ITALY – Sunday, September 11, 2016. Archbishop Pizzaballa celebrated his first Solemn Pontifical Mass, in Cologno al Serio parish church near Bergamo.

The day after his episcopal ordination in the Cathedral of St. Alexander of Bergamo, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, celebrated on Sunday morning, September 11, his first Mass as archbishop in the parish church of Cologno al Serio, a town of about 10,000 residents, located 10 km south of Bergamo.

Surrounded by his family, friends and many faithful, Archbishop Pizzaballa, made a solemn entry into the city, greeted by hundreds of residents.

More than 50 priests and bishops concelebrated the Mass. Among those present were Bishop Davide Pelucchi, Vicar General of the Diocese of Bergamo, Msgr. Tino Scotti of the Vatican Secretariat of State, the present Holy Land Custos, Father Francesco Patton, OFM, and a delegation from the Latin Patriarchate consisting in particular of Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Vicar in Israel and Father David Neuhaus, Vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel.

During the ceremony, a youth was invited to speak on behalf of all the youth of Cologno al Serio. “Father Pizzaballa, we recognize in your person and in your manner of acting an infinitely precious gift: humility”, he said, addressing the Archbishop. “We have followed you with admiration all these years, in the delicate task of bridge builder in the land of walls. Thanks to you also, we foresee a church that is able to walk with us without pointing the finger from on high.”

Myriam Ambroselli

Picture : Solemn entry of Bishop Pizzaballa in Cologno al Serio. Fr. Mario Cornioli

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