|Birth: ||Dec. 10, 1948|
|Death: ||Dec. 28, 2010|
The Sixth of Bishop of the Diocese of Sandhurst, Australia, Monsignor Joseph Angelo Grech, the eldest of three children, was born on December 10, 1948, in Ħal - Balzan, Malta, and after completing the first four years of studies for the Priesthood in Malta, he moved to Australia in 1971, completing his last four years of studies at Corpus Christi College in Melbourne. He was ordained to the Priesthood in Balzan, at 26 years of age November 30, 1974, becoming the first Priest ordained by Archbishop Joseph Mercieca.
After studying Spirituality in Rome, he became Chaplain to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and then served at Corpus Christi College Provincial Seminary as Spiritual Director. At 50 years of age, Grech was appointed Auxiliary for the Metropolitan See of Melbourne by Pope John Paul II, receiving his Episcopal Consecration with the Titular See of Belesasa on February 10, 1999, from Cardinal George Pell, assisted by Archbishop Thomas Francis Little and Bishop Joseph Peter O'Connell.
Following the resignation of Msgr. Noel Desmond Daly, Grech was named his Successor as the Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Sandhurst, Melbourne.
An internationally renowned speaker, with particular commitment to the Charismatic Renewal Movement, Priests' Retreats and to Young People, Bishop Joe travelled the world preaching in his trademark accent which owed more to his Maltese roots than Australia. In 2009, he addressed a conference of 3,000 Priests in Ars, France.
At the time of his death, Bishop Joe was a Member of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life with special oversight for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees and shortly before his demise, was appointed to the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants. Within the Commission for Pastoral Life, Bishop Joe was also responsible on behalf of the Bishops of Australia for Youth Ministry. He was also a Member of the Bishops Commission for Mission and Adult Faith Formation with particular responsibilities regarding Catholic Missions. Bishop Joe was also a Member of the International Catholic Charismatic Council representing Oceania.
Very committed to the Priests and people of the Sandhurst Diocese, he was always available for his people - leading Scripture workshops, visiting schools and Parishes regularly. He was the Spiritual Leader of the Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Canonisation of St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop and in the Footsteps of St Paul. One thing he used to say was: "When I die, I have a lot of questions to ask St. Paul". Bishop Grech collaborated with members of Charismatic Renewal and used to visit Malta quite often to attend their conferences.
After being sick for four days, Bishop Joe passed unexpectedly away after the recurrence of a blood disorder at St. Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, on Tuesday, December 28, 2010, at 3 pm., aged 62. When the Bishop was admitted to hospital, thinking he was just nauseated, he had a full schedule and a couple of big trips planned for 2011, including taking 100 of his young people to Spain for the World Youth Day.
One of his trademark sayings was "God does not make rubbish - there is good in each of us and we have to find it." A few weeks short of his unexpected demise, Bishop Joe assisted to the Priesthood Ordination of Fr. Robert Galea, a worldwide renowned singer, serving in his Diocese. Then a Seminarian, Galea recorded a song by the same words of the Bishop's trademark.
On Wednesday, January 5, 2011, Bishop Joe's body arrived at the Sacred Heart Cathedral of Bendigo at 6.30 pm., where prayers commenced at 7. Funeral Mass, presided by Cardinal George Pell, was celebrated on Thursday, January 6, at 1 pm., followed by internment inside the named Cathedral's Crypt.
Sacred Heart Cathedral
Plot: Cathedral Crypt, Beneath St. Joseph's Chapel.
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Jan 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63894322