Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Peter Baldacchino to head the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Catholic News Agency reported that the Bishop is the first diocesan bishop associated with the Neocatechumenal Way to serve in a mainland U.S. diocese.
The 58-year-old bishop has served as an Auxiliary Bishop in Miami Florida since 2014. He was ordained priest in 1996 at the Archdiocese of Newark.
Baldacchino was born in Malta to a family of four children. His family joined the Neocatechumenal Way while he was still a child. He was not initially drawn to the priesthood. He read for a degree in science at the University of Malta. At the age of 28, he attended World Youth Day in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, after which he became more involved in the Neocatechumenal Way.
Baldacchino served for over a decade as a missionary in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. He speaks Maltese, English, Italian, Creole and Spanish.
The Diocese of Las Cruces was established in 1982. According to 2015 estimates, it has more than 236,600 Catholics, accounting for just over 42% of the area’s population.