His pastoral work and direct contact with his flock are evidently the most important part of his calling to the priesthood. This feeling shone clearly as Archbishop Emeritus Paul Cremona spoke to Newsbook.com.mt on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood. Fifty years ago today, the young Paul Cremona prostrated himself in front of the altar and promised his life not only to God but also to the people he felt he served.
“Bringing joy to people”
“I have been at my happiest when I felt able to bring joy to people, whoever they are and whatever their station or ability” said Archbishop Cremona. While accepting his mission as entrusted to him as Archbishop of Malta, Mgr. Cremona’s voice evinced a latent regret that this role took him away from his beloved pastoral work. A role he took on obediently, but which was ultimately to prove too heavy for him.
“I remain at Archbishop Scicluna’s disposal but my most profound experiences came from meeting the people and passing on to them the love of God” said Mgr. Cremona. He said that on being made Archbishop, he felt the enormity of the task entrusted on him. He said that in accepting he had to rationalise his position, arguing with himself that he could not sort out all the ills of the world but he could dedicate all his energy to his flock.
“What I promised the Maltese”
“That is what I promised the Maltese: to give myself entirely to their service” said Mgr. Cremona. His greatest consolation: that he felt that he had always done his best to transmit the love of God.
Mgr. Cremona observed that the current period is very important for the Church, with all the good and all the evil that is done. He said that the Church is made up of people and if these do not take on God as a point of reference, the church will suffer and will lose its freshness.
In the coming days, Mgr. Cremona will be visiting fellow Dominican and Archbishop George Frendo in Tirana, Albania, with whom he shared the priestly ordination and was ordained Archbishop of Malta within weeks of Archbishop Frendo.
Archbishop Emeritus Pawlu Cremona O.P. will celebrate a thanksgiving Mass at Saint John’s co-Cathedral to mark the fiftieth anniversary from his ordination on Sunday the 24th of March at 5.30pm. Mgr George Frendo O.P., Archbishop of Tirana, who is also celebrating his fiftieth ordination jubilee, will be co-celebrating.