The Malta Independent 9 May 2021, Sunday

Cardinal Prospero Grech to be laid to rest on Thursday 9 January

Monday, 6 January 2020, 15:53 Last update: about 2 years ago

A mass in honour of the late Cardinal Prospero Grech will be held on Thursday 9 January at the Mdina Cathedral, the Curia has said as it released details of the activities taking place in memory of the Cardinal.

Cardinal Grech passed away a week ago, on 30 December 2019, only days after his 94th birthday.  He was created a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on 18 February 2012, becoming the first Augustinian to take such a title in 111 years, and becoming only the second ever Maltese Cardinal after Fabrizio Sceberras Testaferrata was made Cardinal in 1818.


A funeral mass already took place in Rome last Thursday, with Pope Francis himself presiding over the final part of the funeral rites. The Pope had, while marking the 50th anniversary of the Augustinianium last February, praised Cardinal Grech for the “grandiose simplicity” that his sermons had achieved in his old age

Cardinal Grech’s remains arrive in Malta on Wednesday 8 January. The funeral cortège will arrive in Vittoriosa, where Grech was born and baptised, for a moment of prayer at the St. Lawrence Church at 4:30pm.

The cortège will leave to the Augustinian Convent in Rabat at 6pm. The convent will not be open to the public at that time.

The following morning, Cardinal Grech’s remains will be placed in the convent’s chapel for public worship. There one will be able to sign the book of condolences. A peal of funeral bells will ring out at 12pm across Malta and Gozo.

At 1:40pm, the coffin will be taken to St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Mdina, and at 2pm a mass presided over by Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna will be celebrated praesente cadavere for the Cardinal.  The Archbishop will be accompanied by Archbishop Alessandro D’Errico, Apostolic Nuncio for Malta Mario Grech, Apostolic Administrator for the Gozo Diocese Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi, and Bishop Paul Darmanin, who is Bishop Emeritus of the Garissa Diocese, in Kenya.

The Augustinian Order will be represented by the Vicar General Fr. Joseph Farrell, together with Assistant General Fr. Edward Daleng. The Maltese Augustinian Province will be represented by Provincial Prior Fr. Leslie Gatt and a number of other provincial religious officials.  Fr. Alexander Longs from the Santa Monica Community in Rome, where the Cardinal live for over 60 years, will also co-celebrate the mass.

The congregation will be led by President of Malta George Vella.  After the mass, burial will continue in private.

The Maltese Augustinian Province expressed its wish that instead of flowers, charitable donations are sent to the Dar Tal-Providenza or to the Secretariat for the Augustinian Mission, which Cardinal Grech held very close to his heart.


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