Commemorative Exhibition on 150 years of the Diocese of Gozo

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Commemorative Exhibition on 150 years of the Diocese of GozoA Commemorative Exhibition is currently being held in the Hall of the Ministry for Gozo, in Victoria. to mark the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Gozo Diocese.

Pope Pius IX through the Bull Singulari Amore – With utmost love, from the first two words of the document – established the diocese of Gozo on the 16th of September 1864.

Thus in 1864 the dream of a diocese in Gozo finally became a reality, A Bishop, Cathedral and a Seminary. For one hundred and fifty years, the tiny island of about 30,000 people benefited not just from the work of the local church, but with the six hundred parish priest who served within.

The first request for a Gozitan Diocese was made in 1798, by Archpriest Saverio Cassar. After sixty-six years of battle and heartbreak, two illustrious benefactors, Dun Pietru Pace and Sir Adrian Dingli, struggled and attained the wish of the clergy and people of Gozo.

The establishment of the Diocese, which also includes the tiny island of Comino, was officially announced by the Pope on the 22nd of September 1864. The first Bishop was Mons. Michael Francis Buttigieg, from Qala, then the Archpriest of Rabat.

The Exhibition has been organised by the Commission for Sacred Art within the Curia in Gozo, in collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo.

The exhibition not only focuses on the personalities who have worked in the Diocese, and the events that led to the establishment of the Diocese of Gozo in 1864, but also on the history of the Church on this island over the last one hundred and fifty years. The Diocese was led by eight Bishops and an Apostolic Administrator.

On display are documents and old photographs, publications, silver, sacred pieces, and parameters associated with each Bishop, as well as the recollections of important moments in their episcopate.

Visitors to this exhibition will also have the opportunity to view the original document of The Papal Bull, which is normally housed in the Diocesan Archives.

Towards the end of October, the Bishop of Gozo Mgr. Mario Grech is expected to visit the exhibition and launch a book of remembrance.

The exhibition, which is free of charge to the public, will remain open until Tuesday, the 11th of November 2014, Monday to Friday, between 8.00am and 4.30pm.

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