Bishop Joe Grech

The Bishop’s Hat and tassels are traditionally green and are above and around the shield. The six tassels on each side indicate that he is a Bishop (Archbishops have 10 and Cardinals 15 per side). The Cross is below and behind the shield and reaches down to the scroll which contains the Bishop’s Motto.

On the shield are three white stars of the Grech family emblem. The Tree is the Cedar of Lebanon a symbol of the house of God (Ezek 17:3ff) and of prosperity and strength (Ps 29:5, 92:13).

On the right are three flames a sign of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The book is the bible, the Word of God is Christ. The letters Alpha and Omega (the first and last of the Greek alphabet) symbolise Christ as the beginning and end of all. The two-edged sword is also a symbol of the Word of God which is alive and active, cutting finely and laying bare the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebr 4:14).

The Cross of Malta (birthplace of Bishop Joseph) is displayed in the red and white colours of the Maltese flag. The Southern Cross is a symbol of Australia.

The Motto “Come Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:20) is both an invitation for Christ to come again and a prayer of faith that he will come again into our hearts and at the end of time.

Bishop Joseph Angelo Grech DD was installed as the sixth Bishop of Sandhurst in a solemn ceremony at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Friday 27 April 2001.

Born in Balzan, Malta on 10 December 1948, he attended the local schools and the Diocesan Seminary. He left Malta to follow many of his people to Melbourne and continued his studied for the priesthood at Corpus Christ College Glen Waverley and Clayton. He was ordained on the 30 November1974 in his home town and returned to Melbourne to take up parish appointments in Northcote, Altona North, Maidstone and Moonee Ponds and as Parish Priest in Brunswick East.

The Archbishop of Melbourne sent him to study Spirituality at the Gregorian University, Rome and on his return became full time chaplain to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and then to Corpus Christi College provincial seminary as spiritual director. Pope John Paul II appointed him Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne (titular Bishop of Belesasa). Bishop Joe was consecrated at Patrick’s Cathedral on 10 February 1999 and served in the western suburbs of the Archdiocese.

On 8 March 2001 Bishop Joe was appointed Bishop of Sandhurst and installed on 27 April.

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