Gizo (Agenzia Fides) - When a missionary is appointed a Bishop it is a great joy for the local people. Especially when the new Bishop is a priest who has been very close to the life and the problems of the people, is familiar with the families and villagers and has among the poor and the sick, embraced and taught the children. These were the sentiments of the community in Gizo, in Solomon Islands, who had the joy of taking part in the ordination of Bishop Luciano Capelli, an Italian Salesian, who has been on mission in the Pacific for years evangelising and promoting development.
Fr. Luciano has been rector and headmaster of Don Bosco Centre in Honiara, a school and technical training institute run by the Salesians. As director of the Solomons Salesian Province he created a new mission in Tetere, which has a technical training school, and a centre for instruction, catechesis and communications at Christ the King Parish. He also promoted Salesian Radio Bosco to spread the message of the Gospel in the Pacific, an initiative welcomed by the people.
After being appointed in June 2007 (see Fides 6/6/2007), on 21 October the new Bishop was ordained during a solemn Mass in Gizo, accompanied by liturgical dancing and singing. The Ordination Mass was presided by Salesian Cardinal Joseph Zen, Bishop of Hong Kong, and among those present 8 bishops and 30 priests, civil authorities besides family members and friends some of whom had travelled a long way to be there.
The liturgy and reception were prepared by the local people, groups and parishes in the diocese of Gizo. At the end of the Mass the retiring bishop of Gizo Dominican Bishop Bernard O’Grady, expressed deep gratitude to the people of his diocese and entrusted them to the care of Bishop Capelli. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 26/10/2007 righe 28 parole 289)