Your Excellency, Rev. Fathers and Family Members of Bishop Micallef and other Well Wishers,
Today I have the honor to felicitate Your Excellency on the occasion of the 60th Priestly Ordination Anniversary. On this solemn occasion, I have also the privilege to represent the Vicariate of Northern Arabia which now includes Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and S. Arabia. Faithful of Kuwait still cherishes fond memories of your service in Kuwait for 24 years. It was there that you reached the peak of your service in the Vineyard of the Lord. I am sure, it is a matter of great fulfillment for you as well as the Faithful of Kuwait whom you served so selflessly and dearly. It is a moment of great satisfaction for me to be present here and to express the appreciation and gratitude for everything you have done there in Kuwait. Your sense of commitment is imprinted in the hearts of the people in Kuwait. Personally, I feel greatly honored to be your successor in the Episcopate. You are really an ‘Adeodatus’ a God given gift to Kuwait.
I have no hesitation to say that you performed your mission in Kuwait with a deep spirit of humility. The Faithful of Kuwait will testify always that the secret behind the success of your service is above all your humility and simplicity of life as a true Carmelite Religious. I think, we can say that Bishop Francis Adeodatus could draw inspiration for his ministry from his religious life, more specifically his life of humility and faithfulness to the charisma of the Carmelite way of life. Hence, he remained a good Father “Master”, even after becoming a Bishop.
On this occasion, may I share some good news from the Gulf with Your Excellency. The patronage of our Lady of Arabia, which was one time limited to Kuwait alone, has been now extended to all the Gulf. Now Our Lady of Arabia is the patroness of both the Vicariates of Northern and Southern Arabia, since 2011. Now many things have started changing especially in a particular country. Recently, we have launched a massive construction project, the new Cathedral in Bahrain for the Vicariate together with the bishop’s house. It will also be dedicated to Our Lady of Arabia. At this auspicious moment, as I conclude my small felicitation, by presenting to Bishop Micallef a medal of Our Lady of Arabia, as token of our appreciation and love. May His Priesthood reach its fulfillment by serving the Church many more years. “Ad Multos Annos”.
+ Camillo Ballin, mccj
Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia
Malta, 09 MAY 2014