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'With courage, we say Yes!'

Bishop Peter Baldacchino's remarks at his ordination to the episcopacy

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Bishop Peter Baldacchino thanks those who have come to his ordination, adding:

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Bishop Peter Baldacchino thanks those who have come to his ordination, adding: "It is wondrous how, in announcing the Gospel, the Lord has brought us together. This great sign of unity that we live both confirms us in our Faith and compels us to share that Faith with others. God is beginning a new chapter in the building up of his Kingdom."

Remarks by Bishop Peter Baldacchino upon his ordination as auxiliary bishop of Miami, March 19, 2014, at St. Mary Cathedral.

Our Holy Father Pope Francis reminds us in his Apostolic Exhortation that

“the Gospel must be preached to those who are far from Christ, because this is the first task of the Church… today missionary impulse represents the greatest challenge for the Church  …we cannot passively and calmly wait in our church buildings; we need to move from a pastoral ministry of mere conservation to a decidedly missionary pastoral work”

   These words express what has been the center of my work ever since I was ordained a priest: to look for the sheep, especially those who are far away or lost, wounded and suffering, and to try to bring them to Christ.

   Clearly, Archbishop Wenski has this same goal at the heart of his ministry and I hope that precisely this will be what will guide my service as auxiliary bishop of Miami: reaching out to all, but more specifically to those who are far away.

   I am profoundly grateful to His Holiness Pope Francis for calling me to this service to help in this great mission in the Archdiocese of Miami.

   As I heard the scrutiny of questions which Archbishop Wenski made to me during the ordination a few moments ago, I was reflecting on the great responsibility that this service requires of me: to be ready to give my life for the lost sheep, to constantly announce the gospel, to conserve the deposit of faith, to be faithful to Peter….

All the above I can only do with the help of God through the Holy Spirit, and especially with the support of your prayers.

In particular, I wish to thank His Excellency Archbishop Thomas Wenski and the entire Archdiocese of Miami for your more-than-warm welcome: Truly, I immediately felt at home! Vraiment, mwen te santi nan kay mwen! Verdaderamente me sentí en casa!

At the same time, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who have gathered here (whether indoors or outside the Cathedral) and to others who were not able to come but are following us through live-streaming or with their prayers. I wish to recognize my family members and brethren of my Neocatechumenal community who came all the way from Malta and also Eusebio and Giulietta, my catechists in this itinerary of faith since I was 13 years of age. I wish also to thank Kiko and Carmen through whom I could begin to rediscover the treasure of my baptism, as well as Giuseppe and Claudia who have been my catechists in the States.

I wish to thank all my brother priests from Miami, from Newark and from many other places, as well as all bishops present here today, among them Cardinal McCarrick who ordained me back in 1996.

I also wish to greet my brothers and sisters and very dear friends from the Turks and Caicos Islands, from Newark and from many other places. Our school children, ...especially those coming from Holy Family Academy in TCI.

May the Blessed Mother of our loving Savior Jesus Christ, Mary Immaculate, intercede for all of us and strengthen us with the confidence that “wherever God is, there is joy.”

Pray for me!

Sliem u barka!

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