Sydney Requiem Mass for Catholic student Wilson Gavin

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Sydney Catholics offering prayers for the repose of Wilson Gavin at the Maternal Heart of Mary FSSP Lewisham Church PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

Last week, young Sydney Catholics gathered on the evening of Thursday 23 January in Sydney at the Maternal Heart of Mary FSSP Lewisham Church for the Requiem Mass of Wilson Gavin, the Queensland chairperson for ACSA (Australian Catholic Students Association).

Wilson, an active member within Catholic student circles, took his own life on 13 January in Brisbane after being subject to intense online bullying in reaction to his protest of a  ‘drag-queen story-time’ at a Brisbane public library.

Fr Damon Sypher FSSP, who celebrated the Requiem, emphasised the importance of praying for all the souls departed in the wake of Wilson’s departure.

“We must continue to pray for all the faithful departed,” Fr Sypher FSSP reminded those in attendance PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

“We must continue to pray for all the faithful departed regardless of how they lived or died,” he said.

The tragic event, nevertheless, rippled through Catholic social media in Australia. Alexander Kennedy, Australian President of ACSA and attendee at the Requiem spoke of his friendship with Wilson. “I thought he was an upstanding eloquent bloke. I remember talking to him and he seemed switched on, honest and upfront,” he said. “He will be sorely missed.”

While Wilson’s funeral was held in his home state of Queensland, his friends in the Latin Mass community of Sydney and ACSA, held a Requiem in memorial in Sydney pictured is a traditional catafalque in lieu of a coffin with black vestements of mourning PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

Edsel Parke, a member of the Brisbane Latin Mass community and friend of Mr Gavin attended his funeral on Friday 24 January near Toowoomba and spoke to The Catholic Weekly on his friendship.

“I will remember Wilson Gavin not only as a young man of conviction with a great love of politics, history, and literature, but as a soul blessed with a warmth and largeness of spirit that others may not have seen.”

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