martedì 11 febbraio 2020

Malta
An announcement made by bishop Mario Grech in the diocese of Gozo regarding the Apostolic Visit by Pope Francis
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the National Sanctuary Ta’ Pinu
His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the invitation by the President of the Republic of Malta, the Civil Authorities and the Catholic Church in the Country, and will be making an Apostolic Visit to Malta and Gozo on the 31st of May, 2020.
The programme for the visit will be announced later.
At the end of the Pontifical Mass on the occasion of the Feast of Our Father, the Apostle Saint Paul, in the Parish Church dedicated to the Shipwreck of St Paul, Munxar, on Monday 10th February 2020, His Excellency Msgr. Mario Grech, Apostolic Administrator for Gozo, made the following announcement:
We welcome with holy joy the glad news released this morning by the Vatican, that His Holiness Pope Francis will be making a pastoral visit to our two dioceses of Malta and Gozo. The fact that Pope Francis will be coming to meet us in our own home is a great gift. Just as two thousand years ago it was through the shipwreck of Our Father the Apostle St Paul that we encountered Jesus Christ, so now we eagerly await the visit on the 31st May through which our Father, Pope Francis will strengthen us in our faith and encourage us to continue building our Church along the lines he proposed in his first document The Joy of the Gospel.
The motto which we as Bishops have chosen for this Visit is the description in the Acts of the Apostles by St Luke of our forefathers when they welcomed St Paul the day he was shipwrecked: “The inhabitants (of Malta) treated us with unusual kindness” (Acts 28:2). I am certain Pope Francis will be able to ascertain, when he will be among us, that as a people there is a lot of good in us; at the same time I am confident that through his words, Pope Francis will not only stimulate us Catholics to grow stronger in following Jesus, but will also encourage all those of good will to cherish our legacy of values and human virtues. As the contemporary author Fabrice Hadjadj writes, “in our postmodern and posthuman age, it is not enough to say that God became man so that man may become God, but one must also add that God became man so that man may remain man”. Jesus Christ became man to help man remain man; he who knows Jesus is illumined so that his choices will never tarnish the human dignity of each person, irrespective of age, colour, sex, religion...
Pope Francis will be among us on Whitsunday, a day dear to the Church because it commemorates her birth through the outpouring of the Spirit on her. I exhort you, for this reason, to start praying from today to the Holy Spirit so that he will prepare our minds and hearts to welcome this Visit by the Pope as a moment of grace and renewal; I would encourage everyone, especially Parish Councils, Catholic Associations and groups within the parish to read the Apostolic Exhortation The Joy of the Gospel in the coming three months. I propose that a special catechesis be held about it using purposely prepared schemes. To help in this effort we are going to make sure that in the coming weeks a Maltese version of this exhortation will be distributed once again.
A detailed programme for this visit to our country will be announced later on; however since the Church in Gozo will be meeting Pope Francis before the National Sanctuary Ta’ Pinu, I entrust this historic event to the care of Our Lady Ta’ Pinu.
I thank His Excellency Dr George Vella, President of the Republic, and the Government, represented here by the Hon. Clint Camilleri, Minister for Gozo, for the invitation extended to the Pope for this Visit, an invitatioin which we as Bishops also endorsed
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