I was very sad to learn yesterday of the sudden and untimely death of Bishop Joe Grech of the Sandhurst (aka Bendigo) Diocese. This is the report in the Bendigo Advertiser:
VALE THE MOST REVEREND JOSEPH GRECH, BISHOP OF SANDHURST
KAREN SWEENEY & CLARE QUIRK
29 Dec, 2010 09:10 AM
THE Catholic community is mourning the sudden death of Bishop of Sandhurst Joseph Grech.
Bishop Grech died in St Vincent’s Hospital at 3pm yesterday after a short illness.
Monsignor Frank Marriott was among a group of eight Church leaders, family and community members with 62-year-old Bishop Grech when he died.
Bishop Grech became ill on Thursday afternoon and was admitted to St Vincent’s Hospital, but his condition further deteriorated yesterday morning.
“There was a little community of about eight people praying for him between 11am and 3pm and those eight people were present when he died,” Monsignor Marriott said.
Bishop Grech was born in Malta and came to Australia in 1971.
He was installed as Bishop of Sandhurst in April 2001, having previously been an
Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne, under now Cardinal George Pell. Monsignor Marriott said Bishop Grech would be especially missed by the youth of the dioceses, who would remember him by his words.
“He had a famous saying for the young people,” he said.
“‘God doesn’t make rubbish.’ There is good in all ourselves and we have to pull up and find it.
“All the kids would know him by that saying. It’s an epitaph for him.”
Also by his side was Melbourne’s Archbishop Denis Hart, who said the bishop’s death was a great loss for the Church.
“Since his priestly ordination in 1974, he worked with great distinction as a priest in Melbourne and as a Bishop in Melbourne and Sandhurst,” he said.
“For Bishop Joe, the good news was always light and joy for humanity.”
St Kilian’s parish administrator Rom Hayes also paid tribute to Bishop Grech and said it would bring great shock and deep sadness to those who knew him. “He was known as Bishop Joe and that’s what he liked to be called,’’ he said.
“He wasn’t one to stand on ceremony and that says a lot about the sort of man he was.
“He was thoughtful, outgoing and very concerned for people. He poured himself into his work and never backed off.
“I’ll remember him as warm and caring and passionate about the things he believed in.”
Rest in Peace, “Bishop Joe”.