Joseph Mercieca, Maltese Roman Catholic prelate, Died at 87

Joseph Mercieca was born on November 11, 1928, and died on March 21, 2016, in ┼╗ejtun.

He was a Maltese prelate.

He served as Archbishop of Malta from 1976 to 2006.

Joseph was credited with restoring confidence in the Maltese church following his predecessor Mikiel Gonzi’s dispute with the Malta Labour Party.

Joseph Mercieca was baptised on 14 November 1928 and received the other sacraments at the parish church of St George in Victoria.

Mercieca entered the Gozo seminary to study for the priesthood but continued his studies in Rome at the Gregorian university and the Lateran university.

Joseph Mercieca was ordained to the priesthood in 1952 by Joseph Pace, the Bishop of Gozo at St James’ Church in Victoria, Gozo.

He was chosen to be the rector of the Gozo Major Seminary, in 1958.

During 1969 Father Mercieca was appointed, by Pope Paul VI, to judge the Roman Rota.

Then, five years later Pope Paul VI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Malta to assist Archbishop Gonzi.

Joseph was consecrated bishop by Archbishop Mikiel Gonzi on the feast of St Michael in St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta.

Following Archbishop Gonzi retired in 1976, Bishop Mercieca succeeded him.

Mercieca spent the next thirty years as the spiritual shepherd of the Archdiocese of Malta.

The bishop offered his resignation to Pope John Paul II on 11 November 2003.

Joseph remained Archbishop until 2 December 2006, and was succeeded by Paul Cremona in January 2007.

The Archbishop had a brother who is also a priest serving in his home parish of St. George in Victoria.

Joseph Mercieca passed away at 87 yrs old.