New bishop Gabriel wants to listen and know his flock

2015-11-25 10:18
THE new bishop of the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Natal, Dino Gabriel, in the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity after his installation on Saturday.

THE new bishop of the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Natal, Dino Gabriel, in the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity after his installation on Saturday. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - The new bishop of the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Natal, Dino Gabriel, says he wants to learn about the people of the province, and their hopes and dreams.

Gabriel was installed as the new bishop at an event held at Michaelhouse on Saturday, which was attended by over 1 800 people.

The Italian-born, Zulu-speaking bishop was appointed in July this year.

Gabriel described the event as “glorious” and said it was “wonderful” that it was so well attended.

He moved to South Africa from Italy in 1987, and later joined the Anglican Church in 1992 in the Diocese of the Highveld. He was elected the bishop of the Diocese of Zululand in 2005.

Although Gabriel was not initially in the running to be appointed to the Diocese of Natal when the election process began in July, he was selected as a candidate when the church called for “fresh nominations”.

When he preached on Saturday, he quoted philosopher and theologist Paul Tillich, saying “the first duty of love is to listen”.

“The first thing I plan to do as bishop is to listen and know you, and for you to know me. I want to know more about the people of KwaZulu-Natal, their challenges, their plans and their dreams.”

He said that he was not “appointed with an agenda”, and asked that the people of KZN help the church find a way forward together.

Gabriel, who will be based in Durban, is married with four children. He also has three grandchildren.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  church

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