Thursday, January 4, 2018

#BreakingNews Death of Bishop Francis Micallef (Emeritus of Kuwait) in Malta at age 89 - RIP

With deep sadness we have to inform our faithful of the death of our beloved Bishop Francis Micallef (Emeritus of Kuwait) at 8.30 today morning in Malta. May his soul rest in peace. The last rites will be on Saturday at St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta at 9:30 AM.
We give thanks to God for the gift of Bishop Francis to the Church in Kuwait for many long years. Bishop Francis was ordained Bishop on January 6, 1982. He came to Kuwait a few days later on January 13 and took charge of the Vicariate of Kuwait on January 15. He retired as Apostolic Vicar of Kuwait on July 14, 2005. Bishop Francis celebrated his 89th birthday on December 17, 2017.
We pray that our beloved Bishop Francis will now enjoy his heavenly reward in the company of Our Blessed Mother and all the Angels and Saints.
May God grant his family and all who mourn his death, strength and consolation in their grief and loss.

Name : Francis George Adeodatus Micallef
Title : Vicar Apostolic Emeritus of Kuwait
Titular See : Titular Bishop of Tinisia
Date Of Birth : December 17, 1928
Nationality : Maltese
Ordained Priest : May 9, 1954
Ordained Bishop : January 6, 1982

Retired : July 14, 2005

Died : January 3, 2018


Bishop Francis Micallef was born on December 17, 1928, at Birkirkara, Malta and was christened Francis George. His parents were George and Marianna.
His home was not far from the Discalced Carmelite monastery which instilled in him the seed of vocation and resulted in his entry into the Discalced Carmelite Order as a novice on August 15, 1947.
He made his first religious profession in the same Order, onAugust 22, 1948. He dedicated his life to the Order by ending final vows (profession) on October 15, 1951.

Bishop Francis had his studies in Malta as well as in Rome, Italy. Ordained as Priest on May 9, 1954 and having finished his Master's (Licenciate) in Theology, he returned to Malta where he taught moral theology.
Having returned to Malta he served as the Conventual, Prior (Superior) of the Monastery, Master of Novices and finally as the Provincial Superior of Maltese Discalced Carmelite Province.
The Discalced Carmelite Order recognized his service and at the General chapter held in Rome in the year 1973, he was elected one of the Four Defenitors General.
Later he was Rector at the Carmelite International College (TERESIANUM) in Rome from 1979-81. Being given the responsibility to look after the Carmelite missions world over, he had the opportunity to get acquainted with missions all over the world including Kuwait.
Little did he realize then, that a few years later he would have to shepherd the flock here.
As Msgr. Victor San Miguel was retiring due to his age, Bishop Francis George Micallef was appointed as third Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait on November 11, 1981, the office and responsibility which he reluctantly accepted.
He was ordained Bishop by Pope John Paul II on January 6, 1982 at the Vatican.
He came to Kuwait on January 13, 1982 and took possession (charge) of the Vicariate of Kuwait on January 15, 1982
Bishop Francis retired on July 14, 2005. He was succeeded by Bishop Camillo Ballin, MCCJ.
As evident, Bishop Francis was a man of simplicity and rejoiced in humble service of the least of his brethren. His motto as Bishop was "To see the bright side of people and things". It was in this very manner that he administered to the needs of his flock after the example of the Good Shepherd. "There is no greater love, than to lay down one's life for his friends". Text source:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bishop Micallef was a model shepherd throughout his life in Kuwait, but he truly proved himself during and after the First Gulf War.

He sent his sick and elderly priests out of the war zone to safety, and stayed behind himself to minister to his flock. It was pointed out to him that most civilians were fleeing the war zone, and that he should save himself too because there wasn't much left of the flock. He responded that as long as there were even a few Catholics remaining in Kuwait, he belonged there with them. He stayed in Kuwait through to the end of the ground war, and through the hellish conditions afterwards caused by the oil fires.

When the allied armies moved into Kuwait at the conclusion of the war, a group of Islamic soldiers stormed the cathedral declaring that it was "haraam" or offensive to Allah, intending to blow it up. Bishop Micallef physically placed himself inside the cathedral between the soldiers and the tabernacle. He faced down hostile and heavily-armed soldiers, risking his own life to save his church, and successfully stalled them until help arrived from the US military.

I am honoured to have received the sacraments as a child from Bishop Micallef, and I will remember him with fondness and gratitude. Many of our clergy today who have become complacent and lukewarm could learn from his example of humility and courage even in the face of mortal danger; a true shepherd willing to give himself completely for his flock and his faith.

May he rest in peace.