28 December 2010

It was with deep sadness that we received the news about the untimely passing of Bishop Joe (Most Reverend Joseph Angelo DD Grech), Bishop of Sandhurst, Australia, who died on 28th December after the sudden recurrence of a blood disorder.

Born in Malta, he was ordained priest in 1975 in Melbourne. His first priestly appointment was at St Joseph’s Parish Thornbury, where his Parish priest, Fr Tom White, prayed with him for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. So he began his involvement in Catholic Charismatic Renewal, serving many people and groups in various Parishes of the Diocese.

Following this he spent some years in Rome, where, under professors such as Fr Francis Sullivan SJ and Fr Bob Faricy SJ, he completed a Licentiate in Spirituality, with a thesis on Healing. Once back in Australia, he was officially nominated full-time chaplain to Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Melbourne, enlarging also his spiritual ministry to all Australia. He also became the Spiritual Director of Corpus Christi Seminary in Melbourne and then was appointed Bishop for the Western Zone of Melbourne in 1998.

He was deeply committed to his ministry to young people and migrants. However, he will especially be remembered with affection all over the world for the way in which he embraced Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He was truly a shepherd, mentor, friend and guide.

He served on ICCRS, the International Council of Charismatic Renewal, from 2001, representing Oceania. Bishop Joe, a multi-linguist, developed a great rapport with many ethnic communities, and helped them establish their Catholic identity.

As a popular speaker, he was in demand to speak at Catholic initiatives and Ecumenical events. In this way Bishop Joe was always known to be both fully Catholic and fully Charismatic. We are greatly indebted to him for the way in which he served Charismatic Renewal through his theological guidance and also as the chairman of the ICCRS Doctrinal Commission.

He will undoubtedly be remembered for his immense pastoral sensitivity and for the encouragement he gave through his exuberant preaching in so many countries throughout the world. He will be greatly missed by the Charismatic Renewal worldwide.

For the ICCRS Council
Mrs Michelle Moran, President
Mr Oreste Pesare, Executive Director 
“Catholic Charismatic Renewal and ICCRS mourn the death of Bishop Joe Grech.” L’Osservatore Romano [Vatican City] Wednesday, 5 January 2011, Forty-fourth year, number 1 (2176), Weekly Edition in English, 23

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