Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo

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Diocese of Gozo
Dioecesis Gaudisiensis
Djoċesi ta' Għawdex
Exterior of the Gozo Cathedral
Country Malta
Territory Gozo and Comino
Ecclesiastical province Malta
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Malta
Area 67 km2 (26 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
28,074 (90.1%)
Parishes 15
Churches 48
Denomination Roman Catholic
Sui iuris church Latin Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 22 September 1864
Cathedral Cathedral of the Assumption in Victoria, Gozo
Patron saint Saint George
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Mario Grech
Metropolitan Archbishop Charles Scicluna
Vicar General Tarcisio Camilleri
The Diocese of Gozo marked in red.
The Diocese of Gozo marked in red.
Website of the Diocese

The Diocese of Gozo (or Ghawdex) (in Latin Goulos-Gaudisiensis),[1] is a Latin bishopric (diocese) of the Catholic Church in Malta, and the only suffragan in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Malta, together covering the insular state.

The diocese comprises the island of Gozo (seventeen miles west of the Maltese capital Valletta) and the islet of Comino.[2]

As of 2013 the Bishop of Gozo was Mgr. Mario Grech.


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 then Roman Catholic Diocese of Malta, but Pope Pius IX, acceding to requests by the clergy and the people, erected it into a separate, then 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.

The Basilica of St George in Victoria, the oldest parish in the Diocese dating from Byzantine times.

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.

In May 1990, it enjoyed a papal visit from Pope John Paul II.

Bishops of Gozo[edit]

Paolo Micallef, Administrator of Gozo, (1866-1867)

Special Churches[edit]

Important dates[edit]

  • 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


  1. ^ Diocese of Gozo - from Catholic Hierarchy[self-published source]
  2. ^ PD-icon.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Gozo". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 

Sources and External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 36°02′47″N 14°14′23″E / 36.04639°N 14.23972°E / 36.04639; 14.23972