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His Grace Monsignor Paul Cremona O.P.
Archbishop of Malta
 

"Pope John Paul II was received in Malta with unforgettable enthusiasm as 'the second Paul'.  Today as per mandate of Pope Benedict XVI the diocese of Malta is being entrusted to another Paul."  With these words, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malta, His Excellency Monsignor Felix del Blanco Prieto announced the nomination of Fr. Paul Cremona OP as the 11th Archbishop of Malta and successor to His Grace Monsignor Joseph Mercieca who had been leader of the church in Malta since 1976.
 
Born in Valletta on January 25, 1946, to Joseph Cremona and Josephine Cauchi, Monsignor Paul Cremona OP was baptised in St. Dominic’s Parish.  He has two siblings: an elder brother and a younger sister. After attending the Lyceum in Hamrun, he joined the Dominicans in September 1962 and made his first religious profession a year later.  He studied philosophy and theology at the Dominican Studium in Rabat and was ordained priest on March 22nd 1969 by Archbishop Michael Gonzi.
 
Monsignor Cremona is a moral theologian.  In 1973 he was awarded a doctorate at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome for a thesis on The Concept of Peace in Pope John XXIII.  For many years he taught moral philosophy and theology at the Dominican Studium, Rabat as well as in various institutes of research and formation in Malta.  A widely acclaimed preacher who inspires all, both young and old, he is also the author of a number of books on theology and spirituality, including The Church, Icon of the Trinity as well as commentaries on the Creed and on the Commandments, all in Maltese.
 
Between 1974 and 1980, Monsignor Paul Cremona was Prior of the Dominican community at Our Lady of the Grotto Priory, Rabat.  He was re-elected to the same office in 1997 and served up to 2003.  In 1981, he was chosen Provincial of the Maltese Dominicans, an office he held for two four-year terms.  In 1989 he was appointed Parish Priest of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Gwardamangia, Pieta’, a flock he tended until 1993.  He then became responsible for the formation of Dominican novices and students at Rabat, an office he zealously fulfilled between 1993 and 1997 and in 2004-5.  In 2005, Monsignor Cremona become Parish Priest of Jesus the Nazarene Parish, Sliema.
 
Other offices entrusted to Monsignor Paul Cremona include that of Archbishop's Delegate for Consecrated Life, Assistant Spiritual Director at the Major Seminary in Rabat, membership in the Presbyterial Council and Presidency of the Council of Maltese Religious Major Superiors.
 
When the nomination of Monsignor Paul Cremona as archbishop officially came through, his first words echoed St. Augustine who had said, “For you I am a bishop, with you I am a Christian”.  He was ordained bishop by His Excellency Monsignor Joseph Mercieca on Friday 26th January 2007 in Saint John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta.  The motto he chose, “Let us prepare the way for the Lord” reflects the missionary and apostolic vision he always endorsed and promoted as a Dominican.  This same vision brings him to the shores of the United Kingdom to celebrate with the Maltese Catholic Community the canonisation of the first Maltese Saint, Dun Gorg Preca.  May his presence among us inspire our faith and strengthen the witness we give to Christ for the sake of His Church and all creation.