Br. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, ordained Archbishop

BERGAMO – The Church of the Holy Land and Bergamo united in joy and thanksgiving this Saturday, September 10, 2016, when Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, was ordained Archbishop in the Cathedral of Bergamo.

“I want to be a bishop for all, for those who are entrusted to me, first and foremost, but also for those who share love and concern for the Middle East, Jews and Muslims, for the poorest, for the whole Church,” said Archbishop Pizzaballa at the end of a solemn and moving liturgy. The Liturgy drew together many of the faithful of Bergamo who, with their prayers, supported the new Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, appointed on June 24 this year by Pope Francis, and ordained Archbishop in his native land.

The Mass, presided by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and concelebrated by Patriarch Emeritus Fouad Twal and Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo, included thirty bishops who came from Italy, Turkey, Bahrain, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq, in addition to some apostolic nuncios. Also present were many priests and religious, among them many Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land with the present Custos, Fr. Francesco Patton. Included also was a large delegation of the Latin Patriarchate composed of Bishop William Shomali, Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Father David Neuhaus, Father George Ayoub, Father Imad Twal and many priests with them. Further noted was the presence of Archbishop George Bacouni, Melkite Archbishop of Haifa and Maronite Archishop Moussa el-Hage, on behalf of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, and Archimandrite Nektarios, representative of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, who presented to Archbishop Pizzaballa a pectoral cross as a sign of friendship woven over many years between the former Custos and the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III.

“Sufficit tibi gratia mea” – “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor 9:12) is the motto chosen by Archbishop Pizzaballa. Addressing the assembly, he briefly recounted the main stages of his journey of faith, characterized by a continuous “search for simplicity and sincerity.”

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