On Friday 2 December, the religious and lay community in Malta bid farewell to Vicar General Mons Annetto Depasquale in a funeral Mass celebrated by Archbishop Paul Cremona at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta. Bishop Depasquale died suddenly on Tuesday 29 November, aged 73, at his home in Qormi at 3.45 p.m. He was the Auxiliary Bishop and Titular Bishop of Aradi.
In a message from the Holy See, Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, passed on Pope Benedict XVI’s “heartfelt condolences” to his family and the community and recalled his “long and devoted ministry” and “dedication to his apostolate even at times of physical frailty”.
In a statement issued by the College of Parish Priests, the College expressed its sorrow on the loss of Mons Annetto Depasquale, Titular Bishop of Aradi and Auxiluary Bishop, and gave thanks to God for the gift of Mons Depasquale to the Church in Malta. The College acknowledged that Mons Depasquale was indeed a man of God, a man who bore great love and displayed a sense of loyalty towards the Church. He was a man of service, always ready to give direction and support to parish priest. He took his duties most seriously and performed them with a smile. In all of these qualities, he will remain to be of a great example to all.
In a press release the Malta Union of Professional Psychologists expressed its deep sympathy on the loss of H.G. Mgr. Anetto Depasquale, Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Diocese of Malta. “The departure of Bishop Depasquale from this earthy existence is a great loss for the Church in Malta and for all those who knew him and benefited from his pastoral care. A righteous person with a deep pastoral heart, amalgamating the fundamental values of justice and love expressed through a life of deep humility. A humane individual, who allowed the Divine to shine through him. Now that he has joined the Divine Lord he so much loved, may his exemplary life inspire us and may his blessings be upon us. The MUPP sends its deep condolences to the Church in Malta and to all those who are mourning Bishop Depasquale’s loss particularly his family members and close friends,” stated the press release signed by Bernard Caruana, President MUPP.
Mgr. Annetto Depasquale was born in Qormi on 28 June 1938. He received his primary education at St Joseph School (Valletta) and his secondary education at the Lyceum. He continued his studies at the University of Malta and the Pontifical University of the Lateran, where he studied in Canon Law and Pastoral Theology. He was ordained priest on the 7 April 1962 and carried out pastoral duties at the Church Commission for Children’s Homes, the Pastoral Research Services, besides assisting in the parish of St George in Qormi and the English speaking community in Malta. He was appointed Curia Chancellor on 6 August 1977 and Pastoral Secretary on 14 April 1986. On 9 January 1989 he was appointed Vicar General and on 16 November 1998, His Holiness the Pope nominated him Titular Bishop of Aradi and Auxiliary Bishop. Mgr Depasquale was ordained Bishop on 2 January 1999. By Decree dated 27 January 2007, Archbishop Paul Cremona nominated him Vicar General.