It is with great distress and anxiety that the Catholic Faithful of Kuwait heard of the news about the demise of His Excellency, the Bishop Emeritus of Kuwait. I, as Bishop of Northern Arabia which also includes Kuwait, together with the clergy, join in prayer for the eternal rest of Bishop Micallef. May the Lord welcome him in His house and His family, the saints.
The pastoral impact that Bishop Micallef made on his flock in Kuwait still remains alive in this Gulf Country even after his retirement in 2005. He inherited the Carmelite charism of simplicity and hard work. He took upon himself very humble services, like cleaning parts of the church. Until today the people of Kuwait talk a lot about his style of episcopate—his humility in serving everyone without any distinction between nationalities who met with him. During the very difficult time of Iraq’s invasion, Bishop Francis remained back in Kuwait to share with them their grief and help the people who were not able to be repatriated, providing even food and shelter besides the regular pastoral help.
Bishop Micallef's great zeal and enthusiasm for pastoral ministry was very striking. His lifestyle, as a true Carmelite monk, and pastoral activities were always an inspiration for the clergy to be dedicated and persevering in their priestly service. He was close to every priest like an older brother should be. He bore upon himself the burden and responsibility of a high priest. He had innumerable people around him who appreciated his enthusiasm for the pastoral care of our migrant faithful. He supported them in their challenges and consoled them in their distress. His vision for the future was evident when he built the clergy house as well as the many classrooms for Catechism classes. He encouraged small prayer groups and set apart halls for them.
Dear Bishop Francis, the Faithful of Kuwait miss you exceedingly. Nevertheless, be sure that our prayers always accompany you. The sacrifices you made for the people in Kuwait will always remain an indelible memory of a good pastor such as you.
Thank you, Bishop Francis Micallef!
+ Camillo Ballin, MCCJ
Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia
3 January 2018