St Albert of Trapani is a Sicilian saint from the 13th century, a Carmelite, widely known for his preaching and miraculous healings. He is also the patron of one of this Diocese's newest developing congregations. I was able to visit this congregation, located in the town of Randazzo on the slopes of Mount Etna, for the first time recently. I was accompanied by the Archdeacon of Italy and Malta, Vickie Sims. The occasion was the Feast of the Holy Cross. It was a warm and enthusiastic gathering. The mass was according to Common Worship, but in Italian. Archdeacon Vickie served as the deacon of the mass and also translated my homily for the assembled worshippers. It was televised by a local station! Visitors joined us from the Anglican congregations in Rome and Taormina.
The priest is the Revd Giovanni La Rosa, who was received into the communion of the Church of England at the Chrism mass last March. He has been mentored by clergy of the Archdeaconry and continues his journey deeper into the Anglican tradition, according to the norms of the Diocese. I was pleased to offer a special blessing for Fr Giovanni for his ministry among the faithful of St Albert of Trapani.
Il Signore ti conceda la gioia di presiedere e di servire fedelmente, in comunione con il tuo Vescovo e con il tuo Arcidiacono, la comunità italiana anglicana: Annuncia la parola di Dio, Celebra la grazia di Dio testimoniando la carità di Cristo. Amen
The Lord grant you the joy of presiding and serving faithfully. In communion with your bishop, your archdeacon, and the Italian Anglican community, proclaim the Word of God, and celebrate the grace of God, bearing witness to the love of Christ. Amen.
|St Albert of Trapani with his copy of Common Worship!|
After the mass in Randazzo there was a convivial community meal of pizza, local wine and some delicious Sicilian desserts. The congregation, made up of people of all ages, seemed to feel uplifted by the visit, judging from a quote from the parish website: "the visit of the bishop reminds us that our community is part of the great family of the Church of Jesus, following in the Anglican tradition. We thank the Lord for this pastoral visit and confirmed in faith we continue our path in the Anglican way, with conviction and enthusiasm".
you made Saint Albert of Trapani
a model of purity and prayer,
and a devoted servant of Our Lady.
May we practise these same virtues
and so be worthy always
to share the banquet of your grace.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.