On the Feast of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8 September 2016, Cardinal Vincent ordained Mgr Carmelo Zammit Bishop of Gibraltar in St Paul's Cathedral in Mdina, Malta.
Echoing the words of St Paul to Timothy, the Cardinal spoke of the gift of God given to the bishop through the laying on of hads 'as a summons to witness to Christ and to bear hardship willingly'.
'Let's be clear,' he continued, 'being a bishop is not a promotion, the consequence of success, but a gift, a calling, a new step on the pathway of holiness, given for God's own purpose and his own grace. Being a bishop is not a new opportunity to put one's own plans into action. It is a call to serve.'
The Cardinal referred to the Diocese of Gibraltar which is being placed in the care of the newly-ordained Bishop Zammit as a 'remarkable place', explaining that 'it is, in many ways, a microcosm of Europe with all the dramas, dangers and opportunities' which the continent presents.
He added: 'To be bishop of such a place is, I believe, a privilege and a challenge. It is to be responsible for an outpost of Europe, a place where all that Europe strives to stand for is first to be met.'
Referring to recent events, the Cardinal said: 'It is more important than ever for the Church in Europe, and therefore in Gibraltar, to proclaim and practice those values and qualities that lie at the heart of European civilisation.'
He also called for the Church to 'live and proclaim deeper values' of 'the inalienable dignity of the person, from conception to natural death; the equality in dignity of every person; the freedom to live in truth and love'.
Recalling his visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe in Gibraltar, 'standing literally at the edge of Europe', the Cardinal asked for her intercession for 'this precious continent and heritage, to which we are all committed, [that it] may not lose its way or cease to live by its finest values'.
The full text of the Cardinal's homily can be found here.
Photo: Diocese of Malta