Għandna Isqof Djoċesan ġdid


Ittra Pastorali tal-E.T. Mons. Mario Grech Amministratur Appostoliku għal Għawdex fl-okkażjoni tal-ħatra ta’ Isqof ġdid għad-Djoċesi ta’ Għawdex …

GĦANDNA ISQOF DJOĊESAN ĠDID

Nilqgħu b’ħafna għożża u ferħ lil Dun Anton Teuma bħala l-Isqof il-ġdid tagħna. Konna ilna nistennew li n-Nunzju Appostoliku jwasslilna din l-aħbar sabiħa, imma ż-żmien tana parir, għaliex f’dan is-saċerdot għandna mhux biss bniedem skont il-qalb ta’ Alla imma wkoll skont il-qalb ta’ din il-Knisja partikulari.

DSC_7326Għalkemm huwa l-Papa Franġisku li sejjaħ lil Dun Anton biex ikun wieħed mis- suċċessuri tal-Appostli u bagħtu biex jindokra l-poplu ta’ Alla f’din il-gżira, l-għażla saret mill-Ispirtu s-Santu. Wara proċess twil ta’ dixxerniment li fih kienu msieħba għadd ġmielu ta’ isqfijiet, saċerdoti, persuni kkonsagrati u lajċi, il-Papa seta’ jgħid li “‘lill-Ispirtu s-Santu u lilna dehrilna’ (Atti 15:28) li nibagħtulkom lil Twanny”.

Minn dak li naf dwar Dun Anton inħossni komdu niddeskrivi lill-Isqof-maħtur bħala “bniedem li ddedika ħajtu għall-isem ta’ Ġesù Kristu” (Atti 15:26). B’din il-frażi, misluta mill-Ittra li kitbu l-Appostli fil-Konċilju ta’ Ġerusalemm, qed ngħid kollox.

Ma għandi ebda dubju li Dun Anton għandu qalb kbira li tfawwar bl-imħabba lejna lkoll, partikularment lejn dawk li huma ċkejkna fis-sens wiesa’ tal-kelma. Nirrakkomandalkom bil-qawwa biex tilqgħuh u tħobbuh: huwa missierna. L-ikbar dulur tal-Isqof huwa meta jagħmel ħiltu biex iħobb lil uliedu imma din l-imħabba tiġi rrifjutata. Maż-żmien ħa jkollu min iwaddablu l-ġebel; imma jien konvint li l-Isqof mhux ser igara ġebel lura. U meta jintlaqat, itfgħulu l-balzmu u mhux il-ħall fuq il-ġerħat. Bħal Ġesù, ma tinsa qatt lil dawk li, bħal dik il-mara f’Betanja, ikunu kissru għonq il-vażett tal-alabastru biż-żejt ifuħ ta’ nard pur u ferrgħuh fuq il-ġerħat!

Nirrakkomandalkom li tħarsu lejh bl-għajnejn tal-fidi ubbidjenti. Għax jekk ma rridux li l-Isqof “jirgħa f’isem il-Mulej il-ħrief tiegħu u għall-ġid tagħhom iħaddem l-uffiċċju ta’ tagħlim, ta’ tqaddis u ta’ treġija” (Christus Dominus, 11), dan ikun ifisser li aħna rridu li jkollna Isqof li mhux isqof – ifisser li rridu persuna mlibbsa bl-insinji episkopali, imma mhux isqof! Il-komunjoni mal-Isqof hija waħda mill-arterji ewlenin tad-Djoċesi – tinqata’ din l-arterja u l-ġisem ikun f’riskji kbar.

L-aħbar li Dun Anton huwa d-disa’ Isqof ta’ din id-Djoċesi maħbuba tagħna ngħatat quddiem ix-xbieha tant għażiża għalina tal-Madonna Ta’ Pinu li għadha kif waslet lura minn xogħol ta’ restawr. Kienet xewqa tiegħi li din il-komunikazzjoni ssir fid-dar ta’ Marija u mhux fil-Kurja; xtaqt li dan id-don jingħatalna waqt li “l-Knisja” tkun miġbura flimkien ma’ Marija. Għax ’l hinn mill-kuntest ta’ Knisja li titlob, ’il barra mill-qafas spiritwali, l-uffiċċju ta’ isqof ftit jagħmel sens. Barra minn hekk, miġburin quddiem il- Madonna Ta’ Pinu – it-trofew tal-Knisja f’Għawdex – ridt inqiegħed lill-Isqof il-ġdid taħt il-ħarsien matern ta’ Marija. Kif minn dan il-Kwadru Marija ma tehda qatt tlissen l- istedina “Ejja”, minn qalbi nawguralek, għażiż Dun Anton, li matul l-episkopat tiegħek taħraq ilsienek issejħilna biex permezz ta’ Marija naslu għand Ġesù.

Filwaqt li nħeġġiġkom biex tweżnuh illum u dejjem bit-talb ħerqan tagħkom u bil- penitenza li tagħmlu, ’il quddiem nagħtukom aktar tagħrif dwar il-Konsagrazzjoni u l- Ingress tal-Isqof-maħtur Teuma.

Mogħtija mis-Santwarju Nazzjonali tal-Madonna Ta’ Pinu, l-Għarb, Għawdex, nhar l- Erbgħa 17 ta’ Ġunju 2020.

MARIO GRECH
Amministratur Appostoliku għal Għawdex

 

Pastoral Letter by H.L. Mgr Mario Grech, Apostolic Administrator for Gozo on the occasion of the appointment of a new Bishop for the Diocese of Gozo

WE HAVE A NEW DIOCESAN BISHOP

We welcome Fr Anton Teuma affectionately and joyously as our new Bishop. We had long been waiting for the Apostolic Nuncio to give us this welcome news: it was well worth waiting for, because in the person of this priest we not only have a man after God’s heart but also after the heart of this particular Church.

DSC_7354b

Although it is Pope Francis who has called Fr Anton to be one of the successors of the Apostles, and has sent him to watch over the people of God in this island, the choice was made by the Holy Spirit. After a long process of discernment involving a fair number of bishops, priests, consecrated persons and members of the laity, the Pope could say that “‘it has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves’ (Acts 15:28) to send you Twanny”.

From what I know about Fr Anton I feel reassured in describing the Bishop-elect as “one who has dedicated his life to the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:26). With this phrase, taken from the Letter which the Apostles wrote in the Council of Jerusalem, I am saying everything there is to be said.

I have no doubt that Fr Anton has a big heart overflowing with love for all of us, especially those who are little in the wide sense of the word. I entreat you to welcome him and love him: he is our father. A Bishop’s greatest sorrow is when he tries his best to love his children and this love is refused. Over time he will meet people who will throw stones at him, but I am convinced he will not be paying back anyone for this. And when he is suffering, pour balm and not vinegar over his wounds. As with Jesus, one never forgets those who, like the woman in Bethany, broke the neck of the alabaster jar full of the scented oil of pure nard to pour it over one’s wounds!

I urge you to regard him with the eyes of obedient faith. Because if we do not want a Bishop who “is a shepherd to his sheep in the name of the Lord and who exercises his office of teacher, sanctifier and leader” (Christus Dominus, 11), that would mean that we want a Bishop who is not a Bishop – it would mean we would want someone clothed in the trappings of a bishop without his being a bishop! Communion with the Bishop is one of the main arteries of the Diocese – if this artery is cut the body will face graver risks.

The news that Fr Anton is the ninth Bishop of our beloved Diocese has been given before the image, so dear to us, of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu, which has just been brought back from restoration. It was my wish that this announcement be made in Mary’s home

and not at the Curia; I wanted this gift to be given to us while “the Church” was gathered together with Mary. Because cut off from the context of a praying Church, beyond a spiritual framework, the office of Bishop does not make much sense. Furthermore, as we are gathered together before the image of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu – the Church’s trophy in Gozo – I wanted to entrust the new Bishop to Mary’s motherly care. Just as from this Image Mary never ceases to utter the invitation “Come”, so from the bottom of my heart, dear Fr Anton, I entreat you to persist steadfastly in calling us to go to Jesus through Mary.

While exhorting you to support him today and always through your fervent prayer and through penance, later on we will be giving you more information about the Consecration and the Solemn Entry of Bishop-elect Teuma.

Given at the National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu, Għarb, Gozo, on Wednesday 17th June, 2020.

MARIO GRECH
Apostolic Administrator for Gozo

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