The Vicariate Apostolic of Kuwait
extends a warm and cordial welcome to
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič
Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen & UAE
and Apostolic Delegate in the Arabian Peninsula
Welcome Speech of H.L. Bishop Camillo
at the Concelebrated Mass on 19th March 2010 at
the Holy Family Cathedral, Kuwait City
Your Grace, Rev. Fathers, Sisters and my dear People,
It is my unique privilege and pleasant duty to introduce and to welcome His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič, the Apostolic Nuncio in Kuwait , Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, Emirates Union and the Apostolic Delegate in the Arabian Peninsula. As you might have already known, he was appointed by the Holy Father, on 2nd December, 2009. He received Episcopal Ordination on 23rd January, 2010, in the Cathedral Church of Mostar, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now he is going to be with us for a long period.
Let me introduce to you a brief profile of his personality and of his service to the Church. Archbishop Petar was born on 12th June,1959, in Toronto, Canada. He had his early education and graduation in his home town Toronto and his priestly training at the Inter diocesan Seminary of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was ordained priest in Mostar, on 29th June, 1987. He did his post graduate ecclesiastical studies, obtaining a licentiate and doctorate in Canon Law. In the diplomatic field, his first appointment was in 1993 as the secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Iran. Later during his ministry in the Church, he was called to take up many responsible offices in Rome which he meritoriously held until his appointment as the Apostolic Nuncio in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, Emirates Union and Apostolic Delegate in the Arabian Peninsula.
As you know, A Papal Nuncio, officially known as an Apostolic Nuncio, is a diplomat of the Holy See to a State or an International Organization, having the rank of an Ambassador, usually with the Ecclesiastical rank of a titular Archbishop. Apostolic Nuncio also serves as the liaison between the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the Nations or Regions to which he is assigned.
My dear brothers and sisters, while thinking about this great responsibility which Archbishop Petar has been called to take up, it is our duty as faithful Catholics obedient and loyal to the Holy Father to feel solidarity with His Grace and remain united so that he can better fulfill his obligations as the true representative of the Successor of Peter in this Country. His spiritual legacy is complete only when we are behind him ever united under the local Bishop. His relationship with the Government is very vital in our concrete situation. Let us render our moral support for all his efforts to maintain good relationship with the State and thereby to get better opportunities and facilities for the practice of our faith. The closeness of our Holy Father Pope with us through his representative will help us to realize the ideal of unity in diversity more effectively in this part of Gulf where the Christian community comprises people from various nationalities, cultures, languages and rites. Our cooperation in this regard will make his presence and service more relevant and meaningful to the local Church as well as to the Nations to which he is sent as Pope’s Ambassador.
Your Grace, with these reflections, I am very happy to welcome you to your first Eucharistic celebration in this Cathedral with the Clergy and the large number of Faithful. I have no hesitation to declare that the local Church in Kuwait will ever remain united behind you. We shall support you with our prayers and cooperation. We feel the closeness of His Holiness the Pope, whom you represent in this Country, with this migrant community through your presence and service. On behalf of the Vicariate of Kuwait, May I extend your Grace a cordial welcome to this Eucharistic Community.
Kuwait, 19 March 2010
+ Camillo Ballin, mccj
Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait