Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo
|Diocese of Gozo
Djoċesi ta' Għawdex
Exterior of the Gozo Cathedral
|Territory||Gozo and Comino|
|Metropolitan||Archdiocese of Malta|
|Area||67 km2 (26 sq mi)|
|(as of 2006)
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||22 September 1864|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of the Assumption in Victoria Gozo|
|Patron saint||Saint George|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Paul Cremona|
|Vicar General||Giovanni Bosco Gauci|
The Diocese of Gozo marked in red.
|Website of the Diocese|
The Diocese of Gozo (in Latin Goulos-Gaudisiensis), is a see of the Catholic Church in Malta. The diocese comprises the island of Gozo (seventeen miles west of the Maltese capital Valletta) and the islet of Comino.
On a central plateau the ruined fortifications of an ancient town contain the cathedral church and public buildings, outside of which is a large suburb.
Up to the year 1864, Gozo formed part of the Diocese of Malta, but Pope Pius IX, acceding to requests by the clergy and the people, erected it into a separate exempt diocese, i.e. immediately subject to the Holy See. On 16 March, 1863, Monsignor Michael Franciscus Buttigieg, a native of Gozo, was appointed titular Bishop of Lita and deputy auxiliary of the Archbishop-Bishop of Malta, for the Island of Gozo. He was consecrated at Rome on 3 May of the same year, on 22 September, 1864, was created first bishop of the new Diocese of Gozo, and on the 23rd day of the following month made his entry into the new cathedral. Through the efforts of Pietro Pace, vicar-general of the diocese, a diocesan seminary was established on the site formerly occupied by the San Giuliano Hospital, the revenues of which were appropriated to the new institution. This seminary was inaugurated 3 November, 1866, and by the express desire of Pius IX placed under the direction of the Jesuits.
On the death of Buttigieg, Father Paolo Micallef, Superior General of the Augustinian Order, was made Bishop of Città di Castello and appointed administrator of the Diocese of Gozo. He left Gozo in May, 1867, and in 1871 became Archbishop of Pisa. His successor to the administration of the diocese was Antonius Grech Delicata Testaferrata, titular Bishop of Chalcedon, a native of Malta, who in 1868 was appointed Bishop of Gozo, and as such assisted at the First Vatican Council. Grech Delicata's divested himself of his own patrimony in favour of the poor; he died on the last day of 1876.
On 12 March, 1877, Mgr. Canon Professor Pietro Pace, native of Gozo, was appointed to succeed Grech Delicata, and was consecrated in Rome by Cardinal Edward Henry Howard. Under his administration the seminary was augmented by the installation of a meteorological observatory, which was inaugurated by Padre Denza, Director of the Vatican Observatory. During this administration an episcopal educational institute for girls was also established, under the care of the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, to whom was also entrusted the direction of the annexed orphan asylum. The same bishop provided the diocese with a new episcopal palace and new monasteries, besides laying out large sums of money on the cathedral.
In 1889 Mgr. Pace was promoted Archbishop of Rhodes and Bishop of Malta. His successor in the See of Gozo was the Reverend G. M. Camilleri, O.S.A., a native of Valletta (b. 15 March, 1842). Under Camilleri's administration the first diocesan synod was celebrated, in October, 1903. This synod was necessary as the diocese was still governed under the outdated rules of the Synod of Malta of 1703. Constitutions and decrees were also promulgated and published.
The cathedral church of Gozo was built in 1697-1703, by Lorenzo Gafa. Its ground plan is in the form of a Latin cross. The Cathedral is also the annual pilgrimage site of the Grand Priory of the Mediterranean of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. Its interior is adorned with fine paintings. The "Massagiere di Maria", an Italian periodical, is recognized in the Diocese of Gozo as the official organ of the sanctuary of the Bl. Virgin ta Pinu.
As of 2013[update] the Bishop of Gozo was Mgr. Mario Grech.
Bishops of Gozo
- Michael Franciscus Buttigieg (r. 1864-1866)
- Paolo Micallef, Administrator of Gozo, (r. 1866-1867)
- Antonius Grech Delicata Testaferrata (r. 1868-1876)
- Pietro Pace (r. 1877-1889)
- Giovanni Maria Camilleri (r. 1889-1924)
- Michael Gonzi (r. 1924-1943)
- Giuseppe Pace (r. 1944-1972)
- Nikol Joseph Cauchi (r. 1972-2006)
- Mario Grech (r. 2006- Present).
- Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary in Victoria
- Basilica and Collegiate Parish of St George in Victoria
- Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu in Għarb
- Basilica and Collegiate Parish of the Visitation in Għarb
- Basilica and Collegiate Parish of St Peter and St Paul in Nadur
- Basilica and Collegiate Parish of the Nativity of Mary in Xagħra
- April 23: Feast of Saint George - Patron Saint of the Diocese
- June 22: Feast of the Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu
- September 16: Anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese
- October 11: Dedication of the Diocesan Cathedral
- October 21: Memorial of Saint Ursula - Co-Patron Saint of the Diocese