A great pastor, a simple man

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

This is not the way to write a report but I feel the need to make an exception. Today I spoke to a great pastor in the guise of a simple man. “Call me Dun Anton” was his response to a request as to what we should address him by. This request came ahead of his interview on Newsbook.com.mt which was conducted by Fr Joe Borg and me.  He added that while he respects the more traditional ways of address, his preference is, in all things, simple.

“We need to let God work through us”. This was the leitmotif of the interview which Dun Anton Teuma, 9th Bishop-elect of Gozo wove through his interview Dun Anton Teuma. He said that he wants to make sure that each and every Christian feels proud of being a Christian, a disciple of God.

The following are just a few snippets by Dun Anton Teuma from the interview

On Families

“We are raising children in such a pampered way that they find it difficult to face life’s challenges. Escapism and avoidance might be the response to problems and challenges future generations will face.”   

“When someone says that they are able to live on their own, it is an illusion,”

“The family will remain and will be the centre of my work”

“Each and every person needs to feel a sense of belonging and the family is the first unit to provide such feeling”

On Coronavirus

“I am being described by some as the Bishop of Coronavirus”

“COVID-19 is an opportunity to bring communities together. I know families who were on the brink of separation who got together to pray Mass during the lockdown and managed to resolve their differences”  

On his mentors

“My father was a taciturn man but one word from him  spoke volumes”

“I worked with Bishop Nikol Cauchi for many years. There were times when we argued because we did not agree with everything but he sure was one of the persons who helped me in my formation”

“Turu (Fr Arthur Vella SJ) was my mentor and spiritual director from my third year in seminary till his death and I still feel his eyes watching me and praying for me. He told me, just before he died that he would always be with me”

On the media

“I was always the kind of person who stayed away from the media and worked away from the spotlight.”  

“Keep shouting out the truth. You have such a difficult job”

“The media should be an extension of the truth, experience and/or reality which at no time should be modified.”

In truth, whatever you write after an interview like this will fall far short of the justice that the live interview deserves. Newsbook.com.mt invites you to watch this seminal piece.