Bishop Teuma pays tribute to predecessor in first pastoral letter

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Bishop Anton Teuma paid tribute to his predecessor Mario Grech in his first pastoral letter as the ninth Bishop of Gozo, thanking him for his tireless efforts over the past 15 years.

In his letter, the Bishop thanked God for the many blessings he delivered through Bishop Grech, who was appointed by Pope Francis to serve as the Pro-Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. In that position, Bishop Grech will work alongside the Secretary General, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, with the aim of succeeding him on his retirement.

Bishop Teuma sought to highlight a number of his predecessor’s achievements, including the strengthening of catechism and his efforts to promote Lectio Divina, neo-catechumenal communities and Eucharistic communities, without forsaking other lay movements such as the Legion of Mary, MUSEUM and Catholic Action.

He praised Bishop Grech for seeking to celebrate the Eucharist with the dignity it deserved, including through his profound homilies.

Bishop Grech also sought to remain close to those who were suffering, with Bishop Teuma stating that he could often be found giving comfort to the sick and dying, and would consistently speak in favour of foreigners.

With this in mind, Bishop Teuma said, God deserved gratitude for Bishop Grech’s service, and his predecessor deserved to be kept in people’s prayers.

“Thank you, your excellency, for your work and dedication as our Bishop. Thank you for always being there for us. Thank you for your suffering in silence. Thank you for losing sleep over our concerns. Thank you, your excellency, for the courage you have always shown,” he said.

“And last but not least, thank you, your excellency, for taking a part of the Gozitan church at the heart of the Universal Church. Whilst we urge you to pray for us, we promise to keep you in our prayers.”