Cardinal Vallini, Vicar of Rome, visits the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary
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Last Wednesday, the 8th of February 2012 Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar of Rome, led a pilgrimage to the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary. Four auxiliary bishops of Rome took part in this pilgrimage: Mgr. Guerino De Tora and Mgr. Benedetto Tuzia together with the two new bishops Mgr. Matteo Maria Zuppi and Mgr. Lorenzo Leuzzi. Together with them there were one hundred and fifty priests from the diocese of Rome.
As they arrived at the Ta’ Pinu National Sanctuary, the entire group was welcomed by the Bishop of Gozo Mgr. Mario Grech together with Sanctuary Rector Fr. Gerard Buhagiar.
Later, the Cardinal led a concelebration in which the Bishop of Gozo and various Gozitan priests took part. At the beginning of the Mass, the Bishop of Gozo said, “this is for us a special occasion not only because a good number of priests are to be found here in this Marian sanctuary but also because all these priests are coming from the diocese of Rome, a diocese which has such old ties with the diocese of Gozo. On the span of about 40 years, about 84 of our diocesan priests spent some time in the diocese of Rome either to study or otherwise for pastoral work in different parishes of this city, and some of them even as parish priests.” The Bishop mentioned that this was a joyful occasion, an occasion ‘between two brothers’ since, the Bishop said, “Gozo considers the diocese of Rome as our eldest sister.”
In his homily Cardinal Vallini explained that it was a great pleasure for him together with his auxiliary bishops and priests to be united as one family in the Marian sanctuary of Ta’ Pinu. He emphasised that today more than in the past we are living in a secularised world but this should not put off our priests from doing his work since man is in need of Christ. Like theVirgin Mary, with humility and love, the priest is called to bring the good news of Christ to everybody.
After the Mass, the pilgrims descended to the coffee hall of the sanctuary and had a cup of coffee; there was also a time of sharing. Besides Bishop Grech, Seminary Rector Fr. Daniel Xerri, Fr. Giovanni Curmi and Fr. Anthony Teuma also spoke. Cardinal Vallini praised the good work that various priests of the diocese of Gozo are doing in Rome and thanked officially the diocese of Gozo for being of such sterling service to the Church in Rome.
At the moment, there are twelve priests from Gozo who are working or studying in Rome, one of them being a parish priest.