Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo

Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo

The Diocese of Gozo (in Latin Goulos-Gaudisiensis),[1] is a see of the Catholic Church in Malta. The diocese comprises the island of Gozo (seventeen miles west of the Maltese capital Valletta) and the islet of Comino.[2]

Contents

History

On a central plateau the ruined fortifications of an ancient town contain the cathedral church and public buildings, outside of which is a large suburb.

Up to the year 1864, Gozo formed part of the Diocese of Malta, but Pius IX, acceding to the repeated prayer of the clergy and the people, erected it into a separate exempt diocese, i.e. immediately subject to the Holy See. On 16 March, 1863, Monsignor Francesco Michele Butigieg, a native of Gozo, was appointed titular Bishop of Lita and deputy auxiliary of the Archbishop-Bishop of Malta, for the Island of Gozo. He was consecrated at Rome on 3 May of the same year, on 22 September, 1864, was created first bishop of the new Diocese of Gozo, and on the 23rd day of the following month made his solemn entry into the new cathedral. Through the efforts of Mgr. Pietro Pace, who was then vicar-general of the diocese, a diocesan seminary was established on the site formerly occupied by the San Giuliano Hospital, the revenues of which were appropriated to the new institution. This seminary was inaugurated 3 November, 1866, and by the express desire of Pope Pius IX placed under the direction of the Jesuits.

On the death of Mgr. Butigieg, Father Paolo Micallef, Superior General of the Augustinian Order, was made Bishop of Città di Castello and appointed administrator of the Diocese of Gozo. He left Gozo in May, 1867, and in 1871 became Archbishop of Pisa. His successor to the administration of the diocese was Mgr. Antonio Grech Delicata, titular Bishop of Chalcedon, a native of Malta, who in 1868 was appointed Bishop of Gozo, and as such assisted at the First Vatican Council. Mgr. Grech Delicata's charity towards the poor went so far that he divested himself of his own patrimony. This worthy prelate died on the last day of the year 1876.

On 12 March, 1877, Mgr. Canon Professor Pietro Pace, native of Gozo, was appointed to succeed Mgr. Grech Delicata, and was consecrated at Rome by Cardinal Edward Henry Howard. Under his administration the seminary was augmented by the installation of a meteorological observatory, which was inaugurated by the celebrated Padre Denza, Director of the Vatican Observatory. During this administration an episcopal educational institute for girls was also established, under the care of the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, to whom was also entrusted the direction of the annexed orphan asylum. The same bishop provided the diocese with a new episcopal palace and new monasteries, besides laying out large sums of money on the cathedral.

In 1889, Mgr. Pace was promoted Archbishop of Rhodes and Bishop of Malta. His successor in the See of Gozo was the Reverend G. M. Camilleri, O.S.A., a native of Valletta (b. 15 March, 1842). Under Mgr. Camilleri's administration the first diocesan synod was celebrated, in October, 1903. This synod was of absolute necessity, as the diocese was still governed under the rules of the Synod of Malta of 1703, and consequently lacked a safe guide adapted to the times. Constitutions and decrees were also promulgated and published which gave new life to the working of the diocese.

The cathedral church of Gozo was built in 1697-1703, by Lorenzo Gafa. Its ground plan is in the form of a Latin cross. The Cathedral is also the annual pilgrimage site of the Grand Priory of the Mediterranean of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. Its interior is adorned with fine paintings. The "Massagiere di Maria", an Italian periodical, is recognized in the Diocese of Gozo as the official organ of the sanctuary of the Bl. Virgin ta Pinu.

Currently the Bishop of Gozo is Mgr. Mario Grech.

Bishops of Gozo

  • Mons. Michele Francesco Buttigieg with love, 1st Bishop of Gozo, (r. 1864-66)
  • Fra. Paolo Micallef, Administrator Bishop of Gozo, (r. 1866-67)
  • Mons. Antonio Grech Delicata, Bishop of Gozo, (r. 1868-76)
  • Mons. Pietro Pace, Bishop of Gozo, (r. 1877-89)
  • Fra. Giovanni Maria Camilleri, Bishop of Gozo, (r. 1889-1924)
  • Mons. Michael Gonzi, Bishop of Gozo, (r. 1924-43)
  • Mons. Giuseppe Pace, Bishop of Gozo, (r. 1944-72)
  • Mons. Nikol Joseph Cauchi, Administrator Bishop of Gozo, (r. 1967-72)
  • Mons. Nikol Joseph Cauchi, Bishop of Gozo, (r. 1972-2006)
  • Mgr. Mario Grech, (r. 2006- Present).

References

  1. ^ Diocese of Gozo - from Catholic Hierarchy
  2. ^ "Gozo". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06687b.htm. 

External links


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