Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo

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The Diocese of Gozo (Latin: Dioecesis Goulos-Gaudisiensis)[1] is a Latin diocese of the Catholic Church in Malta, and the only suffragan in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Malta, together covering the insular state.

Diocese of Gozo

Dioecesis Gaudisiensis

Djoċesi ta' Għawdex
Country Malta
TerritoryGozo and Comino
Ecclesiastical provinceMalta
MetropolitanArchdiocese of Malta
Area67 km2 (26 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2021)
32,954 (95.7%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established22 September 1864
CathedralCathedral of the Assumption
Patron saintSaint George
Saint Ursula
Current leadership
BishopAnton Teuma
Metropolitan ArchbishopCharles Scicluna
Vicar GeneralTarcisio Camilleri
Judicial VicarJoe Zammit
Bishops emeritusMario Cardinal Grech
The Diocese of Gozo marked in red.
The Diocese of Gozo marked in red.

The diocese comprises the island of Gozo (seventeen miles west of the Maltese capital Valletta) and the islet of Comino.[2]

History edit

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 then Roman Catholic Diocese of Malta, but Pope Pius IX, acceding to requests by the clergy and the people, erected it into a separate, then exempt diocese, i.e. immediately subject to the Holy See. On 16 March 1863, Michael Franciscus Buttigieg, 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 entry into the new cathedral. This Church, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, is the oldest parish in Gozo. It was already working as a parish in 1241 and goes back to Byzantine period. Through the efforts of Pietro Pace, 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 Pius IX placed under the direction of the Jesuits.

On the death of Buttigieg, 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 Antonius Grech Delicata Testaferrata, 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. Grech Delicata's divested himself of his own patrimony in favour of the poor; he died on the last day of 1876.

On 12 March 1877, Pietro Pace, native of Gozo, was appointed to succeed Grech Delicata, and was consecrated in Rome by Cardinal Edward Henry Howard. Under his administration the seminary was augmented by the installation of a meteorological observatory, which was inaugurated by 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 Pace was promoted Archbishop of Rhodes and Bishop of Malta. His successor in the See of Gozo was G. M. Camilleri, a native of Valletta (b. 15 March 1842). Under Camilleri's administration the first diocesan synod was celebrated, in October, 1903. This synod was necessary as the diocese was still governed under the outdated rules of the Synod of Malta of 1703. Constitutions and decrees were also promulgated and published.

In May 1990, it was visited by Pope John Paul II.

Bishops of Gozo edit

Name from to Notes
1 Michael Franciscus Buttigieg (1864-1866) 1864 1866
Paolo Micallef, Administrator of Gozo 1866 1867 Administrator of Gozo
2 Antonius Grech Delicata Testaferrata 1868 1876
3 Pietro Pace 1877 1889 Became Bishop of Malta
4 Giovanni Maria Camilleri 1889 1924
5 Mikiel Gonzi (1924-1943) 1924 1943 Became Coadjutor Bishop of Malta, Bishop of Malta, and subsequently Metropolitan Archbishop of Malta
6 Giuseppe Pace 1944 1972
Nikol Joseph Cauchi, Administrator of Gozo 1967 1972 Administrator of Gozo
7 Nikol Joseph Cauchi 1972 2006
8 Mario Grech 2006 2019 Became Pro-secretary of the Synod of Bishops
Mario Grech 2019 2020 Administrator of Gozo
9 Anton Teuma 2020 -

Special churches edit

Important dates edit

  • 23 April: Memorial of Saint George - Patron Saint of the Diocese
  • 22 June: Feast of the Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu
  • 15 August: Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary - Patroness of the Maltese Archipelago.
  • 16 September: Anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese
  • 11 October: Dedication of the Diocesan Cathedral
  • 21 October: Memorial of Saint Ursula - Patron Saint of the Diocese

Parishes edit

Parish Location Date established
Parish of the Cathedral of the Assumption, Gozo Victoria pre-1241
Saint George's Victoria pre-1450
Sacred Heart of Jesus Fontana 27 March 1911
Our Lady of Loreto Għajnsielem 26 January 1855
Parish of the Visitation of Our Lady Għarb 29 August 1679
Corpus Christi Parish Għasri 16 December 1921
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and St Gregory the Great Kerċem 10 March 1885
Parish of Saint Paul's Shipwreck Munxar 12 December 1957
Parish of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Nadur 28 April 1688
Parish of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Joseph Qala 3 February 1872
Saint Laurence's San Lawrenz 15 March 1893
Saint Margaret's Sannat 28 April 1688
Parish of the Nativity of Our Lady Xagħra 28 April 1688
Parish of Saint John the Baptist Xewkija 27 November 1678
Parish of the Assumption of Mary Żebbuġ, Gozo 28 April 1688

References edit

  1. ^ Diocese of Gozo - from Catholic Hierarchy[self-published source]
  2. ^   Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Gozo". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

Sources and external links edit

See also edit

36°02′47″N 14°14′23″E / 36.04639°N 14.23972°E / 36.04639; 14.23972