kukatja represented. There are: Ngardi, Djaru, Warlpiri, Walmajarri, Wangkajunga, Pintupi and Ngaatjatjarra residents.

Fr Paulo (pictured below) said he has been busy since his arrival getting out to the meet the people in the various parts of the wide-spread parish which includes six outstations with schools.

“It’s been an interesting experience from Day One. I’ve enjoyed meeting the elders, seeing the school and some of the important parts of the cultural landscape. I’ve certainly received a warm welcome. It’s been good," he said.

Paulo Vatunitu SVD arrives in Balso 550 cropped for Insta

Balgo parishioners file into church smoking ceremony 550

More in this category: Darwin Diocese »